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BRINGING ASIAN RACING TO THE WORLD
The second leg of Japan's Triple Tiara for three-year-old fillies, the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) is a test of stamina that has been won by past greats including Almond Eye, Gentildonna and Loves Only You.
The Yushun Himba is also known as the Japanese Oaks. It is the second leg of the fillies’ triple crown and was first run in 1938. In 2010 Apapane and Saint Emilion flashed past the winning post together to deliver Japan’s first winning dead-heat in a Grade 1 race. Mejiro Ramonu, Still In Love, Apapane, Gentildonna, Almond Eye and Daring Tact are the only winners of the race to have gone on and completed the fillies’ triple crown.
Gentildonna and Almond Eye rank as two of the greatest race mares in the JRA’s history, having proved their abilities across multiple seasons as well as on foreign shores with a win apiece at the Dubai World Cup meeting. The 2019 Yushun Himba heroine Loves Only You went on to win majors in Hong Kong and at the Breeders’ Cup in the USA.
There is no question that Almond Eye is one of the greatest mares Japan has ever produced. Beyond that, her legacy of achievement places her among the very best thoroughbreds of her gender to have raced anywhere in the world this century. Her victory in the 2018 Yushun Himba was a sublime performance that set her up for a successful assault on the Triple Tiara. Like Gentildonna six years before, the Sakae Kunieda-trained Almond Eye capped her Classic year with a Japan Cup triumph.
The daughter of Lord Kanaloa went on through the next two seasons to earn a dominant win in the Dubai Turf at Meydan, back-to-back victories in the Tenno Sho Autumn, a Victoria Mile and a career-closing second success in the Japan Cup. Almond Eye retired with 11 wins from 15 starts.
|2022||Stars On Earth||Christophe Lemaire||Mizuki Takayanagi||Shadai Horse Race Co.||2:23.9|
|2021||Uberleben||Mirco Demuro||Takahisa Tezuka||K. Thoroughbred Club Ruffian||2:24.5|
|2020||Daring Tact||Kohei Matsuyama||Haruki Sugiyama||Normandy Thoroughbred Racing||2:24.4|
|2019||Loves Only You||Mirco Demuro||Yoshito Yahagi||DMM Dream Club||2:22.8|
|2018||Almond Eye||Christophe Lemaire||Sakae Kunieda||Silk Racing||2:23.8|
|2017||Soul Stirring||Christophe Lemaire||Kazuo Fujisawa||Shadai Horse Race Co.||2:24.1|
|2016||Sinhalite||Kenichi Ikezoe||Sei Ishizika||U Carrot Farm||2:25.0|
|2015||Mikki Queen||Suguru Hamanaka||Yasuo Ikee||Mizuki Noda||2:25.0|
|2014||Nuovo Record||Yasunari Iwata||Makoto Saito||Reiko Hara||2:25.8|
|2013||Meisho Mambo||Koshiro Take||Akihiro Iida||Yoshio Matsumoto||2:25.2|
|2012||Gentildonna||Yuga Kawada||Sei Ishziaka||Sunday Racing||2:23.6|
|2011||Erin Court||Hiroki Goto||Yasuo Ikee||Teruya Yoshida||2:25.7|
Stars On Earth glitters for Lemaire as the Triple Tiara beckons