Doyle and Nashwa seeking more Group One glory

Nashwa is a warm favourite to take a second Group One contest in the Qatar Nassau Stakes at Goodwood on Thursday, with co-trainer Thady Gosden confident she will be effective on the South Downs track.

The daughter of Frankel did not stay the mile and a half of the Oaks at Epsom, finishing three and a quarter lengths behind Tuesday.

However, she bounced back to give jockey Hollie Doyle her first Classic winner, landing last month’s Prix de Diane at Chantilly over half a furlong further than the mile and a quarter she faces at the West Sussex venue.

Gosden, who trains the filly in partnership with his, father John, said: “She ran a very good race in the Oaks at Epsom, she just didn’t quite see out the mile and a half. She’s a filly with plenty of speed. She’s come out of the race in France well and we’re  looking forward to the Nassau.

“She’s pretty versatile when it comes to ground and at Goodwood they do a very good job, so I’m sure there will be a nice sound racing surface there.

“She’s a well-balanced filly, with excellent tactical speed. She switches off well, we think she’ll handle the track and she’s very versatile technically as well.”

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Nashwa takes on eight rivals who include Lilac Road, winner of the Group Two Middleton Stakes at York in May.

She is having only her third run of the season in the Nassau and her trainer, William Haggas, explained: “The only reason she hasn’t run since is that there aren’t many races for fillies when they’ve won their Group Two. There’s only really the Pretty Polly, in which we ran two others. Also it was soft ground, which she doesn’t want.

Lilac Road (left) on the way to victory at York
Lilac Road (left) on the way to victory at York (Tim Goode/PA)

“She’s fine and she’s working nicely. She’s fresh and well and she’s in good shape. She’ll run a good race, but whether she’s quite up to that class we’ll find out.”

Easy ground at the Curragh saw Dreamloper’s bid to back up her Group One Prix d’Ispahan victory falter, as she finished sixth of nine to La Petite Coco.

Trainer Ed Walker feels the daughter of Lope De Vega, who is partnered by Kieran Shoemark, will be more effective on the likely faster surface.

“The ground was the problem at the Curragh last time, and also she got a bit crowded, which made her a bit keen. Keenness has always been a bit of a thing for her but she’s been quite good this year. On that ground, though, Kieran (Shoemark) said she was wheel-spinning. We can put a line through that.

He added: “The win in the Prix d’Ispahan was great. It was really quick ground there – I walked the track and there’s no way it was the good to soft that they were calling it – but she settled great that day. When she settles she has a deadly turn of foot, and the faster the ground the better.”

Aidan O’Brien has saddled four previous winners of the Nassau and relies on Concert Hall, who wears cheekpieces for the first time, having run with credit when fourth in the Belmont Oaks Invitational earlier this month.

O’Brien said: “She ran a good race in America and finished fourth. She’s also run in the Irish Guineas, the Oaks and the Pretty Polly and she always seems to run a good race.”

Sir Michael Stoute, who has won this race a record seven times, the last coming in 2004, saddles Ville De Grace, beaten a nose by Dreamloper on her seasonal bow in the Dahlia at Newmarket before held by Middleton one-two Lilac Road and the Richard Hannon-trained Aristia, who renew rivalry.

Rogue Millennium has done her connections proud this season
Rogue Millennium has done her connections proud this season (Steven Paston/PA)

Rogue Millennium, winner of the Lingfield Oaks Trial before a fair seventh in the Epsom Classic, was back in trip when beaten a length by Poptronic in the Hoppings at Newcastle four weeks ago.

Trainer Tom Clover says the daughter of Dubawi has been freshened up after a break, although she could do with a little ease in the ground.

“She ran lovely in the Oaks and probably didn’t quite stay. We dropped her back into Group Three company the next day and she travelled like the winner, but for whatever reason, didn’t quite see out her race. It might be that she had four quick runs. I was a little bit disappointed with that run.

“She has had eight days in the paddock after that and she seems very well in herself and hopefully she will give a good account of herself and run a big race.

“Perhaps there have been stronger Nassau’s although it is a Group One and they are hard to win, but I just hope they put a little water on, so it is not too quick. She doesn’t mind genuine spring or autumn good to firm ground, she just doesn’t want it quick. She seems in really good form.”

York Listed winner Fonteyn and Curragh Group Two third One For Bobby complete the line-up.

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