Peeping Fawn scored her third straight group I victory when she rolled to an authoritative 1 1/2-length victory in the Blue Square Nassau Stakes (Eng-I) at Glorious Goodwood Aug. 4.
The 3-year-old daughter of Danehill entered the contest off wins in the Darley Irish Oaks (Ire-I) and Audi Pretty Polly Stakes (Ire-I). The Nassau marked Peeping Fawn’s ninth start after her career debut in April. Her last five races have been at group I level, and she has won the last three of them since her narrow defeat to Light Shift in the Vodafone Oaks (Eng-I).
The Nassau brought together a high-class field, with Oaks winner Light Shift looking to gain the edge in her matches with Peeping Fawn. Last year’s French champion 3-year-old filly, Mandesha, was also in the lineup, along with 2006 Stan James One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) victress Speciosa, and 2006 Coronation Stakes (Eng-I) winner Nannina.
As expected, Speciosa took the lead at the start and set a good pace through the first six furlongs. Johnny Murtagh always had Peeping Fawn in a prominent position throughout, and the pair took command three furlongs from home.
Mandesha, held up near the rear of the pack by jockey Christophe Soumillon, had to weave her way through the field, but began to close strongly once in the clear. She never threatened the winner, however, as Murtagh had Peeping Fawn well in hand at the wire.
Light Shift got up for third over Sweet Lilly, 3 1/2-lengths behind Mandesha.
Time for the 10 furlongs was 2:04.53 over good-to-firm turf.
With Peeping Fawn doing so well, trainer Aidan O’Brien is reluctant to give her a break. Her next start could be the Yorkshire Oaks (Eng-I), with an appearance in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (gr. IT) later also in the year in the cards. O’Brien suggested a strong possibility that the filly would remain in training next year.
Runner-up Mandesha has the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) as her objective for this fall, with her next likely start coming in the Prix Foy (Fr-II) in September.
Trainer Henry Cecil aid the Breeders’ Cup was a likely target for his Oaks winner, Light Shift.
Peeping Fawn is the first foal out of the Sadler’s Wells’ mare, Maryinsky. Her second dam is Blush With Pride, who has also produced Better Than Honour, dam of Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winners Rags to Riches and Jazil.