Contrail Becomes the Third Undefeated Winner of the Japanese Triple Crown

Mark Smith - Sunday October 25

He needed to dig deep in Sunday’s Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) at Kyoto, but it was mission accomplished for the superstar Contrail who became the third undefeated Triple Crown winner in JRA history.

Ridden by Yuichi Fukunaga for trainer Yoshito Yahagi, Contrail hooked with Christophe Lemaire on Aristoteles (Epiphaneia) and the pair set down for a thrilling length of the straight battle.

Every time it looked that Aristoteles had his measure, Contrail found a little more.

The champion son of Deep Impact won by a neck from Aristoteles with another on of Deep Impact,      Satono Flag a further three and a half lengths back in third.

Now undefeated in six career starts, Contrail joins Symboli Rudolf (1984) and his sire Deep Impact (2005) to win the Triple Crown undefeated and the eighth colt to win all three titles, which begins with Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) and the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby).

Yuichi Fukunaga said the menacing presence of Aristoteles gave his mount little time to relax.

“I can’t say that I was successful in keeping him relaxed during the race with so much pressure from Aristoteles,” he said.

“It turned out to be a tough race for us with Aristoteles looking quite strong and persistent. This race may not have been his best performance, but I kept my faith in Contrail and he certainly showed how strong he is to have maintained his position up to the end of the 3,000-metre trip.”

A homebred for North Hill Farm’s Shinji Maeda, Contrail is a son of the perennial champion sire Deep Impact out of the Unbridled's Song mare Rhodochrosite, who was a $385,000 Keeneland September Sale yearling purchase by Koji Maeda, who was placed in four of her seven starts in Japan.

Rhodochrosite is a daughter of the Tiznow mare Folklore who was honoured as the champion American two-year-old filly of 2005 following her victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Rhodochrosite has a yearling colt from the final full crop of Deep Impact and a colt foal by Heart’s Cry.


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