Japan Cup winner Gentildonna is being aimed to the international stage after the three year old filly spear headed a home town finish in the Group 1 US$6.5m 2400m feature at Tokyo on Sunday.
Winning trainer Sei Ishizaka will map out a long term program which could include taking on the world’s best in France, Dubai and the United Stakes after the three year old filly won her seventh race from nine starts and took her earnings to around the US$9m mark.
A triumph for Japanese racing saw Gentildonna beat hot favourite Orfevre by a nose with Rulership, ridden by top Australian jockey Craig Williams coming in third with all three placegetters raced by the Sunday Racing Co.Ltd.
“I don’t have any specific plans yet but I would say the Arc is a possibility, as well as possibly running in Dubai or the US,” Ishizaka said.
“I am thinking long-term and not necessarily of next year.”
Winning jockey Yasunari Iwata gave Gentildonna a perfect run just off the pace and rode aggressively in the straight to force a run on the inside of Orfevre to hold out the favourite by a nose on the line.
Williams came late on Rulership and although he was unable to peg back the first two placegtters, the five year old ran a mighty race.
“I was able to keep the best position throughout and we had the perfect run. It would have been a perfect race if I hadn’t touched Orfevre in the final straight,” Iwata said.
“It was a fierce battle in the end and I wish it could have been a bit cleaner. I’m sorry we bumped Orfevre and yes, she did have a 4kg weight advantage, but she really deserves congratulations for her magnificent effort.
“I saw Gentildonna’s real potential for the first time today. She gave me the best result on the best stage.”
Ishizaka would love to go to France with Gentildonna and avenge the defeat of the Japanese trained Orfevre in the Group 1 €4m QATAR Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe (2400m) at Longchamp in October after the Japan Cup favourite looked the winner but was run down by Solemia after the French filly was clearly headed in the straight.
Solemia failed to fire at Tokyo and was never a threat winding up in thirteenth spot for Olivier Peslier and trainer Carlos Laffon-Parias immediately announced that the filly would now be retired to stud.
“I think she did very well in regard to that she is coming off of a hard race in the Arc and her first overseas travel,” Laffon-Parias said.
“It might have been different if she had had experience racing abroad and had more time to adapt to the fast track here.
“She will retire now.”
All the European runners performed poorly with Red Cadeaux, eighth, Jakkalberry, eleventh and Mount Athos, twelfth, finding it hard to recover from a tough run in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 6.