Horses To Follow » Nouriya


Sir Michael Stoute had won the last three renewals of the 10-furlong Group 3 Gordon Richards Stakes at Sandown on Saturday, but his representative this year was Nouriya, who was weak in the market in the morning. She travelled well in the race off the fast pace but there was no gap for her between Shamali and Viscount Nelson as she looked for an out at the three-furlong marker, so she had to switch to the inside. She made good progress to challenge, but just couldn’t get past the tough seven-year-old Kings Gambit, who had already had a run this season (the form of which has been franked twice by the winner St Moritz). The Danehill Dancer filly was hampered close home as the winner drifted down towards the rail, but for which she would probably have finished third. It was nevertheless an encouraging run from her as she had the strongly fancied pair Viscount Nelson – who had finished a close third to Twice Over in the Eclipse over the same course and distance – and the highly-regarded Afsare behind her.

The three horses with whom Michael Stoute had won this in the last three years were Ask, Tartan Bearer and Glass Harmonium, so we know that he targets the race with good horses. Nouriya was seriously progressive last year, going from getting beaten in a Newbury maiden on her first run of the year to lining up in the Group 1 Prix de l’Opera at Longchamp on Arc day, picking up a couple of Listed races along the way. She is still lightly raced, this latest run was just the seventh of her life, and she can go on from this. As a daughter of Danehill Dancer, she may do even better with a little bit of cut in the ground (her two listed race wins were on good and soft ground), but she proved here that she can handle fast ground, and she will be of interest wherever she goes next.

23rd April 2011