Upset victory by Ten Happy Rose in Victoria Mile

Ten Happy Rose, coming off a sixth-place finish in her previous start, the Hanshin Himba Stakes G2, 1,600m) and sent to post 14th favorite in this race, landed her first graded victory and G1 title in this year’s Victoria Mile, upsetting a quality field of proven grade-race winners. After winning her two-year-old debut over 1,200 meters, the Epiphaneia mare was winless in her next five starts over a mile and scored four wins after stepping down in distance to 1,400 meters in 15 of her following 17 starts, which included a listed win in the Toki Stakes (1,400m). Trainer Daisuke Takayanagi scored his second JRA-G1 title after saddling T O Keynes to victory in the 2021 Champions Cup while jockey Akihide Tsumura celebrated his first career G1 victory in his 18th grade-race win in his 21st season as a jockey.

Ten Happy Rose broke sharply but soon eased back to settle fourth from the rear. Gradually making up ground along the outside approaching the third corner and securing a clear path into the homestretch, the six-year-old mare showed terrific acceleration going uphill with 400 meters to go, reaching the leader soon after the furlong pole and continuing to pull away to a 1-1/4-length victory.

“I had long been waiting and working hard to be able to stand on this podium as a G1 winner and it feels really great that I have finally made it. The race development, from the start up until the final corner, exceeded my imagination and it was just a matter of how much the mare could extend her strides from there. When we were actually leading in the last 200 meters, it was almost unbelievable. I am grateful for the fans that have been rooting for me and I hope this is just the start of more victories like this,” commented jockey Akihide Tsumura.

Fierce Pride chased the leaders just off the rails in fourth position early, angled out entering the stretch to overtake the early leaders who began to run out of steam going uphill and assumed command before the furlong pole but was outrun by the powerful charge from the outside by the eventual winner and unable to match that foe while managing to hold off the fast closing race favorite to finish second. Race favorite Masked Diva, breaking smoothly and eased back to mid-division, met disadvantages after shifting out for the stretch run, blocked by horses in front and, while showing a good turn of speed once finding some space inside the furlong pole, was too late to make up enough ground to catch the leaders to finish third.

4-year-olds & up, Fillies & Mares, 1,600 meters (about 8 furlongs), turf, left-handed
Sunday, May 12, 2024 Tokyo Racecourse 11th Race Post time: 15:40
Total prize money: ¥ 281,800,000 (about US$ 1,999,000 <US$1=¥141>)
4-y-o & up: 56kg (about 123-124 lbs), 1kg allowance for Southern Hemisphere-bred born in 2020
Course Record: 1:30.5 Race Record: 1:30.5 [Normcore (JPN, by Harbinger), 2019]
Safety factor: 18 runners Going: Good to Firm Weather: Cloudy

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

1 5 9 Ten Happy Rose (JPN) Akihide Tsumura M6 ch. 56.0 208.6 (14) 1:31.8 (33.9) Epiphaneia Fatal Rose (Tanino Gimlet) Yasushi Tenpaku Shadai Farm Daisuke Takayanagi

2 2 2 Fierce Pride (JPN) Christophe Lemaire M6 br. 56.0 12.5 (4) 1-1/4 (34.9) Deep Impact Strawberry Fair (Kingmambo) Godolphin Godolphin Sakae Kunieda

3 4 6 Masked Diva (JPN) Joao Moreira F4 d.b. 56.0 2.3 (1) Neck (34.1) Rulership Mask Off (Deep Impact) Shadai Race Horse Co., Ltd. Shadai Farm Yasuyuki Tsujino

Other Horses:
4th: (15) Doe Eyes—sat around 7th, checked 300m out, showed effort thereafter
5th: (11) Rouge Lignage—was off a slow, trailed in rear, launched fastest late speed, belatedly
6th: (5) Umbrail—hugged rails around 5th, weakened in last 100m
7th: (13) Moryana—positioned around 13th, circled wide, passed tired rivals
8th: (10) Namur—broke poorly, ran 2nd from rear, lacked needed kick at stretch
9th: (3) Stunning Rose—tracked leaders around 3rd on rails, remained in contention until 100m out
10th: (8) Sound Vivace—raced around 5th, checked 300m out, weakened in last 200m
11th: (12) Kita Wing—took economic trip around 12th, failed to reach contention
12th: (14) Feel Sympathy—broke sharply, stalked leader in 2nd, dropped back after 200m pole
13th: (4) Conch Shell—disputed lead and set pace, faded after 300m out
14th: (1) Lilac—saved ground around 9th, no response when asked

Fractional time (sec./furlong): 12.2 - 10.5 - 11.1 - 11.6 - 11.4 - 11.6 - 11.7 - 11.7
 Last 4 furlongs: 46.4 Last 3 furlongs: 35.0

Positions at each corner: 3rd corner 4,14(3,2)(5,8)(6,15)1(7,9)12-(10,13)11
 4th corner 4,14(3,2)-8(5,15)(1,6,9)(12,7)(10,13)11