Jantar Mantar On Top As Champion Juveniles Lock Horns In NHK Mile Cup

Jantar Mantar | Japan Racing Association

Jantar Mantar (Jpn) (Palace Malice), who was crowned Japan's champion two-year-old colt in 2023, resumed winning ways with a decisive defeat of the unlucky-in-running Ascoli Piceno (Jpn) (Daiwa Major {Jpn}) in Saturday's G1 NHK Mile Cup at Tokyo Racecourse, his fourth win from six career starts.

Unbeaten in three starts at two, culminating with a first top-level win in the Asahi Hai Futurity S. at Hanshin, Jantar Mantar had been forced to settle for minor honours on his first two starts as a three-year-old, including when finishing a close-up third behind Justin Milano (Jpn) (Kizuna {Jpn}) and Cosmo Kuranda (Jpn) (Al Ain {Jpn}) in the G1 Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2,000 Guineas) at Nakayama three weeks earlier.

That performance–where Jantar Mantar led for much of the straight before being overhauled close home–suggested he would be suited by the drop back to 1,600 metres at Tokyo against Ascoli Piceno (Jpn) (Daiwa Major {Jpn}), Japan's champion two-year-old filly in 2023 and runner-up in the G1 Oka Sho (Japanese 1,000 Guineas) on her previous start.

Jantar Mantar broke sharply from a wide stall and was settled in around fifth, never far away from his chief market rival. Both horses moved up to take closer order on the home turn before enduring contrasting fortunes in the straight. Briefly held in by the strong-travelling Jantar Mantar, Ascoli Piceno was switched towards the inside by Christophe Lemaire, but space continued to be at a premium and she stumbled after clipping heels with less than two furlongs to run. She finished strongly once finally seeing some daylight, snatching second from Logi Leon (Jpn) (Leontes {Jpn}) in the final strides, but the damage had already been done and she couldn't get on terms with Jantar Mantar, who was still two and a half lengths clear at the line.

It was a seventh Group 1 win for trainer Tomokazu Takano and a twenty-seventh for jockey Yuga Kawada, who was celebrating his second victory in the NHK Mile Cup after that of Danon Scorpion (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}) in 2022.

“I had every confidence in my colt,” said Kawada. “Once we were off, I knew he was going to win, there were no doubts in my mind. He ran in good rhythm and showed his true strength. Concerns of his tight schedule–his latest Satsuki Sho start being only three weeks before–obviously was nothing to be worried about. I hope I can prove he is the best miler in Japan in the future.”



Pedigree Notes

Jantar Mantar is one of two top-level winners for his sire, Palace Malice, whose first-crop son Structor won the 2019 GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf and was sold to Japanese interests in 2022 for his stallion career.

India Mantuana, the dam of Jantar Mantar, produced the best effort of her career when winning the GIII Red Carpet H. at Del Mar in 2018. She was led out unsold on a bid of $145,000 at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton November Sale, before being purchased by Shadai for $100,000, pregnant to Accelerate, at Keeneland January in 2020. She unfortunately aborted that foal and was bred to this sire prior to her export to Japan, where she slipped her Kizuna (Jpn) foal in 2022. She has a yearling filly by Pyro and was covered in 2023 by Isla Bonita (Jpn).

Sunday, Tokyo, Japan
NHK MILE CUP-G1, ¥253,520,000, Tokyo, 5-5, 3yo, 1600mT, 1:32.40, fm.
1–JANTAR MANTAR (JPN), 126, c, 3, by Palace Malice
      1st Dam: India Mantuana (GSW-US, $223,100), by Wilburn
      2nd Dam: Speed Wagon, by Tomorrows Cat
      3rd Dam: Rajica, by El Baba
O-Shadai Race Horse; B-Shadai Farm (Jpn); T-Tomokazu
Takano; J-Yuga Kawada; ¥133,864,000. Lifetime Record: Ch.
2yo Colt-Jpn, 6-4-1-1, ¥320,528,000. Werk Nick Rating: A+++
*Triple Plus*. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
Click for the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Ascoli Piceno (Jpn), 121, f, 3, by Daiwa Major (Jpn)–Ascolti
(Jpn), by Danehill Dancer (Ire). O-Sunday Racing; B-Northern
Farm (Jpn); ¥53,104,000.
3–Logi Leon (Jpn), 126, c, 3, by Leontes (Jpn)–B B Barrel (Jpn),
by Pyro. 1ST GROUP 1 BLACK TYPE. (¥37,000,000 Ylg '22
JRHAJUL). O-Masaaki Kumeta; B-Bando Farm; ¥33,552,000.
Margins: 2HF, NK, NK. Odds: 1.90, 1.90, 27.50.
Also Ran: Gonbade Qabus (Jpn), Ipheion (Jpn), Channel Tunnel (Jpn), Di Speranza (Jpn), Water Licht (Jpn), Arsenaal (Jpn), Enya Love Faith (Jpn), Yukino Royal (Jpn), Noble Roger, Danon McKinley (Jpn), Arranger (Jpn), Mask All Win (Jpn), Strauss (Jpn), Bond Girl (Jpn), Captaincy (Jpn). Click for the JRA chart & video.

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