Frankel fillies beaten as Reine Minoru claims 1,000 Guineas
Report: Japan, Sunday
Hanshin: Oka Sho (Japanese 1,000 Guineas) (Grade 1) 1m | turf | 3yo fillies
There was no instant Classic success for Frankel as Soul Stirring finished third behind surprise winner Reine Minoru (Masaru Honda/Kenichi Ikezoe) in the Oka Sho, Japan's equivalent of the 1,000 Guineas, at Hanshin on Sunday.
Soul Stirring, who became the debut top-level winner for Frankel in the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies over the same course and distance in December, was sent off odds-on but came out at the wrong end of a tight finish as 40-1 Reine Minoru beat Lys Gracieux by half a length, with the favourite a further neck away.
The filly, trained by Kazuo Fujisawa for Shadai Race Horse Co Ltd, had won the Grade 3 Tulip Sho at Hanshin, last time and looked to have come with a winning run under Christophe Lemaire but could not reel in Reine Minoru and was edged out of second by the fast-finishing Lys Gracieux.
"The track condition was against her and she kept changing leads. She wasn't able to show her true form in this race," said Lemaire.
Mi Suerte, another daughter of Frankel who won the Grade 3 Kyoto Sho Fantasy Stakes, was down the field in 11th.
Dual world champion Frankel, who stands at Banstead Manor Stud at a fee of £125,000, has sired several three-year-old maiden winners in Europe from his first crop in recent weeks and was represented with his first Classic performers in the Oka Sho.
Reine Minoru turned the tables on Soul Stirring having finished third behind the Frankel filly in the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies.
Ikezoe said: "I was careful not to let her go too early in the straight and once we hit the front, it felt like forever up to the finish line as the horses came chasing behind us, but she really held on well."