2018 News

June 3, 2018


Mozu Ascot Lands First Graded Title with Surprise Win in Yasuda Kinen
Yasuda Kinen (G1)

Yasuda Kinen (G1)

Mozu Ascot claimed his first graded win in this year’s Yasuda Kinen after being sent off ninth favorite in a field of 16 tying the race record of 1:31.3 set in 2012. The Frankel colt debuted last year in June and marked two fourths in a 1,800m and 2,000m race, went on to notch four wins in succession in races between 1,400m and 1,600m and then capped off his debut campaign with a fourth in his first graded test, the Hanshin Cup (G2, 1,400m) in December. This year, he kicked off his second season with three consecutive runner-up efforts, the Hankyu Hai (G3, 1,400m) in February, the Milers Cup (G2, 1,600m) in April and his previous start, the Azuchijo Stakes (1,400m) just a week prior to his first G1 challenge. This was trainer Yoshito Yahagi’s first Yasuda Kinen victory and fourth JRA-G1 title, his latest was with 2012 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) winner Deep Brillante. Jockey Christophe Lemaire landed his 17th G1 title after claiming the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) with Almond Eye two weeks earlier.

As the field broke at the top of the backstretch, Win Gagnant gunned for the lead from the farthest stall with Reine Minoru stalking the pace. Mozu Ascot made steady progress in mid-pack but was checked briefly before the far turn before settling on the rails up to the top of the straight. Steadily chasing half of the field up the stretch hill and on the heels of Suave Richard, the four-year-old made most of the opening found just as the race favorite shifted outside with a furlong to go and charged strongly to the line catching the favorite and then Aerolithe in the final strides for a neck win.

Aerolithe, G1 victor at the mile distance, broke well and raced a few lengths behind the leader in third up to early stretch. While picking off the tiring pace setter at the furlong pole, the four-year-old filly stretched well holding off the fast-closing favorite but surrendered the lead in the last strides to Mozu Ascot for second.

Race favorite Suave Richard took a ground saving trip in fourth to fifth and was in good striking position with a clear path in front of him at the top of the stretch. With 300 meters to go, the G1 winner found another gear and drove well almost tagging Aerolithe in the last 50 meters then overtaken by the hard-closing winner in the final strides to finish third.

Western Express broke smoothly and positioned handily around fifth to sixth behind a brisk pace, turned smoothly into the straight with every chance to rally in the early stretch but was unable to sustain his bid and fell back to tenth while crossing the wire a second behind the record-tying winner.

“He went really well and couldn’t be happier with him—he just lacked the strong finish at the mile. He jumped well, the pace wasn’t overly strong early, then it got quicker from the 1,000 or 800 (meters) and he was tired at the end—but he didn’t drop out, he kept trying and he’s only been beaten by five lengths or so. He’s probably gone as good if not better than he ever has,” commented Samuel Clipperton.

“We thought that he ran as good as he could but the (other) horses in the race, they were just too strong for him. He stood in the gate quietly, jumped well on the terms of the other horses, he had a nice run in the first section of the race, he was fifth one off the fence, so you couldn’t ask for better than that, committed to make a run and he just wasn’t strong enough to get up the hill and up to the line,” commented John Size.

Other Horses:
4th: (2) Satono Ares―broke poorly, 3rd from rear, tied fastest over last 3 furlongs, belatedly
5th: (15) Sungrazer―traveled wide in mid-pack, responded well, tied 3rd fastest over last 3 furlongs
6th: (5) Persian Knight―ran in front of eventual winner, struggled to find clear path, quickened in last 200m
7th: (16) Win Gagnant―set pace, led until 200m marker, overtaken in last 100m
8th: (14) Lys Gracieux―raced wide outside eventual winner, lacked needed kick
9th: (9) Red Falx―sat 2nd from rear, turned wide, passed tired rivals
11th: (8) Campbell Junior―forwardly positioned in 4th, weakened in last 200m
12th: (6) Reine Minoru―chased leader in 2nd, sustained bid until 200m pole
13th: (12) He's in Love―settled towards rear, even paced
14th: (3) Dashing Blaze―hugged rails inside eventual winner, showed little at stretch
15th: (11) Real Steel―traveled wide in mid-division, never fired at stretch
16th: (13) Black Moon―was off slow, trailed in rear, no factor

3-year-old & up, 1,600 meters (about 8 furlongs), turf, left-handed
Sunday, June 3, 2018    Tokyo Racecourse      11th Race      Post Time: 15:40
Total prize money: ¥ 238,600,000 (about US$ 2,170,000 <US$1=¥110>)
3-y-o: 54kg (about 119 lbs), 4-y-o & up: 58kg (about 128 lbs), 2kg allowance for Fillies & Mares, 1kg allowance for Southern Hemisphere-bred born in 2014, 2kg allowance for Southern Hemisphere-bred born in 2015
Safety factor: 18 runners

FP BK PP Horse Sex
1 5 10 Mozu Ascot
C4 58.0 Frankel
C. Lemaire
Y. Yahagi
Capital System Co., Ltd.
Summer Wind Farm
2 2 4 Aerolithe
F4 56.0 Kurofune
K. Tosaki
T. Kikuzawa
Sunday Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Racing
3 1 1 Suave Richard
C4 58.0 Heart's Cry
M. Demuro
Y. Shono
NICKS Co., Ltd.
Northern Racing
4 1 2 Satono Ares
C4 58.0 Deep Impact
Satono Amazones
M. Ebina
K. Fujisawa
Satomi Horse Company Co., Ltd.
Hajime Satomi
5 8 15 Sungrazer
C4 58.0 Deep Impact
Mantis Hunt
Y. Fukunaga
H. Asami
G1 Racing Co., Ltd.
Oiwake Farm
6 3 5 Persian Knight
C4 58.0 Harbinger
Orient Charm
Y. Kawada
Y. Ikee
G1 Racing Co., Ltd.
Oiwake Farm
7 8 16 Win Gagnant
H6 58.0 Stay Gold
Channel One
A. Tsumura
M. Nishizono
Win Co., Ltd.
Cosmo View Farm
8 7 14 Lys Gracieux
F4 56.0 Heart's Cry
Y. Take
Y. Yahagi
U. Carrot Farm
Northern Farm
9 5 9 Red Falx
H7 58.0 Swept Overboard
H. Tanabe
T. Ozeki
TokyoHorseRacing Co., Ltd
Shadai Farm
10 4 7 Western Express*
G6 58.0 Encosta De Lago
S. Clipperton
J. Size
Larry Chi Kin Yung
Mr. F Peisah
11 4 8 Campbell Junior
H6 58.0 Encosta De Lago
S. Ishibashi
N. Hori
Kazumi Yoshida
Katom Chelsaus Wynaus &
  China Horse Club Investment Holdings Ltd
12 3 6 Reine Minoru
F4 56.0 Daiwa Major
Daiwa Angel
R. Wada
M. Honda
Minoru Yoshioka
Fujiwara Farm
13 6 12 He's in Love
H5 58.0 Harbinger
She's Included
Ko. Fujioka
Ke. Fujioka
Silk Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Farm
14 2 3 Dashing Blaze
H6 58.0 Kitten's Joy
Blazing Bliss
H. Kitamura
K. Yoshimura
Green Fields Co., Ltd.
Kenneth L. Ramsey & Sarah K. Ramsey
15 6 11 Real Steel
H6 58.0 Deep Impact
Loves Only Me
Y. Iwata
Y. Yahagi
Sunday Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Farm
16 7 13 Black Moon
H6 58.0 Admire Moon
Royal Attack
S. Akiyama
K. Nishiura
Him Rock Racing Holdings Co., Ltd.
Tabata Farm

FP=Final Position / BK=Bracket Number / PP=Post Position / Wgt=Weight / L3F=Time of Last 3 Furlongs (600m)

Note1: *Foreign contenders
Note2: Figures quoted under Odds are Win Odds, which show the amount of money you get back per single unit (100yen), and Fav indicates the order of favorites.

TURNOVER FOR THE DAY: ¥ 28,477,023,600 ATTENDANCE: 61,215

PAY-OFF (for ¥100)
WIN No.10 ¥1,570 BRACKET QUINELLA 2-5 ¥4,170 QUINELLA 4-10 ¥7,370
PLACE No.10 ¥410 QUINELLA PLACE 4-10 ¥2,100 EXACTA 10-4 ¥15,290
No.4 ¥290 1-10 ¥1,020 TRIO 1-4-10 ¥6,560
No.1 ¥160 1-4 ¥680 TRIFECTA 10-4-1 ¥63,280


  1. 1.Mozu Ascot (USA), chestnut, colt, 4-year-old
    Frankel / India (Hennessy)
    Owner: Capital System Co., Ltd. Breeder: Summer Wind Farm  
    Trainer: Yoshito Yahagi Jockey: Christophe Lemaire  
    11 Starts, 5 Wins    
    Added money: ¥ 113,486,000 Career earnings: ¥ 221,135,000  

  2. 2.Aerolithe (JPN), gray, filly, 4-year-old
    Kurofune / Asterix (Neo Universe)
    Owner: Sunday Racing Co., Ltd. Breeder: Northern Racing
    Trainer: Takanori Kikuzawa Jockey: Keita Tosaki

  3. 3.Suave Richard (JPN), chestnut, colt, 4-year-old
    Heart's Cry / Pirramimma (Unbridled's Song)
    Owner: NICKS Co., Ltd. Breeder:Northern Racing
    Trainer: Yasushi Shono Jockey: Mirco Demuro
Fractional time (sec./furlong): 12.2 - 10.8 - 11.2 - 11.3 - 11.3 - 11.4 - 11.4 - 11.7
Last 4 furlongs: 45.8          Last 3 furlongs: 34.5

Positions at each corner: 3rd corner 16,6(4,8)(1,7)(5,15)(3,11)(10,12,14)-2,9-13
4th corner 16-6(4,8)(1,7)(3,5,15)(11,14)(10,12)2,9-13

Note1: Underlined bold number indicates the winning horse.
Note2: Horse numbers are indicated in the order of their positions at each corner, with the first position listed first. Two or more horses inside the same parentheses indicate that they were positioned side by side. Hyphens between the horse numbers indicate that there is distance between the former and the latter. The asterisk indicates a slight lead.

Post race interview of winning connections:
[Trainer: Yoshito Yahagi]
“After so many misses (to second) in my previous attempts in this race, I am truly happy to have finally won this title. (Regarding running the horse two weeks in a row) In a normal situation we would gallop him on a Wednesday and again on the Sunday before the Yasuda but my judgement was that he needed a stronger run (in the Azuchijo Stakes on May 27) and it ended up being the spot on decision. Of course, the recovering process in addition to the transport and such, it’s not an easy task, but it just proves how well my stable staff has handled everything—they’ve done a great job. I wasn’t able to concentrate as much with two other horses running in the race, but seeing how he ran the last 100 meters, I was pretty sure that he would make the finish line first. I have to say though that for a colt with just under a year of racing experience, he’s quite an amazing horse. While still winless in graded races into this race, he was strong in defeat and I was pretty confident that there was much more in him. While there are more to expect from him, he has a history of being rather weak at an early age and we had to delay his debut until the June of his three-year-old season, so we can’t push him too much. Of course, being a Frankel colt there are lots of expectations for bigger titles and later becoming a great sire. Many of the fillies sired by Frankel tend to be rather highly strung, but this colt is easy to handle and great to work with.”

[Jockey: Christophe Lemaire]
“I didn’t have any specific plan before the race. The only thing I wanted to do was to have my horse relaxed and to follow a good horse in the straight. I also didn’t plan whether to go inside or outside. As a result the space became narrow and we were bumped and pushed towards the inside, I didn’t want him to lose his balance so I waited for a clearing and a good horse to follow, once I found a gap I asked for full power from the horse with my whip and he responded very well and kept on strongly to the finish line.”

Other Races Ridden by Samuel Clipperton:
12th race: Miura Tokubetsu (Allowance (10Million & Less)), dirt, 1,600m, 15 runners
―9th on Satono Messiah (JPN, H6, by Heart’s Cry), 8th favorite

* Yasuda Kinen (G1)
The Yasuda Kinen, a race to determine the best miler of the spring season, has welcomed just over 50 foreign-trained horses since its designation as an international race in 1993, including 1995 champion Heart Lake (GB, by Nureyev) from the UAE, 2000 winner Fairy King Prawn (AUS, by Danehill) from Hong Kong and the winner of the 2006 Champions Mile-Yasuda Kinen double, Bullish Luck (USA, by Royal Academy). Past Yasuda Kinen winners that have subsequently become the season's Horse of the Year include Oguri Cap (JPN, by Dancing Cap; '90), Taiki Shuttle (USA, by Devil's Bag; '98), Vodka (JPN, by Tanino Gimlet; '08 &'09), Lord Kanaloa (JPN, by King Kamehameha; '13) and Maurice (JPN, by Screen Hero; '15). The first three finishers of this race are eligible to start in the French G1 Prix Jacques le Marois (1,600m) beginning this year, free of charge to enter and with additional support for transportation.
This year, Hong Kong's Western Express, trained by Australian Hall of Famer John Size in his 10th shot at the title, was entered to challenge the top Japanese milers. The Encosta De Lago gelding came off a second in the Champions Mile (1,600m; Apr.29), his second runner-up effort at G1 level following the Hong Kong Mile (1,600m) last December. Meanwhile, the key contenders of the Japanese opposition coming off their respective races were the Takamatsunomiya Kinen (G1, 1,200m; Mar.25) eighth-place finisher and 2017 Best Sprinter or Miler Red Falx; the Lord Derby Challenge Trophy (G3, 1,600m; Mar.31) winner He's in Love; the Dubai Turf (G1, 1,800m; Mar.31) third-place and 2016 champion of the Dubai Turf Real Steel; the Osaka Hai (G1, 2,000m; Apr.1) victor Suave Richard, who claimed his first G1 title in the race and runner-up Persian Knight, winner of the 2017 Mile Championship (G1, 1,600m); the Milers Cup (G2, 1,600m; Apr.22) victor Sungrazer, who finished third in the Mile Championship; the Keio Hai Spring Cup (G2, 1,400m; May.12) third-place Satono Ares who was 2016 Best Two-Year-Old Colt; the Victoria Mile (G1, 1,600m; May.13) runner-up Lys Gracieux who marked her fourth G1 runner-up effort, and fourth-place Aerolithe, champion of the 2017 NHK Mile Cup (G1, 1,600m).
The race record 1:31.3 was set by Strong Return (JPN, by Symboli Kris S) in 2012.

Yasuda Kinen (G1) related contents
Breeders' Cup Challenge Race