03/03/2011 2:43PM

Reve d’Essor starting her year at Hanshin

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Japanese juvenile filly champion Reve d’Essor makes her 3-year-old debut at Hanshin on Saturday in the Group 3, $862,000 Tulip Sho, a one-mile prep for the Oka Sho, or Japanese 1000 Guineas, on April 10.

There are high hopes that Reve de’Essor could follow in the footsteps recent outstanding Japanese fillies like Vodka and Buena Vista. Trained by Hiroyoshi Matsuda for Teruya Yoshida’s Sunday Racing Co. Ltd., she is a daughter of the prominent Highest Honor sire Agnes Tachyon. She ended her championship season on a high note with a victory in the Grade 1 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies over the Tulip Sho course and distance, defeating in runner-up Whale Capture the recent winner of Tokyo’s Grade 3 Daily Hai Queen Cup.

What marks Reve d’Essor as something potentially special was her victory against colts in the Grade 2 Daily Hai Nisai Stakes at Kyoto on Oct. 16. The seventh-place finisher that day, Grand Prix Boss, went on to capture Japanese juvenile colt honors with his victory in the Grade 1 Futurity Stakes.

The main challenge to Reve d’Essor, who will be ridden by Yuichi Fukunaga, could come from Rice terrace, who was 1 1/2 lengths third in the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies.