Michael Cox



JRA G1 wrap: ‘explosive’ filly Brede Weg prevails in wet Queen Elizabeth II Cup

Lord Kanaloa filly Brede Weg became a Group 1 winner at just start number five, overcoming a tricky inside draw and the soft Kyoto surface to defeat the older mares in the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup on Sunday.

The story of the race 

When rain and racing in the 48 hours before the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup left the Kyoto surface looking worse for wear, Christophe Lemaire admitted he had doubts about the race favourite Brede Weg: jumping from gate one, the inexperienced filly – at just her fifth race start – would likely be on the most worn part of the track. 

Lemaire need not have worried. Brede Weg swept aside the worries with a classy win that signalled an emerging star in the shadows of Equinox and Liberty Island.

Brede Weg had not contested the three-year-old Triple Tiara races and thus avoided the buzzsaw that is Liberty Island but she is clearly a talent on the rise and a marquee horse for fourth year trainer Keisuke Miyata.


The winning ride

Gate manners had been a problem for Brede Weg previously: missing the kick in the G2 Tea Rose lead-up probably cost her that race. This time she jumped awkwardly again and Lemaire was forced to hustle the filly forward to maintain a midfield spot on the fence.

Brede Weg’s ability to muster that early pace to get herself out of trouble, then then relax in the run, won the race. Lemaire tagged his arch rival Yuga Kawada, aboard the second-favourite Harper, in the run. 

“From there she showed a really nice turn-of-foot,” Lemaire told Asian Racing Report. “I think she is a horse of the future for sure. She is a tier down from Equinox and Liberty Island but I think she can be a force in the middle-distance and staying races.” 

The win was Lemaire’s 48th at Group 1 level in Japan and his third success in this race after wins with Little Amapola (2008) and Lucky Lilac (2020).

Queen Elizabeth II Cup 2023 race replay 

The trainer  

It was the first G1 win for Miyata, who was the assistant to Sakae Kunieda when he trained the mighty Almond Eye, also by Lord Kanaloa.  That experience, along with the established relationship with Lemaire, could prove vital as they plot a path with a new middle-distance or staying star. 

At the post-race press conference, the 43-year-old Miyata expressed his gratitude to Kunieda and Sunday Racing. Lemaire said he would be supporting Miyata in his race planning. “He is obviously inexperienced as a trainer but he has got a great opportunity now with this horse,” Lemaire said.

The disappointment

Sure, Geraldina jumped in the air at the start, then, when Ryan Moore attempted to salvage the situation, over raced and was left posted three and four deep with no-cover the trip. But were the blown start and poor racing manners symptomatic of deeper issues? 

The daughter of Gentildonna hasn’t won since this race last year and is unplaced in five starts this year.

Geraldina wins the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup of 2022. (Photo by JRA)

She was warm pre-race, JRA caller Murray Johnson saying “she looks like she has been through the car wash before the rinse and continues to be in a muck lather.”

Given all that went wrong, finishing fifth, beaten less than four lengths, actually has some merit, but there will be a big watch on the pre-race parade and one of the most valuable broodmare prospects in the JRA next time she steps out.

The statistic

Brede Weg is the first horse to win the Queen Elizabeth II Cup in five starts or less and the first three-year-old filly to win the race since Mozu Katchan in 2017.

The quote

“I was a bit worried about the soft ground but it was no problem for her. We couldn’t break well but were able to travel in good position behind Harper. She was calm, responded well throughout the race and pulled away strongly with her explosive kick,” commented Christophe Lemaire.

2023 Queen Elizabeth II Cup race result

HorseSireWin OddsMarginJockeyTrainerOwner
1stBrede WegLord Kanaloa2.4Christophe LemaireKeisuke MiyataSunday Racing Co. Ltd.
2ndRouge EveilJust A Way13.30.75LKohei MatsuyamaYoichi KuroiwaTokyo Horse Racing Co. Ltd.
3rdHarperHeart's Cry6.71LYuga KawadaYasuo TomomichiM's Racing



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