Jockey Hollie Doyle posted the first classic win of her career Sunday at Chantilly when guiding Nashwa to victory in the 173rd edition of the Prix de Diane Longines (French Oaks) (G1).
Doyle’s victory in the race was the first in a French classic by a woman rider.
Nashwa, who was third in the Oaks (G1) at Epsom earlier this month, won by a short neck from La Parisienne, with Rosacea another 4 1/2 lengths back in third in the field of 17 3-year-old fillies.
A daughter of Frankel, Nashwa covered 2,100 meters (about 1 3/8 miles) in 2:06.63 on good to soft turf.
Breaking from post 2, John and Thady Gosden’s runner took the lead alongside race favorite Agave with La Parisienne in a handy position behind them by the rail. With her post 17 draw, Rosacea could only travel at the rear.
Going off the final turn, the two leaders took off and it seemed for a moment that they would go on their own to the finish, but about 300 yards out, Nashwa and Doyle took the upper hand on their rival, and it was then La Parisienne’s turn to challenge the British duo.
The duel that followed remained uncertain for some time, but Nashwa stayed for the narrow victory. Rosacea, who came from far away by the rail with Christophe Soumillon, snatched third place from Agave while at more than 100-1 odds, Fall in Love finished very well in fifth.
Third in her only 2-year-old race last year, Nashwa won for her comeback before going for the Oaks Trials in Newbury, over 1 ¼ miles, which she dominated easily. She didn’t seem to stay the trip in the Epsom Oaks and on Sunday she showed that the 2,100 meters at Chantilly were spot on for her.
Nashwa was homebred in Britain by Imad Al Sagar’s Blue Diamond Stud. She did not go to the sales, unlike her older brother Louganini (by Zoffany), a gelding who sold for £60,000 last year at Tattersalls. Their dam, Princess Loulou (by Pivotal), won at the listed level in England and took second place in the Prix Jean Romanet (G1) at Deauville.
Doyle, who is no relation to sibling jockeys James Doyle and Sophie Doyle, is married to fellow jockey Tom Marquand.