Soul Stirring Frankel's First Grade I Winner
Photo: Naoji Inada
Soul Stirring wins the grade I Hanshin Juvenile Fillies

Soul Stirring, a daughter of Frankel, solidified her place at the top of Japanese racing with a 1 1/4-length score in the Dec. 11 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies (Jpn-I), the country's end-of-the-year championship for 2-year-old fillies, and became her sire's first grade I winner.

Undefeated in three starts on the turf, Soul Stirring previously won the Oct. 22 Ivy Stakes at Tokyo by a length, run at 1,800 meters (about 1 1/8 miles).

Ridden by Christophe Lemaire, the filly broke from post 2 and took on a field of 17 others going a mile for the first time.

Soul Stirring settled on the rail, just behind the front runners, and patience prevailed as Lemaire stuck to the rail, waiting for a hole to open up. Frontrunner Arinna drifted out in the stretch and allowed Soul Stirring to accelerate past. Lys Gracieux put in a late run to finish second.

Prior to the race, assistant trainer Daisuke Tsumagari was confident Soul Stirring was up to the task.

"This will be her first mile race, but she has the speed and racing sense to adjust to it," he said. "She will bring herself up to par even in this strong field."

Shadai Farm's homebred Soul Stirring is out of the Monsun mare Stacelita, a group I winner in France and winner of the 2011 Beverly D. and Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes (both gr. IT).

Juddmonte Farm's undefeated 10-time group I winner and multiple champion Frankel is the leading European first-season sire by worldwide earnings. The son of Galileo (IRE)Kind (IRE), by Danehill, stands at Juddmonte's Banstead Manor Stud for £125,000.

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