TAKARAZUKA, HYOGO PREF. – Resistencia won the 71st running of the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies on Sunday to capture her first Grade 1 victory and remain undefeated in three starts.
With Yuichi Kitamura aboard, fourth-favorite Resistencia led wire-to-wire over the 1,600-meters at Hanshin Racecourse, crossing the line unrivaled in a record time of 1 minute, 32.7 seconds.
“I’m grateful to (Resistencia). She was strong,” said Kitamura, who won the year-end race for 2-year-old fillies for the first time.
“I just tried to relax and let her run. She still had energy to spare in the final stretch. She’s a horse with potential so I’m looking forward to see where she goes from here.”
Resistencia’s trainer Takeshi Matsushita also claimed his first G1 title.
Sixth-pick Maltese Diosa finished second, five lengths behind Sunday’s winner, while third-favorite Cravache d’Or was a further nose back in third.
Earlier in the day, Nanako Fujita steered Copano Kicking to victory in the G3 Capella Stakes at Nakayama Racecourse and became the Japan Racing Association’s first female jockey to win a graded race.
“There have been times that I couldn’t get good results riding Copano Kicking. I’ve felt a little frustrated so I’m glad I was able to win like this” said Fujita, who claimed her first graded victory in 23 attempts since her debut in 2016.
“I’m thankful that I can grow little by little riding such a wonderful horse.”
The 22-year-old made history as the first female JRA jockey to compete in a G1 race at this year’s February Stakes, where she finished fifth aboard the same horse.
Overseas, Japanese horses won three of the four prestigious Hong Kong International Races for the first time in 18 years.
Among the nine Japanese horses running at Sha Tin Racecourse, Win Bright captured the 2,000-meter Hong Kong Cup, Admire Mars claimed the 1,600-meter Hong Kong Mile, and Glory Vase and Lucky Lilac finished one-two in the 2,400-meter Hong Kong Vase.
Danon Smash finished eighth in the 1,200-meter Hong Kong Sprint.
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