Nashwa's Connections Aiming Filly At British Champions Day

James Mackie | @JMackieRacing


Owner Imad Al Sagar's leading Group One filly Nashwa will now be aimed at a tilt at either the QEII or Champion Stakes in October at Ascot on British Champions Day after a superb third in the Irish Champion Stakes at the weekend.

A superstar for connections over the last few years, last term winning four of her seven events including the Group One Prix de Diane Stakes at Chantilly and the Group One Nassau Stakes over 1m2f at Glorious Goodwood, whilst also placing in the Group One Prix de l'Opera on Arc weekend.

This term she has been running to a solid level again between a mile and 10f needing her debut at Saint-Cloud in the Group Two Prix Corrida and then was chinned late on at Newcastle in the Group Two Shiremoor Hoppings Fillies' Stakes by Al Husn who has since come out and landed Group One honours.

Back to her best when bolting up by five lengths in the Group One Falmouth Stakes, she then went to Goodwood looking to defend her Nassau Stakes title but was a narrow third behind Al Husn in a messy race.

Last seen putting up another superb performance in defeat when only a length behind Mostahdaf in the Group One Juddmonte International Stakes.

Held up by Hollie Doyle on Saturday at Leopardstown she had a lot to do in the finish to try and catch winner Auguste Rodin but she ran a cracker to only finish 1/2 a length back in third.

Nashwa has the option of return to Paris on Arc weekend for the Prix de l’Opera, a race in which she was just touched off in last year going off the hot favourite last season.

She also holds an entry in the Group One Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket the following week, but it looks as though connections are all systems go for Ascot on Champions Day.

(Credit ATR) “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.”

There is still a decision to be made whether the multiple Group One winner will return next year with Grimthorpe staying tight lipped on the situation.

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.”