Let's Go Donki wins Japanese 1000 Guineas
Last Updated: 12/04/15 6:34pm
Let's Go Donki followed in the steps of Gentildonna and Harp Star by winning the Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) at Hanshin on Sunday.
Trained by Tomoyuki Umeda, who captured the Australian Caulfield Cup with Admire Rakti last season, Let’s Go Donki coasted to victory with an all the way success to register a first graded race win in the first leg of the fillies’ Triple Crown.
A winner on her juvenile debut, she had finished third and second in a brace of Group Threes before only being beaten by half a length in the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies (G1, 1m) last December, the race to determine the Best Two-Year-Old Filly.
Third again on her reappearance, she stepped up on that form with a cosy four length success to provide Umeda with a first top level success on home soil while it was a second Oka Sho for jockey Yasunari Iwata who won the 2012 renewal aboard the brilliant Gentildonna.
“I was hoping to race keeping my eyes on the fillies inside us, but no one was taking command so I let my filly go up front," said Iwata.
"It was a good move because she was able to travel at an easy pace. The going was good and she just stretched well after saving energy in the first half of the race. She’s been winless after breaking her maiden and had very close finishes since, so I’m glad she was able to demonstrate her true strength."
She was chased home by daughters of the all-conquering Deep Impact in Culminar and Contessa Thule with the latter ridden by Christophe Lemaire in his first Group One since becoming the first foreign jockey to be granted a permanent JRA jockey license.
Harp Star, last year's winner of the Oka Sho, was later targeted at the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and was arguably unfortunate not to finish closer than sixth - beaten four and a half lengths - after being given plenty to do and Let's Go Donki is bred to appreciate middle distances should connections opt to go down that route.