Mozu Katchan Gets G1 Score In Japan’s QEII Cup

Fifth pick Mozu Katchan claimed her well-deserved first G1 victory in this year’s Queen Elizabeth II Cup after few misses in her fillies’ Triple earlier in the season. Beating her seniors in this event, she becomes the first three-year-old in four years and the eighth overall to win the distaff G1 title. The Harbinger filly, with just one start as a two-year-old, broke her maiden in her third career starts and notched three wins in a row including her first grade-race victory in the Flora Stakes. She was 1-/3/4-second to Soul Stirring in her following Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) then, coming off a seventh in the Rose Stakes, finished third in the Shuka Sho despite losing a shoe. Trainer Ippo Sameshima celebrated his first G1 victory and 24th grade-race title after opening his yard in 2000. Jockey Mirco Demuro accomplished a repeat victory after winning this race last year with Queens Ring while claiming his 23rd JRA-G1 title—his latest being the Kikuka Sho with Kiseki.

Mozu Katchan broke smoothly out of the gate and immediately settled nicely along the rails inside race favorite Vivlos in fifth position. Still in hand going downhill towards the fourth corner, jockey Mirco Demuro nudged the three-year-old forward to secure a clear path as the field started to close up from behind, and the filly responded with increasing speed from the 200-meter pole in pursuit of Crocosmia who found another gear after inheriting the lead from Queen’s Milagro while holding off a fast closing Mikki Queen, finally pinning Crocosmia in the last strides for a neck victory and first G1 title against older fillies and mares.

“I’m so happy to have won this title again this year. Mozu Katchan is such an honest and talented filly and it was such a shame that she’d lost a shoe last time out in the Shuka Sho, so I’m glad that we were able to prove her ability in this race. We had a good draw and everything went as planned. She was so strong nearing the finish and pinning the leader for the win,” commented winning jockey Mirco Demuro

Crocosmia shot out of the gate and eased to second as Queen’s Milagro immediately disputed for the lead and made the pace. Stalking the pace in second, about 2-1/2 lengths from the leader and five lengths in front of her next rival Maximum de Paris, Crocosmia had plenty in the tank as she inherited the lead and took command at the head of the stretch then maintained a clear lead for most of the stretch before outrun by the winner by a neck in the last strides.

Mikki Queen was unhurried early and rated well behind the pace in the latter half of the field along the backstretch. Making headway along the outside and wide entering the stretch, the Deep Impact mare exerted a powerful late run to sweep past her rivals and loomed to contention in the last 100 meters to almost catching all but finishing a neck and a head in third.

Race favorite Vivlos broke sharply out of the gate under Christophe Lemaire and rated nicely just behind the pace and outside a rival in fourth position. Entering the stretch a few horses back as the race began in earnest, the Deep Impact filly was unable to quicken in the final stages to threaten the leaders while remaining in contention for fifth.

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