By Masakazu Takahashi
Delivering a powerful surging finish under Damian Lane, Serifos swooped to win the Group 1 Mile Championship at Hanshin on Sunday. The colt had been positioned towards the rear before closing nearing the home turn. He was angled out widest to the outside at the top of the home straight and mowed down all his rivals with a burst of acceleration that left Danon The Kid behind to the tune of a length and a quarter.
All-white mare Sodashi, who took the lead halfway down the straight, was half a length back in third. Serifos is a 3yo colt by the 2006 and 2007 Mile Championship winner Daiwa Major, out of Le Havre’s French-bred, Listed-winning daughter Sea Front, and was making it a fifth win from eight career starts, including two Group Twos.
Australian jockey Lane was winning his first Japanese Group One in three years, since the 2019 Arima Kinen with Lys Gracieux. He said: “Arigato Gozaimasu ('thank you very much'). I am very happy to win a Japanese Group One, it's been a long time since my last one, and I am happy to be able to enjoy that feeling.
Watching videos of Serifos’ last race, and riding him in training last week, gave me confidence. I ended up in a position that wasn't ideal, but when I entered the straight I was able to catch the front two or three, because his response was so good. “He is still young and showing growth. I think that the owner and the stable will think about it, but I personally think that he is a horse that can be competitive anywhere overseas.”