Rey De Oro lays down marker for Tenno Sho with impressive comeback victory

Nakayama: Sankei Sho All Comers (Grade 2) | 1m3f | 3yo+ | turf

The 2017 Japanese Derby winner Rey De Oro (Kazuo Fujisawa/Christophe Lemaire) made a winning return to action when running down Satsuki Sho winner Al Ain to land this trial for the Grade 1 Tenno Sho Autumn by a neck.

The son of King Kamehameha has been off since finishing a disappointing fourth in the Dubai Sheema Classic in March and was recording his sixth win in ten starts.

Lemaire said: "When I rode him in his fast work before this race I felt that he was still not 100 per cent, but I still had confidence in him because he’s a very good horse.

“He relaxed well and I could feel him coming into his own in the last 100 metres. His response wasn't fast today but it will be better next time. I’m looking forward to him producing his best in the Grade 1 race."

Also on Sunday

Hanshin: Kobe Shimbun Hai (Grade 2) | 1m4f | 3yo | turf 

Japanese Derby winner Wagnerian (Yasuo Tomomichi/Kota Fujioka) landed this premier trial for the Kikuka Sho, the Japanese equivalent of the St Leger.

After racing in midfield, Wagnerian came five wide on the home turn to lead and responded well for his rider’s urgings to win by half a length on his first start since winning the Japanese Derby.

Wagernian was partnered by Fujioka, the horse’s usual work rider, after regular jockey Yuichi Fukunaga fractured his skull in a fall this month.

Fujioka said: "He’s the Derby winner so I rode him with a lot of confidence. His strength helped me and he showed his guts."