Nausha digs in to land Musidora

Nausha claimed a narrow victory in a thrilling climax to the Tattersalls Musidora Stakes at York.

A field of 10 fillies went to post for this recognised trial for the Investec Oaks at Epsom, with John Gosden’s impressive Sandown scorer Sparkle Roll the well-backed favourite at 7-4.

I’ll Have Another set the pace for a long way, but hung across the track when coming under pressure and those involved in the finish made their challenges down the centre of the track.

Roger Varian’s Nausha hit the front racing inside the final furlong and was flanked by the William Haggas-trained Frankellina and Gosden’s apparent second string Entitle – a half-sister to the brilliant Enable.

There was little to choose between the trio as the post loomed, but it was Nausha who gained the verdict under Andrea Atzeni, with Frankellina and Entitle dead-heating for second.

Supporters of both Frankellina and Entitle will justifiably curse their luck, with Frankellina running a huge race to finish so close after blowing the start, and Entitle stumbling inside the closing stages.

Sparkle Roll, however, was disappointing.

Varian said: “I’m so pleased for her owner, Nurlan Bizakov, he’s such an enthusiast, a great supporter of the game and very patient, so I’m pleased this filly has come good today.

“We had been considering the 1000 Guineas, but we didn’t fancy running her in a trial over seven furlongs at Newmarket and went for a conditions race at Kempton over a mile with a view to this race instead.

“She’ll be left in the (Epsom) Oaks tomorrow, we’ll see how she comes out of the race and then we’ll consider all the options.

“She’s in the Prix Diane in France as well, which is an extended 10 furlongs, so she’s got all the options.

“She’s a very nice filly and I’m delighted she’s won today, so we’ll enjoy it.”

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