Champions Cup 2023: Lemon Pop claims the victory

Lemon Pop put his growing reputation on the line in the G1 Champions Cup 2023 and he was sent off the 5/2 chalk on the board to take his tally to ten wins in fourteen starts.


Champions Cup

Grade 1 – Purse $1,570,000 – 1 mile 1 furlong – Dirt – 3-Year-Olds and Up

His form was solid, but being posted in gate fifteen was always going to be a potential downside to his chances.

Those concerns were soon put to bed as he broke smartly from the gate and Ryusei Sakai sent him straight to the lead, and he never saw another rival as he went gate to wire to win by a length and a quarter.

The Godolphin-owned horse was making race history here and he was also breaking his own record having now amassed more than $3 million in win and place purse money and surely a race at the 2024 Dubai World Cup festival now beckons for this Sheikh Mohammed superstar.

Dura Erede chased throughout and looked a threat entering the stretch but Lemon Pop had much more to give and widened a furlong from the wire.

T O Keynes made an attempt on the inside rail but it was Wilson Tesoro who provided the final challenge, and closed late for second with Dura Erede a valiant third and T O Keynes in fourth.

Champions Cup 2023 Race Payouts

1. Lemon Pop$3.80$2.10
2. Wilson Tesoro $18.20
3. Dura Erede $8.90

WINNING TIME: 1 min 50.60 secs

Stayers Stakes

Grade 2 – Purse $810,000 – 2 miles 2 furlongs – Turf – 3 Year Olds and Up

Iron Barows grabs his first graded stakes win under a master ride from Shu Ishibashi as he takes the Grade 2 Sports Nippon Sho Stayers Stakes at 18/1.

Iron Barows had already proven his ability to handle this extreme staying distance by finishing fourth in the 2021 renewal and going even closer in the 2022 race when finishing second.

With doubts about others in the race, jockey Shu Ishibashi made sure there would be no hiding place, and this was one of the rides of the season from Ishibashi as he took Iron Barows to the lead after just three furlongs and never saw another foe.

He was ten lengths clear at the half-mile marker but the pack began to close, and at first, it looked like he may get swamped.

But Ishibashi was giving his horse a breather and as they hit the top of the stretch, he said go again and Iron Barows widened by six lengths before being geared down late to win by two and a half lengths.

T O Royal closed strongly for second spot while Meiner Virtus held well for third spot with Warp Speed filling the fourth spot.

Stayers Stakes 2023 Race Payouts

1. Iron Barows$19.20$3.60
2. T O Royal $2.20
3. Meiner Virtus $2.10

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