Gold Ship: made light work of his rivals in the Hanshin DaishotenPICTURE: Masakazu Takahashi
Top-rated Gold Ship back with an easy win
Report: Japan, Sunday
Hanshin: Hanshin Daishoten (Grade 2) 1m7f, turf, 4yo+
GOLD SHIP (Naosuke Sugai/Hiroyuki Uchida), the highest-rated three-year-old in the world last year according to RPRs, had no problem landing this £800,000 contest as the 1-10 favourite took the the trial race for the Grade 1 Tenno Sho Spring.
Having dwelt at the start, Gold Ship was still in the rear as the field completed the first half of the race in a steady gallop. Uchida drove him closer in the second circuit before the pair caught second favourite Veiled Impact rounding the last turn before going on to beat Desperado by two lengths.
Uchida said: "I rode him to spurt at the end of the back straight. Before the finish, he slowed down by himself so I used the whip twice.
"It will be good for him because the next race will be over a longer distance than today. Though the rivals will be stronger than today, he will be okay. I look forward to his next race."
Gold Ship could run in the Takarazuka Kinen after the Tenno Sho with Japanese racegoers intrigued to see when their leading horses Orfevre, Gentildonna and Gold Ship will clash.
Also on Sunday
Nakayama: Fuji TV Sho Spring Stakes (Grade 2) 1m1f, turf, 3yo
Last year's best two-year-old colt Logotype (Tsuyoshi Tanaka/Cristian Demuro) was sent off favourite despite worries about the change of jockey, but he had no problems winning this as the champion showed the power which marks him out as a Classic contender.
Cristian Demuro, who is the younger brother to regular rider Mirco, kept him in midfield before taking the lead at the top of the home straight and the pair held on from runner-up Tamamo Best Play and the third Meiner Ho O.
The winning jockey said: "My horse broke well so I didn't need to chase him. He is relaxed and is very strong so I want to ride him next time. I will talk to Mirco, it was an easy win."