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Dubai World Cup night latest news



Connections of Nashwa have every reason to believe the nine-furlong trip of Saturday’s Dubai Turf at Meydan will suit her down to the ground.

It is a brave decision by owner Imad Al Sagar to keep the multiple Group One-winning five-year-old mare in training given she is likely to be the leading light at his Blue Diamond Stud when she eventually does retire.

However, he found the prospect of competing in races such as the one this weekend too hard to turn down and on her best form last season, such as when winning the Falmouth by five lengths or splitting Mostahdaf and Paddington at York, she has every chance.

“I’ve always said with horses staying on in training that there has to be several criteria met,” said Teddy Grimthorpe, the owner’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.”

Last season started slowly with odds-on defeats in France and at Newcastle, but she came to life in the summer.

Grimthorpe said of the John and Thady Gosden trainee: “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.

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

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

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