Efforia a Class Above in Satsuki Sho

Mark Smith - Sunday April 18

He may not receive worldwide acclaim of last week’s charismatic Oka Sho heroine Sodashi, but the world will be hearing plenty more about Sunday’s Group 1 Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) winner Efforia (JPN).

Efforia (image JRA)

Run over 2000m at Nakayama Racecourse, the first classic of the season for the colts set up perfectly for Efforia who had won both his starts over the distance at two.

The Yuichi Shikato-trained son of Epiphaneia made a winning debut at three in the Group III Kyoto News Hai (Tokinominoru Kinen) over 1800m at Tokyo in February.

He was sent off second favourite to keep his unbeaten record intact in the Satsuki Sho and what a dominant performance it was.

Always up in the firing line under Takeshi Yokoyama, Efforia kept up a relentless gallop in the straight to defeat the Duramente colt Titleholder by three lengths with the Bago colt Stella Veloce a neck back in third. It was the first win at the highest level for his young jockey.

Race favourite Danon The Kid beat just one of the 16 starters home.

The Satsuki Sho has been won in the last two years by the champion Contrail (Deep Impact) and Saturnalia (Lord Kanaloa) who is a half-brother to Efforia’s Japan Cup winning sire Epiphaneia.

Efforia is the second foal and first winner for the 3-time winner Katie’s Heart. The daughter of Heart’s Cry is a three-quarter sister to the dam of the triple Group 1 winner Admire Moon (End Sweep) the Horse of the Year and Champion Older Horse in Japan in 2007 and Champion Older Mile Horse in UAE in 2006-07.

Katie’s Heart has a 2yo colt by Harbinger(GB) and a yearling filly by Maurice (JPN). She was covered by Satono Crown last year,

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