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Persian and Demuro capture Moore with attack any Knight would be proud of


Defeat appeared improbable when Ryan Moore burst to the front aboard Air Spinel in Sunday’s The Mile Championship at Kyoto Racecourse but, Mirco Demuro had other ideas, snatching victory in the very last stride aboard Persian Knight. It was a thrilling finish with the majority of the large crowd unsure as to the winner but Demuro was in no doubt, celebrating immediately as his dramatic hijack of the lucrative prize was completed, by a nose. In doing so he equalled the JRA record of six Grade Ones in a calendar year previously achieved by Yutaka Take (2005, 2006), Katsumi Ando (2007), Kenichi Ikezoe (2011) and Yasunari Iwata (2012). Trained by Yasutoshi Ikee, the winner, a 3yo son of Harbinger, was drawn widest of all the 18 runners but benefitted from a perfect ride by a jockey performing at the top of his game, who settled his mount in rear before angling out to challenge in the straight, to stunning effect.

“We were a little worried about the widest draw but he always breaks well so we weren’t that concerned,” said Demuro. “The colt was responding really well, especially around the third corner. “Being still a 3yo he seemed a bit nervous entering the lane but ran really well to the wire. He’s a great horse.” Persian Knight was a good second in the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) earlier in the year and managed to turn the tables on Air Spinel, having finished fifth behind the same rival, when conceding him weight, in the Grade 3 Fuji Stakes last month.

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15 Feb 2018
Issue Number: Issue 636
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