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Dolce More gives Sugai sweet Futurity success

Dolce More has become the latest Group 1-winning star for trainer Naosuke Sugai after a skillful ride from Ryusei Sakai delivered victory in the G1 Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes at Hanshin.

Dolce More put forward his credentials as the best of the Japanese juvenile colts, holding off fellow top fancy Danon Touchdown to win the G1 Futurity Stakes, in a race which looks a pointer to the three-year-old Classics of 2023.

The barriers probably proved the difference for the two star colts, with Dolce More and Sakai able to settle just in behind the pace, while Danon Touchdown and Yuga Kawada had to go back in the field and swoop late.

Having had a sweet run and getting clear of the rail soon after straightening it did take Dolce More some time, and plenty of vigour from Sakai, to put paid to the early leader All Parfait.

Labeling initially looked the winner before Danon Touchdown closed off with determination. But the Rulership colt battled on bravely and in the end had a neck to spare on the Takayuki Yasuda-trained Danon Touchdown, with another neck back to Labeling in third. The first three across the line had a 1.25-length gap on the rest of the field, headed by the outsider Kyoei Brisa.

It was a second Group 1 win for Sakai, whose first top-level success came in October aboard Stunning Rose in the Shuko Sho.

For Sugai, the man famed as the trainer of Japanese equine heroes Sodashi, Just A Way and Gold Ship, it is a first success in this race, regarded as the championship contest for the colts in Japan.

It is a race which has been won by stars such as Do Deuce, Salios, Admire Mars and Leontes in recent years.

Sugai’s previous Group 1 victory with one of his two-year-olds came back in 2012 with Robe Tissage in the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies.

Dolce More, who is now unbeaten in three starts, was bred by Shimokobe Farm and is raced by Triple H Racing. He is the third Group 1 winner for Shadai Stallion Station’s Rulership and is out of the 2013 G1 Oka Sho winner Ayusan, a daughter of the great Deep Impact.

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