FIRST GR.1 WINNER ON DIRT FOR FRANKEL
Mozu Ascot is FRANKEL's first Gr.1 winner on dirt following victory in the February Stakes (23rd February, Tokyo) only three weeks after he became his sire's first Group winner on the surface.
Taken from the Thoroughbred Daily News, 24th February 2020
2018 Gr.1 Yasuda Kinen hero Mozu Ascot thrilled in the Gr.3 Negishi Stakes 21 days ago, and he is now two-for-two over the dirt after a two and a half length win in the Gr.1 February Stakes at Tokyo on Sunday. The race is a 'Win and You're In' for the $6-million GI Breeders' Cup Classic at Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky on 7th November.
The first of his Juddmonte-based sire's 10 Group 1 winners to take a top-level race on dirt, he is the fifth Japanese-based horse to win Group 1s on both dirt and turf in Japan after Kurofune, Agnes Digital, Balso, Eagle CafJ, and Admire Don. Content to bide his time in a mid-pack eighth through the early stages as Wide Pharoah was pressed by Arctos in the vanguard, the chestnut improved to fourth with just under 400 metres remaining as that pair folded and Time Flyer briefly took over.
Shifted to the four path and flashing his sire's signature turn of foot, the 9-5 favourite seized command just outside the final furlong as K T Brave and Sunrise Nova rallied up the centre of the track. Mozu Ascot won geared down by daylight (two and a half lengths).
"He broke well and we were able to settle right behind Inti as planned," said pilot Christophe Lemaire, who was winning his first February Stakes.
"His acceleration was extraordinary. Although he is a newcomer in dirt racing, he adapted immediately to the surface and gave his best today. After a couple of second-place finishes in the past, I myself, am happy to have won the February Stakes at last."
A winner of the Yasuda Kinen from seven starts as a four-year-old in 2018, the Capital System runner hit the board in his fourth start last year, running second in the Gr.2 Swan Stakes. He was 14th in his final appearance on turf in the Gr.1 Mile Championship there on 17th November, prior to his Negishi Stakes win. The six-year-old entire will now point to the Gr.1 Doncaster Mile during the first weekend of The Championships at Royal Randwick in Australia according to his connections.
Date: 24 February 2020