LAST year's fillies' Triple Crown winner Apapane (Sakae Kunieda/Masayoshi Ebina) came out on top in the battle of the Classic heroines at Tokyo on Sunday when she beat the year-older Buena Vista a neck in the Victoria Mile.
Buena Vista, the reigning Japanese horse of the year, had won the 177.3 million yen (£1.35m) event in 2010.
She also won both the Oka Sho (1,000 Guineas) and Yushun Himba (Oaks) in 2009, a feat matched last term by Apapane, although the latter only dead-heated in the latter contest. Apapane went on to win the Shuka Sho (filly St Leger) as well.
Ridden in Sunday's race for the first time by Japan's current leading rider Yasunari Iwata, Buena Vista charged from the rear in customary fashion.
But though she was closing all the time, she fell just short once more as Apapane triumphed in the famous Deep Impact colours at odds of just over 3-1. Lady Alba Rosa took third.