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By Alan Carasso

If Christophe Lemaire was the human star of the final day of racing on the JRA circuit, Carrot Farm’s Saturnalia (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}) was his equine counterpart, as the impeccably bred colt ran his record to a perfect three-from-three and quite probably locked up the juvenile championship with a soft victory in the G1 Hopeful S.

First to break the line beneath second-leading rider Mirco Demuro, the odds-on pop led by the stands for the first time, but was overtaken by 40-1 Cosmo Calendula (Jpn) (Novellist {Ire}) at the first corner and was only too happy to take the sit from just off the leader into the back straight. Into the box seat when the Lemaire-ridden second favorite Admire Justa (Jpn) (Just a Way {Jpn}) rolled up approaching the entrance to the far turn, Saturnalia still traveled comfortably on the back of the pacesetter, but there were some nervous moments entering the final 350m when short of racing room. But Demuro never panicked aboard the favourite and the duo finally bulled their way between Admire Juste and Breaking Dawn (Jpn) (Victoire Pisa {Jpn}) at the furlong grounds before going on to a relatively easy success. Nishino Daisy (Jpn) (Harbinger {GB}) closed well for third.

“I knew I was riding the strongest 2-year-old of the season, but it was his first time over 2000 metres, so I was a little worried,” Demuro admitted. “He really showed his strength though, squeezing his way through the narrow opening. I am really looking forward to his 3-year-old season.”

Pedigree Notes:

Saturnalia is one of a remarkable 140 winners from the first two crops of his impressive young sire and joins Mile Championship hero Stelvio (Jpn) and Japan Cup victrix Almond Eye (Jpn) as top-level winners in just the last month. He becomes the sixth GSW for Lord Kanaloa. Saturnalia’s champion dam was a star in her own right, winning five of six in the Carrot Farm green and white, including the 2005 Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) before annexing that year’s GI American Oaks at Hollywood Park by a resounding four lengths in stakes-record time (video).

Cesario has been equally important at stud, her seven winners from eight to race include G1 Japan Cup and G1 Kikuka Sho hero Epiphaneia (Jpn) (Symboli Kris S.), champion 2-year-old colt Leontes (Jpn) (King Kamehameha {Jpn}) and the latter’s full-brother Globe Theatre (Jpn), third to future G1 Japanese Derby hero Rey de Oro (Jpn) (King Kamehameha {Jpn}) in this event in 2016 when still contested as a Group 2 race. Epiphaneia’s full-sister Rosalind (Jpn) is the dam of Arden Forest (Jpn) (Rulership {Jpn}), a maiden winner at second asking at Hanshin Dec. 2. Cesario is the dam of a yearling filly by King Kamehameha (Jpn) and a weanling colt from the first crop of Horse of the Year Maurice (Jpn). Click for the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.

Friday, Nakayama, Japan
HOPEFUL S.-G1, ¥135,380,000, Nakayama, 12-28, 2yo, 2000mT, 2:01.60, fm.
1–SATURNALIA (JPN), 121, c, 2, by Lord Kanaloa (Jpn)
1st Dam: Cesario (Jpn) (Ch. 3yo Filly & MSW-Jpn, GISW-US, $2,578,568), by Special Week (Jpn)
2nd Dam: Kirov Premiere (GB), by Sadler’s Wells
3rd Dam: Querida (Ire), by Habitat
*1ST GROUP 1 WIN. 1ST GROUP WIN. O-Carrot Farm; B-Northern Farm; T-Kazuya Nakatake; J-Mirco Demuro; ¥70,966,000. Lifetime Record: 3-3-0-0, ¥94,141,000. *1/2 to Epiphaneia (Jpn) (Symboli Kris S.), MG1SW-Jpn, $6,693,376; Leontes (Jpn) (King Kamehameha {Jpn}), Ch. 2yo Colt & G1SW-Jpn, $1,112,892; and Globe Theatre (Jpn) (King Kamehameha {Jpn}), GSP-Jpn, $858,734. Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Admire Justa (Jpn), 121, c, 2, Just a Way (Jpn)–Admire Teresa (Jpn), by Helissio (Fr). (¥140,000,000 Wlg ’16 JRHAJUL). O-Riichi Kondo; B-Northern Farm; ¥28,276,000.
3–Nishino Daisy (Jpn), 121, c, 2, Harbinger (GB)–Nishino Hinagiku (Jpn), by Agnes Tachyon (Jpn). O-Shigeyuki Nishiyama; B-Tanikawa Farm; ¥18,138,000.
Margins : 1HF, 3/4, 1HF. Odds: 0.80, 5.20, 5.60.
Also Ran: Cosmo Calendula (Jpn), Breaking Dawn (Jpn), Vin de Garde (Jpn), Hiruno Dakar (Jpn), King Listeia (Jpn), Mikki Black (Jpn), Madre Voice (Jpn), Just a Gigolo (Jpn), Hakusan Taiyo (Jpn), Tanino Drama (Jpn).

WATCH: Saturnalia far too classy in the Hopeful S.

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