Sultanina (near): stays on strongly to gain her first Group 1 victory
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Report: Goodwood, Saturday
Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes (British Champions Series) (Group 1) 1m1f192y, 3yo+ fillies mares
Seven days on from Taghrooda’s victory in the King George at Ascot, Gosden was grateful to another exciting filly as the 11-2 chance handled the drop back in trip with ease.
William Buick, racing in the colours of owner-breeders Normandie Stud, came with a late charge to conquer French raider Narniyn, who was backed into 7-4 favourite just before the off.
Gosden, who was winning the contest for a third year in a row following victories with Winsili and The Fugue, celebrated his third Group 1 success in a week as Kingman also struck at the highest level in the Sussex Stakes on Wednesday.
Gosden, who was cut into 1-5 (from 2-5) for the trainers’ title by Paddy Power, said: “She’s gone and won a maiden, a Group 3, was second in a Group 2 and has now won a Group 1, so it’s unbelievable.
“It was a good duel with the Aga Khan filly [Narniyn] but this filly is very classy.
“Philippa [Cooper, of Normandie Stud] bred her down the road, just 11 miles from here, and she always told me this filly was the best and I could never work it out.
“We’re going to enter her on Tuesday in the fillies and mares’ race on Qipco Champions Day in October.
“I might just freshen her for that and go straight there and bring a fresh filly for the autumn.”
With a question mark over the trip for Venus De Milo, Joseph O’Brien tried to make it a stamina test and took the field on before Narniyn took over two furlongs out.
The Alain de Royer-Dupre-trained filly looked like rewarding the late market support, but Sultanina had other ideas as she stuck to her task courageously to run out a convincing winner.
Buick added: “She is held in very high regard and we wanted to creep into the race and, to be honest with you, it was all very straightforward.”
Sultanina was a late call up for the race after ante-post favourite The Fugue sustained an injury and was retired last month.
De Royer-Dupre felt the ground was against Narniyn as she attempted to become the first French-trained winner of the Nassau.
The trainer said: “I think the track is too firm for Narniyn. She changed her legs many times and didn’t really handle the downhill. She did well to finish second but her balance was not correct.
“Her next start will be in the Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville in three weeks’ time.”
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