Breeders' Cup on horizon as Dubai star Real Steel strikes

Tokyo: Mainichi Okan (Grade 2) 1m1f | turf | 3yo+

A rare Japanese presence at the Breeders' Cup is a possibility after Real Steel (Yoshito Yahagi/Mirco Demuro) gained a first victory since last year's Dubai Turf success with a narrow win over Yasuda Kinen scorer Satono Aladdin at Tokyo on Sunday.

Real Steel, photo Liesl King

Trainer Yoshito Yahagi revealed the five-year-old is likely to be aimed at the Breeders' Cup Mile at Del Mar on November 4 following his neck triumph in the 129m yen (£875,000) contest.

Real Steel kept on strongly in the closing stages to deny the fast-finishing Satono Aladdin, while evens favourite Soul Stirring, the first Grade 1 winner for Frankel as a sire last year, weakened out of contention, finishing eighth.

Yahagi said: "I was confident coming into the race as he had great condition, nearing the best he's been in.

"He's taken time to come to himself this year but he's peaking at the right time now.

"We'll see how comes out of this race but we may target the Breeders' Cup Mile as his next start."

Christophe Lemaire felt the drop in trip did not suit his mount Soul Stirring, who is set to contest the Tenno Sho Autumn at Tokyo later this month.

Lemaire said: "She didn't run too badly but the trip proved too sharp for her.

"She'll improve for the experience however and should be better for it next time."