Meisho Mambo wins Queen Elizabeth II Cup for third Grade 1 victory


Three-year-old Meisho Mambo lifted the Queen Elizabeth II Cup for her third Grade 1 victory of the season under Koshiro Take on Sunday.

Meisho Mambo departed as the second choice in a maximum field of 18 at Kyoto Racecourse, where she held off Lachesis by a length and a quarter to win in 2 minutes, 16.6 seconds over the 2,200 meters on yielding turf.

Fifth pick Aromatico placed a close third. No. 1 choice and this year’s Victoria Mile champion Verxina faded to 10th.

“She was one of the favorites today, and I’m glad I could help her win a third G1 title,” said Take, who won the race for the first time as did trainer Akihiro Iida.

“Honestly speaking, I was a little worried about the rain, especially since we had an inside draw. But the race unfolded exactly as we had hoped.

“She was a little eager to go today, but everything went so smoothly during the trip,” he said.

Meisho Mambo traveled well despite the rain, and quickened to her usual standards on the homestretch even on a poor going.

Having added the QEII Cup to last month’s Shuka-sho and the Japanese Oaks titles, Take’s Suzuka Mambo-sired filly will have to be considered for horse-of-the-year honors as the season’s only three-time G1 winner.

“Now that we’ve won three at the highest level, we’ll probably be going up against the boys,” Take said. “I hope we can hold our own against them as well.”

Meisho Mambo, out of the Grass Wonder mare Meisho Momoka, is 6-for-10 for her career with earnings of almost ¥400 million. She has been the favorite just once in her 10 starts.