Connections of exciting prospect Nashwa are targeting the Listed Haras De Bouquetot Fillies’ Trial Stakes at Newbury next month ahead of a possible Cazoo Oaks tilt.
John and Thady Gosden appear to be blessed with at least two big guns to aim at the Epsom Classic in the shape of Emily Upjohn, who scorched to victory at Sandown on Friday, and last season’s Group One Fillies’ Mile winner Inspiral, who will miss this weekend’s Qipco 1000 Guineas after failing to sparkle in her work.
Yet Nashwa could be another Oaks contender if building upon her runaway success over a mile in novice company at Haydock last Saturday.
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The Imad Al Sagar homebred daughter of Frankel quickened up nicely under Hollie Doyle to score by six and a half lengths from stablemate and debutant Wonderful Times. She was consequently shortened to a best-priced 12-1 with Paddy Power for the Oaks.
Lord Grimthope, racing manager for Al Sagar, who owns Blue Diamond Stud, which is based near Newmarket, hopes Nashwa can build upon her seasonal bow and put herself in the Classic picture.
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He said: “She wintered very well. Her initial work had been encouraging and she came to hand pretty nicely, which is important.
“She has gone to this novice and done it nicely, was shaken up over a mile and she did it nicely. She has always had a nice action.
“From that point of view, I know John Gosden is very happy with her and she has come out of the race very well.
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“She will have a number of options to go for in terms of the trials, possibly Newbury – the Fillies’ Trial (May 14) – or she has the Musidora (at York, May 18) if we wanted to look at that.
“We will play it from there. She did show quite a bit of speed and the general idea is that Imad would like to keep his options open about where we went from there, which is sensible.
“She has got plenty of scope. She is a lovely-actioned filly and looks like she has some talent. We will feel our way with her.
“A trial will give us a pretty good guide as to what way she will be going.
“Everyone has theories on where they should go, but in the end, Mr Al Sagar will decide where he wants to go. He is really enjoying her and no doubt she is an interesting prospect.”
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One Al Sagar-owned filly who will not be heading to a Classic is Nazanin, who finished last of 12 to Wild Beauty in the Fred Darling on her seasonal bow at Newbury.
Though she holds an entry in the Irish 1,000 Guineas, connections will not be taking up the option.
Grimthorpe added: “Nazanin has come out of Newbury well, actually.
“There is no real obvious excuse and like all theses things, it is a combination of things. She is sound and we will probably look at races over six and seven furlongs for her.
“I would think the Irish 1,000 Guineas is ruled out now.”