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JRA Blackbook: Mikki Twinkle, little star?

Mikki Twinkle looks a filly with a bright future after a classy Newcomer display at Chukyo, while a son of Orfevre has furnished into a stayer of considerable quality.

Mikki Twinkle (R6 Chukyo, 3YO Newcomer, 2000m, January 8)

Deceased stallion Duramente looks to have added another Group contender to his name for 2023 in the form of Mikki Twinkle, a filly who caught the eye with an impressive Newcomer win over 2000 metres at Chukyo. 

Duramente, the 2015 Tokyo Yushun winner who died aged just nine in August of 2021, sired 174 individual winners last season, and has left Group 1 winners from each of his first three crops in the form of Titleholder, Stars On Earth, Liberty Island and Dura Erede. 

Mikki Twinkle’s dam Table Ronde showed good ability of her own on the track in France, winning the Listed Prix Volterra over 1600 metres at Chantilly in 2013.

Prepared by leading trainer Mitsumasa Nakauchida, Mikki Twinkle was duly respected in the market at 4.8, but gave her supporters some early headaches after being slowly away. Aided by an excellent David Egan ride however, Mikki Twinkle was brought into the race nicely after settling worse than midfield, taking the back of the favourite Admire Iru. Once clear Mikki Twinkle accelerated strongly to sweep down the outside and score in good style by a length. 

The Irish jockey has made a bright start to the new season with five winners and two Listed successes to his name. 

“She jumped out slowly, so we stayed at the back,” said Egan.

“She took her time to hit full speed in the straight but her racing rhythm is very good and she relaxed well during the run.” 

Mikki Twinkle looks up to the middle-distance three-year-old Group races this season.

Mixology (R10 Chukyo, Manyo Stakes, Open Class, 3000m, January 5)

Mixology has gone to a new level since being stretched out in trip, having gone undefeated in three runs since attempting 2400 metres for the first time last October. 

Previously registering just one win from six tries at 2000 metres and below, the son of Orfevre followed up his Niigata 2400m victory with another success over the Hanshin 2200 metres on Queen Elizabeth 2 Cup day, dashing away in the final 50 metres to win by three lengths under Ryan Moore. 

Sent out a 3.0 chance in the Manyo Stakes at Chukyo when looking to make it three in a row, the Yasuyuki Tsujino-trained galloper relished the step out to 3000 metres, and jockey Atsuya Nishimura had the four-year-old poised ready to strike just behind the leaders as the field entered the straight. When asked for his effort Mixology raced clear to win by two lengths and he does look one to watch in this season’s staying races. 

Tsujino was pleased with the way Mixology cornered at Chukyo. 

“Ryan Moore rode him a bit further back last time and said he travelled well during the run,” said Tsujino. 

“This time we were able to put him in a good position when racing over a longer distance. He improved a lot and showed that he can accelerate well around the bends.” 

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