Japanese stallion Deep Impact, sired by Sunday Silence, found his 21st Grade 1 winner in Sunday's first leg of the Japanese Triple Crown for sophomore colts and fillies. The Satsuki Sho, also known as the Japanese 2000 Guineas, carries a purse of approximately $1.8 million US dollars, and is held over 10 furlongs on the turf course at Nakayama Racecourse.
This year's winner, Dee Majesty, was sired by Deep Impact, as were the other top three finishers, Makahiki and Satono Diamond. Dee Majesty is owned and bred by Masaru Shimada, trained by Yoshitaka Ninomiya and ridden by Masayoshi Ebina. The 3-year-old colt is out of the Japanese-bred mare Hermes Tiara, by Brian's Time (Roberto) and out of a daughter of Sadler's Wells.
Breaking slowly from stall 18, Dee Majesty settled toward the rear, around fifth from last, as the frontrunner Respect Earth set a fast pace. As the horses spread wide through the last two corners with Leontes heading the field, Masayoshi Ebina guided the Yoshitaka Ninomiya-trained colt to the outer route to make bid for the final attack. Responding willingly to the jockey's urging, Dee Majesty unleashed a powerful drive, flying past the front runners one by one—race favorite Satono Diamond, Air Spinel and finally Leontes 100 meters out—and continued to accelerate strongly for a comfortable 1-1/4-length victory.
Dee Majesty set a new course record in the Satsuki Sho, covering 2000 meters in 1:57.9. The colt's sire Deep Impact also won this race in 2005, going on to win the other two legs of the Japanese Triple Crown and was named Japanese Horse of the Year twice over his racing career. The stallion also sired six of the top ten finishers in this year's edition of the Satsuki Sho.
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