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Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf: Doyle dreaming of Keeneland glory with Nashwa

Sky Sports Racing ambassador Hollie Doyle admits Breeders’ Cup victory on Nashwa in the Filly & Mare Turf this weekend would be “a dream come true”.

The three-year-old filly has proven to be something of a revelation in Europe this year, having finished third in the Oaks at Epsom behind Tuesday before winning the French equivalent at Chantilly, giving Doyle a first Classic success.

She backed that up with victory in the Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, before just failing to take a third Group One win in the Prix de l’Opera at ParisLongchamp, being reeled in late on soft ground by Place Du Carrousel.

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Hollie Doyle picked up her fifth Group One success with Nashwa in the Nassau at Goodwood

But despite that defeat, John & Thady Gosden’s star filly remains on track for a trip to Keeneland in the Breeders’ Cup, and looks set to go off a short-priced favourite for the Filly & Mare Turf.

Speaking exclusively to Sky Sports Racing, Doyle explained just how much it would mean to bag a third victory at the top table on Saturday.

“It’s mental to think I’m going out to the Breeders’ Cup and she’ll probably be favourite,” Doyle said.

“It would be a dream come true but we can’t get carried away until it might happen.

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Trainer John Gosden is hoping for quicker ground as Nashwa looks to land the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Racing.

“She’s danced every dance so far in her relatively short career and she’s proven versatile.”

A Breeders’ Cup victory would possibly even top Nashwa’s success earlier this season in the Prix de Diane (French Oaks), with Doyle describing the joys of that success at ParisLongchamp as well as the heartache of being beaten on Arc day.

“To win a French Classic was one of the best days in my career so far,” Doyle added. “She’s been magnificent and the rate she has improved has been incredible. You can’t get much better than her.

“It’s another box that is unticked so we’ll find out a bit more.

Hollie Doyle celebrates Nashwa's victory in the Group One Prix de Diane at Chantilly
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Hollie Doyle celebrates Nashwa’s victory in the Group One Prix de Diane at Chantilly

“Like John [Gosden] said, the ground is a worry because you never really know what you are going to get, but thankfully Nashwa is proven on all different types of ground so far and hopefully she can take to the sharp track.

“It was heart-breaking because she did everything perfectly well. I got the position because the plan wasn’t to make the running but I felt the fractions I set were ideal.

“Coming down the hill, that stride or two when I just got softened might have cost me. The way she quickened on that heavy ground was unbelievable really and she ran her heart out.”

Nashwa has been targeted at all the big races this season by the Gosden team, who enjoyed Breeders’ Cup success with Enable in the 2018 Turf.

Gosden Sr admitted question marks did remain over the ground at Keeneland, but thinks the trip and run of the race should suit his filly at a meeting he is particularly fond of.

“She’s a versatile filly, I think she’ll be fine. It’s a sharper requirement and it’s a fast-run race. If the weather stays dry, we should be alright,” he said.

“She’s only a three-year-old and often these mares at four and five are really street-wise. You’ve to break, you’ve got to get a position, it’s a tight-turning track and there’s nothing big and sweeping about it.

“You hope you get luck in running but that’s something we’ll find out on the day!

“Obviously, I love the Breeders’ Cup, it’s a wonderful event and it’s gone from strength to strength.

“We like it when it’s in Santa Anita because we know exactly what we are going to get with the ground and track. You are chancing it with the weather when you have it east or in Kentucky.”

Watch every race at the Breeders’ Cup meeting, live this Friday and Saturday on Sky Sports Racing.



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