Justin Palace Grabs Group 1 Glory in Tenno Sho

Installed the second choice behind G1 Tenno Sho (Spring) defending winner Titleholder (Jpn) (Duramente (Jpn), Masahiro Miki’s Justin Palace (Jpn) (Deep Impact (Jpn) followed up on a last-time out victory in the Mar. 19 G2 Hanshin Daishoten to post a comfortable victory in the 3,200 meter fixture, held for the first time at the newly-renovated Kyoto Racecourse.

“The horse was calm throughout the race and I was sure that he was going to win when we moved up behind Deep Bond entering the straight,” commented winning rider Christophe Lemaire. “He has become a super horse over long distances, so I think he will do well in races like [2,500-meter] Arima Kinen in the future.”

Breaking cleanly from the inside post, Justin Palace settled in a ground-saving midpack position before shifting out slightly rounding the second turn. Steadily closing on the front rank while two wide approaching the final turn, the half to MGISW Palace Malice gradually reeled in the late-leading Deep Bond (Jpn) (Kizuna {Jpn}), overtook his rival 300 meters out and drew clear en route to a 2-1/2-length victory. Deep Bond held off the fast-closing Silver Sonic (Jpn) (Orfevre {Jpn}) by a length to mark his third consecutive runner-up finish. Race favorite Titleholder, in the thick of things up front in the early going, lost his advantage 600 meters out and quickly dropped back thereafter and was pulled up Toru Kurita before the final corner. Found to have suffered injury to his right foreleg, the 5-year-old was scheduled to undergo an examination following the race.

A winner of a pair of starts and runner-up in the G1 Hopeful S. as a 2-year-old, the Northern Racing-bred colt was ninth in both the G1 Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) and the G1 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) early in his 3-year-old season however, returned to take his first graded victory in the G2 Kobe Shimbun Hai in September. Third in the 3000-meter G1 Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger), he concluded the 2022 season with a seventh in the G1 Arima Kinen in December at Nakayama.

Pedigree Notes:
With Sunday’s win in the Tenno Sho, Justin Palace becomes the 59th individual Group 1 winner and the 99th Group 1-level victory for the son of Sunday Silence. The bay is out of the stakes-winning mare Palace Rumor (Royal Anthem), who is most notably responsible for GI Belmont S. and GI Met Mile winner Palace Malice (Curlin). A $1.1 million purchase by Katsumi Yoshida at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale in 2013, the Kentucky-bred mare is also the dam of millionaire and MGSP-Jpn victor Iron Barrows (Jpn) (Orfevre {Jpn}).

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