JRA Blackbook: Victor’s Nikkei Sho backers left asking for more
Last year's Kikuka Sho 'Victor' is asking for forgiveness after nothing went right in the G2 Nikkei Sho at Nakayama, while yet another classy son of Deep Impact put his best foot forward when stretched out in trip at Hanshin.
Ask Victor More 9th/12 (R11 Nakayama, G2 The Nikkei Sho, 2500m, March 25)
The immensely talented Ask Victor More finds himself in the ‘forgive’ file this week after last year’s G1 Kikuka Sho winner was unable to secure an on-pace position in Saturday’s G2 Nikkei Sho at Nakayama.
At 2.3 Ask Victor More just edged another renowned frontrunner in Titleholder (2.4) for favouritism, but it was the Takarazuka Kinen winner who landed the prize for his backers with a devastating display after his main rival reared as the gates opened.
Not only did the botched start destroy Ask Victor More’s chances, but jockey Hironobu Tanabe believed the wet track was not to his horse’s liking.
“It was his first time racing on (heavy) ground,” said Tanabe.
“He bumped the gate before it opened, which made him jump poorly. I though the outside ground was poor, so I travelled inside before the straight. He did not perform well and he was confused.”
Zeffiro (R10 Hanshin, Midosuji Stakes, Class 3 Wins, 2400m, March 26)
Zeffiro enjoyed stepping up to 2,400 metres for the first time in his eight-start career as the Yasutoshi Ikee-trained charge registered a strong victory in the Midosuji Stakes at Hanshin.
Finishing either first or second at his last four starts over 2,000 metres, the extra distance allowed the Deep Impact four-year-old to display his stamina, accelerating with a steady sustained run to win by just under a length for jockey Kiwamu Ogino.