12/18/2006 12:00AM

Fusaichi Richard upsets in Hanshin Cup


Fusaichi Richard gave his owner, Fusao Sekiguchi, victory in the first running of the $1.1 million Hanshin Cup at Hanshin Racecourse near Osaka, Japan, on Sunday, holding off Precise Machine by a neck in the seven-furlong Grade 2 event.

Meiner Scherzi was a head further back in third, with Asakusa Den'en and Symboli Gran filling the fourth and fifth places. The British invader Court Masterpiece raced in midpack throughout, coming home ninth of 17, beaten just 2 3/4 lengths as the 5-2 choice.

Ridden by Yuichi Fukunaga and trained by Kunihide Matsuda, Fusaichi Richard rancovered the one-turn, right-handed seven furlongs in 1:20.60 at 9-1. In his last start on Nov. 25 he had tried to emulate the victory of his sire Kurofune in the Japan Cup Dirt but finished a well beaten thirteenth.

Deep Impact to face Daiwa Major>/strong>

Deep Imapact will bid farewell to his adoring public at Nakayama on Sunday when he attempts to win the one race that eluded him last year, the 1 9/16-mile Arima Kinen. The recent Japan Cup winner will not have will not have to worry about Heart's Cry, last year's Arima Kinen winner, this time around because Heart's Cry has been retired after a dull effort in the Japan Cup in which he was suffering from a throat ailment.

Deep Impact will be opposed, however, by the in-form Daiwa Major, winner of Grade 1 races at a mile and 1 1/4 miles in his last two starts.