KYOTO – Eighth-pick Three Rolls beat Forgettable in a photo finish on Sunday to win the Kikka-sho, the final leg of the triple crown series for three-year-olds.
Top favorite Reach the Crown set a brisk pace and led for much of the Japanese St. Leger at Kyoto Racecourse, but he began to fade down the stretch and Three Rolls edged out Forgettable after a frantic dash for the line.
Three Rolls earned ¥112 million in prize money and a first Grade One title for jockey Suguru Hamanaka.
“My horse made a super effort and I am simply delighted,” said Hamanaka, who punched the air in celebration after claiming victory by a nose. “There was not much in it but I was sure we had won and could not hide my joy.”
“I assumed Reach the Crown was going to really go for it but I fully believed in my horse and let him pace himself,” he said.
Three Rolls covered the 3,000-meter turf track in 3 minutes, 3.5 seconds. Seventh favorite Forgettable was followed in third by Seiun Wonder. Reach the Crown finished fifth.
Three Rolls’ win paid out ¥1,920 on a ¥100 bet.