James Fanshawe

Audarya is James Fanshawe's first Breeders' Cup runner


Audarya will be James Fanshawe's first Breeders' Cup runner but the progressive filly does have some US experience on her side.

The Newmarket handler will be treading new ground at Keeneland next week and is all too aware of the task that awaits his progressive filly in the Breeders' Cup Turf Fillies and Mares Turf.

"You've got to have a very special horse to go there," he said, explaining his lack of previous runners at the meeting.

"It's a really tough competition and I hate going there with only half a chance. I feel this filly's really well and we've talked about it for a long time and that's where she's going."

The four-year-old will have plenty of experience by her side for her journey across the Atlantic with Helen Halliwell, who is 'in charge of all the travelling' for the stable and 'much more efficient than her boss', travelling to America on Thursday with Audarya's regular work rider Geoffrey de La Sayette who, Fanshawe revealed, 'has been involved in all my recent, good horses'.

It will not be De La Sayette's first interest in the Breeders' Cup as he rode Swain when working for Godolphin in the 90s.

Swain ran a remarkable race in the 1998 renewal of the Classic, finishing third under Frankie Dettori, although some observers felt that the pair should have won.

AWESOME AGAIN - Breeders' Cup Classic 1998

In confirming that Ioritz Mendizabal would ride, Fanshawe confirmed the importance of a 'rapport' with her jockey for Audarya and the presence of De La Sayette, who 'rides her all the time and gets on very well with her', could be crucial.

The Wootton Bassett filly was beaten on her first two starts this season before winning a Newcastle handicap from a mark of 99. She is now rated 116 after winning the Group One Prix Jean Romanet and finishing third in the Prix de l'Opera - both under Mendizabal - but her success has not come as a surprise to the Newmarket handler.

"We've always really liked the filly and I thought she'd won first time out but it turned out she was beaten in a photograph by an Australia filly of Roger Charlton's.

"I think the most important thing with her is.....the mistake I made with her was halfway through her three-year-old career was switching her back to a mile when she was a bit keen and since we've stepped her up in trip she's really come into her own and she shows a good turn of foot at that trip as well.

"She's come a long way but we've always really liked her. Because we've won the Romanet before, with Ribbons and Speedy Boarding, it's always a race that you've got at the back of your mind at the beginning of the season. She was in good form, she'd missed Goodwood and missed Royal Ascot, and we wanted to go for another Black Type race and Alison Swinburn, her owner, said 'we know she wants a mile and a quarter so let's have a cut at the Romanet' and she won it well.

"She ran really well there (the Opera), she was beaten barely a length and like the second she was slightly undone by the lack of pace but she ran very well. The Breeders' Cup is nicely spaced after the Opera and she seems in good form."

Racing in America will be a very different test for Audarya but Fanshawe believes that she has the attributes to cope.

"It's a very different track to what she's been racing over, two bends and much tighter, but she's very well balanced so that won't be a problem. Obviously the draw is going to be fairly crucial for a lot of runners but hopefully the thing that will suit her is a truly run race.

"This time of year you just hope your filly is in the same sort of form as she was for the last two races. She looks very well but some (fillies) thrive and some think it's time to hibernate but she's showing no signs of that. Hopefully she'll be there in one piece because if she is, she'll run a very big race."

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