Japan: Classy Satono Diamond shines in St Leger

Satono Diamond: an impressive winner of the Japanese St Leger

PICTURE: Masakazu Takahashi Classy Diamond shines in Japanese St Leger By Tony McFadden 2:30PM 23 OCT 2016

Report: Japan, Sunday

Kyoto: Kikuka Sho (Group 1), 1m7f, turf, 3yo colts and fillies

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FAVOURITE Satono Diamond (Yasutoshi Ikee/Christophe Lemaire) secured a first Group 1 triumph when impressively winning the Kikuka Sho (Japanese St Leger) at Kyoto on Sunday.

Satono Diamond's victory in the final leg of the Triple Crown was well deserved after the colt had finished third in the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2,000 Guineas) and a close-up second in the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby).

Settled in mid-division by Christophe Lemaire, Satono Diamond travelled powerfully and made smooth headway as the field turned for home. He picked up strongly on the approach to the final furlong and quickly settled matters, surging clear to comfortably win by two and a half lengths.

Rainbow Line got the better of Air Spinel in a good battle for second, while Japanese 2,000 Guineas winner Dee Majesty was fourth.

"I'm excited and happy to be able to win a classic race for the first time in Japan," said Lemaire. "The colt was in his best condition and the only concern was the distance, but he responded really well in the last stretch."

Satono Diamond's win provided a clean sweep of the Triple Crown for sons of Deep Impact, following earlier Classic triumphs for Dee Majesty and Makahiki. It is the first time such a feat has been achieved in Japan.

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