Nannina Wins Meon Valley; Ouija Board Sharp

By Mary Schweitzer
Nannina held off Alexandrova by a short head in the Meon Valley Stud Fillies' Mile (Eng-I) for 2-year-old fillies at Newmarket on Saturday. The victory gave trainer John Gosden his third win in the past six years in the group I event.

May Hill Stakes (Eng-II) winner Nasheej and Cross Channel ensured that there was plenty of pace on the front end. Alexandrova gained first run with about a furlong left to run, but Nannina challenged her all the way to the wire. Nasheej was three lengths back in third.

Earlier on the Newmarket program, Ouija Board, having a frustrating 2005 season, showed the championship form she displayed last year when winning the Princess Royal John Doyle Stakes (Eng-III). The bay daughter of Cape Cross, who was ridden by Frankie Dettori for the first time, won by 2 1/2 lengths over Briolette.

Dettori was given no specific riding instructions before the race. Nevertheless, he decided to give Lord Derby's filly the benefit of a serious workout, and took her to the front with more than a quarter mile left to run and pushed her all the way to the wire.

There was immediate speculation after the race that Ouija Board would line up for next weekend's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I). A defense of her title in the Emirates Airline Filly and Mare Turf (gr. IT) at Belmont Park is her main objective, however, and she will probably go straight into that.

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