Gran Alegria Seeks Fourth Group 1 in Mile Championship

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Gran Alegria (Jpn) | JRA

A diverse group of 17 runners Sunday in Hanshin’s G1 Mile Championship, the second leg of the Japan Autumn International Series. Headlining the 1,600-meter test,

Gran Alegria (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) accounted for a pair of Goup 1 wins in her two latest starts–the Yasuda Kinen at Tokyo in June followed by Nakayama’s Sprinters S. Oct. 4. The daughter of Grade I-winning Tapitsfly (Tapit) won last season’s G1 Oka Sho over the same course and distance of this weekend’s Mile.

“She was in great condition for the Sprinters S., and although she didn’t start so quickly, the blistering turn of foot she showed at the end of the race was quite amazing,” said Daisuke Tsumagari, assistant to trainer Kazuo Fujisawa. “She had a break at Northern Farm Tenei after the race, and since returning to the stable she’s been relaxed and in good order.”

Attempting to repeat in this season’s Mile Championship, Indy Champ (Jpn) (Stay Gold {Jpn}) proved best in the 1,600-meter G2 Yomiuri Milers Cup at Kyoto in April before finishing third to Gran Alegria and the star mare Almond Eye (Jpn) in the Yasuda Kinen, a race he won in 2019. The 5-year-old boasts an impressive 50% win strike rate at the 1,600-meter distance.     Assistant trainer Kenichi Shono commented: “He had some pain in his right hindquarters, so we had to skip the Sprinters S. In recent training he’s been working on the woodchip course, as the going on the uphill training track hasn’t been so good. It’ll be his first race since finishing third in this year’s Yasuda Kinen, and his regular rider, Yuichi Fukunaga, is expected to be in the saddle once more.”

Victorious in Tokyo’s G3 Saudi Arabia Royal Cup last fall, Salios (Jpn) (Heart’s Cry {Jpn}) recorded a career-high victory in the

G1 Asahi Hai Futurity S. over this course and distance in December. Runner-up behind Contrail (Jpn) in the G1 Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2,000 Guineas) and Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) earlier this spring, the 3-year-old took the 1,800-meter G2 Mainichi Okan at Tokyo Oct. 11. The colt has never finished worse than second in six career starts.

“He won well in the Mainichi Okan after being off for a while, and it just took him a bit longer to recover after that race,” said trainer Noriyuki Hori. “We’re just being careful with him and checking his condition as this race approaches.”

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