Nashwa team turning thoughts to Champions Day ‘end game’

Qipco British Champions Day at Ascot is viewed as the “end game” for Nashwa following another excellent run in defeat in Saturday’s Irish Champion Stakes.

Having claimed her third Group One win in the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket in July, John and Thady Gosden’s filly was beaten a length into third place in the Nassau at Goodwood and finished the same distance behind her stablemate Mostahdaf when runner-up in the Juddmonte International at York.

She was sent to Leopardstown for another top-level assignment and stormed home from the rear to again pick up minor honours in third, finishing on the heels of the Aidan O’Brien-trained pair of dual Derby winner Auguste Rodin and defending champion Luxembourg.

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Nashwa has the option of return to Paris on Arc weekend for the Prix de l’Opera, in which she was touched off as a hot favourite last season, while she also holds an entry in the Sun Chariot at Newmarket the following week – but it is the big day at Ascot that connections are focussing on.

“She ran a super race on Saturday, she really did. She’s proven herself in top-class company against the colts and has come out of the race really well,” said Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Imad Al Sagar.

“We’ll look at the options, but I think possibly the end game would be Qipco Champions Day, whether that be for the QEII or the Champion Stakes.

“I don’t think it would be necessary to have another run between now and then, but she is in the Sun Chariot or there’s the Prix de l’Opera.

“The Opera does come up quite quick, so we’ll see.”

Hollie Doyle on Nashwa after winning the Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes
Hollie Doyle on Nashwa after winning the Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes (David Davies/PA)

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Last term Nashwa finished fourth at the Breeders’ Cup, but a trip to California appears less likely this time around, and a decision on whether she will race on next season has yet to be made.

Grimthorpe added: “It (Breeders’ Cup) certainly hasn’t been discounted because you never know what may or may not happen, but I think at the moment Ascot would be the main aim.

“Nothing has been decided (regarding next year), we’ll see how she is and see how she goes and Imad will decide nearer the time.”

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