Gran Alegria Imperious in Mile Championship


Gran Alegria | JRA


Although she left it until late, Gran Alegria (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) displayed a scintillating turn of foot once she found running room to rush by her rivals and claim the G1 Mile Championship at Hanshin on Sunday. It was the fourth Group 1 win for the daughter of Breeders' Cup heroine Tapitsfly and she is the eighth horse-after the runner-up Indy Champ (Jpn) (Stay Gold {Jpn})–to claim both mile events in Japan having earlier scored in the G1 Yasuda Kinen.

The first filly or mare to claim the Mile Championship since Blumenblatt (Jpn) (Admire Vega {Jpn}) in 2008 and the third horse to double up in the G1 Sprinters S./Mile Championship following Durandal (Jpn) (Sunday Silence) in 2003, the 3-5 chalk settled in between horses in fifth as Resistencia (Jpn) (Daiwa Major {Jpn}) set the pace, covering the first quarter in :23.50 while shadowed by Lauda Sion (Jpn) (Real Impact {Jpn}).

Unhurried with 600 metres to travel, the bay was poised to pounce, but Gran Alegria's rally was stymied, as a gap closed in front of her inside the final quarter mile. Christophe Lemaire prepared to send his charge through another hole, but her path forward was once again blocked, this time by the strong-closing Indy Champ who surged up to lead inside the final 100 metres. Undeterred, Lemaire steered his charge to the outside of Indy Champ and she burst past last year's winner in a matter of strides to win by a deceptive three-quarter lengths as much the best. Admire Mars (Jpn) (Daiwa Major {Jpn}), who had stalked the pace throughout, hung on for third a neck in front of Scarlet Color (Jpn) (Victoire Pisa {Jpn}).

“She had a good break so we were able to sit in a good position,” said Lemaire. “She's matured and a lot easier to ride now being a 4-year-old so she was relaxed and we had a good trip until the last turn where, as a favorite you're marked and it so happens, but we weren't able to make our move to the outside smoothly for the stretch run. I was a little worried but the way she exploded into gear in the last 150 meters, it just shows how powerful she is and I'm looking forward to a great season from her as a 5-year-old.”

A winner of the G3 Saudi Arabia Royal Cup and third in the G1 Asahi Hai Futurity S. in December of 2018, Gran Alegria captured the 2019 G1 Japanese 1000 Guineas first up that April and added the G2 Hanshin Cup two starts later last December. Promoted to second in the 1200-metre G1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen resuming this March, the 4-year-old saluted in the one-mile G1 Yasuda Kinen on June 7 and added the Oct. 4 G1 Sprinters S. cutting back to 1200 metres.


Pedigree Notes

One of 47 Group 1 winners for her late supersire, Gran Alegria also has the second highest tally of top-level victories of Deep Impact progeny with four. Only Gentildonna (Jpn), with seven, was more successful. The 4-year-old filly is also the fourth Mile Championship scorer for Deep Impact following Danon Shark (Jpn), Tosen Ra (Jpn) and Mikki Isle (Jpn). To date, the former Shadai Stallion Station supremo has sired 165 black-type winners 132 of them at the group level. In addition to Gran Alegria, he is also responsible for Japanese listed winner and group-placed Arusha (Jpn), who is also out of a Tapit mare.

A winner of the then-Listed Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf in 2009, the late Tapitsfly progressed to take the GI Just a Game S. and GI First lady S. as a 5-year-old. Knocked down to Katsumi Yoshida for $1.85 million at the 2012 Fasig-Tipton November Sale, Tapitsfly's first foal is Gran Alegria after a barren year in 2015. She also has a 3-year-old full-brother to the Mile Championship winner named Blutgang (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}), who sports a victory in one start.

Tapit's daughters have produced four Grade/Group 1 winners so far among 40 black-type winners, and the Gainesway sire was in the spotlight earlier this weekend with Finite (Munnings)'s win in the GIII Chilukki S. at Churchill Downs.


Sunday, Hanshin, Japan
MILE CHAMPIONSHIP-G1, ¥253,100,000 (US$2,436,714/£1,835,394/€2,055,149), Hanshin, 11-22, 3yo/up, 1600mT, 1:32.00, fm.
1–GRAN ALEGRIA (JPN), 121, f, 4, by Deep Impact (Jpn)
                1st Dam: Tapitsfly (MGISW-US, $1,495,503), by Tapit
                2nd Dam: Flying Marlin, by Marlin
                3rd Dam: Morning Dove, by Fortunate Prospect
O-Sunday Racing; B-Northern Farm (Jpn); T-Kazuo Fujisawa;
J-Kenichi Ikezoe. ¥133,570,000. Lifetime Record: Ch. 3yo
Filly-Jpn, 10-7-1-1. Werk Nick Rating: A+++. *Triple Plus*.
   Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Indy Champ (Jpn), 126, h, 5, Stay Gold (Jpn)–Will Power
(Jpn), by King Kamehameha (Jpn). O-Silk Racing; B-Northern
Farm (Jpn); ¥53,020,000.
3–Admire Mars (Jpn), 126, c, 4, Daiwa Major (Jpn)–Via Medici
(Ire), by Medicean (GB). (¥52,000,000 Ylg '17 JRHAJUL).
O-Junko Kondo; B-Northern Farm (Jpn); ¥33,510,000.
Margins: 3/4, NK, 1. Odds: 0.60, 7.80, 10.10.
Also Ran: Scarlet Color (Jpn), Salios (Jpn), Vin de Garde (Jpn), Persian Knight(Jpn), Resistencia (Jpn), Besten Dank (Jpn), Soind Chiara (Jpn), Meikei Die Hard (Jpn), A Will a Way (Jpn). Keiai Nautique (Jpn), Taisei Vision (Jpn), Lauda Shion (Jpn), Black Moon (Jpn), Katsuji (Jpn).
Click for the JRA chart & video or the free catalogue-style pedigree.

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