Ouija ready for Nassau test

ED DUNLOP hopes Ouija Board can be victorious on home soil in the Vodafone Nassau Stakes at Goodwood today before going to the Breeders’ Cup for a third time.

The trainer has his eyes on the big American meeting at Churchill Downs in October – as well as a possible tilt at Hong Kong in December – but could not resist the Group One contest at Goodwood first.

Ouija Board has finished first and second in the last two runnings of the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf and won the Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin last year. She is 11-8 with Coral to register the sixth Group One win of her career on Saturday.

“She seems very well, fingers crossed, and come what may on Saturday, I’d love to take her back to America and try and get back her crown,” Dunlop told At The Races yesterday.

“We’ve taken the option of the Nassau. It looks a competitive race on paper. There are other Group One-winning fillies in the race – Alexander Goldrun and Nannina – and it will be an exciting race.

“We go there with a good chance, but we are not the certainty some people may think we are.

“This was her only chance in England of running against her own sex and we will see how we get on and plot where we go next.

“We have discussed about going to Hong Kong again as well as the Breeders’ Cup. These are the two end-of-season targets. What we do before that we will have to wait and see.”

The other five-year-old mare in the contest is the Jim Bolger-trained Alexander Goldrun, who is bidding for back-to-back victories in the race.

Her jockey Kevin Manning is expecting a bold showing and said: “She’s very tough and consistent and she has a great appetite for racing.

“She’s laid back at home and is not a horse that takes a great deal out of herself.

“I know the ground will be quicker tomorrow than when she won last year but ground isn’t an issue for her – other than very heavy ground, and we won’t get that.

“Ouija Board is the obvious danger, but it’s a very competitive race and, in a small field, it could be tactical.”

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