Fenomeno was a creditable performer against Japan's best last year as runner-up to Deep Brillante in the Tokyo Yushun (Jpn-I), or Japanese Derby, and Eishin Flash in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) (Jpn-I). The 4-year-old Stay Gold colt stretched out to 3,200 meters (about two miles) for the first time in the Tenno Sho (Spring) and uncoiled a powerful rally from off the pace to score by 1 1/4 lengths over multiple group winner Tosen Ra. Emirates Airline Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) Red Cadeaux closed willingly to take third.
Guided by Masayoshi Ebina, Sunday Racing's Fenomeno was timed in 3:14.20 to win as the 6-1 second wagering choice. He earned his fourth group win from six victories overall in 11 career starts for trainer Hirofumi Toda.
Last year's champion 3-year-old male Gold Ship was the overwhelming 13-10 favorite but finished a disappointing fifth after failing to display his trademark late charge.
After breaking from post 13, trainer Ed Dunlop's Red Cadeaux looked ideally positioned in fourth entering the stretch but could get no closer than third, finishing two lengths behind Tosen Ra. The 7-year-old son of Cadeaux Genereux was bidding to add the Tenno Sho (Spring) to a résumé that also includes a win in the 2012 Longines Hong Kong Vase (HK-I) and a runner-up finish in the 2011 Emirates Melbourne Cup (Aus-I).
"He ran a super race on ground that was probably a bit too quick for him, but we're very pleased with him," Dunlop's assistant Robin Trevor-Jones said. "He never lets us down. From a wide draw like that, we got stuck out a bit wide, but even so, he ran a super race and we're proud of him. After this, we'll go to Singapore, which we're invited to go [in the Singapore Airlines International Cup (Sin-I) May 19]. His fall program will probably be to Australia, Japan, and then to Hong Kong again."
Bred by Oiwake Farm, Fenomeno closed 2012 with a fifth-placed finish behind Gentildonna in the Japan Cup (Jpn-I). He opened 2013 on a winning note in the Nikkei Sho (Jpn-II) March 23 at Nakayama in his previous start.
Fenomeno's dam is the winning Danehill mare De Laroche, a half sister to 1998-1999 Hong Kong Horse of the Year Indigenous. The family includes English group II winner and sire Sea Anchor.