Copano Rickey signs off in style in Tokyo Daishoten
Report: Japan, Friday
Ohi: Tokyo Daishoten (Grade 1) 1m2f, dirt, 3yo+
Copano Rickey (Akira Murayama/Hironobu Tanabe) brought the curtain down on a prolific career when registering an all-the-way success on his final start in the Tokyo Daishoten.
Sent off the third favourite, he grabbed an early lead and had established a five-length advantage at the home turn before drawing clear to beat 2015 winner Sound True by three lengths, with K T Brave a further two and a half lengths back in third.
Copano Rickey was winning his 16th race from 33 career starts; his total of 11 Grade 1 wins, mainly gained on the NAR circuit but also including back-to-back runnings of the February Stakes at Tokyo racecourse in 2014-15, is a Japanese record. He collected ¥995,144,000 (£6.5m/€7.4m) in total career earnings.
Winning jockey Hironobu Tanabe said: "I'm relieved to end his career safely – and just look at his Grade 1 record! He gave me my first Grade 1 victory [in the 2014 February Stakes] and put my name out there to many people. I would like to ride his children some day."
Trainer Akira Murayama added: "I'm very happy as the race went according to plan. I'm delighted he won his last race before retirement and I'd like to train his offspring in the future."
Like recently retired reigning horse of the year Kitasan Black, Copano Rickey was bred by Yanagawa Bokujo and there will be a retirement ceremony for Copano Rickey at Kyoto on January 6, with Kitasan Black's the following day.