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.

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