Third pick Efforia became the first three-year-old in 19 years to win the international Grade 1 Tenno-sho at Tokyo Racecourse on Sunday.
Efforia followed up on his Satsuki-sho win in April with his second JRA G1 title when he crossed the finish line a length ahead of pre-race favorite and 2020 Japanese Triple Crown winner Contrail, with Gran Alegria a further neck behind.
Four-year-old Contrail and five-year-old Gran Alegria are both sired by the legendary Deep Impact, who died in July 2019.
Efforia’s winning time over the 2,000-meter turf course was 1 minute, 57.9 seconds. The colt, who competed against older horses for the first time, was ridden by Takeshi Yokoyama and trained by Yuichi Shikato.
Yokoyama, who hails from a racing family, was joined by both his father and older brother in the race that carried a ¥150 million ($1.3 million) first prize. The 22-year-old won the Kikka-sho last week by jockeying Title Holder and also won the Satsuki-sho aboard Efforia.
The Yokoyama family has produced three generations of winning Tenno-sho jockeys. Yokoyama’s grandfather Tomio and father Norihiro have also won the autumn Tenno-sho.
“I cried with happiness for the first time in my life. This horse is very clever and starts strongly so I knew I wouldn’t be required to do much other than ride with trust. Winning over three generations was a small goal but one I’m glad to have achieved,” Yokoyama said.
Symboli Kris S was the last three-year-old to win the Tenno-sho, a prestigious race that has both a spring and autumn version.
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