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Breeders' Cup or Hong Kong next for Godolphin's Fine Needle after Sprinter win

Fine Needle (blue) powers to victory in the Sprinter Stakes
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Nakayama: Sprinter Stakes (Grade 1) | 6f | 3yo+ | turf

A tilt at the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint is under consideration for Fine Needle after he became just the fifth horse to claim both Grade 1 sprints in Japan in the same season.

Having landed the Takamatsunomiya Kinen at Chukyo in March – Godolphin's first top-level success in Japan – Fine Needle travelled in the middle of the field before unleashing his trademark turn of foot under jockey Yuga Kawada to run down his rivals and score by a neck from Love Kampf.

“Fine Needle is such a professional, he seems to know exactly what it takes and executes it at the right time," trainer Yoshitada Takahashi said.

"I’ll have to see how he comes out of this race to determine his future starts. The choices include the Hong Kong Sprint; if we run in that I hope to show the fans there how much stronger he’s become."

Fine Needle's only defeat this year came when he finished fourth in the Chairman's Sprint Prize at Sha Tin in April, and Hong Kong is a possible option for the five-year-old if he does not go to the US.

Harry Sweeney, president of Godolphin in Japan, said: "We're extremely pleased with this very exciting victory. There are no more Grade 1 sprints in Japan until March so he'll have to race overseas. The options are the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint or the Hong Kong Sprint. We'll see how he comes out this race before making a decision.”

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The options are the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint or the Hong Kong Sprint
E.W. Terms
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