Race favorite Kitasan Black vanquished his rivals in this year’s Tenno Sho (Spring) by renewing the course and race record set by legendary Deep Impact in 2006 by 0.9 second, completing 3200 meters in 3:12.5 over the firm going at Kyoto, and became the fourth contender to capture the title consecutively as he cruised to his fifth G1 victory. Since their recent G1 Osaka Hai triumph, trainer Hisashi Shimizu and jockey Yutaka Take celebrate their fifth and 73rd JRA-G1 titles, respectively. Take stretched his own record as the jockey with the most Tenno Sho (Spring) titles to eight.
The field got underway with Yamakatsu Raiden immediately taking the lead, putting six to seven lengths between the chasing group headed by Kitasan Black, Admire Deus and One and Only as he posted 58.3 in the first 1,000 meters. The front runner galloped more than 10 lengths in front of the trailing field which formed a long line down the backstretch but Kitasan Black waited patiently as the leader gradually squandered his huge lead, and shot up front at the 600meter marker. The son of Black Tide unleashed an incredible stretch drive in front of the cheering Kyoto crowds and secured a comfortable 1-1/4 length win.
“It was a really tough race—the pace never slowed down. Although the horse had little left, he showed amazing stamina and tenacity up to the end which only he can do. I never thought Deep Impact’s record would ever be broken. This horse is just so much stronger than he was a year ago,” commented Yutaka Take.
Fourth favorite Cheval Grand traveled in a good fifth to sixth position, crept up steadily rounding the final corners to make his bid and entered the straight behind the winner in second. While struggling to catch the winner, last year’s third-place finisher found another gear to shake off the fast closing Satono Diamond for a neck second.
Sent off second pick and archrival to Kitasan Black, four-year-old Satono Diamond was settled in mid-field throughout most of the journey, was steered to the outside before the last corner and chased the leader down the straight fiercely battling with Cheval Grand but was beaten while he slimly held third by a neck over Admire Deus.
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