Favorite Gold Actor brilliant in Copa Republica Argentina
Three of the top five picks finished in the money on a rain-soaked afternoon at Tokyo Nov. 8, with overwhelming favorite Gold Actor answering fans’ expectations with a classy but close win of the 53rd running of the G2 Copa Republica Argentina. The 4-year-old son of Screen Hero topped race fourth choice Meisho Kadomastsu by a head. Third pick Reve Mistral took third.
Suzuka Devious led the field of 18 in the handicap over 2,500 meters of yielding turf. Suzuka Devious set a slow pace with lap times dropping into the 13-second range 500 meters from the gate and the initial 1,000 meters run in 63.4 seconds. The 6-year-old Meisho Kadomatsu, running in second position under 55 kg and shadowed by Gold Actor (carrying 56 kg) through the early stages, moved up turning off the backstretch to overtake frontrunner Suzuka Devious.
Meisho Kadomatsu, a son of Daiwa Major, stepped into the front as the field headed around the final turn three off the rail and began his drive home from the top of the straight with Gold Actor glued to his outside. Meisho Kadomatsu shook off Gold Actor and pulled steadily away from the rest of the field as Suzuka Devious struggled to hold second position.
Gold Actor, however, slowly gained with steady urging by Hayato Yoshida and caught and passed Suzuka Devious with 200 meters to go. Meisho Kadomatsu, piloted by Masayoshi Ebina, still held a 2-length lead over Gold Actor. Meanwhile, Reve Mistral, who had freed himself from traffic with some sharp maneuvering under Yuga Kawada at the 400-meter mark, was finding new wind at the top of the hill, the same point from where Gold Actor had hit his stride and was stretching out with huge strides, eating up the ground with ease and only one swing of the whip in the very capable hands of his rider.
Meisho Kadomatsu fought with all he had under Ebina’s ever-more-frantic urgings, but was caught in the final stride by Gold Actor. Reve Mistral had dug down for a final spurt from 200 out that saw him pass eight others and finally Satono Noblesse with 50 meters to go to put him over the line in third place 2 1/2 lengths behind Meisho Kadomatsu. Satono Noblesse, saddled with the race’s heaviest weight of 58 kg, followed a length and a half later in fourth place. The next three over the line were tightly bunched 0.7 seconds off the winner. They included race second pick Promontorio under Cristian Demuro in seventh place.
Gold Actor’s finishing time was 2 minutes 34 seconds.
Gold Actor is trained by the Miho-based Tadashige Nakagawa, originally from Kochi Prefecture. The brown colt is owned by Kaname Ishiro. Bred at Hokusho Farm in Hokkaido’s Niikappu, Gold Actor is out of the Kyowa Alysheba mare Heilong Xing.
The win of the Copa Republica Argentina was Gold Actor’s sixth victory in 12 starts. Though he finished third in last year’s G1 Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger), the Copa Republica Argentina was the colt’s first win of a graded-stakes race.
It was the first win of a graded race for Nakagawa, 53, who received his trainer’s license in 2005. It was the second G2 victory for the 32-year-old Ibaraki native Yoshida. He captured the Copa Republica Argentina in 2009 as well, aboard Miyabi Ranveli. With 46 wins so far this year, Yoshida currently ranks 10th among Miho-based riders, 22nd overall.