Tom Marquand, who also rode in the race, was one of the first to congratulate his wife Hollie Doyle after her first classic win on Nashwa
Nashwa provided Hollie Doyle with her first Classic success on Sunday as the jockey became the first female to win the Prix de Diane at Chantilly, France.
The John and Thady Gosden-trained filly began today’s French Classic as the 7/4 favourite with the bookmakers as she attempted to claim a Group 1 race just 16 days after contesting the Cazoo Oaks at Epsom, England.
Breaking well from the gate, Nashwa and Doyle raced freely and were prominent from early in the race before moving smoothly and menacingly into contention in the home stretch. She tracked the leader before leading three and a half furlongs from home.
The well-touted French-handled Agave (5/1) was soon seen off by the English challenger, and would eventually finish in fourth place. Doyle’s biggest danger was then the 50/1 outsider La Parisienne under Gerald Mosse.
With the front two pulling clear of the field, Nashwa battled gamely to the wire and saw off French-bred La Parisienne’s challenge for an historic victory for Hollie Doyle – a short neck being the winning distance at the finishing line.
The third finisher, the Irish-bred Rosacea (10/1) with Christopher Soumillon, was a further four and a half lengths back with the aforementioned Agave another three-quarters of a length further behind in fourth.
One of the first riders to congratulate Doyle was her husband Tom Marquand who finished in seventh place in the Prix de Diane on Zellie.
A daughter of Juddmonte Farms’ Frankel, Nashwa finished third of 12 behind Golden Lyra at Newmarket, England, last October, on her only run as a juvenile.
This season she won a Fillies’ Novice Stakes race at Haydock Park, England, by six and a half lengths from her stable companion, Wonderful Times. She stepped up to a Listed race next time at Newbury, where she scored by one and three quarter lengths from subsequent winner Stay Alert.
Earlier this month she contested the Cazoo Oaks at Epsom, England, and finished third behind Aidan O’Brien’s Tuesday and John and Thady Gosden’s 6/4 favourite that day, Emily Upjohn.
Writing later on the Twitter account, the now Classic-winning rider Hollie Doyle said:
“A dream come true to win my first Classic today in the Prix de Diane at Chantilly. Huge congratulations to Imad Al Sagar, owner and breeder of Nashwa. Well done also to John and Thady Gosden and all the team at Clarehaven. An amazing performance from a star filly.”
Post-race, winning conditioner John Gosden hinted that Nashwa may now get a mid-season break before being aimed at an autumn campaign.
Nashwa may return to France in October with the Prix de l’Opéra on Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe weekend at Longchamp a likely target for the high-class filly.
Photo: Credit Equidia (@equidia)