Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf winner Audarya is right on track for the Nassau Stakes, and is ready for her first clash with the younger generation.
But while he’s pleased with his filly, James Fanshawe is keeping his mind open as to whether his Group 1 winner can give the weight to the three-year-olds.
“Audarya did her last serious bit of work on Wednesday and seems in good form. We’ll just keep her ticking over until Thursday,” he told Tote.
“The Nassau is a really good prize and it’s a wonderful race to win. My main concern would be taking on the three-year-olds receiving that 9lbs and I think the Falmouth result reflects that a bit.”
The Falmouth Stakes was the first time we’ve seen the three-year-olds take on the older fillies and mares at the top level, and with six of the first seven home in the Classic generation, led by Snow Lantern, they certainly look to have the upper hand.
A close second to Love at Royal Ascot was an excellent return to the track for the daughter of Wootton Bassett, and it served its purpose for Fanshawe in keeping his star to her own age group.
“There was plenty of discussion before her first run as to the best place to start. The original plan was to start her off in the Prix Corrida in Saint Cloud but the ground was absolutely bottomless and there were quite a lot of complications regarding travelling,” he said.
“We ended up going for the Prince Of Wales’s because it was against the four-year-olds and we wanted to take them on rather than the three-year-olds at that stage.”
It’s less than a year since Audarya stepped out of handicap company for the first time, en route to two Group 1 wins and a pair of placed efforts at the top level. As for whether we’ve seen the best just yet, her handler is coy as to the improvement left in her.
“I’ll leave that for her to show in her performances. We were really pleased with her first run and she’s enjoying training and it’s a case of ‘watch this space’. She had a very good year last year and we just hope we follow that up in a similar way.”
Rain needs to come for Fresh
Also on the list to head south to Glorious Goodwood next week is Stewards Cup hope Fresh. For him though, Fanshawe will be hoping for plenty of rain between now and the 6f sprint.
“The softer the better for him. He’ll be left in on Monday and then we’ll play it by ear. He’s in good form but he wouldn’t want firm ground.”
Having been gelded in the off-season and with a tongue tie on for his last two runs, the three-year-old has shown improved form in 2021, having gone down a neck in the Wokingham last time out.
Whether he himself has stepped up remains to be seen, with his trainer keen to point out that it’s perhaps circumstances that have seen him to better effect.
“He’s a year older and every time we’ve run him this year he’s got soft ground. It’s obviously not going to help him on Saturday but he seems to love the 6f trip at Ascot, so it’s been reflected in his performance,” Fanshawe told Tote.
“Last year we thought we’d found an easy maiden at Lingfield but he was beaten by a neck by Starman!”
Should the heavens open in time for Fresh, he looks likely to have a massive chance of going one better than his Royal Ascot second.