Dubai Turf contender Nashwa already a rare gem for Blue Diamond Stud

March 26, 2024

Nashwa takes to Meydan’s Tapeta training track on Tuesday morning. Photo: Dubai Racing Club/Liesl King

Tom Peacock

Nashwa’s achievements on the racecourse have long made her a priceless breeding prospect so her presence in Saturday’s G1 Dubai Turf Sponsored by DP World (1800m) must indicate that there is plenty more expected of her as a five-year-old.

Already a winner of three Group 1s including the French Oaks, the daughter of Frankel is the flagship performer of Imad Alsagar’s Blue Diamond Stud operation. The Kuwaiti businessman has premises in both Newmarket and Kentucky and bred Nashwa out of Princess Loulou, a Listed-winning daughter of Pivotal.

“I’ve always said with horses staying on in training that there have to be several criteria met,” says Teddy Grimthorpe, Alsagar’s racing manager.

“Obviously soundness is one, opportunity and the wish of the owner. From that point of view, she really ticked all those boxes, which was great. If you do that sort of thing, then you’ve got to target important races.

“It’s always an enormous decision, one not to be made lightly. The importance of her for Imad as an owner-breeder – she’s vital to the stud really in every way. It’s not only her pedigree but her charm and ability, she’s in fairly rare company as far as that’s concerned.”

Nashwa, trained by the John and Thady Gosden stable, had also won the Nassau Stakes in 2022 and run fine races on Arc weekend and at the Breeders’ Cup. She suffered a couple of unexpected defeats in her first couple of starts last year before making handsome amends.

Grimthorpe continues: “She took a while to come to herself last year and I think at one stage we were questioning whether we had done the right thing but then she blossomed in the Falmouth Stakes. She ran an outstanding race in the Juddmonte between Mostahdaf and Paddington and was arguably a little bit unlucky when third in the Irish Champion.

“She had two pretty tough races against probably the best horses in Europe at the time. She seems to have come through the winter in very good shape, both physically and mentally, which is the most important thing.”

Alsagar’s colours have been seen to effect in Dubai before, with Decorated Knight running in this very race seven years ago after winning the Jebel Hatta.

Grimthorpe feels that 1800m should be absolutely ideal for Blue Diamond’s latest star, where she faces a classy international field with rivals from Japan, Hong Kong, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, France and even within her own stable from three-time winner Lord North.

“There are no gimmes at this level, anywhere,” Grimthorpe says. “In these races you expect the best to turn up for $5 million.

“She’s won Group 1s over a mile [1600m] and a mile and a quarter [2000m], in theory nine furlongs ought to be her optimum trip as well. That was another plus side for her coming.”

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