Bren O’Brien



Serifos and Lane swoop late to win Mile Championship

Damian Lane and Serifos swept down the outside to win the G1 Mile Championship at Hanshin, giving the Australian rider his fourth Group 1 win in Japan.

Serifos has claimed his first Group 1 win, the three-year-old powering home from the rear of the field to defeat Danon The Kid and the ever-popular Sodashi in the G1 Mile Championship.

It was a thrilling late charge from the winner who was still third last approaching the 300-metre mark, but was able to get to the outside of a wall of contenders and then race away to win by 1.25 lengths from Danon The Kid, who weaved his way through from midfield.

There was a further half a length back to Sodashi, who had hit the front for a moment inside the 200 metres, only to be overwhelmed.

Lane had ridden key rival Salios on five previous occasions but got aboard the Mitsumasa Nakauchida-trained Serifos.

“It’s great to win another Group 1 in Japan, I love Japan,” Lane said. “I was very happy going into the race, he won very well at his last start, his trackwork was very good during the week and I was confident he could run a big race here today.”

Lane has now won four Group 1 races in Japan, with the most recent coming back in 2019 aboard Lys Gracieux in the Arima Kinen. He has 26 Group 1 victories overall.

Salios, the third favourite, ridden by Ryan Moore, would finish 14th, while the favourite Schnell Meister finished fifth, just behind Soul Rush, who was runner-up behind Serifos at their previous start.

Serifos had been placed in the G1 Futurity Stakes last year and was then fourth in both the NHK Mile Cup and the Yasuda Kinen, but came into Sunday’s race in winning form having won the G2 Fuji Stakes at Tokyo.

The winners’ time of 1:32.5 was the fifth-fastest in the race’s 38-year history, with the tempo set up firstly by Piece Of Eight and then by Falconia, who swept to the front. Challenges emerged quickly as the field turned for home, but none could put a stamp on the race until Serifos’ late arrival.

“I was riding the race as it came and knew I’d be coming late, but I thought I’d have to ride for luck, but it eventuated I was able to get to the outside where I had clear running,” Lane said.

The Australian jockey said he felt Serifos was capable of further improvement and that he would be encouraging Nakauchida to tackle overseas assignments with him in the future.

Nakauchida had previously indicated he would want to bring Serifos to Australia to contest the Doncaster Mile.

In winning the Mile Championship, the colt emulates his sire Daiwa Major, who won this race in both 2006 and 2007. He becomes the seventh Group 1 winner for the Shadai Stallion Station resident.

Bred by Oiwake Farm, and raced by G1 Racing Co. Ltd, Serifos is out of imported French mare Sea Front. He has now won five of his eight starts.




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