A three-way photo finish to a classic trial is usually a bit disappointing but there are reasons to believe that each of the trio that flashed past the post together in today's Group 3 Tattersalls Musidora Stakes could be a high-class performer in the making. The neck winner is a first-crop daughter of Kingman, the pair that dead-heated for second have outstanding pedigrees, and all three were lightly raced. What's more, one of them lost a lot of ground at the start.
That one was the William Haggas-trained Frankellina (by Frankel), an Anthony Oppenheimer-owned homebred from the family of Rebecca Sharp (by Machiavellian) and Golden Horn (by Cape Cross). She had won her only previous outing, lost about three lengths at the start here, and her entries include both the Group 1 Investec Oaks and Group 1 Darley Irish Oaks.
Entitle (by Dansili), who was the other half of the dead-heat for second, was making her third start and her first since winning a Lingfield novice event over a mile in mid-December. Khalid Abdullah's homebred is trained by John Gosden, she too is in the Oaks, and she is a half-sister to the brilliant Enable (by Nathaniel).
Nausha was also making her third appearance on the racecourse and, like the pair she beat here, she is engaged in both the Oaks and Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes. The Roger Varian-trained bay made a winning debut over a mile at Newbury in October, was a disappointing fourth on the Polytrack at Kempton last month, but bounced back in style to remain unbeaten on turf. Andrea Atzeni was on board today.
Nausha was bred by Hesmonds Stud Ltd and is the sixth stakes winner from the initial crop of Banstead Manor Stud's outstanding miler Kingman (by Invincible Spirit). He got a first classic winner just three days ago when Persian King justified favouritism in the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) and could add another top-level winner soon if the unbeaten dual pattern star Calyx fulfils his potential.
The filly is the second foal of Nazym (by Galileo), an unraced half-sister to Listen (by Sadler's Wells), Sequoyah (by Sadler's Wells) and Oyster Catcher (by Bluebird). The latter was a smart sprinter who won a listed contest and picked up third place in a Group 3 contest over seven furlongs. The other pair were Group 1 stars for the Ballydoyle team.
Listen made a winning debut in a listed contest over six furlongs at the Curragh, in which she beat Tuscan Evening, then took second place in both the Group 2 Debutante Stakes and Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes before beating Proviso by a length in the Group 1 Fillies' Mile at Ascot. Her daughter Touching Speech (by Deep Impact) is a Grade 1-placed nine-furlong Grade 2 scorer in Japan.
Sequoyah, on the other hand, won the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes, and she is the dam of classic-winning miler Henrythenavigator (by Kingmambo) and his talented full-sister Queen Cleopatra, a Group 3 winner who was placed in both the Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas and Group 1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks). That filly then became the dam of the dual Australian Group 3 middle-distance winner Francis Of Assisi (by Danehill Dancer) and grandam of the tragically ill-fated Group 2 winner and Derby runner-up Cliffs Of Moher (by Galileo).
There are many more good horses in this famous family – including Group/Grade 1 stars Dolphin Street (by Bluebird), Insight (by Sadler's Wells), and Saffron Walden (by Sadler's Wells) – and so Nausha is not just a top racing candidate but also a very valuable future broodmare.
It will be fascinating to find out which of the three fillies is ultimately viewed as being the best racehorse and which will have the most notable results at stud. Entitle and Frankellina both look as though 12 furlongs will suit them well, but there is a chance on pedigree that it may be a step too far for Nausha. Or all three of them could be good Oaks-type fillies in the making. Time will tell.
Sires & Winners