08/23/2013 1:31PM

York: Jwala connects at huge odds to qualify for Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint


Jwala scored a huge upset in the $444,000 Nunthorpe Stakes on Friday at York in England, beating favored Shea Shea by a half-length in the Group 1 sprint race.

A 4-year-old filly, Jwala had only made her group stakes debut in her most recent start, finishing last of 17 in the Group 2 King George Stakes on Aug. 2 at Goodwood. Few knew that Jwala, according to trainer Robert Cowell, had fractured an eye socket in that race, and whatever the case, Jwala turned in by far the best performance of her career, hitting as a 40-1 shot overseas, and at more than 80-1 in U.S. betting markets.

The five-furlong Nunthorpe, part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Win and You’re In program, gave the winner a fees paid berth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint plus travel expenses to the race.

Ridden to victory by Steve Drowne, Jwala, a daughter of Oasis Dream, raced prominently throughout the Nunthorpe, which was run over turf slightly softened by rain that might have hindered both Shea Shea and Sole Power, who followed Shea Shea home and missed second by just a nose.

Godolphin captured a pair of group races earlier in the card, with City Style winning the Group 3 Strensall, and Azeemah the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup.

◗ On Sunday in France, Cirrus des Aigles will try once again to kick start a laboring 2013 campaign when he runs in the Group 2 Grand Prix de Deauville. The 7-yer-old Cirrus des Aigles was one of the best turf horses in the world in 2011 and 2012, but has faltered this season, failing to win in three races, including a class drop to the Group 3 level in his most recent outing.