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Lemaire and Gran Alegria land hat-trick in Grade 1 Mile Championship

Gran Alegria: an authoritative winner at Hanshin on Saturday
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Favourite Gran Alegria landed her third Grade 1 in a row when overcoming difficulty in running to win the Mile Championship.

Winner of last year's Oka Show (Japanese 1,000 Guineas), Gran Alegria showed a smart turn of foot to take the lead in the closing stages at Hanshin before winning by three-quarters of a length.

Winning jockey Christophe Lemaire said: "I was able to get a good position after the break, and she was able to run calm and relax very nicely in the race.

"She has an ability to change speed quickly, so she ran very fast and was able to catch Indy Champ before the finish. She is very strong. I am looking forward to more success next year."

Indy Champ was seeking back-to-back victories in the Mile Championship, but had to settled for second behind Gran Alegria.

Indy Champ's rider Yuichi Fukunaga said: "We 100 per cent ran our race. The winner beat us, so I have to think that rival was simply better than us today. His condition after the break was no problem at all."

Second favourite Salios finished fifth of the 17 runners and jockey Mirco Demuro said: "I wanted to make him run smoothly but I couldn't get him to the inside after starting from the most outside stall. The leaders - who were settled on the inside - didn't stop on the fast ground."

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I was a little worried but the way she exploded into gear in the last 150 metres just shows how powerful she is
E.W. Terms