Last updated: 3/30/14 7:25 PM
|Copano Richard successfully shortened up to 1200 meters to take his first Grade 1
Copano Richard captured his first Grade 1 title in
this year’s Takamatsunomiya Kinen on Sunday at Chukyo Racecourse, turning in back-to-back graded wins following
the Hankyu Hai.
While showing respectable performances going 1,400 and
1,600-meter distances in his three-year-old season, including graded victories in
the Arlington Cup and Swan Stakes, as well as a fourth-place finish in the
Grade 1 Mile Championship, the four-year-old dark bay succeeded in winning his
first race over 1,200 meters.
This win marked trainer Toru Miya’s second JRA Grade 1
win, his first in 17 years, and jockey Mirco Demuro’s 10th JRA Grade 1 title
following his victory in the Satsuki Sho (Japanese Two Thousand Guineas) last year.
Owner Sachiaki Kobayashi marked two consecutive JRA Grade 1 wins following the
February Stakes, in which Copano Rickey captured the title as the least favorite
horse. He became the first owner to mark consecutive wins in the first two JRA
Grade 1 races of the season.
“The ground was very heavy when I worked him on Wednesday
morning and his reaction was very good, so I thought that there is a very good
chance for him,” Demuro remarked. “Today’s distance was probably a little short for him but the
ground helped us a lot. He’s a very good horse, and this was a great winner for
Copano Richard broke smoothly, settled fourth, gradually
inched forward and stalked A Shin Top through the curve. As the front runner
started to tire from his early effort in the uphill stretch, the son of Daiwa
Major caught up with the leader and, once assuming command, accelerated
strongly over the wet surface to a comfortable three-length margin.
Eighth-favorite Snow Dragon traveled toward the rear,
stretched strongly after entering the homestretch and further quickened in the
last 100 meters, passing the race favorite in the last strides to cross the wire
1 1/4 lengths in front for second.
Race favorite Straight Girl settled in midpack as the
field of 18 scattered into a long line along the curve and traveled wide
entering the stretch, trying to avoid the puddle from the heavy rain that
started from late last night. The five-year-old mare by Fuji Kiseki ran
persistently and steadily closed the gap between the leader and, although
overtaken by Snow Dragon, managed to nail A Shin Top just before the wire for third.
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