04/21/2008 12:00AM

Captain Thule tops Japanese 2000 Guineas

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Captain Thule's brave front-running performance landed him the $2.2 million Satsuki Sho, or Japanese 2000 Guineas, at Nakayama on Sunday, as he turned the tables on the three horses who had beaten him last time in the Yayoi Sho, the key Guineas prep.

Captain Thule had finished fourth in that 1 1/4-mile course-and-distance trial for the Guineas, which was won by Meiner Charles, who finished third Sunday as the 2.10-1 Guineas favorite. Rider Yuga Kawada put his foot to the pedal leaving the gate aboard Captain Thule and never looked back, recording a 2 1/2-length victory at 16-1 over Take Mikazuchi, who had been third in the Yayoi Sho. Meiner Charles was a nose farther back in third, while the Yayoi Sho runner-up, Black Shell, came home sixth.

A Hideyuki Mori-trained son of the Sunday Silence stallion Agnes Tachyon, Captain Thule ran the 1 1/4 miles of the 2000 Guineas - leg one of the Japanese Triple Crown - on firm ground in 2:01.70. Out of a mare by Arc de Triomphe winner Tony Bin, he should have no trouble staying the 1 1/2 miles of the Japanese Derby at Tokyo on June 1.