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Posted 2023-08-02 07:12:14  
Fascinating Goodwood Nassau Stakes clash between Blue Rose Cen and Nashwa

French-trained raiders for top British prizes have been scarce this year, but the Chantilly-trained triple Group 1 winner Blue Rose Cen surely has major prospects of glory in Thursday’s (3 August) G1 Nassau Stakes (1982m) at Goodwood.

The three-year-old daughter of Churchill has a formidable opponent in the shape of Frankel’s impressive year older daughter Nashwa, not only another triple Group 1 winner but also having proven aptitude for Goodwood’s undulating course at this distance with an energetic success in last year’s Nassau Stakes.

What both fillies have in common is they have been ridden by the same jockey throughout their careers with Aurelien Lemaitre riding Blue Rose Cen in all nine of her starts (seven wins) and Hollie Doyle partnering Nashwa in eleven starts for five wins.

Great stables are also represented. Blue Rose Cen’s trainer Christopher Head is the fifth generation of his family to predominate in the European thoroughbred business, whilst Nashwa comes from the Newmarket-based stable of John Gosden (now joint-trainer with his son Thady) who has amassed a tally of more than a hundred international Group 1 victories.

Of Blue Rose Cen – stylish winner of the two French fillies’ classics, Longchamp’s G1 Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (1600m) and Chantilly’s G1 Prix de Diane (2100m) - 36-year-old Head said: “She is brilliant. She does everything easily whether it is from the front or the back.”

It goes without saying that Head wants his filly to win on Thursday, but the prospect of the match-up with Nashwa also excites him. “I’m pretty much like every racing fan,” he said. “I want to see these big clashes in top races. I can’t wait to see our filly up against Nashwa.”

Of Nashwa, who returned to her brilliant best when surging clear of her seven rivals in last month’s G1 Falmouth Stakes (1600m) at Newmarket, John Gosden said: “Nashwa has taken a long time to come to herself this season. I didn’t want her to be too fresh for the Nassau which is why we went to Newmarket first and she showed that she had more than enough speed for the mile that day.”

Also respected in the Nassau are Al Husn (Jim Crowley) who made it six wins from her last seven starts when fending off Nashwa by half a length in the G3 Hoppings Fillies’ Stakes (2038m) on Newcastle’s all-weather track and Above The Curve.

The Joseph O’Brien-trained, Ryan Moore-ridden and American-bred Above The Curve outgunned last Sunday’s G1 winner Prix Rothschild (1600m) winner Mqse de Sevigne when bossing from the front in Saint-Cloud’s G2 Prix Corrida (2100m) back in May.

Joseph’s father Aidan looks to have respectable chances in other major races on Goodwood’s eight-race World Pool card. Speedy youngster Unquestionable, grabbed in the last strides of the G2 Railway Stakes (1200m) at The Curragh, is likely to be well fancied for the G2 Richmond Stakes (1200m), as is stylish Listed Roscommon winner Espionage in the G3 Gordon Stakes (2401m).

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