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Champagne Color Records Thrilling Victory in NHK Mile Cup

Chestnut colt Champagne Color took the lead 100 meters from the wire and pulled away in the NHK Mile Cup while holding off a late charge by the runner-up.



NHK Mile Cup
Champagne Color, ridden by Hiroyuki Uchida, wins the NHK Mile Cup on May 7 at Tokyo Racecourse. Umbrail finishes second. (KYODO)

Read the full story on SportsLook - Champagne Color Records Thrilling Victory in NHK Mile Cup

Ninth favorite Champagne Color claimed his first graded win in this year's NHK Mile Cup while notching his third mile-race victory at Tokyo Racecourse on Sunday, May 7.

After claiming back-to-back wins in his two starts last season, both over the mile distance at Tokyo, the Duramente colt was sixth in the Keisei Hai (G3, 2,000 meters) in January and then turned in a third-place finish in the New Zealand Trophy (G2, 1,600 meters) in April. 

For trainer Tsuyoshi Tanaka, this marks his sixth Japan Racing Association G1 victory (including two G1 steeplechase titles) and first since his Yasuda Kinen win with Logotype in 2016. 

Jockey Hiroyuki Uchida picked up his 13th JRA G1 victory, his latest being the 2018 February Stakes with Nonkono Yume, and celebrates his second NHK Mile triumph after claiming it with Pink Cameo in 2007.

NHK Mile Cup
Hiroyuki Uchida (with green cap) steers Champagne Color during the NHK Mile Cup. (KYODO)

Champagne Color's Path to Victory

Breaking from stall 11, Champagne Color was settled in third to fourth from the rear and three-wide before coming into the lane. Steadily gaining on the leaders in the stretch and rallying with Danon Touchdown (Yuga Kawada) at the furlong pole, the chestnut colt took over the lead 100 meters out and pulled away strongly while holding off a fierce late charge by the runner-up. 

"The plan was to keep him in about fifth to sixth from the pace, but the competition to position him forwardly was intense and the going was soggy so I didn't force him to move up front," Uchida said after the race. 

"He came out of the last turn smoothly and responded incredibly well."

Continue reading the full story on SportsLook.

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Author: JRA News

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