Bren O’Brien



Golden Slipper star She Will Reign gets her first Japanese winner

The progeny of two Group One-winning Australian mares enjoyed debut success at Niigata over the weekend.

The profile of elite Australian broodmares in Japan has grown further off the back of the victories of both Danon Tornado and Liberty Island during the mid-summer meeting at Niigata.

Danon Tornado, the son of Heart’s Cry and 2017 G1 Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign, opened his career with an 1800-metre Newcomers race on Sunday, just 24 hours after stablemate Liberty Island, a filly by Duramente out of another multiple Australian Group One winner Yankee Rose, won her first race in a 1600-metre Newcomers.

Danon Tornado, trained by Mitsumasa Nakauchida, is the first foal of She Will Reign, who was privately purchased by Northern Farm after the completion of her racing career, which also included victory in the 2017 G1 Moir Stakes under the care of Gary Portelli.

Danox Co Ltd purchased her Heart’s Cry colt for 165 million yen (AU$1.77 million) at the 2021 JRHA Select Sale. Sunday was his first appearance on raceday and after settling outside of the pace prevailed in a stirring battle in the final stages.

Jockey Yuga Kawada got the bob in at the right time and Danon Tornado nosed out the early leader and race favourite Shazzan on the line.

She Will Reign has subsequently produced a yearling filly by Satono Diamond and foaled a colt by Real Steel in February.

Yankee Rose, who also raced for Darby Racing in Australia, in her case for trainer David Vandyke,  has enjoyed a significant profile in her relatively short time in Japan, producing a couple of high-priced foals.

Her 2019 Deep Impact filly, Romneya, cost 210 million yen (AU$2.25 million) at the JRHA Select Sale in 2019. She won on debut last September and was recently stakes-placed. Yankee Rose’s 2021 Lord Kanaloa colt then sold for an eye-popping 370 million yen (AU$4 million) in the foal section of last year’s Select Sale.

In between those two foals, she produced the Duramente filly Liberty Island, who is raced by Sunday Racing. Like Danon Tornado, she is trained by Nakauchida and was ridden by Kawada on debut at Niigata on Saturday.

She was ultra-impressive, showing a strong turn of foot over the 1600 metres to win by three lengths from Godolphin-owned colt Cruzeiro do Sul and justifying her pre-race favouritism.

Yankee Rose, who also resides at Northern Farm, produced a filly by Kizuna earlier this year.




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