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Can Midday make it five for Cecil and Queally?

28 Jul 2011

Victory for Midday in Saturday's Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes would seal a fifth Series race win for both Sir Henry Cecil and Tom Queally, carrying them further clear in the trainers' and jockeys tables.

Midday wins the Middleton Stakes at York in May.  Image courtesy of

Midday, chasing a Nassau Stakes hat-trick after fine victories in the mile and a quarter contest in 2009 and 2010, goes into Saturday’s Markel Insurance-sponsored race with a great chance of giving her trainer, Sir Henry Cecil, and jockey, Tom Queally, their fifth QIPCO British Champions race wins.

The Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes is the 22nd QIPCO British Champions Series race of the season and the fifth in the Fillies & Mares division and has attracted a world class, seven-strong line-up.

Midday has had to settle for second place in her last two starts – behind St Nicholas Abbey in the Investec Coronation Cup in early June and behind Misty For Me, the likely favourite in Saturday’s contest, on soft ground in Ireland at the end of June – but she looked as good as ever when winning the Middleton Stakes at York in May.

Back on faster ground at a track that she clearly handles well, one can expect the five-year-old mare to make a bold bid for her hat-trick.

Three-year-old Misty For Me beat Midday easily in the Stobart Ireland Pretty Polly Stakes last time and will undoubtedly prove hard to beat if she runs as well on much faster ground.

If she emerges victorious, her trainer, Aidan O’Brien, would overtake Cecil at the top of the QIPCO British Champions Series trainers’ leaderboard.

Another with strong claims is the four year-old Snow Fairy, triumphant in both the English and Irish Oaks last season as well as major races in Japan and Hong Kong. The ground may be too quick for her to show her best on this occasion, however.

Yet another top class contender is the six-year-old Crystal Capella who will represent Sir Michael Stoute and Ryan Moore. She was a deeply impressive winner at Newmarket last time out.

The race is due off at 3.10pm and will be shown live on Channel 4. To view the full race page, CLICK HERE.