Robe Tissage wins the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies.
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Robe Tissage wins the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies.
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Naoji Inada

War Emblem Filly Wins at Top Level at Hanshin

Robe Tissage closed powerfully in Japan's premier race for 2-year-old fillies Dec. 9.

Robe Tissage captured Japan’s premier race for young fillies Dec. 9 when closing powerfully in the stretch and edging past Kurofune Surprise in the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies (Jpn-I).

Silk Co.’s Robe Tissage provided sire War Emblem, a famously reluctant breeder, with a second winner at the group I level and became only his eighth stakes winner among 46 winners from 74 starters in five crops of racing age. His other winner at the highest level is 2008 Shuka Sho victor Black Emblem.

Racing for The Thoroughbred Corp., War Emblem won the 2002 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I). The Yoshida family’s Shadai Corp. paid $17 million to acquire him for stud duty in 2003 at Shadai Stallion Station, where he has proven to be abnormally selective in the breeding shed. This year, he covered only three mares, none of which are in foal.

Sent off the fifth favorite at 8-to-1 odds in the race worth 135,000,000 yen ($1,687,000), Robe Tissage won by a neck under Shinichiro Akiyama and covered 1,600 meters (one mile) in 1:34.20 on firm turf. She earned her first stakes victory in her group I debut while stablemate and 5-2 favorite Collector Item finished fourth.

Kurofune Surprise, an 89-1 longshot, pressed on the outside of pacesetter Tagano Mu Chan as Robe Tissage settled in midpack after breaking from the inside post in the 18-horse field.

With the field bunching up behind the front-runners on the final turn, Kurofune Surprise took control 300 meters out as Akiyama found clear running room in the stretch for Robe Tissage. The black filly accelerated willingly and engaged Kurofune Surprise on the outside. The pair charged together as the finish line approached, with Robe Tissage inching by in the final strides to win for the second time in three career starts.

Maiden winner Red Cecilia finished third, three-quarters of a length in front of Collector Item.

Trained by Naosuke Sugai, Robe Tissage won her debut in July, then after a four-month layoff finished second, three lengths behind Sound Rihanna in the KBS Kyoto Sho Fantasy Stakes (Jpn-III) Nov. 10 at Kyoto. Sound Rihanna checked in 17th in the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies.

Bred by Northern Racing, Robe Tissage is out of the Singspiel mare Petit Noire and is from the family of two-time Japanese champion and 2011 Emirates Airline Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) winner Victoire Pisa.