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Almond Eye wins Tenno-sho in return to racing

Kyodo

Racing for the first time since June, Almond Eye regained G1 dominance on Sunday as the four-year-old filly won a three-length victory at the autumn Tenno-sho.

Steered by Christophe Lemaire, the race favorite got off to a good start in the 2,000-meter turf race at Tokyo Racecourse and cruised comfortably along the rail behind sixth-favorite Aerolithe before blasting down the home stretch to finish in 1 minute, 56.2 seconds.

It was Almond Eye’s sixth Grade 1 victory, including her win in this year’s Dubai Turf. Her only G1 defeat came in her previous race, June’s Yasuda Kinen, where she finished third.

Aerolithe finished third, a neck behind runner-up Danon Premium as four horses jockeyed over the final 100 meters as Almond Eye ran away unchallenged.

“Coming off her layoff, I was uncertain about whether she wanted to race,” Lemaire said. “But she is a superb horse and showed great pace.

“Because of my starting gate, I had nowhere to go but inside. Still, it was a good position. I had plenty of space and was able to keep up with Aerolithe.”

Lemaire added this win to his victory at last year’s autumn Tenno-sho and this year’s spring race, giving him three straight wins in the classic.

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