JRA Blackbook: Graded races await impressive Hanshin winner Lord del Rey

Unbeaten colt Lord del Rey looks destined for bigger things after making it two from two in the Tsubaki Sho, while a late-blooming four-year-old is spinning his own stakes-level claim.

Lord del Rey was too good at Hanshin. (Photo by @masamasa7575757)

Homan Ho



Lord del Rey (R9 Hanshin, Tsubaki Sho, Class 1 Win, 3yo, 1800m, Turf, February 18)

Lord del Rey ran right up to his hugely impressive debut win to remain undefeated following Saturday’s Tsubaki Sho at Hanshin. 

A dominant four-length winner in an 1800-metre Tokyo Newcomer on January 29, leading trainer Mitsumasa Nakauchida’s three-year-old justified his raging 1.5 Tsubaki Sho quote to win with plenty in hand, again camping off the speed before being unleashed with a big sustained run by Ryusei Sakai. 

There is still an element of greenness to the son of Lord Kanaloa’s racing manners, taking his time to hit top gear when asked for an effort, but Lord del Rey looks well up to tackling this season’s three-year-old Group races. 

“I think his ability is good since his last debut race,” said Sakai.

“He could now settle behind the leader easily. I could control him well and save his stamina at the middle of the race. He showed his ability to win this race. I hope he can keep healthy.”

Spider Gold (R10 Tokyo, Amethyst Stakes, Class 3 Win, 2000m, Turf, February 19)

While Lord del Rey has demonstrated his talent from the outset, it has taken Yuichi Shikato’s four-year-old Spider Gold longer to hit his straps. 

But the son of champion miler Daiwa Major is making up for lost time, registering his fourth straight win in Sunday’s 2000-metre Amethyst Stakes at Tokyo after previously failing to break his maiden at the first three times of asking.


Christophe Lemaire aboard Spider Gold. (Photo by @_Storm_Vanguard)

A handsome chestnut like his sire, Spider Gold jumped well to stalk the hot early speed set by Southern Nights, as the leader set up a big break rounding the turn. But rider Christophe Lemaire never looked panicked on Spider Gold, keeping his horse in a good rhythm as Southern Nights started to shorten stride, eventually sweeping past the tiring tearaway to register an extremely comfortable victory. 

Spider Gold is a half-brother to the G3 Kisaragii Sho winner Lagom and Lemaire sees similar scope for stakes success. 

“We stayed in second after jumping out from the gate,” said Lemiare. 

“It was a good position and he was relaxed and travelling even though there was a horse well out in front. I think he is a Group horse.”




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