JRA Blackbook: Derby longshot rattles into autumn calculations
Star jockey Damian Lane dominated Derby day with a four-timer, but behind Tokyo Yushun winner Tastiera another colt served notice of a promising future.
Bellagio Opera (4th of 17, R11 Tokyo, G1 Tokyo Yushun, 2400m, 28 May)
As Damian Lane and Tastiera staved off the late challenge of favourite Sol Oriens in the concluding stages of the G1 Tokyo Yushun, another colt produced the fastest final 600 metres of the race to finish just on the heels of the placegetters.
Fourth-placed Bellagio Opera charged home in 33.0s to bely his odds of 54.9, a price largely reflective of a mediocre run in the G1 Satsuki Sho when the son of Lord Kanaloa was unsuited racing on the speed.
The G2 Spring Stakes winner at his start prior to the Satsuki Sho, Hiroyuki Uemura’s colt settled midfield in the Derby for jockey Kazuo Yokoyama before finishing powerfully along the inside to just miss a place.
“He performed very well near the post,” said Yokoyama. “It is my pleasure to ride this good horse on the big stage.”
Bellagio Opera could well figure in some of the big autumn features later in the year, especially around the 2000 metre range.
Rousham Park (R10 Tokyo, Murasaki Sho, Class 3 Win, 1800m, 28 May)
Damian Lane rode the last three winners on the Tokyo card to go with a victory earlier in the day and will likely be keen to stick with Rousham Park, after the Hiroyasu Tanaka-trained colt overcame traffic problems with the aid of a seriously impressive burst of speed.
Travelling beautifully for Lane behind a wall of horses as the field entered the straight, the son of Harbinger let down strongly when angled into the clear with a final three furlongs of 33.3s.
“He didn’t jump well but his racing rhythm is good,” said Lane.
“He responded very well when we found the racing room near the post, his turn of foot is strong.”
Now a winner of four of his eight career starts, Rousham Park will not look out of place in middle-distance Group races this autumn.