• Kyodo

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Daring Tact won the 80th running of the Oka-sho on Sunday and claimed her first Grade 1 victory in just three starts while capturing the first leg of the Japanese filly triple crown.

The second pick in the field of 18 3-year-old fillies, Daring Tact ran the 1,600-meter turf event at Hanshin Racecourse in 1 minute, 36.1 seconds, blasting past Resistencia in the final stretch to beat the race-favorite by one-and-a-half lengths.

“I’m really happy. I tried to keep up a good rhythm riding (Daring Tact),” jockey Kohei Matsuyama said after winning aboard the Epiphaneia-sired filly.

“She worked really hard,” Matsuyama said. “There are some still areas to work on, but I think we can keep it going.”

Ninth-favorite Smile Kana crossed in 1:36.6 for third place.

Daring Tact earned ¥105 million ($970,000) in prize money and remains undefeated in her three races, all over the same distance. She is the third horse to win the Oka-sho in their third career start, following Hamakaze in 1948 and Hagino Top Lady in 1980. Daring Tact is also the seventh undefeated horse to win the race, the last being Dance in the Mood in 2004.

Matsuyama, the Japan Racing Association’s No. 4 jockey, and trainer Haruki Sugiyama each got their first wins at the Oka-sho, the Japanese equivalent of the 1,000 Guineas.

The JRA has been holding its races without spectators since the end of February in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Next Sunday’s Satsuki-sho will also be held behind closed doors.

Gran Alegria rewrote the Oka-sho record last year with a time of 1:32.7.

The filly triple crown continues next month with the Japanese Oaks and ends with the Shuka-sho in October.

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