Christophe Lemaire

Drefong Colt Lands First Blow on Japan Road to the Derby

The first crop of foals sired by Eclipse Award-winning sprinter Drefong (Gio Ponti) have performed so well since 2-year-old racing in Japan began in early June that he has seen his covering fee bumped from ¥3 million (about $26,400) to ¥7 million (about $61,700) for the 2022 breeding season. Consigliere (Jpn) has done his part to help cement his sire's footing on the competitive Japanese breeding landscape and ran his record to two wins from as many starts with a neck defeat of Cafe Karma (Jpn) (Henny Hughes) in Saturday's...

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Gran Exit For Alegria in Mile Championship

Japanese champion Gran Alegria (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) signed off her career with her second consecutive G1 Mile Championship victory, her sixth top-level score, at Hanshin on Sunday. She is the first horse to win back-to-back Mile Championships since Daiwa Major (Jpn) (Sunday Silence) in 2006/07. Tabbed the heavy favourite at 70 cents on the dollar, the 5-year-old mare was content to race near the rear of the field as Ho O Amazon (Jpn) (King Kamehameha {Jpn}) sped through fractions of :23.70 and :47.60. Jockey Christophe Lemaire had a ton...

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'Rising Star' Rounds Out Deep Impact Double In Tokyo

Less than an hour after Profondo (Aus) stamped his authority on the G1 Spring Champion S. at Randwick at just his third career start, 'TDN Rising Star' Command Line (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) followed suit in the G3 Saudi Arabia Royal Cup (1600mT) at Tokyo Racecourse in his second trip to the races and first appearance graduating stylishly over the course and distance June 5. Sent off the marginal favorite in advance of Sternatia (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}), a half-sister to Group 1-winning miler Stelvio (Jpn), the athletic colt was...

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Notable US-Bred and -Sired Runners in Japan: Aug. 7-8, 2021

In this continuing series, we take a look ahead at US-bred and/or conceived runners entered for the upcoming weekend at the tracks on the Japan Racing Association circuit, with a focus on pedigree and/or performance in the sales ring. Here are the horses of interest for this weekend running at Niigata and Hakodate Racecourses: Saturday, August 7, 2021 6th-NII, ¥13,400,000 ($122k), Newcomers, 2yo, 1800m BEYOND THE FATHER (JPN) (c, 2, Curlin--Galileo's Song {Jpn}, by Galileo {Ire}), twice graded-placed on the grass for Dell Ridge Farm and Chad Brown, sold for...

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Chrono Genesis Defends Takarazuka Kinen Title

Chrono Genesis (Jpn) (Bago {Fr}) justified 4-5 favouritism and took her second consecutive G1 Takarazuka Kinen title at Hanshin on Sunday. The 2200-metre contest is a "Win and You're In" for the GI Breeders' Cup Turf at Del Mar in November, as well as the Oct. 23 G1 Cox Plate at Moonee Valley Down Under. Unicorn Lion (Ire) (No Nay Never) led the charge into the first turn while shadowed by Lei Papale (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) and Chrono Genesis sat third a few lengths back. A touch keen, pilot...

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Draw Favours Gran Alegria in Victoria Mile
Draw Favours Gran Alegria in Victoria Mile

Having run with credit when fourth trying the 2000-metres for the first time in the G1 Osaka Hai last month, champion Gran Alegria (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) returns to a much more manageable trip as the warm favourite for the G1 Victoria Mile at the Fuchu Racecourse in Tokyo. The race serves as a 'Win and You're In' qualifier for the GI Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Del Mar in November. After taking down the colours of 2020 Victoria Mile heroine and former Horse of the Year Almond...

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Aristoteles Looks to Rebound in Tenno Sho Spring

The G1 Tenno Sho (Spring), first run at Hanshin in 1938, was subsequently moved to Kyoto, but returns to Hanshin for the 2021 renewal as Kyoto undergoes extensive renovation this spring. Among this season's likely favorites, Aristoteles (Jpn) (Epiphaneia {Jpn}) finished runner up behind 2020 Japanese Triple Crown hero Contrail (Jpn) in last fall's G1 Kikura Sho (Japanese St. Leger) before taking the 2,200-meter G2 American Jockey Club Cup at Nakayama Jan. 24. Heavily favored in his latest start in the G2 Hanshin Daishoten over 3,000 meters Mar. 21, the...

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Oka Sho Goes Through the Comebacking Sodashi

Japanese Classics season gets underway Sunday at Hanshin Racecourse with the running of the G1 Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) for which the popular Sodashi (Jpn) (Kurofune) figures to go favoured in her first start of the year. A registered white out of the cult hero Buchiko (Jpn) (King Kamehameha {Jpn}), the homebred filly enters the Oka Sho with an unblemished record from four racetrack appearances, including a 1 3/4-length defeat of Kukuna (Jpn) (King Kamehameha {Jpn}) in the G3 Artemis S. last October before just getting the better of...

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Triple Crown Winner Returns In Loaded Osaka Hai

A field of 13--including a half-dozen by the legendary Deep Impact (Jpn)--will face the starter for a cracking renewal of the G1 Osaka Hai (2000m) Sunday at Hanshin Racecourse, led by the late stallion's 2020 Triple Crown hero Contrail (Jpn). Raced by Shinji Maeda and bred by the family's North Hills Co. Ltd., the son of Rhodochrosite (Unbridled's Song) built on an undefeated 2-year-old season with four on the bounce last term, defeating Salios (Jpn) (Heart's Cry {Jpn}) in the G1 Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) (2000m) in April and...

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La Perouse Swoops in Hyacinth S.

The 1600-metre Listed Hyacinth S., the third of four Japanese prep races for the GI Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve, was captured by the late-running La Perouse (Jpn) (Pelusa {Jpn}). His 1 1/2-length win granted him 30 points on the Japanese Road to the Kentucky Derby, with only the Fukuryu Sho yet to be run at Nakayama on Mar. 27. The Hyacinth carried 51 points total (30-12-6-3). Second choice on the board at 5-2 after 4-5 favourite Takeru Pegasus (Jpn) (Dunkirk), the dark bay did not leave the gate...

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Notable US-Bred Runners in Japan: Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021

In this continuing series, we take a look ahead at US-bred and/or conceived runners entered for the upcoming weekend at the tracks on the Japan Racing Association circuit, with a focus on pedigree and/or performance in the sales ring. Here are the horses of interest for this Saturday running at Chukyo Racecourse. A pair of US-bred runners entered for Sunday's races and making their career debuts at Chukyo will feature in Saturday's TDN: Saturday, January 9, 2021 6th-CKO, ¥11,400,000 ($110k), Newcomers, 3yo, 1600mT GALLANT MANNER (c, 3, More Than Ready--River...

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Red Belle Aube Rates Slight Edge in Asahi Hai Futurity

Red Belle Aube (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) looks to give his legendary late sire a fourth winner of the G1 Asahi Hai Futurity S. in the last seven years as he takes on 15 other rivals in the 1600-metre event that will go some way towards determining year-end honors. Bred from an Unbridled's Song mare just like Triple Crown hero Contrail (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}), Red Belle Aube has won two in a row since dropping his career debut, including the G2 Daily Hai Nisai S. over this course and...

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