Victory for Nataroga at 1000 Guineas
Five years ago, Pascal Bary had pinned his hopes on Six Perfections to bring home a victory for him in the 1000 Guineas in 2003. But a small pilot error led to Russian Rhythm gliding to victory and Six Perfections fighting for second place. She went on to win the Breeder’s Cup and the Prix Jacques le Marois, leaving behind all the memories of the 1000 Guineas, but Pascal Bary still craved the win.
Bary gained experience in regard to training and seeking out winning horses while working as an assistant to Sir Mark Prescott in the 1970’s. During this time, he also had the opportunity to get to know Newmarket, so for the 2008 1000 Guineas Bary decided on jockey Christophe Lemaire to pilot Natagora. It was most certainly the best decision he could have made.
Nataroga bolted from the starting gates and into the lead, with Lemaire gently coaxing her not to use up her energy. Although Lemaire’s strategy for the racing event was derailed as Natagora decided to start in the lead, he let her run instead of pulling her into a false position. Although it did seem at times that she was being challenged into losing her lead, Natagora held her ground and sped across the finish line half a length in front of Spacious, who also ran a good race right until the end.
Saoirse Abu finished in third position and Infallible, who really put in the effort, came in forth position. Nahoodh suffered unfortunate difficulties during her race, finishing in fifth position, but her jockey Richard Hughes felt that if they had not been plagued by interference, Nahoodh would have stood a good chance to win the race. They will now be looking towards Ascot to show off her abilities.
The pride and elation of bringing home the only French challenger to win the filly Classic since 1992 was evident in the smile on Pascal Bary’s face. A man, who has enjoyed four Breeders’ Cup victories and five French Derby wins, has marked the Natagora victory as one of the most memorable moments in his career. Not wanting to speculate on future racing events, Bary has indicated that Natagora will first be given her well deserved rest before looking at entering her into an upcoming event. But, no matter how long she rests, the spectators will be waiting patiently to see this champion perform again.