Nashville Back to Best in WFA Classic Repeat

After a half-dozen starts without a victory, Nashville hit his winning stride for a repeat in the WFA Classic (NZ-I) Feb. 22 at Otaki.
 
The Darci Brahma gelding raced in third, close-up behind a dawdling early pace set by Postmans Daughter. Jockey Jonathan Riddell secured the win when guiding his mount to the rail for a clear run 400 meters out, then moved to him the center of the track where the footing was better. 
 
Nashville carried on strongly for the victory, scoring by 1 1/2 lengths over favorite Xanadu, who kicked from the back of the field but could not catch the winner. 
 
Final Touch was third, another three-quarters of a length back.
 
Time was 1:35.68 for 1,600 meters (about one mile) on turf rated as good.
 
A New Zealand-bred out of the Royal Academy mare Royal Kiss, Nashville was bred by Chesterfields Ltd., which is operated by Blyth Tait, a former Olympic gold medal-winning equestrian in the 1990s in individual and team events. He was an NZ$40,000 purchase out of the Chesterfields consignment at the 2010 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run sale of 2-year-olds. Beamish Bloodstock signed the ticket.
 
With his second WFA Classic triumph, Nashville's record improves his career line to 8-3-1 from 22 starts for trainers Adrian and Harry Bull. 
 
"There wasn't a lot of speed early on so I took the chance to sneak up along the fence and get a good position," Riddell told The Informant
 
"He traveled beautifully and I got the chance to cut the corner and head out into the better ground and he did it all on his own from there.
 
"He is a top horse and although his form on paper didn't read that well he hadn't had all the luck with the tempo not suiting him in his last few starts."
 
Nashville won last year's edition of the race by a half-length from Veyron in his first victory at the elite level. He subsequently won a handicap at Wanganui and competed creditably against top company when third to Xanadu in the Windsor Park Plate (NZ-I) in September and second to Ransomed in the Turks Spring Classic (NZ-I) in October, both at Hastings.

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