• Kyodo


Admire Mars earned his first Grade 1 victory on Sunday and remains undefeated in four races after winning the 70th running of the Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes.

Piloted by Italian jockey Mirco Demuro, the second-favorite Admire Mars crossed the line in 1 minute, 33.9 seconds and finished two lengths ahead of Kurino Gaudi in the one-mile turf race for two-year-olds at Hanshin Racecourse in Hyogo Prefecture.

“He was really strong,” Demuro said. “He’s developing rapidly. He ran well on the stretches so it didn’t occur to me that he’d lose.”

Fan-favorite Gran Alegria, the only filly in the 15-horse field, finished third a half-length further back with French jockey Christophe Lemaire aboard.

Demuro, who rode Admire Mars to the colt’s three previous wins, collected his fourth Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes title, while trainer Yasuo Tomomichi picked up his first victory.

Fantasist, the third-favorite, was steered by Japanese veteran rider Yutaka Take, finished fourth and suffered his first loss.

Last year, Danon Premium won in 1:33.3, a record for the race since it moved from Nakayama Racecourse in 2014.

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