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Nashwa to take Cazoo Oaks challenge

Exciting filly Nashwa will tackle the Cazoo Oaks rather than the Prix de Diane at Chantilly.

The daughter of Frankel is as short as 5-1 in places for the Epsom Classic following a faultless three-year-old campaign to date.

Having bolted up at Haydock in her reappearance, Nashwa took the step up to 10 furlongs in her stride when landing the Listed Haras De Bouquetot Fillies’ Trial Stakes at Newbury recently, a victory that has convinced owner Imad Al Sagar to aim for Classic glory on June 3.

When explaining the reasons for choosing Epsom over the French equivalent, Teddy Grimthorpe, Al Sagar’s racing manager, told PA Media: “It all comes down to a combination of things.

“You have to ask stamina questions, capability questions, what the owner wants, pedigree, the action of the filly, temperament and I think she ticks a lot of boxes really for Epsom and of course all of these decisions are ultimately down to the owner and Imad is very keen to go to Epsom with the filly”

“I think the nice thing is that wherever she goes after the Oaks, she still has plenty of options.”

2018 Dante Festival – Day Two – York Racecourse
Lord Grimthorpe is racing manager for Nashwa’s owner Imad Alsagar (Simon Cooper/PA)

Nashwa will be ridden by the owner’s retained rider Hollie Doyle, who is seeking her first Classic success and Grimthorpe admitted it would be a huge moment if Nashwa could provide the Group One-winning rider with her biggest win to date.

He continued: “That would be something wouldn’t it (if Doyle could win). I think if you were searching round for a jockey, she would be very high on the list. So, it is great and exciting to have her on board. The way she has been riding is just exemplary really.”

Grimthorpe was previously racing manager to the late Prince Khalid Abdullah and was involved every step of the way in the career of Oaks and dual Arc winner Enable.

Grimthorpe was racing manager for Enable's late owner Khalid Abdullah
Grimthorpe was racing manager for Enable’s late owner Khalid Abdullah (Bill Selwyn/PA)

The popular mare took a similar path to Epsom as Nashwa, before sauntering to a five-length success in the fillies’ Classic, but Grimthorpe believes it is too early to be making comparisons between the pair.

“I think it’s very early days to compare,” he said.

“At this stage going into the Oaks they have both been beaten once, both won a maiden or a novice and they both won a Listed race, so from that point of view there is a degree of similarity.

“It is very early days to tell, but it would be wonderful if she (Nashwa) was to be that class of horse, it would be fantastic.”

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