The Group One Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes is one of the highlights on the final day of Glorious Goodwood, Saturday, August 4, and the contest for fillies and mares has attracted 24 entries for its 2012 renewal.
Midday created history in 2011 when becoming the first three-time winner of the prestigious £185,000 race, which is run over just short of 10 furlongs, but there will be a new name on the roll of honour this year, with Khalid Abdulla's star mare now retired to the paddocks.
The runner-up last year was Snow Fairy, who could bid to go one better. The Ed Dunlop-trained mare has been a real star for her connections in recent seasons.
Following her victory in the 2010 Listed Height Of Fashion Stakes at Goodwood in May, 2010, the daughter of Intikhab has gone on to claim five Group One races around the world - the Oaks at Epsom, the Irish Oaks, the Hong Kong Cup and two renewals of the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup at Kyoto in Japan.
She also ran well in defeat in three Group One contests last season, when the half-length runner-up to So You Think in the Irish Champion Stakes and a close third in both the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and the QIPCO Champion Stakes at Ascot.
Snow Fairy has not been seen out since her second victory at Kyoto in November, 2011, as she had a setback when being prepared to run in Hong Kong the following month.
However, Patrick Cooper, racing manager to owners Anamoine Limited, revealed today that Snow Fairy could well begin her 2012 campaign in the Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes.
Cooper said: "We'll just see how we go but the Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes is an option for Snow Fairy.
"She is coming back from an injury, which she picked up in Hong Kong last year, but she is back in Newmarket now and is in full training. It will be great if she can get to Goodwood and, if she is ready, we will be there.
"Her programme will hopefully be the same as last year and we will be looking to go out to the Far East with her again at the end of the year providing everything goes well.
"We had considered the Eclipse for her but she wasn't ready and it may be the case that she is a better filly in the second half of the season."
Sir Henry Cecil may not have Midday to rely on this year, but could be represented by Timepiece, winner of the Group One Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket last year.
There is no trainer in better form at the moment than John Gosden and the Newmarket handler has three star fillies entered in the Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes. Gosden's hopes are Izzi Top, who registered a first Group One victory in the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh on July 1, Joviality, heroine of the Group Two Windsor Forest Stakes at Royal Ascot, and The Fugue, who finished third in the Oaks at Epsom.
Aidan O'Brien first landed the Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes in 2007 with Peeping Fawn and a year later was also on target with Halfway To Heaven. Ireland's champion trainer has five entries this year including Oaks heroine Was and Maybe, who landed the Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes as a juvenile last season before finishing third in the QIPCO 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket in May. Soon, Twirl and Up complete the O'Brien quintet.
Further Irish interest is provided by the Kevin Prendergast-trained La Collina, a Group One winner as a juvenile last season, while there are two entries from France. Alain de Royer Dupre has engaged the progressive Group Two winner Giofra, while the Aga Khan's Ridasiyna, unbeaten in three starts including the Group Three Prix Chloe at Chantilly, could represent trainer Mikel Delzangles.
Samitar provided Mick Channon with a first major Classic winner when successful in this season's Irish 1,000 Guineas while another interesting contender is the Roger Varian-trained Nahrain, successful in the Group One Prix de l'Opera at Longchamp last season.
Glorious Goodwood runs from Tuesday, July 31 to Saturday, August 4 inclusive.