Sodashi back on grass at the BC Challenge Race in Tokyo

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A white filly, an injured returnee and a Saudi winner add to quite a mix for the Victoria Mile (G1) field on May 15 at Tokyo Racecourse – a “Win and You’re In” event for the $2 million expensive Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup filly & mare Rasen (G1T).

Of course the white one is sodashi. That Kurofune Filly has a huge Japanese following, although her career has waned since winning her first five starts, including two Grade 1 events.

Daring tacta 5 year old daughter of epiphanyShe was diagnosed with a suspension injury after finishing third at the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1) in Hong Kong in April 2021 and has not competed since.

song linea 4 year old kizuna Filly, leads a parade of Japanese runners returning to local competition after starting their season in the Middle East. She was last seen on February 26th recording the 1351 Turf Sprint presented by STC (G3T) in Riyadh.

This trio will be up against a few others who have proven they can perform at this level. Lei Papale has finished second in each of her last two, most recently at the Osaka Hai (G1) in Hanshin, and is decreasing in distance. resistance finished second in both the Sprinters Stakes (G1) at Nakayama in October and the Longines Hong Kong Sprint (G1) in December.

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Photo: Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia/Douglas de Felice

Songline competes in the 1351 Turf Sprint at King Abdulaziz Racecourse

Meisho mimosa comes to the Victoria Mile after her first ever Graded Stakes win – a Grade 2 event at Hanshin – in her 26th career start.

However, many of the players will focus on the three rivals mentioned above.

Sodashi showed some signs of life when she placed third in her most recent start, the February Stakes (G1), on a sloppy dirt track in Tokyo. Before that, she had been solidly thrashed in three of her previous four starts, albeit against top-flight rivals.

Trainer Naosuke Sugai commented on the eye-catching filly: “I thought it was a good result in the February campaigns last time. Seems she is capable of miles in Tokyo with just one turn over that distance. She’s on break at the farm, but in the last practice session since she’s back she’s run well and shown good speed.”

Hayato Yoshida will have Sodashi running from gate No. 5 in an 18-man field when she returns to the grass court, and both trainer and jockey said the popular miss seems to have tempered her sometimes erratic behavior with maturity.

“Hopefully she will make a good impression of herself for her many fans,” Sugai said.

Daring Tact’s main task on the Victoria Mile is to show that she is fully recovered and not too rusty to compete. Trainer Haruki Sugiyama said in mid-April the 2020 Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks, G1) winner is around 70%, and after the barrier draw on May 13, jockey Kohei Matsuyama said the filly continues to progress.

“In her last work, I just checked her changing leads and overall rhythm,” Matsuyama said. “She moved well and I was careful not to overdo it with her. She feels a little bit bigger now but I could see her improving over the last three weeks… It feels like a fresh start with her now so I want to do my best.”

And for Songline, trainer Toru Hayashi says a little rest and relaxation has got her back on track after the long Saudi trek.

“She is in very good shape after her stay at Northern Farm Tenei and since returning to the stables she has shown how well she can walk in her recent work. She is in great shape both mentally and physically.”

Daring Tact pulled gate #1 to start the long run down the backstretch to the corner. Songline begins with the name Kenichi Ikezoe right next to her.

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