Fourth Group 1 Laurel for Lucky Lilac

Lucky Lilac | JRA Photo

Japanese Champion Juvenile Filly Lucky Lilac (Orfevre {Jpn}) became just the fourth filly or mare to win consecutive G1 Queen Elizabeth II Cups with a neck victory at Hanshin on Sunday.

Favoured at 2-1, the 5-year-old was a tad sweated up over her withers before loading in the 18 post, but was able to secure a good position tucked back in 12th in the two path into the first turn. The grey Normcore (Jpn) (Harbinger {GB}), second choice in the wagering at 5-2, led the charge through splits of :23.70 for the first quarter and :47.20 for the opening half-mile, with six panels registered in 1:11.30. The field began to bunch inside the final 800 metres, but Lucky Lilac was already making steady progress up the outside at the 600-metre mark. She collared Normcore 300 metres out-as the solid fractions took their toll– and grimly held off all comers to register another success at the highest level by a neck. Salacia (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) rallied from even farther back to take second, a neck to the good of the similarly rallying 2020 G1 Japanese Oaks heroine Loves Only You (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}).

“The outermost draw was a concern but we were able to race smoothly and advance our position from the third corner,” said hoop Christophe Lemaire, who was winning his 33rd Japanese Group 1 contest. “She was very composed and gave her usual turn of speed. We took the front early in the stretch but she held on well until the end. She's a strong horse. She has been racing at the top level since her 2-year-old season and I had confidence in her.”

Named the 2017 Japanese Champion Juvenile Filly after a three-for-three campaign culminating in the G1 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies, Lucky Lilac quickly added the G2 Tulip Sho in her 3-year-old bow. Runner-up to subsequent Horse of the Year Almond Eye (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}) in the G1 Japanese 1000 Guineas and third to the same foe in the G1 Japanese Oaks, the chestnut was unplaced in the G1 Japanese Fillies St Leger to that same rival in the fall of 2018. She made six starts as a 4-year-old, among them a win in the last term's G1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup, and signed off with a good second in the G1 Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin in December. This year, she resumed on Mar. 1 with a runner-up performance in the G2 Nakayama Kinen before adding the G1 Osaka Hai on Apr. 5. Unplaced in the G1 Takarazuka Kinen, Lucky Lilac rounded back into form with a third in the 2000-metre G2 Sapporo Kinen last out on Aug. 23.


Pedigree Notes

A winner of the 2011 GI Ashland S., Lilacs and Lace is credited with eight foals, six of racing age and three winners. Since foaling Lucky Lilac, her third foal, Lilacs and Lace has thrown the winning 4-year-old colt Lahire (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}), 3-year-old filly Lelievre (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}), the juvenile colt Grand Meteore (Jpn) (Daiwa Major {Jpn}) and full-siblings to the Queen Elizabeth II Cup victress, a filly in 2019 and a colt of this year.

Part of an outstanding extended family, Lucky Lilac's third dam was four-time Grade I winner Stella Madrid (Alydar), herself a daughter of Eclipse Champion Sprinter My Juliet (Gallant Romeo). Stella Madrid, besides being a full-sister to GI Shuvee H. heroine Tis Juliet (Alydar), produced Japanese Champion Older Mare Diamond Biko (Jpn) (Sunday Silence), as well as G1SP Isle de France (Nureyev), ancestress of Japanese Champion Sprinter/Miler Mikki Isle (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) and G1 NHK Mile Cup heroine Aerolithe (Jpn) (Kurofune).

Sunday, Hanshin, Japan
QUEEN ELIZABETH II CUP-G1, ¥204,960,000 (US$1,958,500/£1,484,804/€1,654,751), Hanshin, 11-15, 3yo/up f/m, 2200mT, 2:10.30, fm.
1–LUCKY LILAC (JPN), 123, m, 5, Orfevre (Jpn)
                1st Dam: Lilacs and Lace (GISW, $350,300),
                                by Flower Alley
                2nd Dam: Refinement, by Seattle Slew
                3rd Dam: Stella Madrid, by Alydar
O-Sunday Racing; B-Northern Farm (Jpn); T-Mikio Matsunaga;
J-Christophe Lemaire. ¥108,822,000. Lifetime Record: Ch. 2yo
Filly-Jpn, G1SP-HK, 18-7-4-3. Werk Nick Rating: A+++. *Triple
   Plus*. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Salacia (Jpn), 123, m, 5, Deep Impact (Jpn)
                1st Dam: Salomina (Ger), by Lomitas (GB)
                2nd Dam: Saldentigerin (Ger), by Tiger Hill (Ire)
                3rd Dam: Salde (Ger), by Alkalde (Ger)
O-Silk Racing; B-Northern Farm (Jpn); ¥43,092,000.
3–Loves Only You (Jpn), 123, f, 4, Deep Impact (Jpn)
                1st Dam: Loves Only Me, by Storm Cat
                2nd Dam: Monevassia, by Mr. Prospector
                3rd Dam; Miesque, by Nureyev
(¥160,000,000 Ylg '17 JRHAJUL). O-DMM Dream Club;
B-Northern Farm (Jpn); ¥26,546,000.
Margins: NK, NK, 1 3/4. Odds: 2.30, 11.30, 4.50.
Also Ran: Win Marilyn (Jpn), Centelleo (Jpn), Soft Fruit (Jpn), Ria Amelia (Jpn), Shadow Diva (Jpn), Something Just (Jpn), Miss New York (Jpn), Satono Garnet (Jpn), Lune Rouge (Jpn), Uranus Charm (Jpn), Win Mighty (Jpn), Rosa Glauca (Jpn), Normcore (Jpn), Espoir (Jpn), Caro Bambina (Jpn).
Click for the JRA chart & video or the free catalogue-style pedigree.

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