04/18/2008 11:00PM

Gliding fails at Nakayama


Gliding's long journey to Japan for the $1.6 million Grand Nakayama Jump turned out to be a complete bust on Saturday as the gelding, trained by Paul Fout, trailed home last of the nine finishers in the 10-runner 2 5/8-mile steeplechase, distanced by the victorious Maruka Rascal and every other horse who finished the race.

Gliding's chances were not helped by Friday-night rainfall that turned the Nakayama turf course yielding. Sent off as the 17-1 sixth choice, he was never in contention.

"He broke well from the gate and handled the jumps well," said Gliding's rider, Paddy Young. "He went smoothly but gradually fell behind and couldn't keep up with the pace. Perhaps the going took too much out of him."

Trained by Yutaka Masumoto and ridden by Makoto Nishitani, the 4-1 Makura Rascal was officially credited with winning by an unspecified "distance" over Merci a Time, but the time difference of 2.2 seconds between the two suggests a margin of 13 or 14 lengths. Merci a Time had a half-length on third-place T M Ace, while the 2.70-1 favorite, Eishin Niizan, was fifth.