Blackstairmountain: never a factor in the Nakayama Grand Jump trialPICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Blackstair brushed aside by Nakayama rivals
Report: Japan, Saturday
Nakayama: Pegasus Jump Stakes (Chase) 2m1f, turf, 4yo+
THE Willie Mullins-trained Blackstairmountain and Ruby Walsh could finish only ninth in the Pegasus Jump, the designated trial for the Nakayama Grand Jump.
The 29 million yen (about £200,000) contest was won by 6-1 shot Rikiai Kurofune (Tsuyoshi Tanaka/Mitsuko Kaneko), who scored by four lengths over the favourite Smart Stage after hitting the front in the final furlong.
A Grade 1 winner over hurdles at Punchestown in 2010, Susannah Ricci's Blackstairmountain was sent off at 4.3-1 chance for the Pegasus Jump, which begins from a set of starting stalls.
Drawn 12 of 13, the Irish visitor ambled out of the blocks as the locals sped away, leaving him towards the rear from the outset. He raced wide thereafter, jumping big and bold over series of obstacles that were rather less formidable than they looked, easily brushed aside by the majority of Blackstairmountain's opponents. Never a factor, Blackstairmountain stayed on past a couple of languishing rivals in the straight.
Worth a total of 135 million yen, the Nakayama Grand Jump takes place on April 13.