Pegasus Jump Stakes - Review
Fifth choice Bashi Ken took the tape first in the 3,350-meter Pegasus Jump Stakes on Saturday afternoon at Nakayama Racecourse, finishing close to two lengths ahead of runner-up and the No. 9 pick, D’Or Riviere.
The Yoshihiro Takahashi-trained Bashi Ken, the 5-year-old son of former Arima Kinen winner Silk Justice, won his first race in nearly a year, capturing the Nakayama Grand Jump tune-up in a time of 3 minutes, 44.6 seconds under sunny skies at the Chiba Prefecture.
Betting favorite Hastorang disappointed, crossing the line 10th in a field of 13. Pentiffic, the lone foreign entry and the second choice, came in fifth almost 11 lengths behind the winner. The race’s defending champion, 6-year-old Open Garden, left the stalls as the third pick but took seventh.
The trio of Blue Beretta, Tropical Queen and Hastorang pulled the pack for most of the journey on good going, with Bashi Ken lurking behind them on the inside until jockey Yasunori Minoshima made his move at the next-to-last turn.
Bashi Ken was on the lead turning for home and took a comfortable advantage into the stretch. The 6-year-old D’Or Riviere, ridden by Yu Kuroiwa, chipped away at it by closing in from the outside as did Tropical Queen, who trailed through the middle lane.
The 7-year-old Pentiffic – hailed as Australia’s best jumper over the last three decades after winning the Grand National, Hiskens and Crisp Steeplechases last year to complete the treble – never had a moment in the prep race for the April 17th Nakayama Grand Jump.
Bashi Ken cashed in a check of 17 million yen awarded to the winner, and following Saturday’s victory, should emerge as one of the favorites for the Nakayama Grand Jump, the world’s richest jump race with a total purse of more than 158 million yen and held at 4,250 meters. Pentiffic, with Trent Wells in the saddle, is also headed to the Nakayama Grand Jump.
No winner of the Pegasus Jumps Stakes has gone on to win the Nakayama Grand Jump since the inaugural run of the race in 2001, when Rand of New Zealand swept both races.