Flag Of Honour (AUS) dug down deep in the final strides to fend off slight 2-1 choice Ice Chocolat (BRZ) in Saturday’s $175,000 Kennedy Road (G2) at Woodbine.
Maclean’s Posse blasted to lead in the field of eight (War Bomber (IRE) and Sky’s Not Falling were scratched) in the six-furlong Tapeta event for 3-year-olds and up, with Flag Of Honour and Jazz Hands away second and third, respectively. Jazz Hands then proceeded to rocket up the rail and strike front, taking his seven rivals through a spirited opening quarter in :21.73, while Patches O’Houlihan, riding a six-race win streak, sat fourth.
There was little separation between the quartet of Jazz Hands, Patches O’Houlihan, Ice Chocolat, and Flag Of Honour through a half in a brisk :43.85. Kazushi Kimura, aboard Flag Of Honour, kept the 4-year-old son of American Pharoah-Godiva Rock (AUS) tucked along the rail in fourth, in search of an opening to make their bid.
They found that opening in mid-stretch to take command, but Ice Chocolat announced his arrival soon after, setting the stage for what would be a photo finish. Dream Shake rallied to finish a clear third, while Ironstone bested Patches O’Houlihan by a head for fourth spot. The final time was 1:08.86.
Flag Of Honour (AUS) right, picture Michael Burns Photography
“I knew everybody would rush out at the beginning,” said Kimura. “It was a great trip. As soon as we make room, he exploded from there.”
Bred by Mr. G. Harvey, the bay gelding is trained by Julia Carey for owners R.M. Wanless and Mrs. J.M. Wanless.
With the win, Flag Of Honour, a $330,391 (U.S.) purchase at the 2021 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, is now 4-0-1 from eight career starts.
“He got a lot out of it,” said Carey, in reference to his Canadian debut on October 29 at Woodbine that yielded a third-place finish. “I believe he had the one-hole and it was quite a big field. He was standing in there [gate] for a while and he kind of got impatient. He kind of swung his head – he has this big noggin on him – and they sprung the latch.”
Carey will speak with the connections about the next steps for Flag Of Honour.
“We’ll have to talk to the owners and the manager and see what we are going to do. But this is awful exciting. I’m just going to enjoy this right now.”
Flag Of Honour launched his career with two wins, one at Newcastle, the other at Rosehill, and went on to post a 3-0-0 mark from six starts overseas.
He paid $14.30 for today’s win.