Shahryar Packs Powerful Late Punch To Win Japanese Derby By A Nose - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Shahryar Packs Powerful Late Punch To Win Japanese Derby By A Nose

Shahryar (right) rallied late to catch Efforia in the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby)

Shahryar, a colt by Deep Impact –  the most successful racehorse and sire son of 1989 Horse of the Year Sunday Silence – and produced from the 2010 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint winner and female sprint champion Dubai Majesty has won Sunday's 88th running of the Grade 1 Yokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) at Tokyo Race Course.

Bred by Katsumi Yoshida's Northern Farm and racing for the Yoshida family's Sunday Racing Co. Ltd., Shahryar was up in the final yards of the 2,400-meter Tokyo Yushun under Yuichi Fukunaga to defeat 7-10 favorite Efforia by a nose. The latter, a colt by Epiphaneia also bred by Northern Farm, finished 1 1/4 lengths ahead of the third-place finisher, Stella Veloce. All 17 runners seeking the winner's share of the US$4.1 million purse were bred in Japan.

Trained by Hideaki Fujiwara, Shahryar covered the about 1  1/2 miles in 2:22.50, nearly two seconds off the course record of 2:20.60. He was sent off the fourth betting choice at 10-1 odds.

Fukunaga was riding his third Tokyo Yushun winner in the last four years. This was the trainer's second victory in the race.

This was the first G1 for Shahrayi and third win overall from four starts. He came into the Tokyo Yushun off a G3 win at Hanshin in the Mainichi Hai, having previously finished third to Efforia in a G3 at Tokyo.

Shahryar saved ground much of the way, tracking behind Efforia but then ran into traffic problems rounding the far turn and into the stretch. After altering course in midstretch to find clear sailing, Shahryar flew late to win by the narrowest of margins. It was the first defeat in five starts for Efforia, who won the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) to kick off Japan's Triple Crown at Nakayama on April 18 in his most recent start.

Shahryar becomes the seventh Tokyo Yushun winner for Deep Impact, a Japanese Triple Crown winner in 2005 who retired with 12 wins from 14 starts over three racing seasons. Deep Impact has followed in the footsteps of Sunday Silence, who was Japan's leading sire for 13 consecutive years from 1995-2007. Deep Impact has been leading sire every year since 2012. He died in 2019.

Shahryar's dam, Dubai Majesty, is a 2005 foal by Essence of Dubai, a son of Pulpit. Bred in Florida by Harold J. Plumley, Dubai Majesty was a $7,000 buy-back at the 2006 Fasig-Tipton October Yearling Sale who began her racing career for Plumley and was sold privately after the 10th of her 34 career starts. Bret Calhoun campaigned Dubai Majesty for the remainder of her racing days for Martin Racing Stable LLC and Dan Morgan, and she won four graded stakes: two renewals of the G3 Winning Colors, the G2 Thoroughbred Club of America, and in her final start the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint. Dubai Majesty retired with 12 wins from 34 starts and earnings of $1,509,243.

Immediately after her final victory, she was entered in the Fasig-Tipton November mixed sale where Katsumi Yoshida bought her for $1.1 million from the Taylor Made Sales Agency consignment.

Shahryar is the second Japanese classic winner produced from the Deep Impact–Dubai Majesty mating. Al Ain won the 2017 Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) before finishing fifth in that year's Tokyo Yushun.

With on-track attendance limited at Japan Racing Association tracks because of the COVID-19 pandemic, attendance was just 4,944 at the cavernous Tokyo Racecourse. Wagering on the Tokyo Yushun was US$228 million, with US$356 million wagered on the 12-race program.

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