Daring Tact captured the 81st running of the Japanese Oaks on Sunday and became the second unbeaten horse and first in 63 years to win two legs of the prestigious Japanese filly triple crown.
With Kohei Matsuyama aboard, Daring Tact threaded her way through a jam in the middle of the pack before finding space just after the final turn of the 2,400-meter turf race at Tokyo Racecourse. Once clear, she blasted down the stretch to finish in 2 minutes, 24.4 seconds.
"Of course, I'm happy to win," Matsuyama said. "But as she was the favorite, I'm also relieved."
"Through the first half of the race, the battle for position was very fierce, so I dropped back briefly to save strength. But she's a strong finisher so I had confidence in her."
Seventh-favorite Win Marilyn finished second a half-length behind, and 13th-pick Win Mighty took third a further neck back.
Matsuyama steered Daring Tact to her maiden Grade 1 victory in the first leg of the series for 3-year-olds, the Oka-sho, last month. The race favorite prevailed Sunday without fans in the stands as part of the Japan Racing Association's measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Undefeated over four starts, Daring Tact became the 15th horse to win both the Oka-sho and Japanese Oaks. The last filly with a perfect record to do so was Miss Onward in 1957.
Japan's filly triple crown wraps up in October with the Shuka-sho. Only five fillies have claimed all three races, with Almond Eye last accomplishing the feat in 2018.
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