10/21/2016 2:16PM

Dee Majesty, Vazirabad set to go long in overseas turf marathons

Neville Hopwood/Dubai Racing Club
Last year's Prix Royal-Oak winner, Vazirabad, will try to defend his title on Sunday.

In Japan, Dee Majesty will attempt to win the longest race of his career in Sunday’s $2.53 million Japanese St. Leger at Kyoto Racecourse.

In France, Vazirabad can win Sunday’s $380,275 Prix Royal-Oak for the second consecutive year at Saint-Cloud Racecourse in Paris.

The two races are late-season turf marathons showcasing leading stayers in both countries.

The Grade 1 Japanese St. Leger, run at 1 7/8 miles for 3-year-old colts and fillies, drew a field of 18.

Dee Majesty won the Japanese 2000 Guineas in April and was third in the Japanese Derby in May. He won the Grade 2 Asahi Hai St. Lite Kinen at 1 3/8 miles on turf at Nakayama Racecourse on Sept. 18 in his first start of the fall.

Satono Diamond, second in the Japanese Derby, has very strong credentials. He was second in the Grade 2 Shimbun Hai at Hanshin Racecourse on Sept. 25 in his autumn debut.

The race has depth and includes Air Spinel, who was fourth in the Japanese Derby, and Prodigal Son, second behind Dee Majesty at Nakayama.

Vazirabad is in a field of 15 in the Group 1 Prix Royal-Oaks, run at 1 15/16 miles. Vazirabad, a 4-year-old gelding, was second in the Group 1 Prix du Cadran at Chantilly on Oct. 1, his second loss in his last 10 starts.

The Prix Royal-Oak contenders include Siljan’s Saga, who was fourth in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly on Oct. 2, and Sky Hunter, who was 22nd of 24 in the Melbourne Cup in Australia last year and won a minor stakes at Goodwood Racecourse in England on Sept. 21.

Litigant makes a quick turnaround, having finished sixth in the British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot on Oct. 15.