Three-year-old Mozu Katchan claims Queen Elizabeth II Cup

Fifth pick Mozu Katchan claimed her well-deserved first G1 victory in this year’s Queen Elizabeth II Cup (2200m) at Kyoto on Sunday after few misses in her fillies’ Triple earlier in the season.

Beating her seniors in this event, she becomes the firstthree-year-old in four years and the eighth overall to win the distaff G1 title. The Harbinger filly, with just one startas a two-year-old, broke her maiden in her third career starts and notched three wins in a row including her firstgrade-race victory in the Flora Stakes.

She was 1-/3/4-second to Soul Stirring in her following Yushun Himba(Japanese Oaks) then, coming off a seventh in the Rose Stakes, finished third in the Shuka Sho despite losing a shoe.

Trainer Ippo Sameshima celebrated his first G1 victory and 24th grade-race title after opening his yard in2000. Jockey Mirco Demuro accomplished a repeat victory after winning this race last year with Queens Ring while claiming his 23rd JRA-G1 title—his latest being the Kikuka Sho with Kiseki.

Mozu Katchan broke smoothly out of the gate and immediately settled nicely along the rails inside race favorite Vivlos in fifth position. Still in hand going downhill towards the fourth corner, jockey Mirco Demuro nudged the three-year-old forward to secure a clear path as the field started to close up from behind, and the filly responded with increasing speed from the 200-meter pole in pursuit of Crocosmia who found another gear after inheriting the lead from Queen’s Milagro while holding off a fast closing Mikki Queen, finally pinning Crocosmia in the last strides for a neck victory and first G1 title against older fillies and mares.

“I’m so happy to have won this title again this year. Mozu Katchan is such an honest and talented filly and it was such a shame that she’d lost a shoe last time out in the Shuka Sho, so I’m glad that we were able to prove her ability in this race. We had a good draw and everything went as planned. She was so strong nearing the finish and pinning the leader for the win,” commented winning jockey Mirco Demuro.

Crocosmia shot out of the gate and eased to second as Queen’s Milagro immediately disputed for the lead and made the pace. Stalking the pace in second, about 2-1/2 lengths from the leader and five lengths in front of her next rival Maximum de Paris, Crocosmia had plenty in the tank as she inherited the lead and took command at the head of the stretch then maintained a clear lead for most of the stretch before outrun by the winner by a neck in the last strides.

Mikki Queen was unhurried early and rated well behind the pace in the latter half of the field along the backstretch.

Making headway along the outside and wide entering the stretch, the Deep Impact mare exerted a powerful late run to sweep past her rivals and loomed to contention in the last 100 meters to almost catching all but finishing a neck and a head in third.

Race favorite Vivlos broke sharply out of the gate under Christophe Lemaire and rated nicely just behind the pace and outside a rival in fourth position. Entering the stretch a few horses back as the race began in earnest, the Deep Impact filly was unable to quicken in the final stages to threaten the leaders while remaining in contention for fifth.

THE 42ND QUEEN ELIZABETH II CUP (G1) – Japan Autumn International -
3-year-old & up, Fillies & Mares, 2,200 meters (about 11 furlongs), turf, right-handed
Sunday, November 12, 2017 Kyoto Racecourse 11th Race Post time: 15:40
Total prize money: ¥ 200,480,000 (about US$ 1,743,304 <US$1=¥115>)

1. Mozu Katchan (JPN), dark bay or brown, filly, 3-year-old
Harbinger / Site Dealer (King Kamehameha)
Owner: Capital System Co., Ltd. Breeder: Masaji Kitagawa
Trainer: Ippo Sameshima Jockey: Mirco Demuro
9 Starts, 4 Wins
Added money: ¥ 96,822,000 Career earnings: ¥ 234,398,000
Principal race performances: ’17 Flora Stakes (G2, 2,000m) 1st
’17 Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks, G1, 2,400m) 2nd
’17 Shuka Sho (G1, 2,000m) 3rd

2. Crocosmia (JPN), dark bay or brown, filly, 4-year-old
Stay Gold / Developpe (Boston Harbor)
Owner: Ryoichi Otsuka Breeder: Hideo Takadaru
Trainer: Katsuichi Nishiura Jockey: Ryuji Wada

3. Mikki Queen (JPN), bay, mare, 5-year-old
Deep Impact / Musical Way (Gold Away)
Owner: Mizuki Noda Breeder: Northern Farm
Trainer: Yasutoshi Ikee Jockey: Suguru Hamanaka

Other Horses:
4th: (15) Maximum de Paris―chased leaders in 3rd, sustained bid, outrun by Mikki Queen in final strides
6th: (12) Smart Layer―sat around 6th, gradually improved position at stretch, accelerated in last 200m
7th: (7) Queens Ring―took economic trip in mid-division, quickened at inner stretch, failed to threaten
8th: (6) Lys Gracieux―positioned towards rear, showed belated charge, timed tied fastest over last 3 furlongs
9th: (17) Rouge Buck―settled wide towards rear, switched to outside at early stretch, accelerated
10th: (3) Tosen Victory―traveled behind eventual winner, failed to respond at stretch
11th: (18) Eterna Minoru―ran wide in mid-pack, ran willingly until 200m out, weakened thereafter
12th: (11) Deirdre―sat 2nd from rear, showed belated late charge, timed third fastest over last 3 furlongs
13th: (9) Denko Ange―raced in mid-group, met traffic briefly at early stretch, lacked needed kick
14th: (1) Queen’s Milagro―set pace and led until final corner, faded thereafter
14th: (2) Happy Yunibansu―saved ground 3rd from rear, turned wide, even paced at stretch
16th: (13) Jour Polaire―traveled wide in mid-division, showed little at stretch
17th: (8) Touching Speech―sat 4th from rear, unable to reach contention
18th: (14) Ukiyono Kaze―was off a bit slow, trailed in rear, no factor throughout
Fractional time (sec./furlong): 12.5 - 11.3 - 12.7 - 12.8 - 12.7 - 12.8 - 12.9 - 12.2 - 11.6 - 11.2 - 11.6
Last 4 furlongs: 46.6 Last 3 furlongs: 34.4