Breeders' Cup International Scouting Report: Nazuna

December 31st, 2020

Trained by Roger Varian for wife Hanako, Nazuna arrives at the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf via the same route as his Daahyeh, who was runner-up in this race last year. Nazuna hasn’t compiled the same resume, but Varian believes she’s comparable in ability.

The 60,000 guineas Tattersalls October yearling is cataloged for the same company’s upcoming December Sale. By Campanelle’s sire Kodiac, Nazuna likely gets stamina from her dam, Night Fever. The Galileo mare is a full sister to Astrology, third in the 2012 Derby (G1) at Epsom, and stayer Sandro Botticelli, all out of French Group 1 winner Ask for the Moon.

Not much was expected of Nazuna in her unveiling at Goodwood, but the 25-1 shot wasn’t beaten far in fifth. Under considerate handling after a slight hesitation at the start, she got a good education in altering course for room.

Nazuna scored second time out Aug. 15 at Doncaster, putting herself in good position from the start and holding on. Second in a valuable nursery during the same track’s St Leger Festival, she was behind early but advanced in the middle of the course to chase the front-running winner. The fifth-placer Ventura Diamond and third Meu Amor have since finished one-two in the Oct. 30 Bosra Sham at Newmarket.

By that point, Nazuna had already given her nursery form a boost when placing second in the “Win and You’re In” Rockfel (G2), the same race that stablemate Daahyeh won last year. Nazuna settled at the back of a compact quintet, then picked up well to pursue front-running Isabella Giles home. The field was strung out by the end of 7 furlongs in a sharp 1:22.55 at Newmarket.

If the Rockfel looked good on the clock, it’s a tougher read on form. Isabella Giles, who previously romped on soft in the Prestige (G3), flopped next time in the Fillies’ Mile (G1). The last two across the wire in the Rockfel, Monday and Santosha, were well below their best.

Thus Nazuna doesn’t set the same standard as Daahyeh, who not only won the Rockfel but also scored at Royal Ascot and had form at the Group 1 level. What Nazuna does have is an improving profile.

Nazuna was set to try the Oct. 9 Oh So Sharp (G3) back at Newmarket, until the ground came up soft, and Varian opted to scratch and go straight to the Breeders’ Cup.