Damon Chantilly wins NHK Cup

Kyodo News

Top favorite Danon Chantilly pulled out a record-breaking run to win his first Grade One title at the NHK Mile Cup on Sunday.

Ridden by veteran Katsumi Ando, the 3-year-old colt thundered down the final straight to beat Daiwa Barbarian by 1 1/2 lengths with a Japanese 1,600-meter turf race record of 1 minute, 31.4 seconds at Tokyo Racecourse.

The time shaved 0.1 second off the previous mark set by Zenno El Cid at the 2001 G3 Keisei Cup at Nakayama Racecourse.

Danon Chantilly stayed near the back of the 18-horse field early in the fast-paced race before he came flying down the outside.

“He really picked up speed on the final straight,” Ando said of Danon Chantilly. “He definitely has the stuff to win a Grade One race. I think this distance will be much easier for him at this stage in his career, but if we can’t win here, then there is no Derby for us.”