Aventura Wins Last Leg of Japan's Filly Crown

Jockey Yasunari Iwata guides daughter of Jungle Pocket to first grade I triumph.

Aventura, under jockey Yasunari Iwata, captured her first grade I in the $2.1 million Shuka Sho at Kyoto Racecourse Oct. 16, celebrating her third victory in as many starts this season. The Shuka Sho is the third and final jewel of Japan's triple crown for fillies.

Sent off as the second choice in the field of 18, Aventura defeated Kyowa Jeanne by 1 1/4 lengths, with favored Whale Capture another 1 1/4 lengths farther back in third. The winning daughter of Jungle Pocket completed the 2,000-meter (about 1 1/4 miles) event in 1:58.2 on a good grass course.

U. Carrot Farm owns Aventura, who is trained by Katsuhiko Sumii. Northern Farm bred the bay filly. The lifetime winner of four of six starts is out of the Sunday Silence mare Admire Sunday.

In spite of being sidelined from the spring classic campaign due to a fracture, Aventura has been consistent since her comeback in July. She came into the race off a neck win in the Queen Stakes (Jpn-III) at 1,800 meters in August. She is full sister to 2008 Oaks champion Tall Poppy, who was also trained by Sumii.

After the field broke evenly in front of the stands, Memorial Year rushed to the front, putting four to five lengths between her and the second group, headed by Zephyranthes and Aventura. Whale Capture traveled three-wide a few lengths behind Kyowa Jeanne, who hugged the rail in mid-pack.

The front-runner’s lead stretched to six to seven lengths making the third turn when the trailing group started to make its move, with Kyowa Jeanne gradually inching up and Whale Capture advancing on the outside before the final corner. Turning for home, Aventura picked off the tiring pacesetter and ran on strongly all the way to the line, holding sway over Kyowa Jeanne.

Oka Sho (Japanese One Thousand Guineas) champion Marcelina showed a good turn of foot down the lane after breaking from the far outside stall, but had too much ground to make up and finished seventh. Japanese Oaks (Yushun Himba) winner Erin Court was off slowly, and after making her bid, steadily tired in the stretch to finish 10th.