Justin Palace Displays Strong Closing Speed to Win the Tenno Sho
With a methodical move to the front with 300 meters to go in the Tenno Sho, Christophe Lemaire guides Justin Palace to his fifth win in 10 career starts.
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Since making his racing debut in September 2021, Justin Palace has been ridden by six different jockeys in 10 career starts, including Christophe Lemaire in the Tenno Sho (Spring) on Sunday, April 30.
So what happened in the 167th Tenno Sho?
Deep Impact-sired Justin Palace and Lemaire maintained their perfect record as a team, finishing 2½ lengths ahead of Kizuna progeny and 2021 and 2022 race runner-up Deep Bond (Ryuji Wada, a two-time winner of the event) and another length ahead of Silver Sonic (Damian Lane) at Kyoto Racecourse.
Justin Palace is 4-for-4 with Lemaire holding the reins, including back-to-back wins to open his career.
In preparation for the Tenno Sho, Lemaire saddled up the 4-year-old for the third time in the Japan Racing Association's Grade 2 Hanshin Daishoten, contested over 3,000 meters on March 19 at Hanshin Racecourse. Justin Palace claimed victory in that race by 1¾ lengths over Boldog Hos, the third favorite for Sunday's Tenno Sho.
Race favorite Titleholder, the 2022 Tenno Sho (Spring) winner, was visibly in pain while coping with lameness in his right foreleg near the end of the race, and jockey Kazuo Yokoyama's horse stopped running before the last corner. He was unable to complete the race in which he was the frontrunner for a big portion of it.
Lemaire's 44th G1 Win
Lemaire earned his 44th career JRA G1 victory, his first since winning the Arima Kinen (The Grand Prix) with Equinox on Christmas Day in 2022. Trainer Haruki Sugiyama collected his fifth G1 win, doing so for the first time since the 2020 Satsuki Sho with Daring Tact.
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Author: Ed Odeven
Find Ed on JAPAN Forward's dedicated website, SportsLook. Follow his [Japan Sports Notebook] on Sundays, [Odds and Evens] during the week, and Twitter ＠ed_odeven.
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