Lys Gracieux Outruns Male Rivals in This Year's Grand-Prix Takarazuka Kinen

Lys Gracieux wins this year’s Takarazuka Kinen at Hanshin.

LYS GRACIEUX winning the Takarazuka Kinen in Hanshin, Japan.
LYS GRACIEUX winning the Takarazuka Kinen in Hanshin, Japan. Picture: Japan Racing Association

Third favorite Lys Gracieux, the only female in a field of 12 strong runners, claimed the 60th running of the all-star Takarazuka Kinen to become the fourth filly/mare to claim the spring Grand-Prix since Marialite in 2016. Capturing her first G1 title in last year's Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1, 2,200m) at Kyoto in November, she was runner-up in both the following Hong Kong Vase (G1, 2,400m) in December and the Kinko Sho (G2, 2,000m) in March and came off a third in Hong Kong's Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1, 2,000m) in April. This win marked trainer Yoshito Yahagi's seventh JRA-G1 win following his Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) title with Loves Only You in May. For jockey Damian Lane, this marked his second JRA-G1 title following his win in the Victoria Mile with Normcore in May. Lane registered 37 victories including six graded titles riding in JRA races under a short-term license between the end of April and this weekend.

Quick out of the gate, Lys Gracieux rushed out from the outermost draw and settled unusually toward the front to press the pace behind Kiseki. Turning the last corner outside the frontrunner, still in second, the 5-year-old daughter of Heart's Cry made bid immediately after entering the lane, dueled strongly with the race favorite until overtaking the front 200 meters out and shifted into higher gear to easily pull away for a clean three-length victory.

"The horse turned out in perfect condition. I was very lucky to be able to board her today. She broke well and I thought I might as well use that to my advantage. I was very confident turning in that she had plenty left in the tank and I was worried that there were a lot of good horses chasing and I thought that they would challenge but she was just too strong," commented Damian Lane.

Race favorite Kiseki, though breaking somewhat slowly from the innermost draw, took the front as usual to set the pace and continued to hold on well even after entering the homestretch. The son of Rulership, however, ran out of fuel in the last 200 meters while still managing to come in second.

Sixth pick Suave Richard traveled wide behind Lys Gracieux, around fourth from the front, and continued to chase the eventual winner until the wire, nailing Al Ain along the way to finish two lengths behind Kiseki in third.

Other Horses :
4th:  (4)  Al Ain - tracked leaders in 3rd, overtaken by Suave Richard 200m out, no match for top finishers
5th:  (2)  Rey de Oro - saved ground in 6th, entered 5th to straight, failed to close in on front runners
6th:  (10) Noble Mars - ran in 8th, circled wide, passed tired rivals
7th:  (6)  Stiffelio - raced in 5th, entered 6-7th to lane, even paced
8th:  (9)  Clincher - traveled in 7th, driven after 3rd corner, failed to respond
9th:  (3)  Etario - settled in 10th, made headway after 3rd corner, lacked needed kick at straight
10th: (8)  Shonan Bach - sat 2nd from last along rails, never fired at stretch
11th:  (7)  Makahiki - trailed in far rear, struggled to find clear path, unable to reach contention
12th:  (5) Tatsu Gogeki - hugged rails in 9th, showed little at stretch


Japan Racing Association



Hanshin

Sunday, 23rd June 2019

11
15:40
(local)

THE TAKARAZUKA KINEN (G1)

Age: 3yo and up Type: OPEN
JPY ¥289,660,000
2200m TURF FIRM
11
15:40
(local)
JPY ¥289,660,000
2200m FIRM

THE TAKARAZUKA KINEN (G1)

Age: 3yo and up Type: OPEN
FP Silk Horse, Age & Sex
Sire & Dam
Jockey
Trainer
SP
WT
1st 12. LYS GRACIEUX (JPN) 5yo M
HEART'S CRY (JPN) - LILISIDE (FR)
DAMIAN LANE
Y YAHAGI
$5.40
56.0kg
U Carrot Farm (Mgr: Dr H Akita)
2nd 1. KISEKI (JPN) 5yo H
RULERSHIP (JPN) - BLITZ FINALE (JPN)
Y KAWADA
KATSUHIKO SUMII
$3.60
58.0kg
MME TATSUE ISHIKAWA
3rd 11. SUAVE RICHARD (JPN) 5yo H
HEART'S CRY (JPN) - PIRRAMIMMA (USA)
M DEMURO
Y SHONO
$8.80
58.0kg
NICKS Co. Ltd.
4th 4. AL AIN (JPN) 5yo H
DEEP IMPACT (JPN) - DUBAI MAJESTY (USA)
YUICHI KITAMURA
Y IKEE
$8.40
58.0kg
5th 2. REY DE ORO (JPN) 5yo H
KING KAMEHAMEHA (JPN) - LA DORADA (JPN)
C P LEMAIRE
K FUJISAWA
$3.90
58.0kg
6th 10. NOBLE MARS (JPN) 6yo H
JUNGLE POCKET (JPN) - I AND YOU (USA)
R TAKAKURA
H MIYAMOTO
$79.50
58.0kg
7th 6. STIFFELIO (JPN) 5yo H
STAY GOLD (JPN) - SERIOUS ATTITUDE (IRE)
GENKI MARUYAMA
H OTONASHI
$26.80
58.0kg
8th 9. CLINCHER (JPN) 5yo H
DEEP SKY (JPN) - THE FATES (JPN)
KOSEI MIURA
H MIYAMOTO
$34.00
58.0kg
9th 3. ETARIO (JPN) 4yo H
STAY GOLD (JPN) - HOT CHA CHA (USA)
N YOKOYAMA
Y TOMOMICHI
$7.80
58.0kg
10th 8. SHONAN BACH (JPN) 8yo H
STAY GOLD (JPN) - SUGAR HEART (JPN)
Y YOSHIDA
H UEHARA
$92.10
58.0kg
11th 7. MAKAHIKI (JPN) 6yo H
DEEP IMPACT (JPN) - WIKIWIKI (JPN)
Y IWATA
Y TOMOMICHI
$11.80
58.0kg
12th 5. TATSU GOGEKI (JPN) 7yo H
MARVELOUS SUNDAY (JPN) - NISHINO PLUMERIA (JPN)
S AKIYAMA
I SAMESHIMA
$140.60
58.0kg