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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 18 August 2018

Godolphin's Wild Illusion storms to victory in Nassau Stakes at Goodwood

Yorkshire Oaks under consideration for the Dubawi filly's next race

William Buick riding Wild Illusion, left, win the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood Racecourse. Getty Images
William Buick riding Wild Illusion, left, win the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood Racecourse. Getty Images

Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby’s decision to drop Wild Illusion back in the trip paid rich dividends after landing the Group 1 Nassau Stakes in impressive style at the Goodwood festival meeting on Thursday.

William Buick, aboard Wild Illusion, made all on the Dubawi filly over the 2,000-metre trip to come home clear of Pretty Polly Stakes victor Urban Fox and Veracious by two lengths and a short head, respectively.

“She was coming in to the race as well as I've seen her all season. William gave her a great tactical ride from the front,” Appleby was quoted as saying in PA Sports.

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“He is fantastic on the front end, we have seen that time after time and he had the right, willing partner.

“I just said to William, from half a mile out start to stretch them as she will get a mile and a quarter standing on her head, so let’s see if the batch in behind would see it out.”

Buick and Wild Illusion bowled along in front closely followed by Urban Fox, Rhododendron and Veracious.

Rhododendron dropped out rapidly, leaving the other two to chase the Godolphin runner home.

Wild Illusion has an entry in the Yorkshire Oaks where she could meet three-time Group 1 winner Laurens and last year's champion filly Enable. She also has an entry in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

“The Yorkshire Oaks is potentially there under consideration. That [Prix de l’Opera] is what we had her earmarked for,” Appleby said.

“In the spring, she ran well in the Guineas and I was having to slightly mind her going into the Oaks and since Ascot, she has turned a corner.

“Physically I think that is the best she looked so far this season, walking round the paddock. She is a Dubawi and this is their time of year. They thrive in the second half of the season.

“As I said to the lads in the yard, it is fantastic but the only problem is it puts the mantle higher for next season.

Appleby, who sent out Masar to win the Epsom Derby, described the season as “phenomenal”.

“I am very fortunate to be in this position. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and the Royal Family have supported me very well and have been very kind to me,": he said.

“It is only my job to try and put these winners on the board at this level. The two-year-olds have started coming to hand now and we need them to do well as we build for next year.”

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