By Simon Jackson.
The Fillies and Mares’ Stakes on Champions Day at Ascot in October is the likely target for Sultanina after her victory in the Group 1 Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.
The one and a half-length victory over French raider Narniyn was trainer John Gosden’s third Group 1 success in eight days following Taghrooda’s win in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Kingman’s Sussex Stakes success.
Sultanina, bred locally by Philippa Cooper at Normandie Stud 11 miles from Goodwood, raced close to the pace for William Buick. The daughter of New Approach challenged two furlongs out and fought well to wrest the lead off Narniyn inside the half furlong and win going away.
The success was the filly’s third in four starts and Gosden said he may now give her a break, before bringing her back for the Fillies and Mares’ Stakes at Ascot.
“The Aga Khan’s filly [Narniyn] was a really good filly to come over here and she is a really tough nut to break. The last furlong and a half was a right duel between the pair of them,” said Gosden who was winning the race for the third successive year, following the victories of Winsili and The Fugue.
“Sultanina is very classy and Philippa bred her down the road, 11 miles away, at her stud. She always told me that this filly was the best. She has gone and won a maiden, a Group 3, been second in a Group 2 and won a Group 1, so it’s unbelievable.
“Philippa knows the horses inside out. She knows the whole families and their characteristics, so if I’m in doubt about anything, I call her up. She is a wonderful input. Knowing the families is so important. Owner/breeders, when they know their families, can point the trainer the right way as well as the jockey.
“We are going to enter her on Tuesday in the QIPCO Champions Fillies and Mares’ Stakes on Champions Day in October and I might freshen her for that and go straight there,” continued Gosden who returned to the UK to train in 1989 after a successful career in the United States.
“I will talk to Philippa about it, but I would like to go straight there and bring a fresh filly into the autumn rather than one that has been hard at it.”
The success was the fourth of five winners at the meeting for Buick, who won the Racing UK Leading Jockey award at Glorious Goodwood this year, and was impressed by the manner of Sultanina’s victory.
“I am absolutely delighted,” Buick said. “I am over the moon for everybody – for the owner/breeder, John and the whole team back home at Clarehaven. It’s fantastic. We have had a good week and this filly has really stepped up to the plate.
“That was only the fourth run of her life, so it was a good training performance. She did it very well out there.
“We have always held her in high regard – no one as high as Mrs Cooper, the owner, who said after she won her maiden that she could be one of the best fillies that she had ever had.
“She’s clearly right. It was a nice race to go for and we are all absolutely delighted.
“We looked at the race beforehand and it was only really [third-placed] Venus De Milo who could have gone to the lead. Mrs Cooper felt that it wouldn’t be right to take her on for the lead too early. She suggested that we creep into and that’s what we did. It was very straightforward.
“To come to these big meetings and ride winners is fantastic but I ride for a great stable. I am very privileged and we have some great horses and great owners, so thank you to them.”
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