MOZU ASCOT A NEW GROUP 1 WINNER FOR FRANKEL
Taken from the Thoroughbred Daily News, 4th June 2018
Mozu Ascot became FRANKEL's third Group 1 winner with a late lunge in the Gr.1 Yasuda Kinen at Tokyo on yesterday (3rd June).
The Capital System's colour bearer - pictured right as a foal - is the second Japanese Group 1 winner for Frankel after Soul Stirring. The winning margin was only a neck back to Aerolithe in second, who had appeared a sure winner until the final few strides. The top three finishers are eligible to start in the Prix Jacques le Marois (Gr.1) with their entry fees waived and a travel allowance provided.
One of three Yoshito Yahagi-trained runners after Lys Gracieux and Real Steel, Mozu Ascot settled in between horses in the early stages of the race. The colt powered in between horses in the final 200 meters and found that little bit extra to nab Aerolithe in the shadow of the wire. "The only thing I wanted to do was to have my horse relaxed and to follow a good horse in the straight," said jockey Christophe Lemaire. "I also didn't plan whether to go inside or outside. As a result, the space became narrow and we were bumped and pushed towards the inside. I didn't want him to lose his balance, so I waited for an opening and a good horse to follow, once I found a gap I asked for full power from the horse...he responded very well and kept on strongly to the finish line."
It was trainer Yoshito Yahagi's first Yasuda Kinen victory and fourth Japanese Group 1 title and he commented: "After so many misses in my previous attempts in this race, I am truly happy to have finally won this title. In a normal situation, we would gallop him on a Wednesday and again on the Sunday before the Yasuda, but my judgement was that he needed a stronger run [in the Azuchijo Stakes 27th May] and it ended up being the spot on decision. Of course, the recovery process in addition to the transport and such, it's not an easy task, but it just proves how well my stable staff has handled everything - they've done a great job."
Date: 04 June 2018