Italian Flavour To Hanshin Juvenile Fillies As Ascoli Piceno Prevails

Ascoli Piceno defeats the obscured Stellenbosch | Japan Racing Association


Group winner Ascoli Piceno (Jpn) (Daiwa Major {Jpn}) maintained her unbeaten record with a narrow score in the ¥125,160,000 G1 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies on Sunday. She also set a new stakes record of 1:32.60 for the 1600 metres in the 18-horse affair.

The Yoichi Kuroiwa trainee follows in the wake of such horses as dual Japanese Horse of the Year Vodka (Jpn) (Tanino Gimlet {Jpn}) who won this in 2006, fellow Horse of the Year Buena Vista (Jpn) (Special Week {Jpn}) (2008 edition), and 2022 scorer Liberty Island (Jpn) (Duramente {Jpn}), who claimed the 2023 Japanese Fillies' Triple Crown. Her victory was the first at the top level for her trainer, who opened his stable in 2012.

Sent off as the 9-2 third choice behind 18-5 favourite Safira (Jpn) (Heart's Cry {Jpn}), Ascoli Piceno perched well off the fence in midfield as 67-1 longshot Chicago Sting (Jpn) (Logotype {Jpn}) stormed to the head of affairs. The pace was strong, with the first 800 metres covered in :46.40, and 1000 metres reached in :58.20.

On the bend, the bay remained behind a wall of rivals, but a gap opened just before the 400-metre mark, and she surged through to begin her run. Chicago Sting attempted to ease clear, but Ascoli Piceno with second choice Corazon Beat (Jpn) (Suave Richard {Jpn}) to her outside were both flashing home with good speed down the centre of the course. Stellenbosch (Jpn) (Epiphaneia {Jpn}) was also picking up close home, and it was that foe who pressed Ascoli Piceno all the way to the line, with just a neck separating them. Corazon Beat, who could not match the finishing kick of the top pair, was third, another 1 1/4 lengths behind and three lengths to the good of the rallying Safira. Chicago Sting held on to run a highly credible fifth.

“The stable staff did a great job and she was in very good condition, so I had every confidence in her,” said Kitamura, who was winning his fourth Group 1 and first since Kitasan Black (Jpn) (Black Tide {Jpn})'s 2015 G1 Kikuka Sho (Japanese St Leger). “The filly broke better than in her previous start, was relaxed during the race and responded well in the stretch. I was a bit worried for a second that we were going to get caught, but she gave her all, all the way to the line.”

A winner of a 2-year-old newcomers' affair at Tokyo over 1400 metres in June, the Sunday Racing runner won the G3 Niigata Nisai S. upped to 1600 metres against males just over two months later in August. The Hanshin Juvenile Fillies was her first appearance in over three months.

Pedigree Notes

The winner is the ninth Group 1 scorer for her sire, who stands at Shadai Stallion Station, Ascoli Piceno is part of a 46-strong battalion of stakes winners worldwide for the 22-year-old son of Sunday Silence. The late Danehill Dancer has now been represented by 19 top level winners out of his daughters among his 166 black-type winners on an international scale.

The near-black filly is one of four winners from four to race for her winning dam, and she is also a half-sister to the Listed Marguerite S. heroine Ascoltare (Jpn) (Duramente {Jpn}). After Ascoli Piceno, Ascolti foaled a colt by Satono Diamond (Jpn) in 2022 and a filly by Kitasan Black (Jpn) this year.

Second dam Listen (Ire) (Sadler's Wells) won the G1 Meon Valley Stud Fillies' Mile and ran second in the G1 Moyglare Stud S. Besides Ascolti, she produced the listed winner and Japanese St Leger runner-up Satono Lux (Jpn) to the cover of Deep Impact (Jpn), as well as that colt's full-sister, the group winner Touching Speech (Jpn). Listen is a full-sister to Sequoyah (Ire), who won the Moyglare, and is also the dam of the high class Henrythenavigator (Kingmambo), who won both the G1 2000 Guineas, the Irish equivalent and the G1 St James's Palace S.; and his full-sister, the G3 One Thousand Guineas Trial S. heroine queen Cleopatra (Ire), who was third in both the G1 Prix de Diane and G1 Irish 1000 Guineas.


Sunday, Hanshin, Japan
HANSHIN JUVENILE FILLIES-G1, ¥125,160,000, Hanshin, 12-10, 2yo, f, 1600mT, 1:32.60, fm.
1–ASCOLI PICENO (JPN), 121, f, 2, by Daiwa Major (Jpn)
                1st Dam: Ascolti (Jpn), by Danehill Dancer (Ire)
                2nd Dam: Listen (Ire), by Sadler's Wells
                3rd Dam: Brigid, by Irish River (Fr)
1ST GROUP 1 WIN. O-Sunday Racing; B-Northern Farm (Jpn);
T-Yoichi Kuroiwa; J-Hiroshi Kitamura; ¥66,302,000. Lifetime
Record: 3-3-0-0, ¥104,936,000. *1/2 to Ascoltare (Jpn)
(Duramente {Jpn}), SW-Jpn, $422,446. Click for the
   free catalogue-style pedigree. Werk Nick
   Rating: A+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Stellenbosch (Jpn), 121, f, 2, Epiphaneia (Jpn)–Bloukrans
(Jpn), by Rulership (Jpn). 1ST BLACK TYPE. 1ST GROUP BLACK
   TYPE. 1ST GROUP 1 BLACK TYPE. O-Katsumi Yoshida;
B-Northern Farm (Jpn); ¥26,372,000.
3–Corazon Beat (Jpn), 121, f, 2, Suave Richard (Jpn)–Le Ciel
d'Or (Jpn), by Orfevre (Jpn). 1ST GROUP 1 BLACK TYPE.
O-Thoroughbred Club Ruffian; B-Big Red Farm (Jpn);
Margins: NK, 1 1/4, 3. Odds: 4.90, 7.70, 3.80.
Also Ran: Safira (Jpn), Chicago Sting (Jpn), Lucifer (Jpn), Sweep Feet (Jpn), Dona Betty (Jpn), Cosmo Dinner (Jpn), Catfight (Jpn), Teleos Lulu (Jpn), Nanao (Jpn), Quick Bio (Jpn), Spring Nova (Jpn), Psipsina (Jpn), Culture Day (Jpn), New General (Jpn), Mirai Tailor (Jpn). Click for the JRA chart & video.

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