Kanoya Zakura fends off Symboli Gran
REPORT: JAPAN, Sunday
Hanshin : Centaur Stakes (Turf, Grade 2) 6f
JAPAN'S richly endowed autumn programme kicked into gear on Sunday with the Centaur Stakes, the designated trial for the nation's top sprint, the Grade 1 Sprinters Stakes in early October.
Although the Centaur is part of the Global Sprint Challenge, a totally domestic renewal was won by third-favourite Kanoya Zakura (Kojiro Hashiguchi/Futoshi Komaki).
The four-year-old filly held off outsider Symboli Gran to score by a length and a quarter in a fast time of 1m 07.3s, only two-tenths of a second off the race record.
Market principals Suzuka Phoenix and Fine Grain could finish only eighth and ninth of 16 in a race worth 116 million yen (£600,000).
Suzuka Phoenix had little chance after missing the break under Yutaka Take and having to play catch-up.
Nakayama : Keisei Hai Autumn Handicap (Turf, Grade3) 1m
KISS TO HEAVEN (Hirofumi Toda/Shinji Fujita), winner of the Oka Sho (1,000 Guineas) two seasons ago, regained the winning thread.