Newmarket: “I've No Doubt She's Got Enough Toe.” Falmouth Speed Test For Nashwa

Nashwa & Hollie Doyle | Scoop Dyga


Whether or not connections of Via Sistina (Ire) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}) allow the G1 Pretty Polly S. heroine to run in Friday's G1 Tattersalls Falmouth S. at Newmarket, the elephant in the room is the supplemented Nashwa (GB) (Frankel {GB}) who could just be ready for a reinvention at the July Festival. Not seen at this trip since the 6 1/2-length Haydock novice success that earned her TDN Rising Star status, the apple of Imad Al Sagar's eye has been as far as 12 furlongs when a creditable third in the Oaks before apparently settling into a niche at or around a mile and a quarter with wins in the G1 Prix de Diane and G1 Nassau S.

While it is on the face of surprising that she is winless since the latter contest, there has been a creeping feeling that the intermediate trip is too far for her now that she has filled her substantial frame. That was no more obvious than last time, when she had Al Husn (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) beaten until tying up in the last handful of the extra 42 yards added to the 10 furlongs of Newcastle's G3 Hoppings Fillies' S. Attempts to curb her enthusiasm have proven fruitless even for the ultra-skilled hands of Hollie Doyle and it would be no surprise to see her allowed to rock and roll from the front on a track that strongly favours that approach.

“She has grown and developed a lot over the winter [and] is a really big, burly mare now,” her rider and number one fan explained. “I think she has taken a time to come to hand and has taken a few runs to get straightened out, really. It seems the obvious route to go down after her last two runs and I've no doubt she's got enough toe. Time will tell, because this is a different ballgame.”


Via Sistina Part Of Falmouth Quandary

With so many fillies going down in trip, this is a far from straightforward renewal of the Falmouth, but then this is a race which can throw curveballs such as Prosperous Voyage (Ire) (Zoffany {Ire}) at 16-1 last year upsetting Inspiral (GB) (Frankel {GB}). Like Nashwa, Via Sistina is another sharpening up at a mile having beaten the aforementioned Al Husn by six lengths in devastating fashion when the rain came to Newmarket on the weekend of the Guineas Festival. That rampage over the nine furlongs of the G2 Dahlia S. outshines her subsequent triumph in the Pretty Polly and the fact is that the less give in the surface the less advantage she has.

“There are very few horses in training that can be favourite for Group 1 races over various trips and I think she has that versatility in that she stays and has got plenty of boot,” trainer George Boughey said. “She showed a proper turn of foot in the Dahlia and I think over a mile she would be equally as effective. It is a bit of a question mark coming back to the mile as she hasn't ever been there, but for her career going forward we want to try and keep some speed in her.”



Is This One For The Closers?

With the memory of last year still fresh, it is hard to see anything other than Prosperous Voyage going forward again and with the increasingly free-going Nashwa here alongside another who has set the pace before in the G2 Duke of Cambridge S. runner-up Random Harvest (Ire) (War Front), this could be a case of the leaders setting it up for the finishers. Via Sistina fits that bill, but if the ground is too lively then the likes of the G1 Coronation S. runner-up Remarquee (GB) (Kingman {GB}) and Juddmonte's Sandringham H. winner Coppice (GB) (Kingman {GB}) come into the equation. There is no telling what the plan is in Ryan Moore's mind for Ballydoyle's Never Ending Story (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}), another reverting to a mile after a hit-and-miss season which includes a second to Blue Rose Cen (Ire) (Churchill {Ire}) in the G1 Prix de Diane which puts her in the mix.



Grand Prix

The Gosdens have a strong chance of a Group 1 double on Friday, with Lady Bamford's Oaks heroine Soul Sister (Ire) (Frankel {GB}) the fly in the colts' ointment in ParisLongchamp's Grand Prix de Paris. Partnered by Kieran Shoemark for the first time, the homebred faces Ecurie Jean-Louis Bouchard's TDN Rising Star Feed The Flame (GB) (Kingman {GB}) who was fourth in a hot G1 Prix du Jockey Club; the G3 Prix Hocquart winner First Minister (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) who was beaten by Feed The Flame in the spring but who hails from the stable of the 13-times successful Andre Fabre; and Ballydoyle's Adelaide River (Ire) (Australia {GB}) who brings the G1 Irish Derby form into sharper focus.

“It's a competitive field and we're getting three pounds off the colts,” Shoemark said. “This is a tough task and it is the first time a filly has ran in the race for 10 years, so it is something that doesn't happen very often but John and Thady Gosden have her in good order and hopefully we go there with a good chance.”


Star Of Mystery Takes Aim At The Duchess of Cambridge

Charlie Appleby's opening fixture of the July Festival was a mixed bag on Thursday, so a big effort from TDN Rising Star Star Of Mystery (GB) (Kodiac {GB}) would be welcome in Friday's G2 Duchess of Cambridge S. So impressive over this course and distance in the Listed Maureen Brittain Memorial Empress Fillies' S., this comes quick enough but with a disappointing turnout of only four her claims are obvious. “Star Of Mystery came out of her recent win in good order and this looks a natural progression for her,” he said. “A couple of her rivals bring Royal Ascot form into the race, which always warrants respect, but she looks the one to beat based on her Empress Stakes display.”

Those Royal Ascot runners will not include Highclere Thoroughbred Racing's G3 Albany S. third Soprano (Ire) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}), who was ruled out on Thursday due to a medication administration error, but the filly who followed her home in fourth there steps out on Friday. Amo Racing's TDN Rising Star Persian Dreamer (Calyx {GB}) is the form threat to Godolphin's favourite and trainer Dominic Ffrench Davis is hopeful.

“Persian Dreamer ran a blinder and she was the last horse off the bridle,” he said. “I think if she had been drawn on the other side she would definitely have been in the first three, but she ran very well and has come out of the race well. Any rain would be appreciated because she does like to get her toe in a little bit. She's a lovely filly and I think she is going to stay further. She will get seven and a mile next year and I think she will get seven later this year. I think she is going to be a very classy filly if we can keep her in one piece.”


Little Big Bear Still In The July Cup

Aidan O'Brien is leaving a decision on the participation of Little Big Bear (Ire) (No Nay Never) in Saturday's G1 July Cup at Newmarket until later in the week after declaring last year's G1 Phoenix S.-winning champion juvenile. One of only nine engaged in the six-furlong feature, the TDN Rising Star had been a doubt for the contest after suffering a bruised foot but his inclusion means that Rossa Ryan has been booked for his G1 Commonwealth Cup conqueror Shaquille (GB) (Charm Spirit {Ire}). The G2 1895 Duke of York S. winner Azure Blue (Ire) (El Kabeir) and Marc Chan's G1 British Champions Sprint S. hero Kinross (GB) (Kingman {GB}) are other notables in the smallest field for the July Cup since 1997, when Compton Place (GB) (Indian Ridge {Ire}) caused a 50-1 shock.



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