Verxina Lands Elusive Group I Win in Japan

Verxina Lands Elusive Group I Win in Japan
Photo: Masakazu Takahashi
Verxina wins the Victoria Mile in Japan.

Four times second at the group I level in 2012, Verxina finally broke through in the Victoria Mile (Jpn-I) May 12 at Tokyo Racecourse when holding off the strong late charge of Whale Capture to prevail by a nose.

The 4-year-old Deep Impact filly, second last year to eventual Horse of the Year Gentildonna in all three jewels of Japan's Fillies' Triple Crown, asserted herself in the closing stages to take charge. She then dug in to repel the furious late rally of defending winner Whale Capture by a nose.

"I was worried if we couldn't win at the finish," winning rider Hiroyuki Uchida told Racing Post. "She showed her fighting qualities after the rival came to her. I want to praise her because she has done well."

As well as second-best in all three fillies' classics last year, Verxina was runner-up by a neck to Rainbow Dahlia in the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup (Jpn-I) in November at Kyoto to cap the season. She came into the Victoria Mile following a sixth-place finish to 2011 Horse of the Year Orfevre in the Sankei Osaka Hai (Jpn-II) March 31 at Hanshin in her 2013 bow.

Back against her own sex in the Victoria Mile, she would not be deprived in another group I attempt.

The 3-1 favorite in the 18-horse field, Verxina was timed in 1:32.4 to take her career record to four wins, five seconds, and a third in 11 starts for owner Kazuhiro Sasaki and trainer Yasuo Tomomichi. Her only previous stakes win was the 2012 Daily Hai Queen Cup (Jpn-III) at the same course and distance as the Victoria Mile.

Whale Capture, thoroughly trounced in five consecutive starts since last year's Victoria Mile win, made a gallant effort from midfield to just miss at 44-1 odds. She outfinished multiple group winner Meine Isabel by a half-length for second.

Bred by Northern Racing, Verxina is out of the winning Machiavellian mare Halwa Sweet, a half sister to group III winner Frere Jacques. Second dam Halwa Song is a half sister to French group I winner Mezzo Soprano. The family includes prominent sires Rahy and U.S. champion Singspiel.

Sire Deep Impact, an 11-year-old son of Sunday Silence, stands at Shadai Stallion Station. He has 34 stakes winners and two champions from three crops racing.

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