2024 News

April 8, 2024


Obamburumai finishes 13th in Doncaster Mile

Obamburumai came up short despite a valiant effort in The Star Doncaster Mile at Royal Randwick on Saturday (April 6), finishing 13th out of 19 in the Grade 1 affair at Australian Turf Club.

The Keiji Yoshimura-trained Obamburumai — the lone challenger from Japan in the $4 million (AUD) race — struggled with the off track done in by the rain overnight in Sydney, ending up almost four lengths behind winner Celestial Legend who captured his second Grade 1 title following his triumph in The Agency Randwick Guineas on March 9.

Four-year-old Obamburumai, by Discreet Cat from Pink Gerbera, got a good jump out of the No. 6 gate under Damian Lane, pushing through along the rails with Phearson grabbing the early lead and Celestial Legend lurking towards the rear.

As the pack bunched up rounding for home, Obamburumai held steady but was boxed in, unable to gather the momentum for the stretch run. Celestial Legend as well as eventual runners-up Pericles and Militarize came around the corner on the outside, crashing the goal late while Obamburumai retreated on the inside.

Celestial Legend’s winning time was 1 minute, 35.27 seconds. Obamburumai was eyeing to recreate the magic from last November when he edged Pericles in the James Squire Golden Eagle to win his first start overseas, but that will have to be saved for another day.

Yoshimura maintained that Obamburumai, who suffered the worst defeat of his seven-start career, was in good enough form to make a run for the money in Australia again but was thrown by the yielding turf rated a “Heavy 8” by organizers.

“The horse was fit. He had good position during the trip and would have picked it up had he had space turning for home,” Yoshimura looked back. “But he just did not respond when the race opened up. The going was heavy due to the rain until the morning. He is still early in his career and I expect the experience from here to pay dividends further down the road.”

Lane echoed the trainer, saying it would have been a different story had it not been for the track conditions.

“He traveled well. The race unfolded like we had hoped. I think if we had a bit more space on the straight he would have quickened better,” said the jockey. “The horse ran his heart out. But he felt better during the workout on Wednesday when the surface was a lot drier than today.”

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