Nashwa and Blue Rose Cen on course for Nassau clash

Nine horse remain in contention for the Group One Qatar Nassau Stakes at Goodwood on Thursday, where there is the prospect of a fascinating clash between French star Blue Rose Cen and multiple top-level winner Nashwa.

The meeting of the last two winners of the Prix de Diane is the highlight on another stellar day’s racing on the Sussex Downs.

Trainer Christopher Head’s dual Classic winner Blue Rose Cen has been aimed at the 10-furlong event since producing another eye-catching display – a seventh victory in nine starts – at Chantilly last month.

Nashwa has taken time to come to hand this term, but she will bid to defend her Nassau crown on the back of a scintillating performance over a mile in the Falmouth at Newmarket.

John and Thady Gosden could be double-handed with Running Lion joining her.

The Roger Varian-trained Al Husn, who defeated Nashwa in a Group Three on the all-weather at Newcastle, could take her on again, while Aidan O’Brien is bidding for a fifth win in the race and has three possible runners, headed by Ribblesdale winner Warm Heart.

Oaks-placed Caernarfon, trained by Jack Channon, is also among those remaining along with Joseph O’Brien’s Above The Curve.

There are 26 entries for the Group Two Markel Richmond Stakes, including the classy Jasour, who took the July Stakes at Newmarket in fine style on his third start for Clive Cox.

Richard Hannon bids to land the six-furlong event for a third time, relying on eyecatching Newbury novice winner Baheer.

Karl Burke’s Kylian is on a hat-trick after Listed success at Sandown last time out, while O’Brien has five entries, including the Railway Stakes runner-up and third, Unquestionable and His Majesty.

Alice Haynes looks poised to run Asadna, who was third to Action Point when favourite for Newbury’s Listed Rose Bowl last weekend.

She said: “All good with Asadna – we have given him the Richmond entry today and all roads are leading there.

“Obviously I think the ground there will be testing next week either way, but everyone is in that same situation.

“Part of the problem is he needs faster ground. A faster pace will suit him, they went no pace at Newbury at all. Hollie (Doyle) got a lead and they all stacked up and sprinted. He will appreciate a fast pace to aim at.

“Long term, he’s in the Gimcrack and there are plenty of options for him going forward.”

A possible 10 three-year-olds will line up in the Group Three John Pearce Racing Gordon Stakes.

They include Irish Derby and Grand Prix de Paris runner-up Adelaide River and last season’s Criterium International second Espionage, who could both represent O’Brien’s Ballydoyle yard.

Godolphin-owned duo Bold Act (Charlie Appleby) and Chesspiece (Simon and Ed Crisford), King Edward VII Stakes third Artistic Star (Ralph Beckett) and the King’s Royal Ascot winner Desert Hero, who won the King George V Stakes for trainer William Haggas, are other potential participants in the mile-and-a-half contest.

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