• Kyodo


Frankel-sired Soul Stirring captured the second jewel in the filly’s Triple Crown on Sunday, comfortably winning the Japanese Oaks at Tokyo Racecourse.

Runaway favorite Soul Stirring did her legendary father of 10 Grade 1 wins proud, bouncing back from last month’s disappointment of finishing third in the first race of the series, the 1,600-meter Oka-sho, by nosing the line in 2 minutes, 24.1 seconds over 2,400 meters on firm going.

Jockey Christophe Lemaire guided the Kazuo Fujisawa-trained filly for a victory of almost two lengths ahead of sixth choice Mozu Katchan. The second pick, Admire Miyabi, came in third another 2-1/2 lengths behind.

Lemaire won a G1 race for the second straight weekend, following up his Victoria Mile win aboard Admire Lead. The Frenchman, as fate would have it, rode Soul Stirring’s dam Stacelita to victory in the 2009 French Oaks, the Prix de Diane.

“I won the French Oaks with her mother and now I’ve won the Japanese Oaks with Soul Stirring so this is certainly gratifying,” said Lemaire, a 12-time G1 winner in Japan who took his first Oaks, as did Fujisawa.

“She always starts well so we managed to get in good position. She settled during the trip and found our space coming around the last turn. She never let up even on the long straight here.”

Lemaire said he was confident his star filly would turn it around on pristine turf conditions, after struggling with the bad going in the Oka-sho.

“I believed in her even though she lost the Oka-sho because the turf was heavy,” Lemaire said. “Her condition picked up since her last start and she was the strongest horse out there today.

“I’m excited for the fall with Soul Stirring. She’s definitely capable of winning many more G1 titles.”

Soul Stirring is now 5-for-6 for her career. The Oaks was her second G1 victory after the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies in December, and she earned a winner’s check of ¥100 million.

The third leg of the filly’s Triple Crown, the Shuka-sho, will be held Oct. 15 in Kyoto.

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