Facing older rivals for the first time, Mozu Katchan (JPN) caught Crocosmia (JPN) in the final jumps to take the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1) by a neck Nov. 12 at Kyoto Racecourse.
Mikki Queen (JPN) just missed with a late run, finishing third, a head further in arrears. The favorite, Vivlos (JPN), raced prominently in the early stages, but was outrun in the final 100 meters and finished fifth.
Mozu Katchan, a 3-year-old daughter of Harbinger out of the King Kamehameha (JPN) mare Site Dealer (JPN), saved ground behind the leading quartet through most of the 2,200 meters (about one mile, three furlongs). Jockey Mirco Demuro asked her for the run to the line as the field straightened out and she found a convenient seam between the tiring rivals. Timing the effort perfectly, she completed the distance over firm turf in 2:14.3.
"We had a good draw and everything went as planned," Demuro said. "She was so strong nearing the finish, and pinning the leader for the win."
Mozu Katchan, trained by Ippo Sameshima for Capital System, scored her first group 1 win after some misfortune in the Japanese Filly Triple Crown events.
She was second to Soul Stirring (JPN) in the May 21 Yushun Himba (G1), the Japanese Oaks. Then, coming off a seventh-place run in the Sept. 17 Kansai Telecasting Corp. Sho Rose Stakes (G2), she finished third in the Oct. 15 Shuka Sho (G1) despite losing a shoe.
"I'm so happy to have won this title again this year," said Demuro, who won the 2016 rendition of the Queen Elizabeth II Cup on Queens Ring (JPN)—seventh this time around. "Mozu Katchan is such an honest and talented filly and it was such a shame that she'd lost a shoe last time out in the Shuka Sho, so I'm glad that we were able to prove her ability in this race."
Mozu Katchan's sire, Harbinger, counts the 2010 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes Sponsored by Betfair (G1) at Ascot among his multiple group scores. He stands at Shadai Stallion Station and also sired Shuka Sho winner Deirdre (JPN), who finished 12th in Sunday's Queen Elizabeth II Cup.