Koiuta Springs Upset in Victoria Mile

(from Japanese Racing Association report)
With a powerful late charge along the rail, Koiuta upset the favorites Sunday to win the US$1.675 million Victoria Mile (Jpn-I) for older fillies and mares over 1,600 meters at Tokyo Racecourse Sunday.

Neither favorite Kawakami Princess, Japan's champion filly in 2006, or second choice Sweep Tosho, the nation's champion older filly or mare last year, could make an impact in the stretch as the 4-year-old filly Koiuta strode to a half-length victory over Asahi Rising and Daring Heart in the second running of the Victoria Mile.

Koiuta is by Fuji Kiseki out of the Dr Devious mare Violet Love. She is trainer by Masashi Okuhira and was ridden by young jockey Masami Matsuoka. She was bred by Shadai Farm and is owned by Maekawa Kikaku Co. Ltd.

Asahi Rising led the race comfortably from the outset with outsiders Blumenblatt and Kiss to Heaven following several lengths back. Koiuta settled sixth or or seventh on the inside of the 18-horse field. Sweep Tosho was in the second half of the field and Kawakami Princess was even further back near the tail of the pack after beginning slowly.

As the field entered the straight, Asahi Rising put several lengths on her rivals and looked a likely winner. Challengers, including Sweep Tosho and third favorite Admire Kiss, angled out to make their run but they weren’t making much ground on the favorite. Koiuta and fellow outsider Daring Heart veered to the inside of the leader as she had kept away from the inside rail in the straight, and this proved a brilliant move. As Asahi Rising tired in the final stages, Koiuta gradually drew level and pulled away for a tough win in the final strides.

Asahi Rising fought on well to the end and held on for second, a nose ahead of Daring Heart. Kiss to Heaven was a 1/2 lengths back in fourth.

The favorites were not involved. Sweep Tosho faded in her run in the straight to be ninth, and Kawakami Princess never made an impact finishing behind Sweep Tosho in 10th. It was the first time Kawakami Princess had not been first across the line in her seven-race career.

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