Deep Impact's Gran Alegria Bows Out a Winner

Mark Smith - Sunday November 21

Japan has showcased a veritable production line of champion mares around the world in recent years, and another great, Gran Alegria, bowed out of racing with an emotional win in the Group 1 The Mile Championship at Hanshin on Sunday.

With Christophe Lemaire in the saddle for trainer Kazuo Fujisawa, the 5yo daughter of Deep Impact launched down the centre of the track to defeat another Sunday Racing colour-bearer Schnell Meister (GER) (Kingman) by three-quarters of a length with a further half length back to Danon the Kid (Just a Way) in third.

It was the sixth win at the highest level for the defending champion. Five have been at a mile, while she also bagged the Sprinters Stakes (1200m) last year.

Gran Alegria is a bit of a rarity in that she has done all her racing in Japan.

The daughter of Deep Impact advances her record to nine wins, two seconds, and two thirds from 15 starts with earnings the equivalent of $11,560,000.

"There wasn't much time between the Tenno Sho (Autumn) and this race. I've had her work on the hill course mainly, often with a partner Kazuo Fujisawa said.

"Up until now, she has raced with quite a lot of time between races, but this time it's the same as between the Victoria Mile and the Yasuda Kinen. Back then, her hooves weren't in good shape, and that delayed some of her training.

"This time, that's not the case. Luckily, she looked good after the Tenno Sho (Autumn), so we were able to get her properly prepared. With her speed, I thought she'd be able to do well over 2,000 meters but turning into the stretch in the Tenno Sho, she had to be urged on sooner than usual. It was a familiar course for her, but I think the distance was a bit too long.

“This time it's a race she won last year, and she's good over the Hanshin 1,600 meters. Last year, things didn't unfold that much in her favour, but she raced well to the end.

Gran Alegria (image JBIS)

“She's a horse who has given it her all from the time she was two years old, but I'm asking her this, to please give it your all just one more time."

The Champion 3YO Filly in Japan in 2019 and Champion Sprinter/Miler in Japan in 2020, Gran Alegria is one of the reasons Japanese breeders spend the big bucks at broodmare sales in Kentucky.

Her dam Tapitsfly (Tapit) won twice at the highest level in the Just A Game Stakes and First Lady Stakes in addition to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.

Shadai Farm's Katsumi Yoshida purchased Tapitsfly for $1,850,000 at the 2012 Fasig-Tipton November Breeding Stock Sale.  

Gran Alegria is her first foal. The second, a full-sister to Gran Alegria named Blutgang was retired after winning her only start over 1800m at Tokyo at two.

Sadly they are the only two foals left by Tapitsfly before her death.

Advertisment
More Reading...
Another Magic 2YO Winner for Te Akau
Normal service was resumed at Te Aroha on Saturday when Jamie Richards and the Te Akau racing team dominated the opening event on the card, the Te Aroha Stallion Service Scheme (1100m) for the two-year-olds with victory going to I Am Invincible filly I Choose You, a $500,000 Magic Millions purchase.
Coolmore Ireland Announce 2022 Fees
Coolmore Ireland have announced their fees for 2022 with the roster headed by Wootton Bassett (GB) at a fee of €150,000 (A$234,341), the proven Group I sire currently in Australia covering his first book of mares here at a fee of $71,500.
Sad Passing of Champion Sire Pivotal
Cheveley Park Stud have announced sad news overnight with the passing of their champion sire Pivotal at age 28.
Fastnet Rock Mare has One of North America's Most Exciting Two Year Olds
Spendthrift Farm dipped its toe in the water in Australia at the 2014 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale with the purchase of a colt and two fillies.
National Defense Filly Makes History in Juvenile Turf Sprint
A great start to the Breeders' Cup meeting at Del Mar for Widden Stud after Wesley Ward's speedball Twilight Gleaming became the first filly to win the Group II Juvenile Turf Sprint.
Stakes Quinella for Reward for Effort
The loss of popular Victorian sire Reward for Effort during the past week was highlighted when he provided the quinella in the Listed SAJC City of Marion Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville on Saturday.
Sires With Winners - Saturday November 27
Here is the full list of 97 stallions which had winners throughout Australasia on Saturday with winners and result details.
First Season Sires Impress at Tattersalls Foal Sale
The 2021 Tattersalls December Foal Sale this week featured the progeny of several shuttle sires with their first progeny being born here in Australia this year with notable success for sires such as Too Darn Hot (GB), Blue Point (IRE), Magna Grecia (IRE) and Calyx (GB).
Ellsberg Has a Half-Sister Catalogued for the Magic Millions
The Gerald Ryan & Sterling Alexiou-trained Ellsberg bounced back from his seventh in the Golden Eagle with a dominant performance in Saturday’s Group III Festival Stakes at Rosehill.
Almond Eye Beaten but Unbowed as a New Star Looms in Japan
For the second year in a row it just was not meant to be for the superstar Almond Eye in the Group 1 Yasuda Kinen (1600m) at Tokyo racecourse on Sunday.