Dubawi's Al Husn Upsets Nashwa And Blue Rose Cen In The Nassau

Al Husn | Goodwood Racecourse


Shadwell's Al Husn (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}–Hadaatha {Ire}, by Sea The Stars {Ire}) caused an upset when usurping Nashwa (GB) (Frankel {GB}) in the dying strides of Newcastle's G3 Hoppings S. when last seen and repeated the dose with a game performance for a career high in a stellar renewal of Thursday's G1 Qatar Nassau S. at Goodwood.

This year's G2 Dahlia S. runner-up and Listed Rothesay S. victrix was let go at generous odds of 9-1 and broke smartly from the outside stall to find a smooth rhythm in a close-up second for the most part. Shaken up to gain a narrow advantage from the pacesetting Above The Curve (American Pharoah) passing the quarter-mile marker, she refused to yield thereafter and was driven out inside the final furlong to withstand the rallying effort of that rival by a half-length. Last year's winner Nashwa posed an ominous threat on the outside throughout the final quarter-mile, but was unable to find the necessary kick when it mattered most and was the same margin further adrift in third. Christopher Head trainee and dual Classic heroine Blue Rose Cen (Ire) (Churchill {Ire}) fell foul to Goodwood's notorious traffic problems and was unable to produce her usual flourish along the far-side rail, finishing a neck away in fourth.

“Al Husn is a remarkable filly and she has won seven of her last eight now,” said Roger Varian after his charge joined the who's-who of elite-level distaffers and became his breakthrough in the 183-year-old contest. “The truth is none of us really knew how good she was, because she is one of those who just beats what is in front of her and is never particularly flashy. She has such an admirable attitude. We thought we would come here and run very well, but I am obviously delighted, and delighted Sheihka Hissa is here. To have a Group 1 for her and with a homebred filly like this, it's fantastic. The Nassau is a fantastic race, steeped in prestige and history. It is one of the magical races for fillies to win. It will be forever in her stud book and hopefully when she's done racing, she can go to the farm and be a great mare for them. It is very special for us, we went very close a couple of years ago in the same colours with Zeyaadah, so it's nice to go one better today. She is not the biggest filly, but she is very well made. We trained her mum, Hadaatha, who was third in the [G1] Prix de l'Opera, so we always had faith that Hadaatha would breed a very good one.”

Looking ahead to Group 1 options down the line, Varian added, “Let's enjoy today and see how she is tomorrow. She is in the [G1] Prix Jean Romanet [at Deauville] in two-and-a-half weeks' and the [G1] Yorkshire Oaks, if we fancy going up to a mile and a half, although I'm not sure about that. Later in the year, races like the [G1] Prix de l'Opera I'm sure will be considered and who knows, perhaps something at Santa Anita for her.”

Crowley Back Where He Belongs
Rider Jim Crowley's fortunes took an upward turn and his winning percentage was a small measure of compensation to offset an excessive sanction imposed earlier in the week for his ride aboard Hukum in the G1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth S. at Ascot. “Al Husn was so tough there,” he said. “She is not a big filly, but she is a little terrier who tries and is so tough. She has improved with every run and it's just great to nick a race like that with her. She is a very good filly and we were in the right place at the right time. It is the nature of the track and, when I saw the French filly get that [inside] draw, I thought they were going to need a bit of luck. I had to commit on her a long way out and we had the luck today. It was a steady, tactical affair and she was in the right place, but she still had to kick on two out and fend them off, which she did. It was a great performance, Roger's done a fantastic job with her and she's just kept on improving all season. Coming here today, she still had to step up, and she did. She might possibly get further, but we have never really thought about it. It is something we can talk about.”

No Repeat For Nashwa
Nashwa's rider Hollie Doyle felt the tactical nature of the contest contributed to defeat of the reigning champion, as did a fast-emptying tank in the conditions, and explained, “There was no pace early on and they got racing early coming down the hill. Nashwa relaxed beautifully, I tried to hold on to her for as long as I could and I went there with a double handful at the two-furlong pole. One-and-a-half furlongs out I went to win my race, pushed the button and she quickened. I just think, in the final furlong, I lacked a bit of stamina. It has happened a few times now and it confirmed what we might have thought. Take nothing away from the winner, who is very good.”

Thady Gosden was in agreement with Doyle's musings and said, “She has run a very good race, but they went a slow pace and it's very difficult to pick up in this ground. She travelled into the race well, but you can't quicken on ground like this and that has sucked the class out of her. She won last time over a mile and showed a brilliant turn-of-foot in ground that was not as soft and easier to quicken through. Today she has run a very good race, but couldn't quite show that brilliance we have seen before.”

Head Positive Despite Blue Rose Cen Reversal
Fourth-place finisher Blue Rose Cen was experiencing defeat for just the second time in her nine latest starts and Christophe Head uplifted spirits with a positive attitude in the aftermath. “She ran a nice race, she did her race, and for sure would have been closer in a different position,” he said of the G1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches and G1 Prix de Diane heroine. “It was a very tactical race so, of course, it was a possibility that kind of thing could happen. It's different here, so we need to accept that, even with a strong possibility of winning, there is still a possibility to fail. I think Blue Rose Cen ran a very nice race and she will now get into the rest of her programme. We will have to discuss with Leopoldo to see what the team want to do with her. This was a nice opportunity because we need to exist at this level. It hasn't been won by France since the beginning, so it was a challenge.”

Pedigree Notes

Al Husn is the fourth of seven foals and one of two scorers produced by stakes-winning G1 Prix de l'Opera third Hadaatha (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}), herself a daughter of stakes-winning G1 1000 Guineas third Hathrah (Ire) (Linamix {Fr}). Hathrah is one of seven black-type performers out of the multiple stakes-placed Zivania (Ire) (Shernazar {Ire}), headed by MG1SP sire Ivan Luis (Fr) (Lycius) and G3 UAE 2000 Guineas-winning sire Stagelight (Ire) (Montjeu {Ire}). The April-foaled homebred bay is kin to a yearling filly by Siyouni (Fr) and a weanling filly by No Nay Never.


Thursday, Goodwood, Britain
QATAR NASSAU S.-G1, £600,000, Goodwood, 8-3, 3yo/up, f/m, 9f 197yT, 2:13.37, sf.
1–AL HUSN (IRE), 135, f, 4, by Dubawi (Ire)
1st Dam: Hadaatha (Ire) (SW-Eng & G1SP-Fr, $109,194), by Sea The Stars (Ire)
2nd Dam: Hathrah (Ire), by Linamix (Fr)
3rd Dam: Zivania (Ire), by Shernazar (Ire)
1ST GROUP 1 WIN. O/B-Shadwell Estate Company Ltd (IRE); T-Roger Varian; J-Jim Crowley. £340,260. Lifetime Record: 10-7-1-0, $603,021. Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree, or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Above The Curve, 135, f, 4, American Pharoah–Fabulous (Ire), by Galileo (Ire). O-Mrs J Magnier, M Tabor, D Smith & Westerberg; B-Orpendale, Chelston & Wynatt (KY); T-Joseph O'Brien. £129,000.
3–Nashwa (GB), 135, f, 4, Frankel (GB)–Princess Loulou (Ire), by Pivotal (GB). O-Imad Al Sagar; B-Blue Diamond Stud Farm (UK) Ltd (GB); T-John & Thady Gosden. £64,560.
Margins: HF, HF, NK. Odds: 9.00, 7.00, 2.75.
Also Ran: Blue Rose Cen (Ire), Caernarfon (GB), Never Ending Story (Ire).

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