T O Royal Shows Them His Heels In the Tenno Sho Spring

T O Royal | JRA

In his first victory at the highest level, T O Royal (Jpn) (Leontes {Jpn}) swept to the lead and never looked back, leaving the race for second in the G1 Tenno Sho Spring in Kyoto on Sunday.

Coming into the contest with two Group victories from as many jumps in 2024, by name the G3 Diamond S. Feb. 17 and G2 Hanshin Daishoten S. Mar. 17, T O Royal had redemption to claim, having finished third in the 2022 edition of the G1 Tenno Sho Spring S. held at Hanshin.

Jumping well, the field watched as Matenro Leo (Jpn) (Heart's Cry {Jpn}) hustled to the front to lead the marathon turf contest. T O Royal took up position sharing fourth with Savona (Jpn) (Kizuna {Jpn}) to that one's outside and found himself wide around the initial bend going by the grandstand for the first time. As they settled in for the trip, Matenro Leo had opened up a several length lead on the field heading into the second turn, and the runners largely kept position save for 198-1 longshot Hapi (Jpn) (Kizuna {Jpn}), who was pulled up out of the race on that bend.

With 1100 metres left to run, Matenro Leo's advantage was shortening and Deep Bond (Jpn) (Kizuna {Jpn}) briefly took over by the time they swung into the homestretch as the longtime leader threw out the white flag. It was about then that T O Royal, too, launched his bid, and the eventual winner inhaled his rivals from three off the fence, his margin expanding as they passed the 200 metre mark. Deep Bond tried to break his three-year runner-up record in the contest, but could not catch the winner, and was eventually overtaken for second by Blow The Horn (Jpn) (Epiphaneia {Jpn}), who marked the fastest last three furlongs in the process. With the two-length triumph here, T O Royal has now won three Group races in succession.

“[T O Royal] raced in good rhythm and responded well going downhill after the third corner. So, we were able to turn the last corner comfortably, and slip out of the pack with ease,” commented Yuji Hishida, who claimed his first Group 1 victory as well. “I'm really happy to have won this race because I decided to become a jockey when I saw this race 20 years ago.”


Pedigree Notes:

Kicking off what could be a memorable week for owner Tomoya Ozasa, who will be represented by Road to the Kentucky Derby qualifier T O Password (Jpn) (Copano Rickey {Jpn}) in the GI Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 4, T O Royal is his dam's second multiple Group-winning offspring behind Meisho Hario (Jpn) (Pyro), who also tallied placings in the G1 February S. and G1 Tokyo Daishoten to his credit. That pair also claims a winning eldest sibling. The last registered runner for dam Meisho Ohi (Jpn) (Manhattan Cafe {Jpn}) is the placed 3-year-old Meisho Sota (Jpn) (Drefong).

The female family is notably busy through the second dam, with 12 winners in the first two generations including MGSP-Jpn Meisho Kadomatsu (Jpn) (Daiwa Major {Jpn}). This is the dam line of Broodmare of the Year Courtly Dee, who most notably produced champion juvenile filly Althea–winner of the GI Arkansas Derby in a track record-equaling performance–and who herself would go on to produce Japanese champion juvenile filly Yamanin Paradise.

Saturday, Kyoto, Japan
TENNO SHO SPRING-G1, ¥423,400,000, Kyoto, 4-28, 4yo/up, 3200mT, 3:14.20, fm.
1–T O ROYAL (JPN), 128, h, 6, by Leontes (Jpn)
           1st Dam: Meisho Ohi (Jpn), by Manhattan Cafe (Jpn)
           2nd Dam: Alpine Rose, by Kris S.
           3rd Dam: Amizette, by Forty Niner
1ST GROUP 1 WIN. O-Tomoya Ozasa; B-Mishima Bokujo; T-Inao Okada; J-Yuji Hishida; ¥223,780,000. Lifetime Record: 18-8-1-2, ¥518,266,000. *Half to Meisho Hario (Jpn) (Pyro), MGSW & MG1SP-Jpn, ¥473,305,000. Werk Nick Rating: A+++. *Triple Plus*. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Click for the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Blow the Horn (Jpn), 128, h, 5, Epiphaneia (Jpn)–Halteclere (Jpn), by Durandal (Jpn). 1ST GROUP 1 BLACK TYPE. O-Makio Okada; B-Okada Stud; ¥89,080,000.
3–Deep Bond (Jpn), 128, h, 7, Kizuna (Jpn)–Zephyranthes (Jpn), by King Halo (Jpn). (¥17,820,000 Ylg '18 JBBJUL). O-Shinji Maeda; B-Murata Farm; ¥55,540,000.
Margins: 2, HF, HF; Odds: 1.80, 7.80, 26.50.
Also ran: Smart Phantom (Jpn), Warp Speed (Jpn), Savona (Jpn), Tastiera (Jpn), Meisho Breguet (Jpn), Gold Princess (Jpn), Plume d'Or (Jpn), Scar Face (Jpn), Saliera (Jpn), Matenro Leo (Jpn), Chuck Nate (Jpn), Durezza (Jpn), Silver Sonic (Jpn). DNF: Hapi (Jpn). Scratched: Hindu Times (Jpn). Click for the JRA chart & video.

Not a subscriber? Click here to sign up for the daily PDF or alerts.

Copy Article Link

Liked this article? Read more like this.

  1. Auguste Rodin and Rosallion Join Top Five in World's Best Racehorse Rankings
  2. Kentucky Derby Fifth T O Password To Spell After Surgery To Remove Bone Chips
  3. Sierra Leone, Thorpedo Anna Back On Work Tab as Mystik Dan Gets Short Break
  4. Blow The Horn Proves Much the Best in Takarazuka Kinen
  5. Who Dey Now Headlines Sunday GIII Matt Winn S.

Never miss another story from the TDN

Click Here to sign up for a free subscription.