Japanese superstar Lord Kanaloa stamped himself as the best sprinter in the world with a dominant victory in the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin yesterday.
The wide barrier draw proved to be no problem for Lord Kanaloa who settled in sixth position before racing away from the rest of the field when asked for an extra effort by jockey Yasunari Iwata to record a five lengths victory from Sole Power and Frederick Engels in what was the final race start of his short but impressive career.
The win was Lord Kanaloa’s sixth victory at Group level and his second straight win in the Hong Kong Sprint but Iwata had no doubt that this was easily the best performance of the son of King Kamehameha’s career.
“This was the best performance of his career, and I could feel him ready to unleash his run on the home turn,” Iwata said.
“Maybe he knew it was his final race because once the gates opened he was just brilliant today.
“It’s a great day for us to show what a wonderful horse he is, and to win this for a second time in front of his many race fans in Hong Kong.”
Lord Kanaloa was ranked equal 44th with a rating of 120 in the World’s Best Racehorse Rankings that were released in November but trainer Takayuki Yasuda believes that the rating of his star galloper may increase significantly on the back of his Hong Kong Sprint performance.
“It’s wonderful to win for a second time here, especially as it is his last race,” Yasuda said.
“I look forward to training his offspring, and I hope one day I have one good enough to bring back here.
“He’s a champion and I don’t care about his rating of 120, that’s not so important in Japan.
“Today I think he ran probably to 125.”
Racing Victoria Chief Handicapper Greg Carpenter said that the World Thoroughbred Rankings Handicappers would meet later today to discuss a new mark for Lord Kanaloa and personally believes that the five-year-old had produced the best sprinting performance outside of Black Caviar in the last decade.
Lord Kanaloa finishes his racing career with two victories in the Hong Kong Sprint, two victories in the Group 1 Sprinters Stakes (1206m) in Japan, a win in the Group 1 Takamatdunomiya Kinen (1206m) and a victory over a mile in the Group 1 Yasuda Kinen (1609m).