August 8, 2020 at 08:41 #1496559
Few thouroughbreds in history have taken poetry in motion to such a crescendo as Nashwan in racing style.The colt revealed the beauty of a lotus in full bloom taking grace to regions of divinty.Even in full steam with his strides at their optimum his movement reminded one of the touches of a painters brush .There could hardly be an adjective which could do justice to the aesthetical aspect of the son of Blushing Groom out of Height of Fashion.His feet literally skimmed the ground like a ballad dancer performing a waltz or a body floating over water.He would demolish opponents with the aura of an emperor , creating the impact of a combing operation of an army but never at the cost of his characteristic silken touch .
What Nashwan achieved in 1989 ,no colt ever did in the history of flat racing .Inspite of an accident which disrupted his training schedule he came back spectacularly to triumph in the 2000 Guineas,Epsom Derby ,Eclipse and King George.This feat eluded icons like Nijinsky,Mill Reef or Dancing Brave.Nashwan ressurected from the grave to reach pinnacle of glory as few racehorses ever .
He won the Guineas in a course record after no prep race,prevailing by a margin of a length from Exbourne with Danehill third.In the Epsom Derby he drew away from the field to win by a margin of five lengths from Terrimon,vanquishing the class colt Cacoethes.Nashwan triumphed with remorseless ease,rarely seen in an Epsom Derby.Since Mill Reef no Derby winner bestowed such beauty on the track.In the Eclipse stakes Nashwan reached the heights of a Nijinsky or Mill Reef when displaying supremacy hardly ever seen in the history of the race.He devoured class milers like Opening Verse,Warning and Indian skimmer in the manner of leaves tossed in a gale.Few performances defined thoroughbred supremacy to the extent Nashwan did in the Sandown showpiece.In the King George suprisngly he was given the race of his life engaging in a protracted Tussle with Cacoethes all the way down the Ascot straight.Displaying qualities of a great battler Nashwan prevailed by a neck.However many felt the superstar was not at his best,with the previous race literally taking the toll out of him.
Nashwan looked set to emulate every racehorse in history by winning the Arc or having a crack at the St Leger .Sadly he suffered his first defeat at the hands of Golden Pheasant in the Prix Neil,which was his preparatory race.In the post-race analysis it was revealed that Nashwan had suffered from a bout of fever.The superstar was ultimately withdrawn from the St Leger and Arc and had to bid goodye to the turf in an anti-climax.Had he either won the Leger or Arc he may have been held in the same breadth as Nijinsky,Mill Reef or Dancing Brave.I feel his owner should have skipped the Arc preparation and given Nashwan the opportunity to running in the St Leger to become the first horse since Nijinsky to capture the Triple Crown.
Timeform gave Nashwan a rating of 136,below colts like Nijinsky,Generous,Troy and Reference Point amongst colts that did not win the Arc.I disagree with Timeform’s asessment that he was not in the class of a Dancing Brave or Nijinsky .Their resaon is that he did not demolish the best opponents like Troy or Generous.Nashwan was not as sound a stayer or as good over a mile and a half as Troy or Generous but could hack them over a sprint distance ,and prevail marginally over 10 furlongs.Nashwan displayed phenomenal versatility being a champion from 5 furlongs to a mile and a half in his career.Inspite of a contrasting running style in class or racing ability to me he was on par with Sir Ivor .Over 10 furlongs he would in my book even give a Mill Reef a run for his money.I would award Nashwan a rating marginally ahead of stalwarts like Alleged,Reference Point,Generous and Troy .Not for nothing did trainer Dick Hern rate him the ‘best he had ever trained’ and jockey Willie Carson ‘the best colt he had ever ridden.
To me the fairest asessment is to remember Nashwan for taking aesthecism or poetic grace in horse racing to regions rarely traversed and thus bracket him with the best British trained racehorses of all time. He lit a spark in the hearts of British racing fans as few ever did.Significant that in his choice of 100 best British trained racehorses Robin Oakley ranked Nashwan at 21st place ,even above the likes of the superstars like Shergar,Hyperion and Tudor Minstrel.This reflects the extent to which he stole the hearts of the racing public.
Quoting jockey Willie Carson”“Nashwan could have won over any trip between six furlongs and a mile and a half and, although Troy destroyed the field that year he was a galloper, he’d have been tailed off in a sprint.”‘We’ve lost a lot of old friends,’ and it’s true.
“Winning the Guineas first time having not had a race and winning the Derby, the Eclipse and the King George – that’s some record and probably won’t be bettered. It was phenomenal.
“He had a liking for fast going conditions, had an incredible panther-like action and he was very, very impressive to watch on the move.”August 8, 2020 at 11:58 #1496594DroneParticipant
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Few thouroughbreds in history have taken poetry in motion to such a crescendo as Nashwan in racing style.The colt revealed the beauty of a lotus in full bloom taking grace to regions of divinty.Even in full steam with his strides at their optimum his movement reminded one of the touches of a painters brush
Blimey, Alastair Down eat yer heart outAugust 8, 2020 at 12:38 #1496602Cork All StarParticipant
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Who was the highest rated 3 year old in the 1989 International Ratings?
Not Nashwan. It was Zilzal – and I believe he would have beaten Nashwan over a mile.
I saw an interview with Willie Carson on RTV during the lockdown. He said Nashwan was not a thorough stayer and won a weak Derby. Terimon was a 500-1 chance, albeit one who did subsequently prove himself to be a Group 1 performer.
He beat Warning and Indian Skimmer in the Eclipse – but Warning did not stay and Indian Skimmer was in decline (she never ran again). It cannot be said he beat either of those horses at their peak.August 9, 2020 at 09:24 #1496654runandskip84Participant
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Nashwan was a Fabulous horse and I’m glad to say I was at a boiling hot Ascot the day he won The King George.
Give me him or Sea the Stars over Frankel any dayAugust 12, 2020 at 01:27 #1496940GladiateurParticipant
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Not even the best middle-distance colt of his year. Old Vic would’ve demolished him over a mile and a half.August 16, 2020 at 18:35 #1497441
@Cork All Star Timeform ratings have not always been accurate or judged a horse on true merit and no way was Zilzal in the class of Nashwan.Nashwan was not a miler but still won at almost every distance.Over 10 furlongs he matched strides with the very best if you asess how he pulverized opponents in the Eclipse.August 16, 2020 at 18:38 #1497442
@Gladiateur If not the best middle distance colt why did Dick Hern rate Nashwan the best he had ever trained and Willie Carson the best horse he had ever ridden.He may not have been a true stayer but still won the Derby and King George.Over 10 furlongs he was an ultimate champion.August 17, 2020 at 11:02 #1497487GladiateurParticipant
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Because Dick Hern did not train Old Vic.
And Nashwan was not an “ultimate champion” over ten furlongs. Frankel would have gone past him on the bridle.
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