08/03/2007 11:00PM

Peeping Fawn wins Nassau Stakes


Peeping Fawn made it three Group 1 victories in a row at Goodwood on Saturday as she overpowered a high-class renewal of the 1 1/4-mile $406,000 Nassau Stakes.

In defeating last year's European 3-year-old filly champion Mandesha by 1 1/2 lengths, Peeping Fawn was very likely assuming that mantle for this year's classic generation, while giving every indication that she is just as versatile as the Nassau runner-up.

Peeping Fawn's previous Group 1 scores came in the 1 1/4-mile Pretty Polly Stakes against older fillies and in the 1 1/2-mile Irish Oaks. In the Nassau, the victorious Danehill filly got first run under Johnny Murtagh, leading as she approached the three-eighths pole while Mandesha and Christophe Soumillon searched for room. By the time Mandesha was set free, Peeping Fawn was gone, and while the runner-up might have been closer except for her trouble, there was no beating her on this day.

English Oaks winner Light Shift was up for third, 3 1/2 lengths behind Mandesha, while two other Group 1 winners, the pacesetting Speciosa and last year's Nassau third Nannina, came home sixth and eighth, respectively, in the eight-runner field. Sent off as the 2-1 favorite, Peeping Fawn covered the 10 furlongs on good to firm ground in 2:04.53.

With Peeping Fawn sitting atop the European 3-year-old filly division, her owners Michael Tabor and Mrs. John Magnier now have the two best sophomore fillies in the world, as they also own Belmont Stakes winner Rags to Riches in company with Derrick Smith.

Trainer Aidan O'Brien was noncommittal about plans for Peeping Fawn, stating that all of the big races are under consideration. He and his Ballydoyle bosses have a number of options from which to choose, among them the 1 1/4-mile Irish Champion Stakes versus older males at Leopardstown on Sept. 8 and the 1 1/2-mile Prix Vermeille against older fillies at Longchamp on Sept. 16, races that can be used as preps for either the 1 1/4-mile Prix de l'Opera or the 1 1/2-mile Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe on Oct. 7 at Longchamp.

British bookies were offering anywhere between 8-1 and 14-1 for Peeping Fawn's chances in the Arc. With O'Brien claiming that she is still improving, those prices look tempting in a year in which only one colt, her stablemate Dylan Thomas, has distinguished himself at the Arc distance.