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HRN Original Blog:
Across the Pond

Gentildonna creates history in Japan Cup

Gentildonna 615 X 400
Photo: Eurosport

Ryan Moore capped what has been an exceptional year, as he powered Gentildonna into Japanese horse racing folklore by becoming the first horse ever to win the Japan Cup twice with victory on Sunday.

A nose victor in controversial circumstances last season as she overturned the luckless Orfevre, there was nothing controversial about this season's victory, which saw Gentildonna produce a performance of determination, heart and spellbinding guts. 

With Eishin Flash and Tosin Jordan setting a strong gallop through the early stages of the race, Gentildonna was perfectly positioned behind the leaders with clear running throughout. However, the four year old daughter of Deep Impact was marginally keen under her new jockey Ryan Moore, who excelled in ensuring that this did not hinder her finishing effort coming into the latter stages of the race.

As the leaders began to backtrack at the top of the stretch, Moore surged through in a manner that mirrored his effort in winning last month's Canadian International, splitting rivals and instantaneously creating a lead that he would have to grind with all his might to defend.

Ahead with just one furlong to go, Gentildonna would have to repel the late thrusting charge of a filly in waiting to her crown, Denim and Ruby, who made ground at an alarming rate with dead aim on the Japanese Champion. Denim and Ruby, like Gentildonna, had also been sired by the exceptional, rising sire Deep Impact. 

However, defence is just one area of the perfect riding abilities that have been on show from Ryan Moore in what has been a scintillating and successful season across the globe, and at the line Moore had judged his finishing effort perfectly, ensuring that he would be victorious in the Japan Cup by the narrowest of nose margins on his first ride aboard Gentildonna.
 

Not only had Gentildonna created history in being the first horse to win two Japan Cups, she had also defended her crown in what was surprisingly her first victory of the year, a victory that provided Ryan Moore with his eighth Group I victory of the year across three continents in a season which started with the GII UAE Derby victory back in March. 

Gold Ship, heavily fancied in some quarters after producing spellbinding performances throughout various points of this season, was towards the tail end of the field from the very start of the race, and despite looking as though he would threaten to deliver a challenge on the backstretch, the four year old was a shadow of himself eventually beating only two rivals home.

Tosen Jordan, part of the early pace battle, would run a mighty race for William Buick to re-rally in the stretch and finish a neck behind in third. 

Craig Williams' trip to Japan from Australia would also go rewarded as he finished fourth aboard Admire Rakti, whilst Dunaden and Jamie Spencer produced an effort of some magnitude in bouncing back to his very best and finishing in fifth place, rewarding connections for their entry with a somewhat large pay check.

Dunaden holds an entry in the GI Arima Kinen, yet it is unconfirmed as of yet whether the 2011 Melbourne Cup hero will take up that engagement, a race which had been chosen as the option for Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe second and third, Orfevre and Kizuna, ahead of  this contest. 

Triple GI Canadian International hero Joshua Tree flattened out in the stretch to fade to last place. 

 

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Older Comments about Gentildonna creates history in Japan Cup...

I was fortunate to be in japan in 89 and 90 and a friend took me to the japan cup at Tokyo racecourse. It was an incredibly exciting experience and a big deal. I would compare to a playoff game or bowl game. In 89 a horlicks from NZ won it in world record time. Next year Better Loosen Up from AUS won it in second fastest time for race. Crowd went crazy both times. I became a fan and follower NZ and AUS horses...
The chants and cheers pre race was very cool. Sounded almost like a European football match :)
I came home from my second job after putting in an 18 hour work day. clicked on tvg and got treated to this event
I heard 90,000 cameras all clicking at the asme time.
Yes, I also stayed up late to watch Gentildonna make history. Yet, TVG switches to an info-mercial show immediately after the finish yet before the photo finish results and shows zero coverage of the post-race festivities?! Unbelievable!!! Now I know why TVG's best announcers are jumping to HRTV.
She was committed earlier then normal and she still sustained her run. All heart.
ZATT's Star of the Week, is ... Gentildonna!
I'm on the East Coast, made it to the wee hours of the morning til 15 MTP before falling alseep, but she (Gentildonna) ceratinly looked the part in the paddock and walking ring. TVG had her 9-2 2nd choice before the Sandman came calling.

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Meet Dan Munn

Dan Munn is the Chief International Correspondent for Horse Racing Nation, covering the premier races from Europe as well as introducing and updating our readers on the very best of African, Asian and Australasian thoroughbred competition.

Based in England, Dan became a regular contributor to Horse Racing Nation in 2012 and continues to bring us the most up to date news from Europe with some exclusive interviews and answers to the questions we all want to ask along the way.