Daring Tact wins the Shuka Sho to become the first undefeated Triple Crown Filly

Odds-on-favourite Daring Tact won this year’s Shuka Sho, the first G1 race to be held with limited number of racing fans after the COVID-19 pandemic, to claim all the fillies’ Triple Crown races including the Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) and the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) held in spring. 

She is the sixth filly to capture the fillies’ Triple Crown title following Mejiro Ramonu (1986), Still in Love (2003), Apapane (2010),
Gentildonna (2012) and Almond Eye (2018) but the first in JRA history to do so undefeated. The Epiphaneia filly has accomplished this feat prior to Contrail, also an undefeated colt, who will be aiming to capture the  Triple Crown title in the Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) next week. 

The Japan Cup (G1, 2,400m) on November 29 is listed as one of the possible races for her next start. Both trainer Haruki Sugiyama and jockey Kohei Matsuyama celebrated their fourth JRA-G1 victory—their most recent being the Yushun Himba with Daring Tact.

Daring Tact jumped out from the 13th stall and traveled wide toward the back, around 5-6th from the rear, while Maltese Diosa set a relatively slow pace. Gradually making headway in the backstretch, the Epiphaneia filly continued to take a wide route turning the last corners and, once entering the lane, swung into gear, overtook the front 200 meters out then exerted her powerful late charge to win the race with a comfortable 1-1/4-length margin.

“The filly seemed a bit nervous at the paddock but she broke well and we were able to race in good position and in good rhythm. There was some pressure as we were aiming for the first undefeated Triple Crown filly in JRA history but I’m delightful to be able to accomplish this remarkable feat. I want to thank the filly and offer her my congratulations. She has developed into a bold filly and I hope that she will remain undefeated,” commented Kohei Matsuyama.

Tenth-choice Magic Castle settled in midfield, and finding herself positioned behind Daring Tact when facing the homestretch, stalked behind the race favorite with impressive speed to cross the wire in second.

Ninth-pick Soft Fruit, although being forced to travel in the rear due to a slow break and turning the last two corners the widest, unleashed an explosive late charge, which marked the fastest last three furlongs of the field, and closed in on Magic Castle in the last 100 meters while dueling with Pallas Athena to finish 3/4 length behind the runner-up and a nose before the Rulership filly.

3-year-olds, Fillies, 2,000 meters (about 10 furlongs), turf, right-handed
Sunday, October 18, 2020 Kyoto Racecourse 11th Race Post Time: 15:40
Total prize money: ¥ 216,000,000 (about US$ 2,000,000 <US$1=¥108>)
3-y-o: 55 kg (about 121 lbs), 2 kg allowance for Southern Hemisphere-bred born in 2017
Course Record: 1:56.8 Race Record: 1:56.9 [Mikki Queen (JPN, by Deep Impact), 2015]
Safety factor: 18 runners Going: Good Weather: Fine

FP BK PP Horse Jockey S&A Color Wgt Odds (Fav) Margin (L3F) Sire Dam (Dam’s Sire) Owner Breeder

1 7 13 Daring Tact (JPN) Kohei Matsuyama F3 br. 55.0 1.4 (1) 2:00.6 (35.8) Epiphaneia Daring Bird (King Kamehameha) Normandy Thoroughbred Racing Co., Ltd. Hasegawa Bokujo Haruki Sugiyama

2 6 12 Magic Castle (JPN) Takuya Ono F3 b. 55.0 56.9 (10) 1-1/4 (35.8) Deep Impact So Magic (Symboli Kris S) Shadai Race Horse Co., Ltd. Shadai Farm Sakae Kunieda

3 4 8 Soft Fruit (JPN) Kota Fujioka F3 d.b. 55.0 54.7 (9) 3/4 (35.7) Deep Impact Strawberry Fair (Kingmambo) Godolphin Godolphin Kunihide Matsuda

Other Horses:
4th: (16) Pallas Athena—sat around 15th behind winner, turned wide, showed impressive late kick, but belatedly
5th: (15) Miss New York—ran in 7-8th, found little room and outrun turning final corner, accelerated belatedly
6th: (14) Oh My Darling—settled in 17th, made headway in backstretch, ran gamely until 200m pole, even paced
7th: (3) Maltese Diosa—set pace, showed tenacity but weakened in last 100m
8th: (7) Musica—was off slow, traveled in 14th, circled wide, lacked needed kick
9th: (5) Win Mighty—ran around 11th along rails, angled out for stretch run, responded briefly
10th: (11) Fiori Chiari—raced in 6th, failed to respond at stretch
11th: (18) Ablaze—traveled 3-wide around 9th, met traffic at final corner, improved position
12th: (6) Dantsu Elise—settled around 15th, passed tired rivals at stretch
13th: (2) Ria Amelia—sat in 5th, showed brief response, outrun in last 200m
14th: (1) Miyamazakura—hugged rails around 3rd, gradually dropped back after 300m pole
15th: (17) Win Marilyn—advanced to stalked leaders from wide stall, weakened in stretch
16th: (9) Sanctuaire—took economic trip around 7th, showed little after final corner
17th: (10) Cravache d’Or—saved ground around 9th, ran willingly until 200m out, outrun thereafter
18th: (4) Ho O Peaceful—chased pace in 2nd, faded after 3rd corner
Fractional time (sec./furlong): 12.3 - 10.8 - 11.8 - 12.2 - 12.3 - 12.7 - 12.1 - 12.4 - 11.9 - 12.1
Last 4 furlongs: 48.5 Last 3 furlongs: 36.4