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Audarya to stay in training next year

James Fanshawe has confirmed his Breeders’ Cup heroine Audarya will stay in training as a five-year-old.

The daughter of Wootton Bassett came of age in the second half of 2020, taking a seismic leap from winning at handicap at Newcastle before immediately following up in the Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville.

She showed that was no fluke when going close in the Prix de l’Opera, and then benefited from an inspired Pierre-Charles Boudot ride in the Filly & Mare Turf on Saturday.

“It was the day of a lifetime,” said Fanshawe.

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“We probably had a few fillies in the past that should have been there but for one reason or another didn’t go. She had been very progressive, and after the Prix Jean Romanet it became a target if everything kept going the right way – and it did, fortunately.

“When we got the 11 draw I was thinking it wasn’t great, because I thought we’d be keen with no cover. Geoffrey de La Sayette rides her every day, and he is also French, so I let him sort the instructions out with Pierre-Charles – and somehow they got it spot on.

“You can see my emotions, because there is a clip on the Internet from a lurking camera man who I forgot was filming! Going into the last corner, she was off the bridle and maybe coming to the end of her run, but she really stuck her head down and ground it out.”

Audarya was a first Breeders’ Cup runner for Fanshawe, who left with only good memories of the meeting.

Pierre-Charles Boudot returns on Audarya with Jacko and James Fanshawe (right) welcoming her back
Pierre-Charles Boudot returns on Audarya with Jacko and James Fanshawe (right) welcoming her back (Michael Conroy/AP)

“We won, which obviously makes an awful lot of difference to your experience, but we were beautifully looked after,” he told Sky Sports Racing.

“There were also 2000 people each day – which given we’ve been racing in lockdown (in Britain), made a huge difference. All the Brits and Irish were together cheering each other on – the whole thing was fantastic.

“It was sad that Alison (Swinburn), her owner, and Anthony Stroud, her manager, couldn’t get over because of covid. But I’ve had a chat to them after the race, and the plan is to keep her in training as a five-year-old.

“She’s been very progressive. They broke the track record at Keeneland on Saturday – so providing everything is ok, she’s a very exciting filly to have in the yard.

“She’s got the scope to keep progressing and has kept going the right way. You never know with horses, but there’s no reason she can’t keep going the right way next year.

“Next year’s Breeders’ Cup is a long way off – but I don’t think she’ll be starting too early. She’ll have a nice long break now, and we’ll see how things are in the spring.”

Audarya strikes for Fanshawe in Filly & Mare Turf

Newmarket trainer James Fanshawe struck with his first runner in the Breeders’ Cup when Audarya came with a late run to claim the Filly & Mare Turf at Keeneland.

The four-year-old had stepped up to the mark at the top level with victory in the Prix Jean Romanet and third place in the Prix de l’Opera on her opening two attempts, and did so again with a determined effort.

She was ridden for the first time by Pierre-Charles Boudot, who Fanshawe called in as a late substitute for Ioritz Mendizabal after he tested positive for Covid-19.

There was drama at the start when Starship Jubilee unseated her rider Florent Geroux after stumbling coming out of the stalls.

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Shane Foley rushed up the Jessica Harrington-trained Cayenne Pepper from her wide draw to lead by the first turn, with the main American hopefuls Mean Mary and Rushing Fall close by.

They looked like fighting out the finish once Cayenne Pepper had weakened by the home turn – but Boudot and Audarya had other ideas.

She hit the front in the final furlong and battled on gamely to score by a neck from Rushing Fall, with Harvey’s Lil Goil half a length away in third place.

Fanshawe was attending the Breeders’ Cup for only the second time – the first being in 1986 when assistant to Sir Michael Stoute as he ran Sonic Lady and Milligram.

He said of the Alison Swinburn-owned filly: “We took it step by step with her and found that she really improved for a step up to a mile and a quarter.

“She won a tiny race at Newcastle and then managed to win the Group One Romanet in France after which we mapped out a proper campaign, which started with a very good run in the Prix de l’Opera, in which she was done by the lack of pace.

“It then left us with six weeks before the Breeders’ Cup and Alison was very keen to go.

“We did have a slight concern before Deauville about whether she would handle soft ground, because she is a very good mover, but it seems she can go on anything.

“I said to Pierre-Charles she might be a bit keen and to try to get a bit of cover, but how he got from stall 11 to the rail was just incredible. She kept finding under a wonderful ride from the jockey.

“The plan now will be for her to remain in training and if she remains in one piece hopefully she will come back to the States to run in this race at Del Mar.”

He added: “Alison was unable to come this time, but she will be having quite a celebration.

“It was bad luck on Ioritz, but he shares the same agent as Pierre and she just kept finding when he asked her in the final two furlongs.”