Midday scored a repeat in the Blue Square Nassau Stakes (Eng-I) with a rousing victory over Stacelita at Glorious Goodwood July 31.
It was the third group I victory for Midday, who also won the Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (gr. IT) at Santa Anita last year.
Sent off as the favorite to repeat in the Nassau, Midday was rated just off a moderate pace set by the front-running Barshiba. French invader Stacelita tracked the leader closely from second with Midday and Antara just behind her.
As the field entered the home straight, Midday swept to the front under Tom Queally and looked set to score a decisive victory after opening up a two-length lead on the field. Then with just a furlong to go, Midday began to idle and her lead suddenly evaporated as Stacelita fought back and pulled alongside.
Once challenged though, Midday got back to business, eventually drawing off to win by 1 1/4 lengths. Antara finished third, one length behind Stacelita.
The final time for the 10 furlongs was 2:07.25 over a course rated as good to firm.
A stewards’ inquiry was called after the race to investigate possible interference in the stretch, when Midday appeared to brush against Stacelita. The placings remained unchanged, although Queally was handed a two-day ban for careless riding.
Winning trainer Henry Cecil said of Midday after the race: “She is getting a bit lazy and prefers to quicken gradually. She likes a strong pace and thought she had done enough, but quickened when the second (challenge) came to her.
“She is stronger than last year and has a heavier shoulder. She doesn’t like quick ground and if it was firm she wouldn't have run. I have to be careful with her, but so long as the ground is not quick she will hopefully run in the Yorkshire Oaks (Eng-I) next.
“Hopefully she will have a good end-of-year campaign and the Breeders’ Cup is in the mix."
Jean-Claude Rouget, trainer of Stacelita, was satisfied with his filly’s performance, saying: “It is always disappointing to be beaten, but when you are beaten by a better horse there is really nothing to say.
“Her main objective is the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf, so depending on how things pan out she will either run two or three more times.”
Midday completed a stakes double for owner Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte Farm. Earlier on the card, Critical Moment, a 3-year-old son of Aptitude, captured the listed Bluesq.com “For 5 Places In” Stewards’ Cup under Michael Hills.
Midday is a 4-year-old daughter of Oasis Dream out of the winning Kingmambo mare Midsummer. She is from the immediate family of champions Reams of Verse and Elmaamul.