Home News Japan strikes early as Bathrat Leon lands Godolphin Mile in the second race of Dubai World Cup

Japan strikes early as Bathrat Leon lands Godolphin Mile in the second race of Dubai World Cup

by Dubai Forum
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DUBAI, 26th March, 2022 (WAM) — Bathrat Leon returned to his very best form, much of which had deserted him during his three-year-old year, by giving Japan its second success in the Group 2 Godolphin Mile, sponsored by Nakheel.

The Yoshito Yahagi-trained four-year-old entered last year’s classic season at home as one of their leading contenders but emerged with a battered reputation and had not finished closer than ninth in six starts since taking the Group 2 New Zealand Trophy (1600m) at Nakayama in April.

Although he had struggled on Japan’s sandy dirt surface at his only attempt away from turf late last year, he appeared to relish the Meydan track, leading all the way at a fast clip under Ryusei Sakai to score by a length and a quarter over local Desert Wisdom with three and a quarter lengths back to the progressive Storm Damage in third.

Another Japanese runner, Soliste Thunder, filled fourth.

Winning trainer Yoshito Yahagi said: “He’s a good strong front-runner and we know the bends well, so he got a good start and he pushed and he was able to keep it up to the line. We got our tactics right.”

Ryusei Sakai, jockey, Bathrat Leon, said: “The plan was to go forward and just go quick. Everything worked out and the horse kept going. I think he preferred the dirt surface here more than in Japan. Mr Yahagi is one of the best trainers in the world. It’s a great result.”

He continued: “This was my dream and dreams come true. He (was expected) to run a good race in the last three days. His concentration is very good. I got the lead easily. He was travelling very well. I still wasn’t very confident because you have American horses in behind who have speed and are very good.”

On his alliance with Yoshita Yahagi, he added: “I have been riding for him in Japan for seven years – since I was an apprentice.”

WAM/Tariq alfaham

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