By Nicholas Godfrey
Japan: After coming second in a memorable edition of the Oka Sho (Japanese 1,000 Guineas), Resistencia was forced to fill the same position in the G1 NHK Mile Cup on Sunday.
After trying to make all, last year’s two-year-old champion filly was overcome inside the final furlong by 29-1 longshot Lauda Sion (Takashi Saito/Mirco Demuro), who went on to score by a decisive length and a half in front of empty stands at Tokyo racecourse.
The 2-1 favourite Resistencia held second by another three-quarters of a length in the 226.8 million yen (£1.71m) contest for three-year-old colts and fillies.
Listed winner Lauda Sion, a son of the Deep Impact stallion Real Impact, was stepping up a furlong after finishing second in G3 company at Chukyo. After a brief attempt to take the lead in the early stages, he sat just behind Resistencia before smoothly taking command in the straight.
Nothing else was able to land a blow in a contest where it paid to race close to the pace. “I knew that the track today ran better for front-runners,” commented winning jockey Mirco Demuro, who was landing his 32nd JRA top-level JRA success.
“Considering that he’s usually an evenly paced colt, I planned to keep him well up in front,” added the jockey. “He’s always quick out of the gate so we were able to secure a good position and I felt he had plenty to outrun Christophe’s filly in the final stages.”
• Learn more about Japanese racing at the JRA website