Japan Cup next likely race for Epiphaneia after Sunday's Kikuka Sho winPICTURE: Masakazu Takahashi
Epiphaenia nails his Classic in Kikuka Sho
Report: Japan, Sunday
Kyoto: Kikuka Sho (Japanese St Leger) (Grade 1) 1m7f, turf, 3yo
ODDS-ON favourite Epiphaneia (Katsuhiko Sumii/Yuichi Fukunaga), half-length runner-up in both the Japanese Guineas and Derby, finally landed a Classic with a dominant five-length victory in the Kikuka Sho.
Sent off a 3-5 shot, the son of Symboli Kris S raced in close third behind Bande before scorching to the front two furlongs out and powering clear for an easy victory. Satono Noblesse got the better of Bande by a neck to claim second in the 261 million yen (about £1.65m) event, run on soft ground after heavy rain in Kyoto.
Winning jockey Fukunaga partnered Epiphaeneia's dam Cesario to win the Yushun Himba (Oaks) and the American Oaks at Hollywood Park in 2005, and he said: "I am very happy to have won a Classic on a son of Cesario.
"I thought we couldn't lose this race so I felt a lot of pressure, but it was a perfect race because he kept very calm.
"It was wet ground so I had to keep him near the front, and I was sure we would win at the backstretch. All I had to do was let him go at the home turn."
The Japan Cup looks likely to be Epiphaneia's next race.