The Crown Fits: Liberty Island Eases Home In the Shuka Sho

Liberty Island (red cap) becomes the seventh winner of the Japanese Triple Tiara | JRA


Given a Yuga Kawada ride befitting a $1.10 (1-10) mortal, Sunday Racing Co. Ltd.'s Liberty Island (Jpn) (Duramente {Jpn}) became the seventh filly to win the Japanese Triple Tiara with a deceptively easy one-length victory in Sunday's G1 Shuka Sho before a packed grandstand of better than 45,000 onlookers at Kyoto Racecourse. Masked Diva (Jpn) (Rulership {Jpn}), the 12-1 third favourite, flashed home for second ahead of narrow second pick Harper (Jpn) (Heart's Cry {Jpn}).

Making her first start since smashing her rivals by six lengths in the 2400-metre G1 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Oaks) some 147 days ago, Liberty Island bounced away nicely from stall six and took up a position in and amongst rivals as the commonly owned Kona Coast (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}) took them along over ground officially rated good, but perhaps riding softer given the clods of turf being kicked up. Leaving little to chance, Kawada had Liberty Island in about seventh position and in the clear four or five off the inside passing halfway and the duo was committed to an overland run around the second bend. Asked to circle her rivals with 600 metres standing between her and history, Liberty Island quickly went to the leaders five or six deep on the swing for home, accelerated sharply to put a gap on them at the entrance to the final furlong and reported home a comfortable winner. Masked Diva closed off her final three furlongs in a race-fastest :33.5–Liberty Island was home in :33.6–while Harper just got the better of a photo with Dura (Jpn) (Duramente {Jpn}) to earn a second Classic placing, having finished the distant runner-up in the Oaks.

“I'm grateful that we were able to achieve the Triple Crown,” said Kawada, riding a 25th Group 1 winner on the JRA. “She is a horse with great ability, so I placed top priority on letting her run comfortably and finding a good path for her. I was confident of her victory when we had an open space at the third corner. She has great potential, and her dreams for the future are wide open, but first of all, I would like to praise her for achieving the Triple Crown.”

Named champion of her generation after winning the G1 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies last December, Liberty Island returned in the Apr. 9 G1 Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) and looked to have it all to do in the straight, but rattled home to score a touch cosily. There were no such worries when last seen in the Oaks, as she was waited with until the final 200 metres before blowing the race apart at Tokyo.

Should she have another run this season, options include the sex-restricted G1 Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup going 11 furlongs at Kyoto Nov. 12 or a potential clash of the titans with Equinox (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}) in the G1 Japan Cup two weeks late.

Pedigree Notes:

The sadly departed Duramente joins Almond Eye (Jpn)'s sire Lord Kanaloa (Jpn) as sons of the late King Kamehameha (Jpn) to account for a Triple Tiara winner, while King Kamehameha was himself responsible for 2010 Triple Tiara heroine Apapane (Jpn). Duramente's daughter Stars On Earth (Jpn) was on a Triple Tiara bid of her own 12 months ago, but fell just short in third behind Sunday Racing's Stunning Rose (Jpn) (King Kamehameha {Jpn}).

Yankee Rose, who cost just A$10,000 at the 2015 Inglis Sydney Classic Yearling Sale before going on to become a two-time champion and dual Group 1 winner, was acquired privately by the Yoshida family and her progeny have excelled in the sales ring and at the races. Her first foal, the filly Romneya (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}), fetched ¥210 million (US$1.9m) from the latter's owner Makoto Kaneko as a foal at the 2019 JRHA Select Sale and her now 2-year-old colt by Lord Kanaloa was the second-dearest offering at the same event in 2021, selling to Danox Co. Ltd for ¥370 million ($2.6m).

Yankee Rose is also responsible for a yearling Kizuna (Jpn) filly and a weanling filly from the first crop of Triple Crown winner Contrail (Jpn). Each has been retained by their breeder.




Sunday, Kyoto, Japan
SHUKA SHO-G1, ¥215,520,000, Kyoto, 10-15, 3yo, f, 2000mT, 2:01.10, gd.
1–LIBERTY ISLAND (JPN), 121, f, 3, by Duramente (Jpn)
1st Dam: Yankee Rose (Aus) (Ch. 2yo & 3yo Filly & MG1SW-Aus, $1,627,487), by All American (Aus)
2nd Dam: Condesaar (Aus), by Xaar (GB)
3rd Dam: Condescendance, by El Gran Senor
O-Sunday Racing Co Ltd; B-Northern Farm; T-Mitsumasa Nakauchida; J-Yuga Kawada; ¥113,864,000. Lifetime Record: Ch. 2yo Filly-Jpn, 6-5-1-0, ¥543,336,000. Werk Nick Rating: B. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Click for the free catalog-style pedigree.
2–Masked Diva (Jpn), 121, f, 3, by Rulership (Jpn)
1st Dam: Mask Off (Jpn), by Deep Impact (Jpn)
2nd Dam: Behind The Mask (Jpn), by White Muzzle (GB)
3rd Dam: Vain Gold, by Mr. Prospector
1ST G1 BLACK-TYPE. O-Shadai Race Horse; B- Shadai Farm; T-Ysauyuki Tsujino; J-Mirai Iwata; ¥45,104,000.
3–Harper (Jpn), 121, f, 3, by Heart's Cry (Jpn)
1st Dam: Seresta (Arg), by Jump Start
2nd Dam: Serata, by Carson City
3rd Dam: Maliziosa, by Dynaformer
(¥86,000,000 Wlg '20 JRHAJUL). O-M's Racing; B-Northern Farm; T-Yasuo Tomomichi; J-Christophe Lemaire; ¥28,552,000.
Margins: 1, 2HF, NO. Odds: 0.10, 12.00, 11.90.
Also Ran: Dura (Jpn), Moryana (Jpn), Malaki Naia (Jpn), Emu (Jpn), Kona Coast (Jpn), Hip Hop Soul (Jpn), Doe Eyes (Jpn), Ravel (Jpn), Kita Wing (Jpn), Mississippi Tesoro (Jpn), Pipiola (Jpn), Grand Bernadette (Jpn), Festes Band (Jpn), Soleil Vita (Jpn), Conch Shell (Jpn). Click for the JRA chart.

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