Sultanina strikes in the Nassau
Sultanina was an impressive winner of the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood, staying on strongly to deny Narniyn under William Buick, supplying trainer John Gosden with a third straight victory in the Group 1 contest.
The 4yo, runner-up in the Lancashire Oaks last time, was stepping back in trip for the first time since scoring on debut at Salisbury and was made to use all of her known stamina reserves to see off some persistent challengers. Aidan O’Brien’s Venus De Milo had taken the field along from the off but French raider Narniyn came travelling strongly late on and looked the winner entering the closing stages.
Sultanina, who had been held up by Buick throughout, was also still travelling well however and having made her challenge down the outside, stormed clear once hitting the front to score by 1 1/2 lengths. Venus De Milo eventually stayed on to take third.
Buick said: “I’m absolutely delighted for everyone – it’s fantastic.
“This filly has really stepped up to the plate. It was only the fourth run of her life so it was a good training performance.
“We’ve always held her in high regard, but no-one as high as her owner.”
Gosden said: “It’s lovely. The Aga Khan’s filly (Narniyn) is a really good filly to come over and is a tough nut to break.
“The last furlong and a half was a right duel between the pair.
“This filly is very classy and Philippa (Cooper, of owners-breeders 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.
“I didn’t run her until this year as a four-year-old. She’s gone and won a maiden, a Group Three, second in a Group Two and now won a Group One, so it’s unbelievable.
“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.”
By Kevin Walsh / Photo: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
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