Agnes Digital burst ahead in the final moments of the Yasuda Memorial on Sunday at Tokyo to claim his sixth Group 1, besting a field of 17 by a neck in record time, with Admire Max over the line in second.
Race favorite Lohengrin settled for third three-quarters of a length later, followed closely by Eagle Cafe. The field was reduced by one shortly after the break when Dantsu Judge stumbled and dumped jockey Ryuji Wada, who was not injured.
Jockey Hirofumi Shii, 30, took advantage of a No. 3 draw to hold to an inside course until the straight. When the inside failed to open Shii maneuvered Agnes Digital out and, finding an opening at last, was able to battle forward, gaining the top mere strides before the wire.
The Yasuda Memorial saw no foreign-based equine competitors this year but did boast three of the world’s top riders from abroad; Australian Damien Oliver on fourth place Eagle Cafe; Italy’s Mirco Demuro on seventh place Telegnosis; and Kent Desormeaux of the U.S. on Taiki Treasure, who finished last.
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