Undefeated Curren Black Hill produced an emphatic 3 1/2-length victory in the $2.3 million NHK Mile Cup (Jpn-I) as the favorite at Tokyo Racecourse to stake his claim as Japan's top 3-year-old miler.
A standout among 18 sophomores in the 1,600-meter turf test, front-running Curren Black Hill kicked away from the field leaving the quarter pole and cruised to victory for jockey Shinichiro Akiyama.
Curren Black Hill did not race at 2 and has now won four races in a row since his debut four months ago for owner Takashi Suzuki. Osamu Hirata, who trains the son of Daiwa Major out of the Grindstone mare Charleston Harbor, collected his first grade I victory.
Northern Farm bred the winning dark bay or brown colt. Curren Black Hill is from the first crop of five-time grade I winner Daiwa Major.
Akiyama, who also claimed his first grade I win, hustled Curren Black Hill to the front, maintaining his advantage until turning for home when Curren Black Hill spurted away to a comfortable victory. The wining time was 1:34.5 over firm ground.
Third choice Alfredo finished second by a neck over Clarente.
The NHK Mile Cup, which was designated international race in 2009, is named after its sponsor Nippon Hoso Kyokai—Japan’s national broadcasting station.