Blue Rose Cen, Soul Sister and Courage Mon Ami feature among latest entries for Qatar Goodwood Festival

Horse Racing | Press Article 17/04/24

The countdown to the Qatar Goodwood Festival moved up a gear today with the publication of entries for seven races, including the £600,000 G1 Qatar Nassau Stakes and £500,000 G1 Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup.

French star Blue Rose Cen is on course for the Qatar Nassau Stakes on Thursday, August 3, as she seeks a fourth G1 victory. The dual Classic winner will be looking to emulate last year’s winner Nashwa (John & Thady Gosden), who followed up in the 10-furlong highlight having taken the G1 Prix de Diane on her previous start.

Trainer Christopher Head said: “The Nassau Stakes is a magnificent race with a prestigious history that makes it desirable to be a part of. Last year, Nashwa achieved the Prix de Diane/Nassau Stakes double. After dominating her own generation, it’s time to pitch Blue Rose Cen against older fillies and mares.

“Goodwood Racecourse is a highly technical track. My father, Freddy Head, won the Sussex Stakes there with Solow in 2015. And I have seen how much talent, a great turn of foot, and manoeuvrability a horse needs to shine on this course. I believe Blue Rose Cen possesses all these qualities. 

“Leopoldo Fernández Pujals, with Yeguda Centurion, is a bold and daring individual, who embraces a challenge. When his wife asked him for a racehorse, he ended up purchasing 80 to found his own breeding operation. He is an incredibly quick learner and excels in any field he ventures into. It is truly an honour to be the trainer of his horses. We have decided to come and run Blue Rose Cen in the Nassau Stakes because we believe that this audacity will be rewarded.”

Nashwa’s stablemate Soul Sister is another standout name among the 26 entries following her dominant victory in the G1 Oaks. Above The Curve (Joseph O’Brien) and Warm Heart(Aidan O’Brien) look the pick of the Irish-trained fillies following their respective G2 wins last time out.

The Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup on Tuesday, August 1, promises to be another hugely competitive race, with Gold Cup principals Courage Mon Ami (John & Thady Gosden), Coltrane (Andrew Balding) and Subjectivist (Charlie Johnston) all in contention to reoppose. 

Unbeaten G2 Queen’s Vase victor Gregory (John & Thady Gosden) is one of 10 three-year-olds engaged in the two-mile contest, while Marco Botti is hoping the decision to skip Royal Ascot with Giavellotto will pay dividends. 

Giavellotto finished third behind Eldar Eldarov (Roger Varian) in last season’s G1 St Leger, despite being badly hampered in the closing stages, and looked a horse on the up when reversing the form to win the G2 Yorkshire Cup last month.

Botti said: “Giavellotto is very well and the plan was always to go straight for the Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup. 

“The horse won well at York and then we were keen to give him more time rather than stepping up to the Gold Cup, as we think two miles is his best trip.

“He has matured a lot mentally from three to four and we expected him to improve this season, as most stayers do with age. He used to wear a hood and get quite warm before his races but that was not the case in the Yorkshire Cup. 

“We were disappointed on his first run back in the Dubai Gold Cup but he was drawn wide and the race did not pan out for him, so it was nice to see him show what we thought he was capable of at York. 

“You never know until you run at Goodwood whether they will handle the track, but he seems a well-balanced horse and the long straight will be in his favour.”

Last year’s winner Khaadem (Charlie Hills) may bid for a repeat victory in the five-furlong G2 King George Qatar Stakes on Friday, August 4, following his 80/1 upset in the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot. Star mare Highfield Princess (John Quinn) could drop down in class after two fine runs at the Royal Meeting, while the unbeaten Statuette is an intriguing entry for Aidan O’Brien. 

Ralph Beckett’s Kinross headlines 25 entries for the seven-furlong G2 Qatar Lennox Stakes on Tuesday, August 1, a race in which he finished second last year before landing G1 prizes at Longchamp and Ascot. The Classic generation is led by G1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains runner-up Isaac Shelby (Brian Meehan).

Prolific mare Free Wind (John & Thady Gosden) tops 36 entries for the G2 Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes over 14 furlongs on Saturday, August 5. Gold Cup fourth Emily Dickinson (Aidan O’Brien) and German challenger Nachtrose (Peter Schiergen) are also engaged.

Entries also closed for the two feature handicaps of the meeting. Commanche Falls (Michael Dods) heads 111 entries for the Coral Stewards’ Cup as he chases an unprecedented third straight win in the six-furlong showpiece, while Witch Hunter (Richard Hannon) tops 77 entries for the Coral Golden Mile following his win in last week’s Buckingham Palace Handicap.

Tickets, dining, and hospitality are now on sale for the Qatar Goodwood Festival. Visit or call 01243 755055 to find out more. 

For further information, please contact:

 Emma Chamings

Goodwood Racecourse Press Office / 07887 792980