WARM FAVOURITE Mozu Ascot captured his second top flight victory on Sunday, winning the 1600m Group 1 February Stakes and, in doing so, becoming the fifth horse in Japan to claim a Group One title on both dirt and turf after Kurofune, Agnes Digital, Eagle Cafe and Admire Don. After his triumph in the 2018 Group 1 Yasuda Kinen, also over 1600m but on turf, the 6yo Frankel entire rather lost his way on grass but, on his previous outing to Sunday’s Tokyo feature, had shown a liking for dirt with a smooth victory in the 1400m Group 3 Negishi Stakes. His connections have announced their intentions of racing their star in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile in Australia at the beginning of April.
This was Japanese Group One victory 28 for Christophe Lemaire and a third consecutive such success for trainer Yoshito Yahagi after he saddled Lys Gracieux for an Arima Kinen victory and the Hopeful Stakes win of Contrail. “He broke well and we were able to settle right in behind as planned. His acceleration was extraordinary. Although he is a newcomer to dirt racing, he adapted immediately to the surface and gave his best today. After a couple of seconds in the past, I, myself, am happy to have won the February Stakes at last,” commented Christophe Lemaire.