Sodashi Will Have To Be At Her 'Schnell'-est In Mile Championship

Sodashi | JRA photo


All eyes will be on Sodashi (Jpn) (Kurofune)–aren't they always?–as she takes on an eclectic group in Sunday's G1 Mile Championship at Hanshin Racecourse, a race that looks something other than a one-horse affair.

Named the best of her generation at two and three, the immensely popular white filly owns three top-level victories over arguably her favorite trip, having annexed the 2020 G1 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies and last year's G1 Satsuki Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) over course and distance and this year's sex-restricted G1 Victoria Mile at Tokyo. Fifth to Jack d'Or (Jpn) (Maurice {Jpn}) in defense of her title in the Aug. 21 G2 Sapporo Kinen, Sodashi exits a narrow defeat in the G2 Fuchu Himba S. at headquarters Oct. 15.

“Last week and this week, we pushed her pretty hard in her workouts,” explained trainer Naosuke Sugai. “The colder weather really brings out her best and you can see the improvement. With her last start, she was able to let off some steam and has now been calm and settled.”




Schnell Meister (Ger) (Kingman {GB}), runner-up to the magnificent Gran Alegria (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) in this event last fall, has had a fractionally disappointing season by his lofty standards and will be looking for his first victory from four starts. A lackluster eighth in the G1 Dubai Turf, he was unlucky in the G1 Yasuda Kinen at Tokyo in June, finishing a neck behind the victorious Songline (Jpn) (Kizuna {Jpn}) and a head better than the reliable Salios (Jpn) (Heart's Cry {Jpn}). In something of an experiment, Schnell (German for fast) Meister was ninth, but not beaten far, in the G1 Sprinters' S. over a 1200-metre trip that always threatened to be too sharp.

“He is always done well over the mile, but he's been up against one or two other very strong horses in previous races,” said trainer Takahisa Tezuka. “This year, with no one standout, I think it'll go well if things come together for him.”




Salios, also third to Golden Sixty (Aus) (Medaglia d'Oro) in last year's G1 Longines Hong Kong Mile, has just one start since the Yasuda Kinen, a half-length defeat of Justin Cafe (Jpn) (Epiphaneia {Jpn}) and Danon the Kid (Jpn) (Just a Way {Jpn}) in the Oct. 9 G2 Mainichi Okan over nine furlongs.

Soul Rush (Jpn) (Rulership {Jpn}) capped a three-race skein with a victory over Ho O Amazon (Jpn) (King Kamehameha {Jpn}) in the G2 Yomiuri Milers' Cup at this venue and going this trip in April, but finished well down the field in the Yasuda Kinen. He prepped for this with a close second to 3-year-old Serifos (Jpn) (Daiwa Major {Jpn}) in Tokyo's G2 Fuji S. Oct. 22, with Danon Scorpion (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}) not far away in third.

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