Henry Cecil believes Midday is a better horse this year as she attempts to win the Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood for a third successive season.
Now a five-year-old, the daughter of Oasis Dream has won five times at the highest level but arrives in Sussex on the back of a rare lacklustre run in Ireland, when she had no answer to Aidan O’Brien’s Misty For Me in the Pretty Polly Stakes.
Cecil would have had no qualms about running her in the King George against the colts last weekend but with Workforce already representing owner Khalid Abdullah he decided to wait until this weekend.
“The Nassau this year is going to be a very tough race, but I think she would actually have run well in the King George on Saturday if she’d run,” said Cecil.
“The pace would have suited her as she has got a turn of foot and I think there would have been a good chance at her best that she’d have been in the mix.
“We couldn’t run her against the colt (Workforce). It would have been stupid to run the two of them. I don’t know what happened in Ireland, something went wrong.
“She was in very good order, but the filly of Aidan O’Brien’s just scooted away. I hope it was a one-off as she’s working well and I think she’s better this year than last year. We’ll see whether she can make up for things (in Ireland) this week.”
Abdullah’s racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe was also perplexed about Midday’s run at the Curragh but hopes a return to Goodwood will see her bounce back to her best.
“Midday ran a super race at Epsom (in the Coronation Cup). I don’t know about the Curragh, she was certainly beaten by a very decent filly that day but we were slightly scratching our heads as we expected her to run better,” said Grimthorpe.
“But we’re going in with the same mindset as we did when she went to the Curragh – we’re very confident.
“She has come out of the Pretty Polly brilliantly and had a nice bit of work on Tuesday. She obviously thrives at Goodwood. Last year she quickened twice, which is quite rare in a Group One race.”
Cecil also runs Principal Role, in the same Abdullah ownership, who will be ridden by Richard Hughes, with Midday again set to be partnered by Tom Queally.
The Ed Dunlop-trained Snow Fairy was one of the success stories of last season.
Having been beaten in a nursery off a mark of 90 as a two-year-old, she won the English and Irish Oaks before travelling to the Far East to claim the QEII Cup in Japan and the Hong Kong Cup.
Ryan Moore was on board for all four of those wins but has been claimed by Sir Michael Stoute to ride Crystal Capella, but in Frankie Dettori she will not be wanting for anything in the saddle.
“Snow Fairy has come on a lot for her run in the Eclipse at Sandown, where she just got tired after such a long absence,” the Newmarket handler told www.edunlop.com.
“She blew for 45 minutes afterwards, but she worked fantastic on Tuesday morning under Ryan Moore and though it is disappointing that he cannot ride, we are lucky to have Frankie.
“He has not ridden the filly before, but she is straightforward and while it is a very hot race, we are going there to win and the ground will be perfect.”
Patrick Cooper, racing manager to owner Cristina Patino, also believes she has plenty in her favour.
He said: “Snow Fairy worked very well the other day and Ed has been very pleased with her.
“We were delighted with her run at Sandown and it was just nice to see her on the racecourse after seven months off.
“She started last season at Goodwood, so the course holds no fears and we are hopeful that she can get her season going on Saturday.
“She needs fast ground and so the forecast conditions should be perfect for her. It was unfortunate that she didn’t get to take on Midday and Misty For Me in the Pretty Polly Stakes.
“The heavens opened the day before and we know she doesn’t like soft ground, so we decided to give it a miss.
“It should be a cracking race on Saturday. Midday has obviously won the last two renewals and Misty For Me has won four Group One races herself so she must be quite good.”