The Japanese rich racing program continued on Sunday. However, the favorites didn’t break the duck. Check our 2022 Fukushima Kinen & Queen Elizabeth II Cup Recap and Highlights.
At the Fukushima track, sixteen horses clashed in a G3 handicap called the Fukushima Kinen. The underestimated Unicorn Lion triumphed from the front.
Three-year-old fillies and older mares then lined up for the G1 Queen Elizabeth 2 Cup in Hanshin. Geraldina was the victor and her success wasn’t that surprising, given she’s the daughter of mighty Gentildonna. The rest preferred participants were disappointing.
2022 Fukushima Kinen Recap: Unicorn Lion surprises their rivals
Sunday’s program offered this G3 handicap at first. Sixteen three-year-old and older horses covered the distance of a mile and a quarter on the turf surface. The purse was 82,630,000 Yen. Six-year-old Unicorn Lion (233-10) basically stole the race for himself. That happened from the initial few strides as the Yoshito Yahagi trained horse seized the front, set a solid pace, and sustained it until the very end.
Under Yusaku Kokubun, he even jumped clear from his rivals in the final stretch. None of his opponents delivered a turn of foot to threaten him. Unicorn Lion scored the race with ease in 2m 0.20s. As expected, Satono Cecil (49-10) and Arata (31-10) performed well. However, it simply wasn’t enough to score. The former settled for second place, one and ¾ of a length behind the victor. Arata finished third.
In 2021, nobody would’ve been surprised at Unicorn Lion winning a G3 event. Back then, the bay scored a G3 upon which he ran a blinder in the G1 Takarazuka Kinen in Hanshin, getting bettered only by brilliant Chrono Genesis. However, he hasn’t shown literally any resemblance of form in 2022, so he wasn’t perceived as a vital chance for the Fukushima Kinen, unlike the second Satono Cecil and third Arata. They both delivered their standard performances.
2022 Fukushima Kinen Race Video
2022 Queen Elizabeth II Cup: A top form Geraldina claims the race
This G1 turf race was the absolute pinnacle of the weekend here as some brilliant three-year-old fillies and older mares fought for the purse of 253,400,000 Yen. On the Queen Elizabeth II Cup four-year-old Geraldina (71-10) affirmed her steady progress as after bagging a G2 victory, she succeeded even among the elite when piloted by Cristian Demuro.
The daughter of Maurice galloped at the rear of the field, then improved the position in time to have plenty of space ahead upon turning for home. Subsequently, Geraldina delivered such a powerful finish on the outside that she was swept by all her rivals, including leading Win Marylin (91-10). The Takashi Saito trained filly crossed the wire in 2m 13.00s, leaving Win Marylin and Lilac (52-1) in second in a dead heat.
Geraldina has always been expected to successfully tackle the G1 competition, but her team had to be patient as in 2021, the filly could only score a Stakes race. However, her form’s been peaking in the ongoing season, given he placed at the G3 stage at first, then recorded her premiere Graded victory when winning the G2 Sankei Sho All Comers in September, and on Sunday, she achieved her biggest victory in her career. Win Marylin was second alongside Lilac who was surprisingly the best of three-year-olds here.
2022 Queen Elizabeth II Cup Race Video
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