TOKYO (TR) – The Japan Racing Association’s 2015 2-year-old of the year, Major Emblem, won the Daily Hai Queen Cup G3 on Saturday at Tokyo Racecourse by five lengths. The filly by Daiwa Major confirmed her billing as the best 3-year-old filly in Japan by cruising wire-to-wire for the win and earning 35.5 million yen for the Sunday Racing Co. Ltd. Japan’s current top Jockey, Christophe Lemaire, took Major Emblem out of the gate fast for an early lead and began pulling away early in the stretch, finishing the mile in 1:32.5 and paying 130 yen. (Video: Major Emblem wins the Daily Hai Queen Cup in the 11th race at Tokyo Racecourse on Feb. 13)
In Sunday’s Kyodo News Service Hai (Tokinominoru Kinen) G3 for 3-year-olds the heavy favorite, Hartley, failed to deliver as overlooked Deep Impact colt Dee Majesty stunned the field, winning the 1,800-meter race by 1 1/4 lengths over a wet track and earning owner Masaru Shimada 38.3 million yen. Jockey Masayoshi Ebina held the colt on the rail mid-pack before moving 3-wide with 200 meters to go and passing second place finisher Immortal to win the race in 1:47.4. Hartley, from the same barn as Major Emblem and Hopeful Stakes G2 winner, went off at 1.9 and finished ninth in the field of ten. The win paid 2,260 yen.
In Kyoto the favorites did not fair any better as sixth ranked Satono Crown won the 2,200 meter Kyoto Kinen G2 by three lengths. Favorite Reve Mistral seemed stuck in the yielding turf and finished a disappointing twelfth. Satono Crown by Marju and Jioconda had been looking for a win since finishing first in the Hochi Hai Yayoi Sho G2 in March, but failed in three G1 attempts.
On Sunday at Kyoto Racecourse, the 4-year-old colt with Mirco Demuro in the irons won with aplomb in a spectacular stretch charge that got the crowd wild and earned owner Hajime Satomi just over half the 120-million-yen purse. Touching Speech, a 4-year-old filly by Deep Impact finished second, and third place went to 5-year-old Admire Deus by Admire Don. The win paid 920 yen.