Nashwa excelled on her return to a mile under Hollie Doyle to absolutely bolt up in the Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket.
Riding her seventh Group One winner, Doyle was briefly stuck in a pocket as the pace quickened – but once she was in the clear the race was over in a matter of strides.
John and Thady Gosden’s filly had run well to be placed in the Oaks over a mile and a half last season, and went on to win Group Ones over 10 furlongs in the Prix de Diane and Nassau Stakes.
However, she had looked fairly lacklustre in her two previous runs this season, in France and down in Group Three company at Newcastle.
But she clearly thrived for being dropped in trip on rain-softened ground, looking in a different league to her rivals.
Pam Sly’s Astral Beau led until just over a furlong out when Remarquee looked a huge threat, bidding to give Ralph Beckett and Rob Hornby another victory in the race after Prosperous Voyage 12 months ago, only for Nashwa (4-1) to take off, ultimately winning by five lengths.
Remarquee was second and the even-money favourite Via Sistina third.
Gosden senior said: “She has had a difficult spring. She didn’t come to herself, went over to France and it helped her by going there, racing.
“We knew she needed racing. She was a little too keen from the gates, overraced upsides a filly who’d got blinkers on the other day (at Newcastle) and paid the price at the other end, paid the price and got caught late by another nice filly (Al Husn), beaten half a length.
“So we knew she was right and I was very concerned by this gap between the Newcastle race and all the way to Goodwood. This filly needs to race and so I phoned up Teddy (Grimthorpe), and Mr Imad Al Sagar was brilliant. I said I’d like to supplement this filly and he said, ‘you believe that’s right’, and I said ‘yes’. So he said, ‘do it’. He is very trusting.
“She needed to race here. The mile was no problem – she is a powerful filly with speed and it will set her up nicely for the Nassau, but it just happens to be a lovely Group One on the way.
“There is no problem with putting her in a race like the QEII at the end of the year, that would be perfect for her. But I’d like to stay with the Nassau at the moment, she has got a lot of tactical speed and tremendous acceleration, she won it last year, so it is a very important race and we’d like to go there.
“You can keep doing everything you like at home, but there’s nothing like racing to bring them on, and that’s why we brought her here.”
No matter what Doyle goes on to achieve in her record-breaking career, she will forever be associated with Nashwa.
“She’s been a real flagbearer for me and the team,” she said.
“She had plenty of doubters after her last two runs, but John Gosden is a master isn’t he and you shouldn’t doubt him.
“I think she has proven to be extremely versatile and you can ride her anywhere now. She stays 10 (furlongs) and plenty more doors have now been opened with her coming back down to a mile.”
For Remarquee, who was also second in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, Beckett said: “I was really pleased with her. She is getting more professional with racing, as I hope she might. It is a trait of the family. It was a good effort.
“She is in the Rothschild. We put her in there this week. We’ll see how that goes. The Matron, the Sun Chariot as well. Ground doesn’t appear to matter much to her. We will see how we feel at the time and take our chances when they arise.
“I would say we will keep to a mile for the time being.”
Via Sistina was making a reasonably quick return to action, having last been seen landing the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh.
Like the winner, she was coming back to a mile from 10 furlongs, and trainer George Boughey said: “I think it was the step back to a mile, she just got tapped for toe, I think. Jamie (Spencer) gave her one flick and I was pleased to see her stay on well. She looked like she was booked for fourth, fifth or sixth at one point, but up the hill she galloped out well and went all the way to the end.
“She will have a bit of a break now and we will prep her for the autumn and back to 10 furlongs. We won’t see her over a mile again.”