Always a major player in the global bloodstock industry, it was on various racetracks around the world over the weekend that Japanese-bred runners once again highlighted their outstanding class.
Kicking off at the US$35 million Dubai World Cup meeting, Japan’s glamour girl Almond Eye continued her dominance with a stunning victory in the G1 Dubai Turf (1800m), defeating the fellow Japanese-bred Vivlos (Deep Impact), herself a winner of the Dubai Turf in 2017 and runner up in 2018, by a length and a quarter.
A winner of the Japanese Fillies Triple Crown as well as a record-breaking Japan Cup victory, before being crowned Horse of the Year, Almond Eye’s dominance in her homeland has been beyond impressive, and she carried that into Saturday night’s US$6m race.
Jumping away as the red-hot favourite, jockey Christophe Lemaire settled the mare mid-field and although racing wide, she packed too much punch for her rivals, travelling up to the leaders under a hold before working to the line with ease to take the prize – race caller Craig Evens, stating “The Japanese knew it, the world suspected it, tonight she confirms it, Almond Eye is an equine masterpiece.”
Set to now head to Europe with her main aim being the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, where a clash with the northern hemisphere’s best mare Enable is a possibility, her seven straight wins, five at G1 level from eight lifetime starts, continues to shine a light onto the world class nature of horses bred in the land of the rising sun.
Japan’s multiple Champion Sire Deep Impact and his progeny were also in the news with 5yo Al Ain capturing the G1 Hanshin Osaka Hai, his second elite level score, while the G1-winning 4yo Wagnerian, also a son of Deep Impact was a neck back, just narrowly missing giving their sire a one-two finish.
Saturday’s running of the G3 Nakayama Lord Derby Challenge Trophy saw a narrow second to Deep Impact’s G3-winning Primo Scene, who is out of the Australian-bred and raced, multiple G1 winner Mosheen, highlighting the workings of the Australian and Japanese bloodlines.
From a local perspective, Woodside Park Stud’s very own Japanese-bred star, the dual Australian G1-winning son of Deep Impact in Tosen Stardom, is currently readying himself for his second book of mares during the upcoming season which kicks off in the Spring.
Showing excellent fertility during his first covering season, Tosen Stardom’s victory in the G1 Emirates Stakes at Flemington clearly highlights his appeal, considering that since 2000, the race has been won only four times by colts/stallions, with three having already had runners – all producing stakes winners highlighted by the outstanding sires Lonhro and So You Think – both Group 1 producing stallions of the highest calibre.
To discuss Tosen Stardom, or any of Woodside Park Stud’s other stallions ahead of the season, please contact James Price on 0409 806 595.