The news that Roger Varian’s smart filly Nahrain will stay in training this season as a four-year-old means that fans of the daughter of Selkirk can look forward to seeing her in many of the feature 10 furlong events of the season, with the Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot looking a likely target should she come to hand in time, writes Elliot Slater.
Owned by Sheikh Ahmed al Makhtoum, Nahrain only made her debut at Windsor last May where she comfortably landed a mile maiden before following up in handicap company at Haydock on only her second outing, routing the opposition by five lengths off a mark of 87.
Quickly raised to a new figure of 102, Varian’s filly then completed her hattrick and kept her unbeaten record intact when justifying her Betfair odds-on market position to beat Primevere by a length-and-a-quarter in the listed Coral Distaff at Sandown in July before being given a three month mid-season break.
Varian certainly knew that his charge had progressed for the break and took the bold decision to throw her into Group 1 company at Longchamp on Arc day in early October, stepping Nahrain up to 10 furlongs for the first time in the Prix de l’Opera, where she duly put up a tremendous performance to prevail by a nose from Announce to land the valuable and prestigious contest.
Sent to Churchill Downs for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf for her final outing of the season in November, the Darley bred filly again put up a great display going down with all guns blazing in failing by just three-quarters-of-a-length to beat Perfect Shirl. Her Betfair Epsom Derby odds have gone in sharply thanks to expectant punters. Reported to be taking a while to reach peak fitness this term Nahrain will be prepared for a summer campaign with Royal Ascot surely on the list of possible starting points for a potential star of the 2012 season.