Midday took command two furlongs from the wire and easily held off Snow Fairy to win the $302,671 Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes (Eng-I) at Glorious Goodwood July 30. In doing so, the 5-year-old daughter of Oasis Dream became the first to win the Nassau three consecutive years.
Midday’s victory, which came on the closing day of the Glorious Goodwood meet, capped off a tremendous week for her connections. Owner Juddmonte Farm, trainer Sir Henry Cecil, and jockey Tom Queally also won the QIPCO Sussex Stakes (Eng-I) July 27 with the undefeated Frankel.
A field of six fillies and mares went to post in the Nassau, with most of the money going on Midday, who was sent off as the 6-4 betting favorite. Her main challenger appeared to be Snow Fairy, the 5-2 second choice who was looking to improve off of a fourth-place finish in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes (Eng-I) in her only other start this year. Another top contender, Misty For Me, was withdrawn from the Nassau due to the firm going.
Barefoot Lady broke sharply and was sent to the lead by jockey Paul Hanagan. She was followed closely by Field Day, and the two outsiders set a slow pace on the front end through the early stages. Queally had Midday settled in third on the outside, with Crystal Capella tracking her in fourth. Frankie Dettori had Snow Fairy racing a close fifth, as Richard Hughes and Principal Role trailed the field early.
The pace remained steady as Barefoot Lady continued to show the way. With three furlongs left to run Crystal Capella made her move, scooting up along the inside rail under Jimmy Fortune to challenge for the lead. Midday cruised up along the outside, and the tempo quickened sharply as the fillies charged down the home straight.
Crystal Capella and Midday matched strides briefly, but Midday pulled clear, traveling well within herself with less than two furlongs to go. Snow Fairy was now making her bid from the back of the field, gobbling up ground with every stride as she zeroed in on Midday.
The dual Oaks winner was never able to get on terms with the favorite though, as Midday cruised under the wire a decisive winner. Snow Fairy was a clear second, with Midday’s stablemate, Principal Role, another 1 1/4 lengths back in third.
The final time for 10 furlongs was 2:07.72 over the good to firm going.
A delighted Henry Cecil said after the race, “I am very pleased. Last year she became one of three to have won the race two times, and now she has broken the record and won three. She has won six group ones in her career and been unlucky not to win another two or three more. She is a marvelous mare.”
Regarding Midday’s future plans, Cecil said, “Hopefully she will go for the Yorkshire Oaks (Eng-I), but we’ll feel our way and she’ll tell us what we should do.”
Those future plans may not include a return trip to Churchill Downs for the Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT), in which Midday finished second last year. “We’ll leave it completely open, but I don’t especially like Churchill Downs,” Cecil stated.
Midday was bred in England by her owner, Prince Khalid Abdullah, and races in the silks of his Juddmonte Farm. She is out of the winning Kingmambo mare Midsummer, and hails from the immediate family of champions Reams of Verse and Elmaamul.