Ascot preview: Nathra makes belated return in Valiant Stakes

Thu 27 Jul 2017

Nathra makes her belated reappearance in the Carraig Insurance British EBF Valiant Stakes at Ascot on Friday.

The four-year-old filly will try to give trainer John Gosden a timely boost on the eve of Enable's crack at the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes on Saturday.

While Nathra may not be quite of the calibre of her dual Classic-winning stablemate, she is pretty smart, but has been absent since finishing third to Cougar Mountain when she took on older horses in the Group Two Joel Stakes at Newmarket in September.

Though she won the Nell Gwyn Stakes last year and was fifth in the 1000 Guineas, her best performance came in the French 1000 Guineas at Deauville, where she was second to La Cressonniere.

"John is very pleased with her. She's taken some time to come to herself this year," said Bruce Raymond, racing manager to owner Abdullah Saeed Al Nahoodah.

"She loves soft ground and it's a good race to start her back in."

Gosden has a second string to his bow in Whispering Bell, who easily opened her account in a Windsor maiden at the start of the month.

Raymond is also racing manager to Saeed Manana, whose colours are carried by Urban Fox.

James Tate's filly has regularly taken on the best of her generation and ran in this year's 1000 Guineas won by Winter.

"She's got a chance but I'm not sure about whether the ground will suit her," Raymond added.

The 10-strong field for this Listed contest is split evenly between five three-year-olds and five four-year-olds.

Of the younger generation, the progressive Mittens, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, is an interesting contender after two wins this month at Newmarket and over the straight mile on this course.

Among the older brigade is Ralph Beckett's Golden Stunner, who bids to get back on the winning trail after chasing home Realtra in the Group Three Brownstown Stakes at Fairyhouse three weeks ago.

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