Japanese Champ Titleholder Rolls In 5-Year-Old Bow

Imperious during the early part of his 2022 season, Titleholder (Jpn) (Duramente {Jpn}) stormed home to take the G2 Nikkei Sho by eight lengths at Nakayama on Saturday. The Hiroshi Yamada-owned and Toru Kurita-trained entire was the 7-5 favourite.

In charge practically from the bell, the Okada Stud-bred had things mostly his own way throughout the 2500-metre contest. Lightly pressed by Diastima (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) on the backstretch, he continued to click off reasonable fractions while unruffled and soon increased his lead approaching the final turn. Engaging the afterburners, Titleholder opened up on the field in fine style and was an easy-as-you-please victor. Boccherini (Jpn) King Kamehameha {Jpn}) bested Diastima for second by three-parts of a length, with that foe another three-quarters of a length in front of Lilac (Jpn) (Orfevre {Jpn}) in fourth.

A winner at first asking as a juvenile and second in the 2020 G3 Tokyo Sports Hai Nisai S., the flashy bay would take the G2 Hochi Hai Yayoi Sho Deep Impact Kinen at three, and also run second in the G1 Japanese 2000 Guineas before taking the G1 Japanese St. Leger several starts later. As a 4-year-old, he won the G2 Nikkei Sho, G1 Tenno Sho (Spring) and G1 Takarazuka Kinen in succession, those efforts earning him 2022 Champion Older Horse honours in Japan. Tried in the G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, he was unplaced racing on soft ground for the first time, and was well behind subsequent Japanese Horse of the Year Equinox (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}) in the G1 Arima Kinen back in Japan in December. The Nikkei Sho was his first run back.

Pedigree Notes

One of four Group 1 winners for his late sire, the 5-year-old is also part of a 10-strong batch of stakes winners. Other top-tier winners for Duramente included Stars On Earth (Jpn), Liberty Island (Jpn), and Dura Erede (Jpn). The last-named ran second in the G2 UAE Derby to countrymate Derma Sotogake (Jpn) (Mind Your Biscuits) later in the day.

The third foal and second winner for his dam, a five-time winner, Titleholder is the last to race to date from Mowen (GB) (Motivator {GB}), who was covered by Benbatl (GB) last spring. Under the fourth dam is 1982 G1 1000 Guineas and G1 Sussex S. heroine On The House (Fr) (Be My Guest).


Saturday, Nakayama, Japan
NIKKEI SHO-G2, ¥128,920,000, Nakayama, 3-25, 4yo/up, 2500mT, 2:36.80, vsf.
1–TITLEHOLDER (JPN), 130, h, 5, Duramente (Jpn)
                1st Dam: Mowen (GB), by Motivator (GB)
                2nd Dam: Top Table (GB), by Shirley Heights (GB)
                3rd Dam: Lora’s Guest (Ire), by Be My Guest
(¥20,000,000 Wlg ’18 JRHAJUL). O-Hiroshi Yamada; B-Okada
Stud (Jpn); T-Toru Kurita; J-Kazuo Yokoyama; ¥67,854,000.
Lifetime Record: Ch. Older Horse-Jpn, MG1SW-Jpn, 15-7-2-0.
Werk Nick Rating:A+++. *Triple Plus*. Click for the
   eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Click for the
   free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Boccherini (Jpn), 128, h, 7, King Kamehameha (Jpn)–Popcorn
Jazz (Jpn), by Dance in the Dark (Jpn). O-Makoto Kaneko
Holdings; B-Northern Farm (Jpn); ¥27,244,000.
3–Diastima (Jpn), 126, h, 6, Deep Impact (Jpn)–Sweet Reason,
by Street Sense. O-Sunday Racing; B-Northern Farm (Jpn);
Margins: 8, 3/4, 3/4. Odds: 1.40, 16.10, 33.30.
Also Ran: Lilac (Jpn), Machaon d’Or (Jpn), Heat On Beat (Jpn), King Of Dragon (Jpn), Meiner Fanrong (Jpn), Ask Victor More (Jpn), Cantor (Jpn), Aristoteles (Jpn), Kotobuki Thetis (Jpn). Click for the JRA chart and video.

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