No Moore For Namur? No Problem In Mile Championship

Namur | JRA photo


Ryan Moore, third in a hit-and-run mission aboard Point Lonsdale (Ire) (Australia {GB}) in Friday's G2 Bahrain International Trophy for his boss Aidan O'Brien, was stood down from the remainder of his Sunday rides at Kyoto after suffering a back injury in a spill in the second race on the program. That left the connections of Carrot Farm's Namur (Jpn) (Harbinger {GB}) in need of a jockey and with all the other Japanese big guns understandably already spoken for, they landed on journeyman Kota Fujioka, 13th in the jockeys' premiership, but not in the same league as Moore. It all proved to be of little consequence, as Fujioka found all the gaps at the right time and produced the 4-year-old filly in the dying strides to take out the G1 Mile Championship S.

Drawn widest in 16, the field's only female participant was likely to go back no matter her barrier, so that a hop at the break was unlikely to be too damaging. Allowed to find her stride at the tail of the field in the presence of favoured Schnell Meister (Ger) (Kingman {GB})–who played up twice in the gate–Namur and Fujioka were content to save their best for last, as international dual-surface group winner Bathrat Leon (Jpn) (Kizuna {Jpn} found the front after the opening 200 metres. In a good rhythm and still in no hurry down the side of the track, Namur was more or less the back marker with plenty to do as Bathrat Leon turned them into the straight.

While Schnell Meister was atypically flat-footed at that stage, Namur was anything but that, weaving her way through into contention while appearing to try to savage Red Mon Reve (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}) to her outside at the 200-metre marker. Able to sustain her stinging rally, Namur flashed home to provide the Carrot Farm syndicate with its first Mile Championship victory since 2008. Soul Rush (Jpn) (Rulership {Jpn}), ground-saving and about midfield for the first half of the race, found a split four off the inside at the 300 metres and looked home, only to be swamped late, while Justin Cafe (Jpn) (Epiphaneia {Jpn}) ran on well for third at odds. The winner covered her final 600m in a race-best :33 flat. Schnell Meister finished a never-nearer seventh, while defending champ and second pick Serifos (Jpn) (Daiwa Major {Jpn}), wide the trip, loomed a threat inside the final furlong, but peaked on his run and came home eighth.

“The break didn't go very smoothly, but she was in good rhythm once settling into the race and responded well, so I knew we could get a good run as long as I did my job of getting her into a good spot at the straight,” said Fujioka, winning just his second Group 1 on the JRA. “From there she really showed her strength.”

Third in last year's G1 Yushun Himba and second in the G1 Shuka Sho, Namur was seventh to Songline (Jpn) (Kizuna {Jpn}) in the G1 Victoria Mile in May and 16th to that foe in the G1 Yasuda Kinen the following month. She hinted at a return to her best form with a 1 1/4-length defeat of Red Mon Reve in the 1600-metre G2 Fuji S. at headquarters Oct. 21.

As for Moore, his injuries have been deemed not serious and he is expected to take up his ride aboard defending champion Vela Azul (Jpn) (Eishin Flash {Jpn}) in next Sunday's G1 Japan Cup.






Pedigree Notes:

Namur is the sixth Group 1 winner for the G1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth S. romper Harbinger, who is also responsible for 2017 Mile Championship hero Persian Knight (Jpn) as well as the redoubtable Deirdre (Jpn), victorious in the G1 Nassau S. on her world travels in 2019.

Namur is possessed of a pedigree which has also grown international legs over the past few seasons. The bay is one of four winners from four to race out of her Group 3-placed dam, whose 3-year-old daughter Ravel (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}) was a winner at Group 2 level at two and was fourth to Liberty Island (Jpn) (Duramente {Jpn}) in this year's G1 Yushun Himba. Sambre et Meuse's 2-year-old filly Arsenaal (Jpn) (Epiphaneia {Jpn}) was a debut winner going 1600 metres on turf at Tokyo Nov. 11.

Sambre et Meuse was produced by Vite Marcher, the dam of 2021 GI Breeders' Cup Distaff upsetter Marche Lorraine (Jpn) (Orfevre {Jpn}), the multiple listed winner Badenweiler (Jpn) (Duramente {Jpn}) and the 2-year-old colt Marcha Real (Jpn) (Real Impact {Jpn}), a Kyoto maiden winner Nov. 11. Third dam Kyoei March won the 1997 Oka Sho and was second to Taiki Shuttle (Devil's Bag) in the Mile Championship later that season.

Sambre et Meuse is also the dam of a yearling filly by US champion Bricks and Mortar (Giant's Causeway) but was barren to Harbinger for 2023.

Sunday, Kyoto, Japan
MILE CHAMPIONSHIP-G1, ¥346,800,000, Kyoto, 11-19, 3yo/up, 1600mT, 1:32.50, gd/fm.
1–NAMUR (JPN), 123, f, 4, by Harbinger (GB)
1st Dam: Sambre et Meuse (Jpn) (GSP-Jpn, $732,441), by Daiwa Major (Jpn)
2nd Dam: Vite Marcher (Jpn), by French Deputy
3rd Dam: Kyoei March (Jpn), by Dancing Brave
1ST GROUP 1 WIN. O-Carrot Farm; B- Northern Farm; T-Tomokazu Takano; J-Kota Fujioka; ¥183,360,000. Lifetime Record: 13-5-2-1, ¥436,551,000. *1/2 to Westerwald (Jpn) (Novellist {Ire}), GSP-Jpn, $761,865; and Ravel (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}), GSW-Jpn, $417,217. Werk Nick Rating: A++. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Click for the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Soul Rush (Jpn), 128, h, 5, Rulership (Jpn)–Broad Street (Jpn), by Agnes Tachyon (Jpn). O-Tatsue Ishikawa; B- Shimokobe Farm; ¥72,960,000.
3–Justin Cafe (Jpn), 128, h, 5, Epiphaneia (Jpn)–Casino Boogie (Jpn), by Workforce (GB). O-Masahiro Miki; B-Shadai Farm; ¥45,480,000.
Margins: NK, HF, 3/4. Odds: 16.30, 4.80, 26.50.
Also Ran: Elton Barows (Jpn), Danon the Kid (Jpn), Elusive Panther (Jpn), Schnell Meister (Ger), Serifos (Jpn), Red Mon Reve(Jpn), Eeyan(Jpn), Be Astonished (Jpn), So Valiant (Jpn), Danon Scorpion (Jpn), Matenro Orion (Jpn), Bathlat Leon (Jpn), Selberg (Jpn). Click for the JRA chart.

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