Mozu Ascot gives Frankel his third G1winner

Filed on 4 Jun 2018 @ 15:41

Japan, 3 June 2018

Mozu Ascot (Frankel) claimed his first graded win in this year’s Yasuda Kinen after being sent off ninth favorite in a field of 16 tying the race record of 1:31.3 set in 2012.

As the field broke at the top of the backstretch, Win Gagnant gunned for the lead from the farthest stall with Reine Minoru stalking the pace. Mozu Ascot made steady progress in mid-pack but was checked briefly before the far turn before settling on the rails up to the top of the straight. Steadily chasing half of the field up the stretch hill and on the heels of Suave Richard, the four-year-old made most of the opening found just as the race favorite shifted outside with a furlong to go and charged strongly to the line catching the favorite and then Aerolithe in the final strides for a neck win.

Aerolithe, G1 victor at the mile distance, broke well and raced a few lengths behind the leader in third up to early stretch. While picking off the tiring pace setter at the furlong pole, the four-year-old filly stretched well holding off the fast-closing favorite but surrendered the lead in the last strides to Mozu Ascot for second.

Race favorite Suave Richard took a ground saving trip in fourth to fifth and was in good striking position with a clear path in front of him at the top of the stretch. With 300 meters to go, the G1 winner found another gear and drove well almost tagging Aerolithe in the last 50 meters then overtaken by the hard-closing winner in the final strides to finish third.

Western Express broke smoothly and positioned handily around fifth to sixth behind a brisk pace, turned smoothly into the straight with every chance to rally in the early stretch but was unable to sustain his bid and fell back to tenth while crossing the wire a second behind the record-tying winner.

“He went really well and couldn’t be happier with him—he just lacked the strong finish at the mile. He jumped well, the pace wasn’t overly strong early, then it got quicker from the 1,000 or 800 (meters) and he was tired at the end—but he didn’t drop out, he kept trying and he’s only been beaten by five lengths or so. He’s probably gone as good if not better than he ever has,” commented Samuel Clipperton.

“We thought that he ran as good as he could but the (other) horses in the race, they were just too strong for him. He stood in the gate quietly, jumped well on the terms of the other horses, he had a nice run in the first section of the race, he was fifth one off the fence, so you couldn’t ask for better than that, committed to make a run and he just wasn’t strong enough to get up the hill and up to the line,” commented John Size.

Filed on 4 Jun 2018 @ 15:41