A Shin Hikari blitzes past top rivals, takes second straight Grade 1
A Shin Hikari, which shocked the global racing scene with his runaway victory in the Hong Kong Cup last December, was at his best again on Tuesday at Chantilly Racecourse, when he blitzed past his rivals for an eye-opening, 10-length victory in the Grade 1 Prix d’Ispahan.
Under the guidance of Yutaka Take, A Shin Hikari defeated a 9-horse field, which included 2015 French Derby winner New Bay and Prix Ganay winner Dariyan. Dariyan finished 10 lengths behind A Shin Hikari in second, followed by Prix Ganay runner-up Silverwave. A Shin Hikari was quick out of the gates, but yielded his normal front position to Vadamos and Take settled his horse nicely in second. With not much movement of the pack during the trip, A Shin Hikari caught Vadamos as they turned for home and continued to stretch his lead, not allowing any of his rivals to become a threat in the final two furlongs. Although the soft ground was a bit of a concern for the connections before the race, A Shin Hikari completed the 1,800-meter race in 1 minute, 53.29 seconds.
The win comes after a six-month layoff after the Hong Kong Cup win for the 5-year-old horse by Deep Impact out of the Storm Cat mare Catalina, improving his overall record to 9 wins from 11 starts.
“I had imagined he would jump to the front and lead the race, so I was surprised,” said trainer Masanori Haraguchi. “But it was good judgement by Yutaka to run him a bit away from the rail where the ground was not as bad. It was great to see that he could settle and race from second place, as well as win with that style. We can now proudly hold our heads high and go to England for the Royal Ascot meeting.”
“It was a great performance against a great field,” Take said. “I’m also glad that a Deep Impact foal was able to win a French Grade 1 race. The horse’s condition was very good and he was actually more relaxed than he was back home. I thought he would want to take the lead after the start, but because this was his first time running this racecourse, he was a bit cautious and that may be the reason why he settled so nicely. His reaction at the final straight was excellent. We gained a lot from this race, and I’m looking forward to his next outing in England. The Chantilly ground seems to have suit his form, so my personal take is that I’d like to return here again in the fall with him.”
A Shin Hikari is scheduled to run next in the Grade 1 Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 15.
Please visit the following website for more information:
France Galop: http://www.france-galop.com