Breeders’ Cup heroine Audarya primed for Qatar Nassau Stakes

Horse Racing | Press Article 17/04/24

It is 17 years since James Fanshawe’s Soviet Song’s came out on top in a thrilling finish in the Sussex Stakes, and the Newmarket handler is hoping that his star mare, Audarya can herself scale the heights and claim Group 1 glory at the Qatar Goodwood Festival.

The daughter of Wootton Basset made an excellent seasonal reappearance at Royal Ascot when just failing to reel in Love in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes and her trainer is delighted with her preparation for the 1m 2f British Champions Series contest next Thursday, 29th July.

Fanshawe, speaking from his Pegasus Stables in Newmarket on Monday morning said:

“Audarya seems in really good form. We’ve had the Qatar Nassau Stakes in mind for a while and she’s been training well since Ascot. You never quite know how fit they are after such a long gap between races, but she put in a good performance and we’ve been steering her towards this race ever since Ascot.”

Fanshawe is hopeful that Audarya will come on for that reappearance behind Love.

“The handicapper kept her rating at 117 after the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes but I felt it was a really good performance. I hope she can improve again. It shows how far she’s come, given that she started off in a Group 1 this year. Last year, her first win of the season came on her third start when winning a handicap off 99 on the 2nd August at Newcastle, so this season already looks very different.

An undoubted strength of Audarya is her versatility, with Fanshawe very relaxed by both the undulations at Goodwood and the ground.

“She won her Group 1s at Deauville and Keeneland which are both flat tracks, but she did win a handicap at Goodwood over 1-mile as a three-year-old where she proved she can handle the track. In terms of ground, she has run on everything! It was very testing when she won the Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville and they broke the track record on firm ground when she won the Filly and Mare Turf at Keeneland, she’s very versatile.”

Talented three-year-old fillies, including Snow Lantern, Snowfall and Santa Barbara, are all entered into the Qatar Nassau Stakes and if any of them turn, up will receive 9lbs from Audarya.

Fanshawe said: “I was having a look at the record of three-year-olds in the race which is very good – five of the last six winners have been three. They get 9lbs from the older fillies and mares which is a lot of weight, but it’s the same as at Ascot and we go there with a filly who is in good form and hopefully we can overcome that.”

Audarya has had five different jockeys in her 14 career starts but Fanshawe is hoping to retain the services of William Buick who rode her at Royal Ascot.

“Circumstances have meant that we’ve had a few different jockeys ride her, but William (Buick) seemed to get on well with her in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes and hopefully he can ride her next Thursday.”

One other significant James Fanshawe runner at the Qatar Goodwood Festival could come in the shape of Fresh, who finished 2nd in the Wokingham Handicap on the final day of Royal Ascot. The four-year-old will head to the Unibet Stewards’ Cup on Saturday 31st July, so long as the ground isn’t too fast.

Speaking about the son of Bated Breath, Fanshawe said: “Fresh is in really good form, he worked nicely on Saturday. One proviso with him is that he needs to have some ease in the ground, he’s just a better horse with give in the ground. Hopefully we’ll get plenty of rain after the Nassau Stakes – it can chuck it down as much as it likes on Friday before the Stewards’ Cup!”