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JRA Blackbook: bigger and better La Seule makes winning return at Niigata

A daughter of Kitasan Black returned from injury to dominate at Niigata, while a two-year-old filly broke her maiden in devastating style at Sapporo.

La Seule (R9 Niigata, Iide Tokubetsu, Class 2 Win, 1400m, 3 Sep)

Not seen since suffering a fracture in the G2 Sankei Sports Sho Flora Stakes of 2022, La Seule showed that she had taken no ill effects from her extended layoff with a stunning return victory at Niigata.

Ridden by star jockey Christophe Lemaire, the Keisuke Miyata-trained mare returned from her 16-month rehabilitation in fabulous order, weighing-in 28 kilograms heavier than when last seen at the races. 

Jumping well to sit outside the lead, Lemaire had a lapful of horse entering the Niigata straight before La Seule strode clear under her own steam, the Frenchman not having to draw the whip as his mount cruised to a highly impressive three-and-a-half length victory.

After the race Lemaire indicated that the enforced break had allowed the mare to mature both mentally and physically.

“I did not ride her for a year and four months, but her power and mental approach improved,” said Lemaire.

“She is a perfect horse. She jumped well and stayed behind the leader. Her turn of foot is good, and I think she is a group level horse over the mile.” 

A half-sister to three-time G2 winner Sciacchetra, La Seule is by standout young Shadai sire Kitasan Black, and unlike her Hanshin Daishoten (3000m) winning half-sibling she may well produce her best work kept to around a mile.

Puro Magic (R1 Sapporo, Maiden, 2 years old, 1200m, 2 Sep)

Takayuki Yasuda’s filly Puro Magic atoned for defeat in her first two career starts in spectacular fashion on Saturday, destroying her rivals over the Sapporo 1200 metres by 10 lengths. 

Stripping fitter after her third-place finish at Sapporo on August 6, the two-year-old jumped well to lead before extending strongly in the straight to win in a slick 1:09.08s, a time 0.3s faster than the 1200 metre Class 2 on the same card.

Winning jockey Arata Saito pegged the daughter of G1 Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes winner Asia Express as one to keep an eye on in some more lucrative sprints. 

“She showed her ability in this race and was able to get her first winner today,” said Saito. “I think she is competitive in higher class races.”




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