Homeracing

2018 Beverly D. international scouting report: Nyaleti

Profile Picture: Kellie Reilly

August 9th, 2018

Once under consideration for last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1), Nyaleti at last makes her American debut in the Beverly D. (G1). The Arlington feature is no afterthought, but mapped out as a possible objective since her rout of the May 27 German 1000 Guineas (G2).

Prolific British trainer Mark Johnston, who deserves better luck here after the tragedy that befell Permian in last summer’s Secretariat (G1), earlier commented on American interest in buying the daughter of Arch.

"There has been huge demand," Johnston told Racing Post in July 2017. "People have been trying to buy her from the States since the first time she ran. I got a text message from California saying they would love to see her there soon after she passed the post. That put (Breeders' Cup) thoughts in my mind.

"Chris (Batterham) has had incredible offers for her and he has said he doesn't want to sell her. It's been exceptional money."

The debut that set the phones buzzing came at Salisbury, where Nyaleti wired a six-furlong novice at 16-1. In what would become her trademark fashion, she kept finding more to repel odds-on Billesdon Brook, the future 1000 Guineas (G1) upsetter.

Nyaleti wheeled back six days later, and stepped up a furlong, for the Chesham at Royal Ascot, and her front-running gambit nearly succeeded. Although she couldn’t contain Aidan O’Brien hotpot September, Nyaleti boxed on bravely for second, just holding future Derby (G1) winner Masar.

Reverting to six furlongs for the Duchess of Cambridge (G2) at Newmarket, Nyaleti again beat all but a top-class O’Brien filly in Clemmie.

Nyaleti finally got away from the Ballydoyle stars in the Princess Margaret (G3) back at Ascot, where she crushed them by five on good-to-soft going.

Winning rider Ryan Moore advised a stretch-out after the Princess Margaret. Johnston opted to keep her at six next time, the North Yorkshire-based horseman first preferring the Lowther (G2) at York before deciding to go for Group 1 glory in the Prix Morny (G1).

But Nyaleti’s sequence of strong efforts ended when she wound up sixth versus the boys at Deauville. Off the bridle uncharacteristically early, driven under pressure, and unable to respond, she voted for a step up in trip herself.

Nyaleti was given her wish over a mile in the May Hill (G2) at Doncaster, where she fought hard on the lead but was overtaken late by Laurens and Dark Rose Angel. Jockey James Doyle noted there was a headwind that day, so Nyaleti’s effort may have been even better than at first blush. And the Laurens formline is ironclad this term, since she moved forward off a second in the 1000 Guineas to turn the Prix Saint-Alary (G1)/Prix de Diane (French Oaks) (G1) double.

At this point the intermediate trip of seven furlongs appeared the way to go. Nyaleti almost got up in time in the Rockfel (G2), but couldn’t quite get past Juliet Capulet at the wire.

Back up in trip for the Fillies’ Mile (G1), also at Newmarket, Nyaleti ran well below form in ninth behind old foes Laurens and September. As in the Morny, she was beaten some way out.

Nyaleti made her sophomore bow in the March 30 Burradon at Newcastle, best known as the “European Road to the Kentucky Derby” finale that clinched Gronkowski’s invitation to Churchill Downs. She showed speed in her first all-weather attempt, but faded to sixth at the end of the mile. Nyaleti turned in another subpar display in the Nell Gwyn (G3). Despite shortening up to seven on the Newmarket turf, she failed to hold her position and finished an even poorer sixth, beaten more than twice as far as by “Gronk.”

But Nyaleti turned things around third time out in the Conqueror at Goodwood, bravely seeing off older distaffers going a mile on good-to-soft. That set her up for her invasion of Dusseldorf, where she thrived in the German 1000 Guineas in an old-fashioned outclassing of the competition.

Just when Nyaleti looked on the upswing again, she was found wanting at the top level in the July 13 Falmouth (G1) at Newmarket’s July Festival. Although there’s no disgrace in being no match for star sophomore miler Alpha Centauri, she was beaten far in fourth by the placegetters too, trudging home seven lengths behind third-placer Clemmie. The course was good-to-firm, and she possibly prefers a bit of give these days. But perhaps more tellingly, the Falmouth was also her first start since Germany, and the run may bring her on. In any event, Johnston had explicitly mentioned the spacing to the Beverly D., so the idea of a bridge to Arlington may have been the key to spotting.

Twice before in her career, Nyaleti shrugged off disappointment by stepping up in trip, and the Beverly D. fits that pattern as her first attempt beyond a mile. Sire Arch should help her in the stamina department, especially in American conditions that aren’t as demanding.

Tactical speed can be a plus here, and the booking of Silvestre de Sousa may be a stroke of genius; as a master tactician in the saddle, he should suit her talents well. Nyaleti is positively dogged, the proverbial tough horse to pass, at her best. She has a tall task to fend off all the high-class closers in the Beverly D., not to mention the historical hurdle of being a three-year-old in this race (something fellow Euro Athena must likewise overcome). But she can hold on grimly as an exotics player. The negative is that if her juvenile form intersects with top-class performers, she has yet to mix it up as well at three, and she’s needed easier spots to get into the win column.

A pedigree angle offers reason to hope for an improved showing at Arlington. Aside from the American sire factor, Nyaleti is a half-sister to two runners who found new life abroad -- Stellar Path and Weary. Stellar Path, a Group 3 winner at two, didn’t progress in France at three but went on to score in the 2015 Athenia (G3) for Christophe Clement. Weary makes the point more forcefully. After a forgettable European career under the name of Sir Patrick Moore, he developed into a Group 2 hero and multiple Group 1-placed performer in Australia for Winx’s trainer, Chris Waller.

Photo courtesy of Coady Photography

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