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Page last updated at 17:21 GMT, Saturday, 2 August 2008 18:21 UK

Heaven holds on for Nassau glory

Halfway to Heaven
Jockey Johnny Murtagh has ridden a raft of winners at Goodwood 2008

Halfway to Heaven came through to win the Nassau Stakes by a head at Goodwood and give trainer Aidan O'Brien his 17th Group One win of an astonishing season.

Jockey Johnny Murtagh's judged his ride to perfection in a desperately close finish as he kept even-money favourite Lush Lashes at bay by a narrow margin.

The Irish 1000 Guineas winner set off as the second favourite but earned a second win at the highest level.

Lush Lashes, under Kevin Manning, was unlucky, being blocked more than once.

I thought it might be tactical. Aidan said she is very straightforward and to bounce her out

Johnny Murtagh

After being buried on the rails early on, Manning made his move in the sixth of the 10-furlong heat but was thwarted.

Jim Bolger's filly eventually found a gap between the winner and third-placed Passage Of Time but Lush Lashes could not get on top and Halfway To Heaven held on.

"I thought it might be tactical. Aidan said she is very straightforward and to bounce her out," said Murtagh.

"She is very brave and very tough. She's come on from the Guineas, she's thickened up well and she's moving well. She wins like this a lot, she is lazy.

"A fast mile is OK and a mile and a quarter is no problem, so she has plenty of options."

Elsewhere on the final day of this year's Glorious Goodwood racing festival, Conquest led home a one-two for trainer William Haggas in a thrilling finish to the Stewards' Cup.


The group on the stands side dominated the six-furlong heat with former race winner Borderlescott, under Pat Cosgrave, looking likely to repeat his 2008 success as he led into the final furlong.

But long shot Conquest hit the front for Dane O'Neill just inside the distance and, though stable-mate King's Apostle emerged from the pack late on, he had just enough left to hold on by a head.

Nassau Stakes (10 furlongs)
1. Halfway To Heaven (J Murtagh) 5-1
2. Lush Lashes (K J Manning) Evens Fav
3. Passage of Time (T E Durcan) 8-1
9 ran

Stewards' Cup (six furlongs)
1. Conquest (D O'Neill) 40-1
2. King's Apostle (L Jones) 12-1
3. Borderlescott (P Cosgrave) 7-1
27 ran

see also
Fifteen Love smashes mile rivals
01 Aug 08 |  Horse Racing
Yeats dominates for Goodwood win
31 Jul 08 |  Horse Racing
'Henry' extends winning sequence
30 Jul 08 |  Horse Racing
Paco Boy strides to Goodwood win
29 Jul 08 |  Horse Racing
Goodwood photos
30 Jul 08 |  Horse Racing
Horse racing on the BBC
19 May 08 |  Horse Racing
Quiz the racing team
17 Jun 08 |  Horse Racing

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