Daiwa Major Posts Tenno Sho (Autumn) Upset

(from Japanese Racing Association report)
Daiwa Major earned his first grade I victory in 2 1/2 years when he captured the Tenno Sho (Autumn) over 2,000 meters at Tokyo racecourse Sunday.

The race was considered an open affair, with the 5-year-old Daiwa Major, a son of Sunday Silence ridden by Katsumi Ando, sent out as the fourth choice. The 5-year-old mare Sweep Tosho went favored.

Daiwa Major is owned by Keizo Oshiro, and was bred at Shadai Farm out of one of Shadai's best performing mares Scarlet Bouquet. Hiroyuki Uehara trains the chestnut horse.

As expected, Inti Raimi led the field for the first 1,600 meters, but Daiwa Major, racing in second place, was ready to pounce as the horses entered the straight and it was clear that Inti Raimi was a spent force. Dance in the Mood ranged up outside Daiwa Major as the horses came down the straight, but jockey Katsumi Ando had a lap full of horse, and held Daiwa Major together before asking him for an effort at around the 300-meter mark. Dance in the Mood was quickly under pressure and began to drop off.

Sakura Mega Wonder came down the inside of the track, but could make no ground on the leader, and although Sweep Tosho and Tokyo specialist Asakusa Den'en progressed on the outside, Daiwa Major was still clear with 100 meters to go. Norihiro Yokoyama tried to level up on fellow 5-year-old Sunday Silence colt Swift Current, and Yutaka Take weaved a passage through the field on second favorite 3-year-old Admire Moon, they couldn't catch Daiwa Major in the run to the line.

Daiwa Major won by a half-length to Swift Current, with Admire Moon another three parts of a length away in third. Cosmo Bulk battled away for fourth and favorite Sweep Tosho came in 5th.

There was drama prior to the race when first Trillion Cut was scratched after smashing through the running rail when coming on the track, and then Company was forced to start from the very outside barrier after acting up in the barriers.