Orfevre's Lucky Lilac Lifts Osaka Hai

Lucky Lilac earlier in her career | Horsephotos

Second choice on the board at 3-1 after favoured Danon Kingly (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}), 2017 Japanese Champion 2-Year-Old Filly Lucky Lilac (Jpn) (Orfevre {Jpn}) claimed her third Group 1 title in Sunday's 2000-metre G1 Osaka Hai at Hanshin. The normally well-attended Japanese meetings have been held behind closed doors for several weeks now due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Happy to take a sit in third behind Danon Kingly with Jinambo (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) pushing him in second a half-length back into the first corner, Lucky Lilac was perfectly positioned again the fence for much of the middle furlongs. The field began to bunch near the 600-metre mark, but Danon Kingly stayed resolutely on top, pushed every step of the way by Jinambo. A furlong from home, Lucky Lilac was in desperate need of racing room, as Chrono Genesis (Jpn) (Bago {Fr}) surged into contention three paths off the fence. Jinambo threw in the towel while simultaneously Lucky Lilac found her gap and surged up in between horses. She passed a game Danon Kingly in a matter of strides and fended off a stubborn Chrono Genesis to win by a neck. It was the same margin back to Danon Kingly in third, who was 3/4s of a length ahead of Cadenas (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) in fourth.

“I really miss the fans that were unable to come and watch the race, but it's always a great feeling to be able to win a Group 1 race,” said pilot Mirco Demuro. “Lucky Lilac was well prepared for coming into this race after a prep at Nakayama where she found the uphill still a little tough at the finish—she was definitely very strong and fit this time. She was really sharp coming out of the gate and we were a little forwardly positioned than expected but the race went perfectly for us and she was really concentrating and taking the bit after the third corner—we were lucky to find a nice opening at the stretch. She's a mare but not timid and has the strength to face the top males in the future.”

A winner of her first four starts, including the G1 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies to end her 2-year-old season and the G2 Tulip Show to open her sophomore year, Lucky Lilac ran second in the G1 Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) and third in the G1 Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) to none other than subsequent Japanese Horse of the Year Almond Eye (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}) in the spring of 2018, and she finally returned to the winner's circle six starts later, taking the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Kyoto on Nov. 10. Runner-up in the G1 Hong Kong Vase last December, she warmed up for this with a runner-up performance to Danon Kingly in the G2 Nakayama Kinen on Mar. 1.

Pedgree Notes

One of three winners from five foals to race from her GI Ashland S.-winning dam, Lucky Lilac has a 2-year-old half-brother by Daiwa Major (Jpn) and a yearling full-sister. Lilacs and Lace is out of a Seattle Slew half-sister to Japanese Champion Older Mare Diamond Biko (Jpn) (Sunday Silence) and a granddaughter of four-time Grade I winner Stella Madrid (Alydar), who won the GI Acorn S., GI Frizette S., GI Spinaway S. and GI Matron S.

Sunday, Hanshin, Japan
OSAKA HAI-G1, ¥260,220,000 (US$2,398,575/£1,956,017/€2,220,222), Hanshin, 4-5, 4yo/up, 2000mT, 1:58.40, fm.
1–LUCKY LILAC (JPN), 121, m, 5, Orfevre (Jpn)
                1st Dam: Lilacs and Lace (GISW-US, $350,300),
                                by Flower Alley
                2nd Dam: Refinement, by Seattle Slew
                3rd Dam: Stella Madrid, by Alydar
O-Sunday Racing; B-Northern Farm (Jpn); T-Mikio Matsunaga;
J-Mirco Demuro. ¥137,604,000. Lifetime Record: Ch. 2yo Filly-
Jpn, G1SP-HK, 15-6-4-2. Werk Nick Rating: A+++. *Triple
   Plus*. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Chrono Genesis (Jpn), 121, f, 4, Bago (Fr)–Chronologist(Jpn),
by Kurofune. O-Sunday Racing; B-Northern Farm (Jpn);
¥54,744,000.
3–Danon Kingly (Jpn), 126, c, 4, Deep Impact (Jpn)–My
Goodness, by Storm Cat.  O-Danox Inc.; B-Mishima Bokujo
(Jpn); ¥34,372,000.
Margins: NK, NK, 3/4. Odds: 3.10, 4.20, 2.80.
Also Ran: Cadenas (Jpn), Wagnerian (Jpn), Jinambo (Jpn), Blast Onepiece (Jpn), Red Genial (Jpn), Stay Foolish (Jpn), Satono Saltus (Jpn), Makahiki (Jpn), Lord My Way (Jpn).
Click for the JRA chart and video or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.

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