By Nicholas Godfrey
Japan: The Japan Racing Association’s spring season ended with yet another stunning performance as Classic-winning filly Chrono Genesis (Takashi Saito/Yuichi Kitamura) made light of wet conditions at Hanshin to bound away for a six-length victory over a field full of G1 rivals in the Takarazuka Kinen.
Run over 2,200 metres (1m3f), the ¥325millon (about $2.46m) event is the last Grade 1 on the JRA circuit before the Sprinters Stakes kicks off the autumn campaign at the beginning of October.
Following a heavy downpour shortly before the race, underfoot conditions played a significant role in proceedings and they were clearly to the liking of second favourite Chrono Genesis, a four-year-old daughter of Arc winner Bago, who had won last year’s Shuko Sho (fillies’ St Leger) after being placed in the other two legs of the fillies’ Triple Crown.
She was settled in mid-division before being produced wide in the Hanshin straight and then putting the race away in a matter of strides, powering away for an emphatic victory over Kiseki.
“The filly broke smoothly and we were able to travel in good rhythm in good striking position,” reported winning jockey Yuichi Kitamura. “I didn’t really have to urge her to go but she just went spontaneously.
“She was responding really well so I knew that she would stretch well in the lane. She has become a powerful filly and was in very good condition. She was really strong.”
The favourite Saturnalia finished fourth with star filly Lucky Lilac only sixth, while Hong Kong Vase winner Glory Vase was bitterly disappointing, never seen with a chance on the soft ground and beating only one horse home.
• Find out more about Japanese racing at the Japan Racing Association website