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Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Varian confident Nezwaah can come good after stalls hiccup

Roger Varian: hopeful of winning start for Nezwaah
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5.20 Ayr
Tennent's British Stallion Studs EBF Rothesay Stakes (Listed) | 1m2f | 4yo+

A whistle-stop campaign last year for Nezwaah included trips to France and Canada and Roger Varian’s filly will add another country to her CV when she makes her seasonal reappearance in Scotland on Wednesday.

The four-year-old, owned by Ahmed Al Maktoum, was due to have her first outing of the season in the Group 2 Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket earlier this month but took no part after breaking out of the stalls and being withdrawn. She has passed a stall test since that incident.

The daughter of Dubawi has had only seven starts to date and finished fifth in Group 2 company at Deauville, ending last term when beaten two lengths in a Grade 1 contest at Woodbine.

Connections are using this Listed race a springboard to more foreign travels later this summer and autumn.

Elm branches out

Co Kildare-based Willie McCreery will give Elm Grove a first start outside of Ireland. The mare has won two of her three starts this year, and was beaten only a length in fourth on the other occasion.

What they say

Willie McCreery, trainer of Elm Grove
I'd like to see some rain for her but that's very unlikely to happen. She's in good form and we'll be very happy if she can pick up some black type.

Jedd O’Keeffe, trainer of More Mischief
She was second in the race last year to Maleficent Queen and was also second at Newcastle to Nezwaah, who are both in this line up. She has got it to do at the weights and we need rain quite badly. If we don’t get it she might not run.

Roger Varian, trainer of Nezwaah
Nezwaah breaking through the stalls before her intended reappearance in the Dahlia Stakes was a freak occurrence and she has since passed a stalls test with flying colours. This race is an equally-nice starting point on decent ground and she looks the one to beat on official ratings. I hope she can make a winning start to her season.

R Mike Smith, trainer of Sophie P
It’s a Listed race with only six runners and we're only 15 minutes away so we have to take our chance – there's prize-money down to last place. She has never been tried at this trip and has something to find with a few of the others, but she is unexposed and might well improve again. If you don’t shoot at stars you will never hit one.

Nezwaah breaking through the stalls before intended reappearance in the Dahlia Stakes was a freak occurrence and she has since passed a stalls test
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