JRA Blackbook: big tracks, bigger future for Lebensstil
Some of the early form around Sol Oriens was franked as a son of Real Steel made a mess of his opposition at Tokyo, while a daughter of Arrogate belied her breeding to continue her new-found fondness for turf.
Lebensstil (R5 Tokyo, 3YO, Class 1 Win, 1800m, May 14)
When it comes to this season’s three-year-old colt cohort the unbeaten Satsuki Sho winner Sol Oriens is very much the testing material.
So for Lebensstil to have run Sol Oriens to a head second on debut last Novemeber is, with the benefit of hindsight, a clear indicator of this horse’s own ability.
Few missed the obvious form reference at Tokyo on Sunday however and the Hiroyasu Tanaka-trained son of Real Steel was sent out a dominant 1.6 favourite at what was his fourth race start.
Ridden by star Australian jockey Damian Lane – who would later in the day guide Sodashi to a valiant second in the G1 Victoria Mile – Lebensstil jumped smartly to take up a forward position, and traveled sweetly throughout after settling third on the fence.
When asked to go by Lane in the straight the response was immediate, Lebensstil enjoying the open expanses of the Tokyo straight to charge away with a five length win. His 33.0s for the final three furlongs was all the more impressive given Lane throttled down the colt well short of the finishing post.
“His early speed was great,” said Lane.
“The big track allowed him to show his turn of foot in the straight. He has potential and is a good horse.”
Lebensstil is a son of of Tokai Life which makes him one of the few remaining horses in Japan whose damsire is the Japan Cup and Arima Kinen winner Tokai Teio, one of the JRA’s most charismatic and celebrated champions who won nine races from 12 starts in the early 1990s.
Shailene (R10 Kyoto, Nishiki Stakes, Class 3 Win, 1600m, May 14)
A switch from dirt to turf has paid off for Manabu Ikezoe’s four-year-old filly Shailene, who made it two from two on grass with a strong win at Kyoto on Sunday.
Previously notching up just the two wins from nine tries on the dirt, the American-bred daughter of global star Arrogate – who was once described by his trainer Bob Baffert as the “dirt version of Frankel” – backed up her turf win at Tokyo in April with another professional on-speed performance.