Horse racing: The Fugue rights all wrongs

Jockey Richard Hughes knew his filly, The Fugue, was ready to go because he had to hold her back so at the start.

Richard Hughes, riding The Fugue, left, says he knew the filly was ready to run by the way he had to hold her back.
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Glorious Goodwood // The Fugue proved that her running in the Oaks at Epsom was all wrong with a dramatic victory in the Group One Nassau Stakes on Saturday.

Richard Hughes timed his ride to perfection on the three-year-old filly, trained by John Gosden, and motored past long-time leader Timepiece in the final furlong to win by a length.

Was, her conqueror at Epsom in June, was third while Sheikh Ahmed Bin Rashid's Nahrain was last of the eight runners.

Hughes had picked up the ride after William Buick had decided to partner Izzi Top, also trained by Gosden, who was sixth.

As The Fugue came past her stablemate, she appeared to drop her shoulder, which pushed Izzi Top into Was, ending her chance.

Hughes was later crowned the top jockey of the five-day meeting, ahead of Tom Queally.

Buick was third.

"I didn't mean to and I had both hands on the reins so it wasn't intentional," Hughes said. "I was only two lengths off so I was never in danger of getting too far back. I wouldn't let my filly go and she loved that.

"The more I held her back the more I knew she was going to really go. Fillies are like that a bit."

The Fugue will now head for the Yorkshire Oaks, sponsored by Darley, at York Racecourse on August 23 and then all being well she will be freshened up to take on the best in America at the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita in November.

"If ever a filly deserved a Group One then it was her," Gosden, who was winning his sixth Group 1 of the season, said. "She is a very good filly and has been unlucky.

"William had to pick Izzi Top as she was the Group One winner but The Fugue has shown her class today."

The Fugue needs good ground or better to perform at her peak and Gosden revealed that the filly's participation hinged on him walking the course before the contest.

"I was satisfied having walked the track and her run was in doubt until around 20 minutes before the race," Gosden said.

In the longer term the filly's liking for firm ground means that participation in the Dubai Sheema Classic next season at Meydan Racecourse has taken a step closer.

The victory confirmed that Gosden remains on course to take the fight for the British trainers' title with Aidan O'Brien down to the wire.

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