Aguri Becomes First Japanese Winner for Caravaggio

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Caravaggio | Sarah Andrew

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Sent off the $2.30 (13-10) favorite to make the necessary improvement off a debut third at Hanshin in late June, Aguri (Jpn) (Caravaggio) became the first Japanese winner and 22nd winner overall for leading freshman sire (by Scat Daddy) with a facile victory in a one-mile maiden over the turf at Tokyo Racecourse Saturday afternoon.

Drawn the middle of the gate in a field of 13, the gray colt took up a forward position beneath jockey Yuga Kawada, settling just off the pacesetter behind modest early sectionals. Maintaining that stalking role into the final 600 meters, Aguri was held together while traveling on the bridle into the final furlong, was shaken up mildly and strode home a very comfortable three-length winner (see below). He covered his final three furlongs in :35 flat and stopped the clock in a solid 1:35.3.

Aguri is the first foal out of the privately acquired One Time Waltz (War Front), a winning daughter of champion Together (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), a Group 3 winner and four times placed at Group 1 level in Europe and winner in America of the 2011 GI Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland. Old Time Waltz foaled Aguri Mar. 4, 2019, and the colt took his place at the 2020 JRHA Select Sale on the island of Hokkaido, hammering to owner Masahiro Miki for ¥105 million ($982,202). Old Time Waltz is also the dam of a yearling colt by Daiwa Major (Jpn) that fetched ¥64 million ($596,511) at last year's JRHA Select Foal sale and a weanling colt by Suave Richard (Jpn) that was hammered down for ¥58 million ($525,582) at this year's foal sale.

Caravaggio, who has now sired winners in five different countries, has already been represented by four black-type winners, two at group level, including G1 Juddmonte Cheveley Park S. heroine Tenebrism as well as MGSW/G1SP Agartha (Ire). Caravaggio's GSW half-sister My Jen (Fusaichi Pegasus) resides in Japan and is the dam of five winners from seven to the races, including GSP Satono Gold (Jpn) (Gold Ship {Jpn}) and the 2-year-old colt Purpur Ray (Jpn) (Isla Bonita {Jpn}), a two-time winner from three runs who broke his maiden at second asking at Niigata in a record time of 1:33.3.

Having stood at Coolmore Ireland from 2018, Caravaggio was relocated to Coolmore America for this season, where he commanded a fee of $25,000.

WATCH: Aguri becomes the first Japanese winner for leading first-crop sire Caravaggio

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