The list of Group 1 stars who got an early winning start on the artificial tracks includes Covert Love, Hawkbill, Jack Hobbs, Seventh Heaven, Silverwave, Winter, and Zelzal and one of the most recent additions to the roll of honour is Nezwaah, the Roger Varian-trained four-year-old who won the Pretty Polly Stakes in style 12 days ago.
She was unraced as a two-year-old but made a winning debut over a mile at Chelmsford in January 2016 and followed that, a month later, with another odds-on success, this time over a half-furlong farther at Wolverhampton.
Her turf debut came two and a half months after that, when she finished third in a 10-furlong listed contest at Newbury, and then she went to Newcastle where she ran out a three-length winner of the Listed Hoppings Stakes on the Tapeta surface. All of her subsequent outings have been over the same trip and on turf, each in a different country, and culminating with her Group 1 success in Ireland.
First was the Group 2 Prix de la Nonette at Deauville, where she finished last of five behind La Cressonniere, and then the Listed John Musker Fillies’ Stakes at Yarmouth, where she was only beaten half a length by So Mi Dar. Then it was on to Canada for the Grade 1 E P Taylor Stakes at Woodbine, and although finishing out of the frame, she was only beaten by two lengths into seventh. Timeform rated her 113 at the end of that season.
Nezwaah made her four-year-old debut in Scotland, easily winning the Listed Tennent’s British Stallion Studs EBF Rothesay Stakes at Ayr in late May, and her second start of the year is her aforementioned three and a quarter-length defeat of Rain Goddess at the Curragh. Turret Rocks was another length and a half back in third, with Grade 1 heroine Zhukova disappointing in fourth, another head behind.
This was not a strong renewal of the race, with all but one of the first six home sporting an official pre-race handicap mark of either 108 or 109, but Nezwaah is improving, talented and yet another Group 1 winner for her outstanding sire, Dubawi (by Dubai Millennium).
She was bred by Darley and she is the first foal out of Ferdoos (by Dansili), a lightly-raced triple winner who began her career with a five-length score over 10 furlongs on the polytrack at Kempton and later took the Listed Pinnacle Stakes over a quarter-mile farther at Haydock.
The mare’s half-brother Brusco (by Rock Of Gibraltar) won the Listed Coppa d’Oro di Milano and a listed contest at Cologne, he was placed many times, including third in the Group 3 Deutsches St Leger at Dortmund, and this talented pair are their dam’s only runners.
Blaze Of Colour (by Rainbow Quest), the grandam of Nezwaah, earned her blacktype when third in the Listed Aphrodite Stakes at Newmarket, her half-sister Blue Dream (by Cadeaux Genereux) was listed-placed at Chester and another sibling, Equity Princess (by Warning), was a multiple blacktype earner who was runner-up in the Group 3 Oettingen-Rennen at Baden-Baden.
The latter is the grandam of a middle-distance listed scorer in France, their own dam was the Listed George Stubbs Stakes winner Hawait Al Barr (by Green Desert), and the only stakes winner among several blacktype earners under Group 2-placed fourth dam, Allegedly Blue (by Alleged), is the Group 3 Prix Messidor winner and dual Group 2 Premio Emilio Turati runner-up Ryono (by Mountain Cat), a son of Hawait Al Barr’s Group 2 Deutsches St Leger-placed half-sister Racing Blue (by Reference Point).
This is a smart family but perhaps not one from which you might expect to see a Group 1 winner emerge, given that it is the first four generations that make the most meaningful contribution to the horse. Indeed, each ancestor in the fourth generation is only contributing 6.25%, little to none of which could be influencing racing talent.
But if you go back another generation or two then you will find that the filly is just the latest representative of her distaff line to succeed or be placed at the top level. These horses are so remotely connected to her that they are making no contribution to her obvious talent, but their presence shows that there is actually no surprise that a major sire like Dubawi could help to revive its former glory.
Allegedly Blue was one of five winners from seven foals out of Meadow Blue (by Raise a Native), an unraced full-sister to Dewhurst Stakes winner Crowned Prince and to dual US classic star Majestic Prince whose only loss in 10 career starts was his second-place finish in the Belmont Stakes, a race that his son Coastal would win 10 years later.
Really Blue (by Believe It), a three-time winner and half-sister to Allegedly Blue, is best known as being the dam of US champion Real Quiet (by Quiet American) who, like his famous relation, also won both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes before being runner-up in the Belmont. He also won the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup, Grade 1 Pimlico Special and Grade 1 Hollywood Futurity, and his offspring include the Grade 1 stars Midnight Lute and Pussycat Doll.
Mining My Business (by Mining), a half-sister to Real Quiet, has done her part for the family’s honour as she is the dam of Grade 2 Fair Ground Oaks winner Real Cozzy (by Cozzene) who was placed in each of the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, Grade 1 Mother Goose Stakes and Grade 1 Acorn Stakes.
Nureyev’s Best (by Nureyev), who won the Listed Prix Finlande and finished third in the Group 3 Prix de Sandringham, was another of Allegedly Blue’s siblings and the most notable of her blacktype descendents is her daughter Andujar (by Quiet American), winner of the Grade 2 Milady Breeders’ Cup Handicap at Hollywood and placed in both the Grade 1 Go For Wand Handicap and Grade 1 Vanity Handicap.
Also notable is dual winner Mangala (by Sharpen Up) as that daughter of Meadow Blue came up with eight winners from a dozen foals, headlined by the high-class miler Allied Forces (by Miswaki). A dual Grade 2 scorer in the USA, he also won the Group 2 Queen Anne Stakes at Ascot and was third in the Group 1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.
Although still below being a true Group 1-calibre runner – she was raised to an official mark of 116 (Timeform rated her 120) after this latest success – there is reason to hope that Nezwaah can improve further before she eventually retires to stud for what could be an equally notable career as a broodmare.
She holds entries in the Group 1 Qatar Nassau Stakes, Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes, and Group 1 Darley Yorkshire Oaks so we may not have long to wait to get another chance to assess her capabilities.