By Masakazu Takahashi
Rousham Park made a smooth transition up in class when sent out by trainer Hiroyasu Tanaka in the Grade 2 Sankei Sho All Comers at Nakayama on Sunday.
The 4yo Harbinger colt had won the Grade 3 Hakodate Kinen on his last start and was fourth in the pecking order under Christophe Lemaire in the 2200m contest at Nakayama. Lemaire had ridden him to a two length victory in the Hakodate Kinen in July and knew how to go about things in the saddle.
The pair settled to a pace set by Toru Kurita’s favourite and three-time Grade 1 winning Titleholder and took up the running at the far turn. Lemaire kept his mount alert all the way to the end with Titleholder pressing hard, but unable to regain the lead and eventually settling for second under Kazuo Yokoyama, a length and quarter in arrears. Zeffiro was a further neck back in third for trainer Yasutoshi Ikee and jockey Keita Tosaki.
Winning Lemaire, who will contest next week’s Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, said: “I'm happy to be able to win another Graded stakes with him. I was able to race while keeping an eye on the race leader Titleholder and was able to go with the flow and stay calm. The response he gave me was very good and he accelerated very well. That's excellent. He is a big horse who has a big stride and can keep a good pace. He is getting stronger with each race and he beat some Grade 1 horses in the race today. He can get the Grade 1 races in the future.”