Japan Strikes Again in the Mile

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7th at ST , HK$25mG1 Longines HK Mile (1600m)Winner: Admire Mars (Jpn), c, 3 by Daiwa Major (Jpn)

Admire Mars | Horsephotos

HONG KONG–Owner Riichi Kondo, who campaigned other ‘Admire’ horses Admire Moon (Jpn) (End Sweep)–a nose second in the 2006 G1 Hong Kong Cup-and the late G1 Caulfield Cup hero Admire Rakti (Jpn) (Hearts Cry {Jpn})–passed away just weeks ago and Sunday at Sha Tin, Admire Mars (Jpn) (Daiwa Major {Jpn}) came from midpack beneath Christophe Soumillon en route to an emotional victory in Sunday’s G1 Longines Hong Kong Mile.

“He was probably one of the biggest private owners in the Japanese racing industry, he was somebody very famous who loved horses,” said Soumillon, while trainer Yasuo Tomomichi–dressed to match the colt’s silks–fought back tears not far away. “We could see his colours from a long time ago, they won nearly everywhere. We had the bad news a few weeks ago so I’m really proud and happy to take these colours so high today.”

Beauty Generation (NZ) (Road to Rock {Aus}) entered Sunday’s event with a chance to equal the three Mile wins of Good Ba Ba (Lear Fan) and jumped the slight favourite over Japan’s G1 Yasuda Kinen and G1 Mile Championship hero Indy Champ (Jpn) (Stay Gold {Jpn}). The two-time reigning Horse of the Year allowed Ka Ying Star (GB) (Cityscape {GB}) to make the running underneath him as Admire Mars settled between horses from midfield behind a modest early tempo. Beauty Generation traveled apparently well into the stretch and looked at the 300m like he was going to put a pair of recent defeats behind him, but the tank was empty soon after, and Admire Mars came to him with about a furlong to race before holding sway to the wire. Waikuku (Ire) (Harbour Watch {Ire}) was forced to drop all the way to a joint-last early on from his wide draw and showed sharp acceleration when cut loose into the stretch, but could not quite reel in Admire Mars. Beauty Generation held for third.

“The first time I saw Beauty Generation running this year, and last time also, I saw he didn’t have the magic he had last year, so that gave me a chance to think that he was beatable,” said Soumillion, whose lone prior HKIR win came aboard Good Ba Ba in 2008. “For a few strides I thought Zac would go and then at the 300-metre mark I thought ‘I will grab him’. I felt Joao coming on the outside and he’s flying so much at the moment, I thought it would be hard to push my horse into the line but he did it really well.”

After winning 10 straight races, Beauty Generation has now dropped three in a row, his march towards HK$100 million in career earnings stymied.

“Disappointing mate. He’s just not finishing off in the straight,” said his jockey Zac Purton, who finished third in each of the day’s first three Group 1s.

Japan’s champion 2-year-old last season and winner of the G1 Asahi Hai Futurity over Sunday’s trip, Admire Mars overcame a wide passage to add this year’s G1 NHK Mile Cup in May. Rested thereafter, he was ninth as the favourite to Normcore (Jpn) (Harbinger {GB}) in the G3 Fuji S. over 1800m Oct. 19.

Pedigree Notes:

The third 3-year-old winner of the Mile and first since Lucky Owners (NZ) (Danehill) in 2003, Admire Mars is out of G3 Prix de Lieurey victress Via Medici, who was purchased by Emmanuel de Seroux’s Narvick International for €480,000 in foal to Dansili (GB) from the Haras de Saint Pair draft at the 2014 Arqana December Sale. The foal she was carrying at the time, a colt now named Freccia (Jpn), cost ¥62 million at the 2016 JRHA Select Yearling Sale and is a three-time winner from eight career starts. The mare’s current 2-year-old, the filly Aloha Nui Loa (Jpn), was a ¥31 million JRHA Foal Sale grad in 2017 and she produced fillies by Duramente (Jpn) and Heart’s Cry (Jpn) in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

Sunday, Sha Tin, Hong Kong
LONGINES HONG KONG MILE-G1, HK$25,000,000 (£2,435,246/€2,881,541/A$4,670,140/US$3,193,369), Sha Tin, 12-8, 3yo/up, 1600mT, 1:33.25, gd.
1–ADMIRE MARS (JPN), 122, c, 3, by Daiwa Major (Jpn)
1st Dam: Via Medici (Ire) (GSW-Fr, $111,524), by Medicean (GB)
2nd Dam: Via Milano (Fr), by Singspiel (Ire)
3rd Dam: Salvinaxia, by Linamix (Fr)
(¥52,000,000 Ylg ’17 JRHAJUL). O-Riichi Kondo; B-; T-Y Tomomichi; J-Christophe Soumillon; HK$14,250,000. Lifetime Record: Ch. 2yo Colt, MG1SW-Jpn, 9-6-1-0, HK$33,533,510. *1/2 to Via Pisa (Fr) (Pivotal {GB}), SW-Fr, G1SP-Ity, $104,884; Via Firenze (Ire) (Dansili {GB}), SW & MGSP-Fr, GSP-UAE, $150,624. Werk Nick Rating: B. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Waikuku (Ire), 126, g, 4, Harbour Watch (Ire)–London Plane (Ire), by Danehill Dancer (Ire). (€33,000 Ylg ’16 TISEP). O-Jocely Siu Yang Hin Ting; B-Shane Molan; T-John Size; J-Joao Moreira; HK$5,500,000.
3–Beauty Generation (NZ), 126, g, 7, Road To Rock (Aus)-Stylish Bel (Aus), by Bel Esprit (Aus). (A$60,000 Ylg ’14 NZBJAN). O-Patrick Kwok Ho Chuen; B-Nearco Stud Ltd; T-John Moore; J-Zac Purton; HK$2,500,000.
Margins: HF, 1 1/4, NK. Odds: 26-1, 29-10, 19-10.
Also Ran: Normcore (Jpn), Persian Knight (Jpn), Citron Spirit (Ire), Indy Champ (Jpn), Zaaki (GB), Ka Ying Star (GB), Simply Brilliant (GB). Click for the HKJC chart, PPs and sectional timing. VIDEO. Click for the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.

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