Big Arthur made his Group 1 debut in style here, winning the third leg of the Global Sprint Challenge in track-record time. Although lightly raced as a 5-year-old with just 10 starts under his girth, Big Arthur has made the most of his opportunities to date. He kicked off his career with five straight wins over six furlongs from April 2014 to June of last year, but had his streak snapped when trying group company for the first time in the G3 Kitakyushu Kinen last August, finishing second. He bounced back with a three-length win in Kyoto’s Yukan Fuji Hai Opal S. Oct. 11 and was again second, this time beaten a head, when testing Group 3 waters again in the Nov. 29 Keihan Hai. The bay was third when trying seven furlongs for the first time in the G2 Hanshin Cup Dec. 26, and had made one start this year prior to Saturday: a fifth in the G3 Silk Road S. Jan. 31. Settling about four lengths off the lead and off the rail down the backstretch and into the turn, Big Arthur swung five-wide off the turn. He took a few strides to find his momentum but once he got going, he swept past Mikki Isle in the final furlong to win convincingly.
“With the fast-pace track condition, we were able to break well and travel smoothly in perfect position,” said jockey Yuichi Fukunaga. “The front-runners were persistent but my mount managed to fend them off. The horse has the form of a great sprinter and can also maintain speed. He will definitely be leading the sprinters going forward.”
Sunday, Chukyo, Japan
TAKAMATSUNOMIYA KINEN-G1, ¥192,260,000, Chukyo, 3-27, 4yo/up, 1200mT, 1:06.70 (ntr), fm.
1–&@BIG ARTHUR (JPN), 126, h, 5, Sakura Bakushin-Oh (Jpn)
1st Dam: Siyabona, by Kingmambo
2nd Dam: Relish (Ire), by Sadler’s Wells
3rd Dam: Reloy, by Liloy
O-Akira Nakatsuji; B-Bamboo Farm; T-Kenichi Fujioka; J-Yuichi
Fukunaga; ¥101,822,000. Lifetime Record: 11-7-2-1. Werk
Nick Rating: First SW From Cross. Click for the
eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Mikki Isle (Jpn), 126, h, 5, Deep Impact (Jpn)–Star Isle (Ire),
by Rock of Gibraltar(Ire). (¥76,000,000 yrl ’12 JRHAJUL)
O-Mizuki Noda; B-Northern Farm; ¥40,092,000.
3–Albiano, 123, f, 4, by Harlan’s Holiday–Antics, by Unbridled.
O-Kazumi Yoshida; B-Helen Alexander & Helen Groves Rev.
Margins: 3/4, 1 3/4, HD. Odds: 2.90, 2.90, 4.10.
Also Ran: Active Minoru (Jpn), A Shin Bullseye, Teehaff (Jpn), Snow Dragon (Jpn), Let’s Go Donki (Jpn), Uliuli (Jpn), Earth Sonic (Jpn), Hakusan Moon (Jpn), Hiruno Devaro (Jpn), Ukiyono Kaze (Jpn), Bravissimo (Jpn), Sugino Endeavour (Jpn), Laurel Veloce (Jpn), Sakura Gospel (Jpn), Satono Lupin (Jpn).
Click for the JRA chart and video or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.