• Kyodo


Third-pick Gran Alegria cruised to victory in the Yasuda Kinen on Sunday and denied race-favorite Almond Eye an unprecedented eighth Grade 1 turf win.

Ridden by Kenichi Ikezoe, Gran Alegria came up through the middle of the pack in the final stretch of the mile event at Tokyo Racecourse and sailed across the finish line in 1 minute, 31.6 seconds.

The 4-year-old filly, who finished runner-up at this year's Takamatsunomiya Kinen, earned her second G1 victory and improved to five wins in eight starts, with four of those wins over the mile.

Fresh off a win at last month's Victoria Mile, Almond Eye made a spirited last-minute dash on the outside in her attempt to make history behind closed doors on Sunday, but finished 2½ lengths behind Gran Alegria.

The seven-time G1 champion was piloted by Christophe Lemaire, who was seeking his fourth top-level win of the year.

Second-favorite Indy Champ, who set the race record last year with a time of 1:30.9, finished third a further half-length back.

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