Danon Decile Takes Charge In Surprise Tokyo Yushun Victory

Danon Decile | Horsephotos


A late absentee from last month's G1 Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2,000 Guineas) due to lameness, Danon Decile (Jpn) (Epiphaneia {Jpn}) gained compensation with an emphatic victory in Sunday's G1 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) at Tokyo Racecourse, the second leg of the Japanese Triple Crown.

The 17-strong field featured six of the first seven from the Satuski Sho, including the unbeaten winner Justin Milano (Jpn) (Kizuna {Jpn}), runner-up Cosmo Kuranda (Jpn) (Al Ain {Jpn}) and sixth Regaleira (Jpn) (Suave Richard {Jpn}), who was attempting to become the first filly to win the Tokyo Yushun since Vodka (Jpn) (Tanino Gimlet {Jpn}) in 2007. Regaleira was considered to be the main danger to favourite Justin Milano in the betting, with Danon Decile only the ninth pick at odds of 46/1.

Breaking sharply from gate five, Danon Decile was settled in a share of third with Justin Milano as Ecoro Walz (Jpn) (Black Tide {Jpn}) led the field in the early stages. Having saved ground on the inner throughout, he quickly settled matters with an explosive turn of foot once hitting the front entering the final 300 metres, ultimately beating Justin Milano by two lengths. Shin Emperor (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}), fifth in the Satsuki Sho on his previous start, was over a length further back in third, with significant outsider Sunrise Earth (Jpn) (Rey De Oro {Jpn}) and Regaleira making up the first five finishers.

It was a first win in the Tokyo Yushun for trainer Shogo Yasuda, while Norihiro Yokoyama became the oldest Group 1-winning jockey at the age of 56 as he celebrated his third success in the race after those of Logi Universe (Jpn) (Neo Universe {Jpn}) in 2009 and One And Only (Jpn) (Heart's Cry {Jpn}) in 2014.

“I thought that the pace would be normal or slow since there were no horses that wanted to set the pace,” said Yokoyama. “But as Ecoro Walz took the front, we were able to wait in good position until the straight, and the horse responded strongly from there. I'm happy to have won the Derby but I'm also glad that my decision to not race him in the Satsuki Sho was not wrong. Danon Decile is a horse with great potential, and we knew that he would be a great horse if we took good care of him. I'm really grateful to the horse.”

Danon Decile was having his fifth start in the Tokyo Yushun and his first since winning the G3 Keisei Hai at Nakayama in January. He opened his account at the second attempt as a two-year-old before ending that campaign with a fourth-place finish behind Shin Emperor in the G3 Kyoto Nisai S. in November.


Pedigree Notes

Danon Decile becomes one of four Classic winners and six Group 1 winners for Epiphaneia, who won the G1 Kikuka Sho (Japanese St Leger) himself in 2013. He later doubled his tally at the top level when also winning the Japan Cup the following year.

Already in 2024, Epiphaneia had been responsible for the G1 Oka Sho (Japanese 1,000 Guineas) winner and G1 Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) runner-up Stellenbosch (Jpn), while last year another daughter, Daring Tact (Jpn), won both of those races before completing the Japanese Triple Tiara with victory in the G1 Shuka Sho. The first of Epiphaneia's offspring to win a Classic was Efforia (Jpn), who struck in the Satsuki Sho–as well as the G1 Tenno Sho (Autumn) and G1 Arima Kinen–in a brilliant three-year-old campaign in 2021.

Bred by Shadai Farm, Danon Decile was sold to Danon Co Ltd as a yearling for ¥135,000,000 (around $992,667) at the JRHA Select Sale. He is the third winner from as many runners out of the GI Alcibiades S. and GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies runner-up Top Decile (Congrats). Both his third dam, Barefoot Dyana (Dynaformer), and fourth dam, Spankey's Seconds (Wig Out), were multiple stakes winners in the US.

Sunday, Tokyo, Japan
TOKYO YUSHUN (JAPANESE DERBY)-G1, ¥611,240,000, Tokyo, 5-28, 3yo, 2400mT, 2:25.20, fm.
1—DANON DECILE (JPN), 126, c, 3, by Epiphaneia (Jpn)
           1st Dam: Top Decile (MGISP, $520,291), by Congrats
           2nd Dam: Sequoia Queen, by Forestry
           3rd Dam: Barefoot Dyana, by Dynaformer
1ST GROUP 1 WIN. (¥135,000,000 Ylg '22 JRHJUL). O-Danox Inc.; B- Shadai Farm; T-Shogo Yasuda; J-Norihiro Yokoyama; ¥328,868,000. Lifetime Record: 5-3-0-0, ¥382,000,000. Werk Nick Rating: C+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Click for thefree Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Justin Milano (Jpn), 126, c, 3, Kizuna (Jpn)–Margot Did (Ire), by Exceed And Excel (Aus) O-Masahiro Miki; B-Northern Farm; ¥128,248,000.
3–Shin Emperor (Fr), 126, c, 3, Siyouni (Fr)–Starlet's Sister (Ire), by Galileo (Ire). (€2,100,000 Ylg '22 ARQAUG). O-Susumu Fujita; B-Ecurie Des Monceaux; ¥79,124,000.
Margins: 2, 1 1/4, 1 1/4; Odds: 45.60, 1.20, 16.80.
Also ran: Sunrise Earth (Jpn), Regaleira (Jpn), Cosmo Kuranda (Jpn), Sugar Kun (Jpn), Ecoro Walz (Jpn), Sixpence (Jpn), June Take (Jpn), Urban Chic (Jpn), Sunrize Zipangu (Jpn), Gonbade Qabus (Jpn), Danon Ayers Rock (Jpn), Shonan la Punta (Jpn), Mr G T (Jpn), Byzantine Dream (Jpn). Scratch: Meisho Tabaru (Jpn). Click for the JRA chart & video.

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