Japanese Superfecta In UAE Derby As Mind Your Biscuits's Derma Sotogake Romps

Derma Sotogake | Erika Rasmussen


Japan entered five colts in the $1-million G2 UAE Derby Sponsored by Atlantis The Royal, and they filled the first four home, as Derma Sotogake (Jpn) (Mind Your Biscuits) punched his ticket for the GI Kentucky Derby in May in the colours of Hiroyuki Asanuma for trainer Hidetaka Otonashi. The race was worth 100 points to the winner on the Road to the Kentucky Derby series.

The 1 3/16-mile affair featured the handsome Irish raider Cairo (Ire) (Quality Road), who garnered favouritism before the off, but it was the winner, pressed by Dura Erede (Jpn) (Duramente {Jpn}), who had the run of the race. In charge from the bell, he soon felt the heat of the Aidan O'Brien runner before that foe dropped back to stalk, and it was the G1 Hopeful S. winner, Dura Erede, who remained closest to Derma Sotogake entering the backstretch. He sidled a bit farther out of touch of the pack and was moving beautifully under a chilly Christophe Lemaire, who would go on to win the penultimate race of the evening–the $6-million G1 Dubai Sheema Classic–with the Japanese Horse of the Year and record-setting turfer Equinox (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}).

Positions were largely unchanged after six furlongs, with Continuar (Jpn) (Drefong) perched in third behind the top two, well off the fence. Derma Sotogake's lead shrank to just a neck as Dura Erede loomed on the far bend, but at the quarter-pole, Lemaire finally asked the chestnut for a bit more

The response was both immediate and electric, as Derma Sotogake, essentially riding a dirt carrousel, winged his way home to win by a widening 5 1/2 lengths from Dura Erede, who was another 4 1/2 lengths to the good of Continuar. Yet another Japanese horse, Perriere (Jpn) (Henny Hughes), did not enjoy the best of trips, but still got up to be fourth, another 3 1/2 lengths behind.

The victory marked Japan's third UAE Derby and second consecutive, after Crown Pride (Jpn) (Reach The Crown {Jpn})'s heroics in 2022.

Otonashi, who is keen to target the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday of May, said, “It's my first time here and Derma Sotogake is my first-ever runner. Now, I have one runner and one winner–it doesn't get much better than that!

“We didn't exactly plan to go straight to the lead but he broke well. We were expecting him to improve and go well but you can never expect things to go that well. We had a different jockey and different ground so you can never be sure how well it works out, but it did.

“He will go straight to Kentucky from Dubai. We'll discuss it but Christophe will probably keep it [the ride]–he said he would anyway!”

Lemaire added, “He can break a little slowly so it was important he began well to use his gate on the rail and he did just that. He travelled nicely on the lead and he relaxed for me down the back stretch. He was still moving smoothly for me as we came into the home stretch and once I pressed the button he was very impressive and I could enjoy the finish on him.

“I hope he goes to America and I would love to ride him there. How could anyone refuse that?”

Cristian Demuro, aboard Dura Erede, said, “He ran very well and he's been beaten by a very, very good horse. His last two runs were on turf but he seemed to handle the dirt before. I've not ridden him before but the dirt didn't seem to bother him at all.”

Of eventual 10-place finisher Cairo, jockey Ryan Moore said, “It was his first run on dirt and he just didn't enjoy himself.”

Off the mark in his fourth start over 1800 metres at Chukyo, Derma Sotogake took a Hanshin allowance race last November going that trip, and made it three consecutive victories with a triumph in the Listed Zennippon Nisai Yushun in December, part of the Japanese Road to the Kentucky Derby. In his 3-year-old bow, he ran third in the G3 Saudi Derby over 1600 metres.


Pedigree Notes

Dual G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen and GI Malibu S. hero Mind Your Biscuits is making a mark for himself as a stallion in Japan, and besides siring his first group winner on Saturday with Derma Sotogake, has stakes winner Maruka Rapid (Jpn) to his credit. Four other progeny have placed in stakes, as well, among them Shomon (Jpn) and Ho O Biscuits (Jpn), who are group-placed.

Derma Sotogake's victory marks him as the first black-type winner for his dam, Amour Poesie (Jpn) (Neo Universe {Jpn}), herself the winner of the Listed Kanto Oaks. Her latest foals are a yearling filly by New Year's Day, and the half-sister to G3 Capella S. winner Million Disk (Jpn) (Afleet) was covered by Mind Your Biscuits last spring.

Saturday, Meydan, Dubai
UAE DERBY SPONSORED BY ATLANTIS THE ROYAL-G2, $1,000,000, Meydan, 3-25, NH & SH 3yo, 9 1/2f, 1:55.81, fs.
1–DERMA SOTOGAKE (JPN), 121, c, 3, by Mind Your Biscuits
1st Dam: Amour Poesie (Jpn) (SW-Jpn, $543,569),
                                  by Neo Universe (Jpn)
2nd Dam: Happy Request (Jpn), by Tony Bin (Ire)
3rd Dam: April Sonnett, by Dike
1ST GROUP WIN. (¥18,000,000 Ylg '21 JRHJUL). O-Hiroyuki
Asanuma; B-Shadai Farm (JPN); T-Hidetaka Otonashi;
J-Christophe-Patrice Lemaire. $580,000. Lifetime Record: 8-4-
0-2, $1,162,164. Werk Nick Rating: A++. Click for the
   eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Click for the
   free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Dura Erede (Jpn), 121, c, 3, Duramente (Jpn)–Marchesa (Jpn),
by Orfevre (Jpn). (¥100,000,000 Ylg '21 JRHJUL). O-Three H
Racing Co Ltd; B-Northern Racing (JPN); T-Manabu Ikezoe.
3–Continuar (Jpn), 121, c, 3, Drefong–Pan De Ring (Jpn), by King
   TYPE. (¥70,000,000 Ylg '21 JRHJUL). O-Lion Race Horse Co Ltd;
B-Lake Villa Farm (Jpn); T-Yoshito Yahagi. $100,000.

Margins: 5HF, 4HF, 3HF.
Also Ran: Perriere (Jpn), Go Soldier Go, Mr Raj, Es-Unico (Brz), Lahresh (GB), Tall Boy, Cairo (Ire), Worcester, Goraiko (Jpn), Ah Jeez. VIDEO.



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