Friday 23 August 2019

O'Brien expects Hermosa to relish Nassau trip

Trainer Aidan O'Brien. Photo: Sportsfile
Trainer Aidan O'Brien. Photo: Sportsfile

Thomas Kelly

Aidan O'Brien hopes English and Irish 1,000 Guineas heroine Hermosa will relish her step up in trip for the Qatar Nassau Stakes at Goodwood.

The daughter of Galileo, one of O'Brien's two representatives in today's Group One contest alongside Just Wonderful, will bid to return to winning ways as she moves up to a mile and a quarter for the first time.

Having tasted Classic glory in her first two starts of the season, Hermosa saw her bid for a Group One hat-trick come up short when filling the runner-up spot in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot last time out.

O'Brien said: "She is in good form. We were nearly stepping her up last time for the French Oaks, but we decided (instead) to give her one more go at a mile at Ascot.

"It will be interesting going up in trip. You never know if it will bring out more improvement until you do it, but we always thought there was a chance she would get further.

"She got beaten at Ascot last time, but she had two tough races before and we were happy with her run. I hope she stays, and we are looking forward to seeing her run."

John Gosden believes the drop back in trip should not inconvenience Mehdaayih, which put her defeat in the Oaks at Epsom behind her with victory in a Group Two contest at Saint-Cloud on her most recent outing.

Gosden said: "She was very unlucky in the Oaks and got knocked over not once but three times, and she quickened up very well in France.

"We are coming back in trip, but she is very versatile, and we think she will run a nice race. She got the mile and a half very well, but she has won over a mile and a quarter (and) is not a filly that lacks speed. Who knows if she will handle Goodwood - that is something we will only find out after the race."

William Haggas expects the switch back to a mile and a quarter to be more suitable for Maqsad on her first start since finishing down the field in the Oaks.

He said: "She took a long time to get over the Oaks, but she is back in good form now. I think it may have been more than the trip in the Oaks, because she travelled well (but) then stopped very quickly. Dropping back in trip should suit her."

Irish Independent

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