05/06/2016 12:52PM

Major Emblem looks to rebound in NHK Mile Cup


Major Emblem, Japan’s champion 2-year-old filly of 2015, can rebound from a fourth-place finish in the Japanese 1000 Guineas on April 10 in Sunday’s $1,744,700 NHK Mile Cup against 3-year-old males at Tokyo Racecourse.

Major Emblem, by Daiwa Major, is one of four fillies in a field of 18 colts and fillies. Geldings are not eligible to start. Earlier this year, Major Emblem won the Grade 3 Daily Hai Queen Cup at Tokyo before finishing fourth in the 1000 Guineas at Hanshin, beaten 2 1/4 lengths by Jeweler.

In the Grade 1 NHK Mile Cup, Major Emblem will be ridden by regular jockey Christophe Lemaire for trainer Yashuito Tamura.

The NHK Mile Cup will be the Grade 1 debut for Dantsu Prius, who won the Grade 2 New Zealand Trophy at Nakayama on April 9. In that race at a mile on turf, Dantsu Prius beat Stormy Sea and the filly Eclat Millenaire, who are part of Sunday’s race.

Tosho Drafter and Bruce Smash, the first two finishers of the Group 3 Sho Falcon Stakes at seven furlongs on turf at Chukyo Racecourse in March, and Lord Quest, who was eighth in the Japanese 2000 Guineas at Nayakama Racecourse on April 17, are other prominent runners in Sunday’s race.

Prep for French Derby

There are five 3-year-olds in Sunday’s $148,400 Prix Greffulhe at 1 1/4 miles on turf at Saint-Cloud in Paris, a prep for the French Derby at Chantilly on June 5.

Robin of Navan, the winner of the Group 1 Gran Criterium de Saint-Cloud for 2-year-olds at 1 1/4 miles on turf last November, will have his first start of the year in the Group 2 Prix Greffulhe. By American Post, Robin of Navan is trained in England by Harry Dunlop, who won his first Group 1 in the Gran Criterium.

Robin of Navan’s rivals on Sunday include two runners trained by Andre Fabre – Cloth of Stars, who was second in the Gran Criterium and won the Group 3 Prix La Force at 1 1/4 miles on turf at Chantilly on April 3, and Le Juge, who has won consecutive overnight races and will have his stakes debut Sunday.