Tenth Pick Akai Ito Scores Upset Victory in This Year’s Queen Elizabeth II Cup

Akai Ito wins this year’s Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Hanshin.

AKAI ITO winning the Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Hanshin in Japan.
AKAI ITO winning the Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Hanshin in Japan. Picture: Japan Racing Association

Tenth pick Akai Ito marked an upset victory in this year's Queen Elizabeth II Cup to score her first graded title and became the first Kizuna filly or colt to capture a JRA-G1 title. Debuting in September of her two-year-old season, she broke her maiden in her second start and concluded the season with one win out of five starts. The Kizuna brown marked another win out of eight starts last year and stepped up to open class after marking two wins out of five starts in the first half of this season but came off a seventh in the Fuchu Himba Stakes (G2, 1,800m) on October 16. Trainer Kazuya Nakatake marked his third JRA-G1 win following his win in the 2018 Hopeful Stakes with Saturnalia while jockey Hideaki Miyuki claimed his eighth JRA-G1 victory following his 2018 Victoria Mile title with Jour Polaire.

Missing her break from stall 16, four-year-old Akai Ito traveled fifth from last and advanced boldly turning the last two corners wide to enter the lane in third. The four-year-old brown continued to accelerate powerfully in the stretch, pinning race-favorite Lei Papale passing the 200-meter pole, and easily held off the rest of the field with her incredible late drive that marked the fastest last three furlongs in the field for a two-length victory.

"As she seemed to be a bit tense when I trained her the other day, I tried to race her in her own rhythm. Though I could not break her smoothly out of the gate, I was able to eventually race her in the intended position at the backstretch. I was confident that she will stretch well at the end and, because it was a G1 race, I made bid earlier than usual. We were able to take the front earlier than I had expected and, as there was no horse right behind us, I just kept on urging her to go until," commented Hideaki Miyuki.

Seventh choice Stellaria, another Kizuna filly, broke smoothly and settled around seventh to eighth from the front. The three-year-old dark bay rounded the last two corners the widest of the field, persistently chased the leaders in the straight and produced a remarkable turn of speed in the last 100 meters to cross the wire in second.

Ninth pick Clavel saved ground around 14th behind eventual winner, found a narrow space entering the homestretch, showed the tied third fastest late drive between horses and closed in on Stellaria but was neck short in third.

Race favorite Lei Papale settled around fourth, advanced in the last two corners and was leading the field when entering the stretch. The Deep Impact filly, however, lost momentum in the last 200 meters and succumbed to sixth.

Other Horses:

4th: (11) Soft Fruit—settled near rear, showed 2nd fastest late kick between horses, belatedly
5th: (4) Izu Jo no Kiseki—traveled around 7th, boxed in at final corner, accelerated in last 200m
7th: (3) Akaitorino Musume—sat near favorite around 5th, met traffic 250m out, lost momentum
8th: (12) Des Ailes—positioned around 11th, circled wide, passed tired rivals
9th: (6) Rambling Alley—raced around 9th, advanced and remained in contention up to 200m
             pole
10th: (15) Win Kiitos—ran 3-wide around 9th, angled out for stretch run, lacked needed kick
11th: (8) Terzetto—hugged rails around 11th, gradually advanced, ran gamely up to 200m pole
12th: (10) Musica—settled along rails among rear trio, met traffic at final corner
13th: (17) Kotobuki Thetis—trailed in rear, no factor throughout
14th: (13) Lune Rouge—traveled 3-wide around 5th early, dropped position at backstretch
15th: (7) Shamrock Hill—set pace, sustained lead until final corner, fell back
16th: (9) Win Marilyn—tracked leaders in 3rd, nothing left after rounding final corner
17th: (14) Rose Amour—pressed pace in 2nd, faded after final corner


Japan Racing Association



Hanshin

Sunday, 14th November 2021

11
15:40
(local)

THE QUEEN ELIZABETH 2 CUP (G1)

Age: 3yo and up Sex: F Type: OPEN
JPY ¥204,660,000
2200m TURF GOOD
11
15:40
(local)
JPY ¥204,660,000
2200m GOOD

THE QUEEN ELIZABETH 2 CUP (G1)

Age: 3yo and up Sex: F Type: OPEN
FP Silk Horse, Age & Sex
Sire & Dam
Jockey
Trainer
SP
WT
1st 16. AKAI ITO (JPN) 4yo F
KIZUNA (JPN) - WADJET (JPN)
H MIYUKI
K NAKATAKE
$64.90
56.0kg
Koji Oka
2nd 5. STELLARIA (JPN) 3yo F
KIZUNA (JPN) - POLLENATOR (IRE)
KOHEI MATSUYAMA
TAKASHI SAITO
$25.10
54.0kg
Shadai Race Horse Co. Ltd.
3rd 2. CLAVEL (JPN) 4yo F
EPIPHANEIA (JPN) - DIA DE LA MADRE (JPN)
N YOKOYAMA
SHOGO YASUDA
$46.90
56.0kg
Carrot Farm Co. Ltd.
4th 11. SOFT FRUIT (JPN) 4yo F
DEEP IMPACT (JPN) - STRAWBERRY FAIR (GB)
MIRAI IWATA
TAKASHI SAITO
$74.20
56.0kg
5th 4. IZU JO NO KISEKI (JPN) 4yo F
EPIPHANEIA (JPN) - KING DANCER (JPN)
R WADA
KOICHI ISHIZAKA
$118.30
56.0kg
6th 1. LEI PAPALE (JPN) 4yo F
DEEP IMPACT (JPN) - SHELLS LEI (JPN)
C P LEMAIRE
TOMOKAZU TAKANO
$2.90
56.0kg
7th 3. AKAITORINO MUSUME (JPN) 3yo F
DEEP IMPACT (JPN) - APAPANE (JPN)
K TOSAKI
SAKAE KUNIEDA
$3.40
54.0kg
8th 12. DES AILES (JPN) 4yo F
DEEP IMPACT (JPN) - AVENIR CERTAIN (FR)
YUTAKA TAKE
Y TOMOMICHI
$40.40
56.0kg
9th 6. RAMBLING ALLEY (JPN) 5yo M
DEEP IMPACT (JPN) - BLOOMING ALLEY (JPN)
HAYATO YOSHIDA
Y TOMOMICHI
$12.30
56.0kg
10th 15. WIN KIITOS (JPN) 4yo F
GOLD SHIP (JPN) - EXCUSE (JPN)
YUJI TANNAI
Y MUNAKATA
$9.70
56.0kg
11th 8. TERZETTO (JPN) 4yo F
DEEP IMPACT (JPN) - RADDOLCENDO (JPN)
M DEMURO
SHOICHIRO WADA
$9.60
56.0kg
12th 10. MUSICA (JPN) 4yo F
EPIPHANEIA (JPN) - ROSE ADAGIO (JPN)
S AKIYAMA
TAKASHI SUZUKI
$208.70
56.0kg
13th 17. KOTOBUKI THETIS (JPN) 4yo F
HARBINGER (GB) - EVA (JPN)
Y SHIBATA
TOSHIAKI TAJIMA
$229.60
56.0kg
14th 13. LUNE ROUGE (JPN) 6yo M
MONTEROSSO (GB) - MOON HOWLING (JPN)
AKATSUKI TOMITA
HIROFUMI SHII
$372.10
56.0kg
15th 7. SHAMROCK HILL (JPN) 4yo F
KIZUNA (JPN) - LARAGH (USA)
TAISEI DANNO
SHOZO SASAKI
$127.70
56.0kg
16th 9. WIN MARILYN (JPN) 4yo F
SCREEN HERO (JPN) - COSMO CIELO (AUS)
TAKESHI YOKOYAMA
T TEZUKA
$5.50
56.0kg
17th 14. ROSE AMOUR (JPN) 5yo M
ROSE KINGDOM (JPN) - GREAT TEN (JPN)
K IKEZOE
H UEHARA
$137.70
56.0kg