Magical Lagoon Faces Japan's Best Females in QE II

Magical Lagoon | Racingfotos


Some eleven years have transpired since the great Snow Fairy (Ire) (Intikhab) carried Ryan Moore to a second consecutive victory in the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup and it will be up to reigning G1 Juddmonte Irish Oaks winner Magical Lagoon (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) to put a halt to the locals' 10-race winning streak Sunday afternoon at Hanshin Racecourse.

It has been a magical season, indeed, for Yuesheng Zhang's talented bay filly, who used a runner-up effort in the Listed Salsabil S. at Navan in late April as a springboard to an 11-4 success in the G2 Ribblesdale S. at Royal Ascot in June. The Tattersalls October graduate, trained by Jessica Harrington, got the better of a final-furlong tussle with Toy (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) to take out the Irish Oaks July 16 (video) and fought out the fractions in the G1 Yorkshire Oaks last time Aug. 18 only to fade into fifth behind future G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe heroine Alpinista (GB) (Frankel {GB}) and Tuesday (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), recent winner of the GI Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf.




While G1 Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) winner Stars on Earth (Jpn) (Duramente {Jpn}) misses this, the season's Classic form is strongly represented. Namur (Jpn) (Harbinger {GB}) defeated Pin High (Jpn) (Mikki Isle {Jpn}) in Group 2 company in March, but was a disappointing 10th in the G1 Oka Sho the following month. An improved third in the Oaks, she exits a runner-up effort behind perfect-trip Stunning Rose (Jpn) (King Kamehameha {Jpn}) in the G1 Shuka Sho Oct. 16 (video), in which Stars on Earth was desperately unlucky to lose her Triple Crown bid.

“She is still a young horse and there should be more to come from her,” said trainer Tomokazu Takano. “With just three weeks between races, we've been careful with her, giving her slow canters and checking how she takes the bit when running uphill. She was third in the Japanese Oaks, so the distance should be good this time.”



Daring Tact (Jpn) (Epiphaneia {Jpn}) won the 2020 Oaks, but her career has been a bit stop-start since. A good third to Loves Only You (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) in Hong Kong's G1 FWD QE II Cup in 2021, the 5-year-old has made just three starts since, her best outcome a sound third behind Titleholder (Jpn) (Duramente {Jpn}) in the G1 Takarazuka Kinen in June. She was most recently beaten into sixth as the favorite behind the immaculately bred Geraldina (Jpn) (Maurice {Jpn}–Gentildonna {Jpn}) in the G2 All Comers S. Sept. 25.

Moore is in Japan on a short-term contract following his Breeders' Cup three-timer last weekend. He takes the reins aboard the Classic-placed 4-year-old filly Andvaranaut (Jpn) (King Kamehameha {Jpn}).

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