Jwala victory just the tonic for Drowne

Jwala caused a major upset in yesterday’s Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York.

The least-fancied of three runners for trainer Robert Cowell, the 40-1 shot was smartly away in the hands of Steve Drowne and was disputing the running from the start of the five-furlong contest.

South African star Shea Shea and Ireland’s Sole Power were both thrusting at the finish, but Jwala held on by half a length.

It was a particularly sweet outcome for Drowne, who only returned to race riding earlier in the year after he suffered two blackouts last spring.

He said: “Everyone knows my problems last year, but you need a horse like this to bounce back.

“You just need to land one like this and it gets you back.

“She’s a fabulous filly.”

Old rivals Shea Shea (3-1 favourite) and Sole Power (4-1) shadowed each other throughout, with Johnny Murtagh aboard Sole Power keen to keep Frankie Dettori in his sights.

The two made their respective moves a furlong out, but Jwala was not for catching.

Shea Shea finished second, a nose ahead of Sole Power.

Jwala won a Listed event over the course and distance on her penultimate start last month, but then finished last of 17 behind a number of re-opposing rivals at Glorious Goodwood following a tardy start.

Drowne said: “She had a tough time last time. She got upset last time and knocked herself silly. She didn't go a yard and tailed off at Goodwood.

“Thank God they found a reason – she’d nearly fractured an eye socket – and she’s bounced back here.

“She travels very well during the race, almost too well, but she kept on going.”

Cowell said: ``That's really exciting, I'm thrilled.

“She’s a grand filly and only finished a length behind Sole Power last year as a three-year-old at Doncaster in a Listed race.

“She’s come on leaps and bounds, she’s ultra tough and she’s got a really high cruising speed.

“At Goodwood last time she fractured her eye socket, which only came to light later on, but she’s come back.

“I’m speechless.”

Cowell said: ``It's not a surprise to me, I thought she had the best chance of our three. She’s very uncomplicated and has a good turn of foot.

“I thought she was a Group filly as a three-year-old.

“We’ve had no winners for four or five weeks until this week, so it’s been a bit of a relief.

“I think our set-up just suits sprinters. We turn them out all the time.

“We’re just a tiny yard outside Newmarket, so this means a lot.

“I think we’ll head for the Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp (October 6) and then she’ll be retired.”

Of Shea Shea, trainer Mike de Kock said: “He’s run well and he’s held his form with Sole Power. There is never much between them.

“Paris can get soft, but there’s only one Abbaye and if we get there he’ll run.”

Dettori said: “The shower of rain just dented his turn of foot.”

Elsewhere on the York card, a tilt at the Melbourne Cup could be on the agenda for Ahzeemah after he clinched victory in a thrilling climax to the Lonsdale Cup.

The Godolphin runner arrived on the Knavesmire having not finished out of the first two places in his last nine starts, but, frustratingly for his connections, six of those efforts ended in defeat.

The Willie Mullins-trained Simenon was the 15-8 favourite after running Estimate close in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot and dictated matters from the outset under a positive ride from Johnny Murtagh.

The six-year-old managed to shake off all of his opponents bar one, with Saeed bin Suroor’s 4-1 shot Ahzeemah and Silvestre de Sousa wearing him down to prevail by a head following a titanic tussle.

There was a minor blow for the winning jockey, who was suspended for two days (September 6 and 8) for using his whip above the permitted level.

Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford said: “He’s so honest and incredibly genuine.

“He’s not overly big, but I’ve never known a horse try as hard as this horse does.

“Hopefully the Melbourne Cup (could be an option), or the Qipco stayers’ race on Champions Day at Ascot (Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup, October 19).”

Mullins remains keen on a trip Down Under with Simenon, but he is not yet certain to make the final field for the Melbourne Cup.

Ireland’s champion National Hunt trainer said: “He’s entered in the Prix du Cadran at Longchamp (October 6) and all those sorts of races, but if we think we’ll get in it is still my intention to head south (to Australia).”

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