Windsor Forest: Nannina back at Ascot
by Franco Raimondi (email@example.com) / Globeform ()
Last update: 2007-06-19 17:55:09 (First published: 2007-06-18 18:26:58 )
Royal Ascot Wed: A straight mile lies ahead of ten fillies and mares as we get to race two on day two of the royal meeting; the Windsor Forest Stakes (G2).
Soviet Song was a hot favourite in this race twelve months ago, and won with ease. This renewal will almost certainly produce a much closer finish.
Nannina won the Coronation Stakes (G1) over the round mile here last year, and she prepped quite well at Epsom earlier this month.
Favourite she may be, but is she really that good? Two or three runs in her book say ‘yes’ while most of the others say ‘maybe’. And maybe will not be the best answer, if Satwa Queen takes her best game to the table. Echelon, who beat Nannina and Bahia Breeze at Epsom, also has a chance, and Wasseema is the dark horse in the field.
WINDSOR FOREST STAKES (G2)
Royal Ascot 20 June 2007 – 1 mile turf (straight)
Horses presented with best Globeform, sire, rider
A ‘+’ after horse indicates improvement expected
117 – SATWA QUEEN (Muhtathir) / L Dettori
116 – NANNINA (Medicean) / J Fortune
113 – ECHELON (Danehill) + / K McEvoy
112 – WASSEEMA (Danzig) / R Hills
112 – FLASHY WINGS (Zafonic) / J Spencer
107 – BAHIA BREEZE (Mister Baileys) / S Sanders
107 – GWENSEB (Green Tune) / O Peslier
102 – EXPENSIVE (Royalo Applause) / E Ahern
103 – SABANA PERDIDA (Cape Cross) / C P Lemaire
…? – FANN (Diesis) GF ? / R Moore
Satwa Queen, such a game runner-up to the French star Mandesha in the Prix de l’Opera (G1) at Longchamp on Arc day last year, makes a lit of appeal here – though we do not know how she will enjoy racing on a straight course. She was close to her best n her reappearance in the Prix Allez France (G3) over 2000 metres at Chantilly in May, when second to Macleya under a tough weight. That run confirms that she has trained on and retained her ability, and it sure was better than what Nannina achieved in her first start back, at Epsom earlier this month. Frankie dettori has probably found a winning ride here, as her partners the French trained mare. She ran solid races in international company last autumn; fifth to Ouija Board in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) and sixth behind Pride in the Hong Kong Cup (G1) – when ridden by Dettori. She is at her best over 10 furlongs, but Satwa Queen has also proved effective over a mile (even the turning mile at Nad Al Sheba) and, given a decent pace, she has an excellent chance.
Prior to the Opera last year, she had made a winning return at Deauville in August – after a long rest since her trip to Dubai early in the year. She strode out really well to win the 10-furlong Prix Jean Romanet (G2), over very soft ground. Sweet Stream was 1 ½ lengths back in second, while Red Bloom was another length adrift in third.
The daughter of Muhtathir was successful in two Group races in France in 2005. She beat Naissance Royale by 2 ½ lengths in the Prix Vanteaux (G3) over 9 furlongs at Longchamp, when she advanced willingly from mid-pack to lead a furlong out and win with ease. After that, she was seventh to Divine Proportion in the French Oaks (G1), and she bounced back to winning form in the Prix de Psyche (G3) over 10 furlongs at Deauville. Her running style was similar to that in the Vanteaux though this time she had to dig deep to beat Viane Rose (rec. 4lbs) by a neck. Viane Rose went on to win the Prix de la Nonette (G3) next time out.
Satwa Queen’s form was quite solid throughout last year. She put up a good seasonal debut when runner-up to the in-form Clinet over 7.5 furlongs on at Nad Al Sheba back in January 06, and was also game enough when beaten by Irridescence in the Balanchine (LR) at the same venue in February 06. She is tough, game and genuine, and she is an experienced traveller who seems to take to a variety of courses.
Nannina ran a nice enough race when third in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes (G3) at Epsom, beaten by Echelon and Bahia Breeze. Staying on late, she was beaten only 2 lengths by the winner, but returned no more than GF 104+ in the process. A far cry from her personal best, achieved her at the royal meeting last year, when she won the Coronation Stakes (G1). The race should have brought her on, however, and Ascot suits her so much better than the undulating Epsom course, and she can’t be dismissed. She would, though, be a bit of a false favourite in this race.
Get Nannina’s essay from the Globeform Annual via the pdf-link below.
NANNINA (Medicean) GF07s
A: SATWA QUEEN
B: NANNINA, ECHELON
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