Ryusei Sakai

Japan's Forever Young Remains Undefeated in UAE Derby, On to Kentucky

Veni, vidi, vici. He came, he saw, he conquered. Like Julius Caesar, Susumu Fujita's Forever Young (Jpn) (Real Steel {Jpn}--Forever Darling, by Congrats) came prepared for battle and lived up to the hype, stamping himself as a potential superstar and giving Japan a third consecutive victory--and fourth since 2016--in the $1-million G2 UAE Derby at Meydan Racecourse on Dubai World Cup Day. The pacesetter Auto Bahn (Arg) (Asiatic Boy {Arg}) held second, while the sole U.S. representative, Pandagate (Arrogate), was third. The UAE Derby offers GI Kentucky Derby points on...

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Dark Angel's Mad Cool Denies Namura Clair In Takamatsunomiya Kinen

Mad Cool (Jpn) (Dark Angel {Ire}--Mad About You {Ire}, by Indian Ridge {Ire}) climbed the Group 1 heights with a head victory in the 1200-metre ¥329,400,000 G1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen at Chukyo on Sunday. Namura Clair (Jpn) (Mikki Isle {Jpn}) was runner-up for the second consecutive year, with the duo three lengths ahead of Hong Kong raider and G1 Centenary Sprint Cup scorer Victor The Winner (Aus) (Toronado {Ire}) in third. It was a dogfight for pacesetting duties between Mad Cool and Victor The Winner from the bell, with the former...

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Lemon Pop Has Work Cut Out In Champions Cup

Godolphin's Lemon Pop (Lemon Drop Kid) has been the best dirt horse in Japan this year at distances up to a mile, but the 5-year-old faces a stamina-stretching test from a horrible draw when he faces 14 others in Sunday's G1 Champions Cup (1800m) at Chukyo Racecourse. A $70,000 Keeneland November weanling purchase, the chestnut won the G3 Negishi S. over 1400 metres at Toyko in January and silenced those who questioned his ability to stay an extra furlong when running out a comfortable winner of the G1 February S....

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Breeders' Cup Option For Lemon Pop Following Comeback Win

The GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile is one of three options for Godolphin's Lemon Pop (Lemon Drop Kid) following a barnstorming gate-to-wire victory in Monday's $823,000 Listed Mile Championship Nambu Hai at Morioka Racecourse on the National Association of Racing circuit in Japan. Having already secured a Breeders' Cup berth courtesy of his biggest win to date in the G1 February S. at Tokyo this past February, the 5-year-old was having his first run since finishing an outpaced 10th, beaten six lengths, in the G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen over six...

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Bathrat Leon Takes Turf Sprint For Japan As Casa Creed Misses Out Again

Had the distance for the G3 1351 Turf Sprint Presented By STC been set just a few metres longer, Casa Creed (Jimmy Creed) may well have been recording his second victory in the race for Bill Mott on Saturday, but it was the front-running Bathrat Leon (Jpn) (Kizuna {Jpn}) who clung on from the fast-finishing runner-up to open the floodgates for the Japanese raiders on Saudi Cup night. Trained by Yoshito Yahagi, who would go on to win the Saudi Cup with Panthalassa (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}), Bathrat Leon was...

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Dubai In Play For Godolphin's Lemon Pop Following February S.

Stepping up to the top level for the first time in what has already been a productive career, Godolphin's Lemon Pop (Lemon Drop Kid) ran a strong 1600 metres and comfortably held a final-furlong rally from the classy Red le Zele (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}) to land Sunday's February S. at Tokyo Racecourse. A fourth consecutive American-bred winner of the 'Win and You're In' qualifier for the GI Longines Breeders' Cup Classic, Lemon Pop will remain over shorter trips and holds an invitation to the G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen in...

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Yahagi Seeking More Global Success in July Cup

Japanese trainer Yoshito Yahagi has had quite the year on the international stage and his next target is this Saturday's G1 Darley July Cup with King Hermes (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}). The 3-year-old colt, winner of the GII Keio Hai Nisai S. last season, arrived in Newmarket on June 24 with his stablemate Bathrat Leon (Jpn) (Kizuna {Jpn}), who is set to run in the G1 Qatar Sussex S. at Goodwood. King Hermes got his first taste of the July Course on Tuesday morning when working five furlongs under jockey...

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