Ouija digs deep for Nassau glory

Ouija Board raised the roof at Goodwood as she prevailed in a thrilling Vodafone Nassau Stakes from Alexander Goldrun.

Ouija Board raised the roof at Goodwood as she prevailed in a thrilling Vodafone Nassau Stakes from Alexander Goldrun.

Closer to the pace than usual and reunited with Frankie Dettori, the popular Ed Dunlop-trained mare held off Jim Bolger’s five-year-old by the shortest of short-heads.

It developed into a match from the two-furlong marker and the even-money favourite showed superb battling qualities to record her sixth Group One win.

The field was taken along by the other Irish raider in the field, Chelsea Rose, with Dettori content to sit in second.

And it seemed a clever decision by the Italian as there was some slight scrimmaging in behind involving Nannina and Nasheej.

Kevin Manning brought Alexander Goldrun with a storming run down the outside and looked to have timed it to perfection, taking a clear – if narrow - advantage at one stage.

But Ouija Board showed great determination and stuck her head out for one of her most famous successes to date. Nannina was a further two lengths back in third.

Dettori told BBC Sport: “That was great because the other mare definitely went by me. As you know she normally likes a target to aim at and we were out in front for a long time.

“But she showed real guts, she put her head down and really battled. It was a really emotional win.

“I was in front sooner than I wanted but she really battled and I knew she’d stay. Take nothing away from the second and it’s a shame there can only be one winner.”

Dunlop said: “I couldn’t watch at the end and I said to my wife that at least she had run well.

“It was a great horse race and full credit to the runner-up and the amount of Group Ones they have won between them is phenomenal.

“Frankie was excellent and if he had sat last he probably wouldn’t have got there. I’m thrilled and congratulations go to the owners.

“I didn’t give Frankie any instructions because we didn’t know what to do as we knew we couldn’t sit out the back like we have been doing.

“The reception she got when she came back in was fantastic. I don’t know where we’ll take her now because we’ve made plans all year only to break them.”

Bolger said of the valiant runner-up: “My emotions are fine, I was very happy with the run. I always knew it would be tight and it was on the bob.

“The ground was not a problem, that is not an excuse. The intended target is the Irish Champion Stakes and I don’t see anything beyond that at the moment.”

John Gosden said of Nannina: “She has run a blinder. She had to be switched for her run but finished very strongly to show she gets a mile and a quarter well.

“It was a pretty hot Nassau to put it mildly. A mile and a quarter is now rock solid for her. There are plenty of options in that department.

“The plan is to keep her in training next year.”

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