12/29/2008 1:00AM

Daiwa Scarlet comes through in Arima Kinen


Daiwa Scarlet went one better than 12 months ago, landing the 53rd renewal of the Arima Kinen at Nakayama racecourse Sunday.

The 12 1/2-furlong event on turf is an invitational race, with the runners selected by Japanese racing fans by ballot.

Boasting top-class form throughout her career, Daiwa Scarlet was a lock for a place in the field, and her fans backed her down to be 16-10 favorite.

In the race itself, she was soon in front under jockey Katsumi Ando. Last year's winner Matsurida Gogh was held up well off the pace, while 2008 Japan Cup winner Screen Hero rated in mid-division. Neither would be able to land a blow though as Daiwa Scarlet made all easily.

Admire Monarch finished well in the straight to take second, 1 3/4 lengths behind the winner. Matsurida Gogh finished 12th after having always been in rear, while Screen Hero stayed on to be fifth, though running out of steam in the final furlong.

Nakayama racecourse was also boosted by a bumper turnout for the race, the final Grade 1 event of the Japanese season, with 117,093 in attendance.