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Ryan Moore lifts the Japan Cup on Gentildonna

25 Nov 2013

Ryan Moore set a new record in Japan on Sunday when guiding Gentildonna to victory in the Japan Cup, the first horse to win the country's biggest race twice, with Dunaden running best of the European raiders in a fifth place.

Ryan Moore basks in the glory after winning the Japan Cup in front of a crowd of 97,420 at Tokyo Racecourse. Image courtesy of racingfotos.com.

Gentildonna became the first horse in history to win the Japan Cup for a second time when Ryan Moore, riding the filly for the first time, steered her to victory in a race worth £1.8m to the winner.

This followed Moore’s brilliant double at the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita on Dank and Magician, while this year he also won the Canadian International on Joshua Tree, the UAE Derby on Lines Of Battle, the American St Leger on Dandino and the Beverly D Stakes on Dank.

Yasunari Iwata was Gentildonna’s jockey in the past, but after three defeats this year, connections offered the mount on the hot favourite to Moore.

Always close up, he seized the chance after the turn into the straight to hit the front and went clear, only to be cut back inside the final furlong by the fast finishing Denim And Ruby.

Moore prevailed by a nose and he told At The Races: "I’m just very happy.

"I was delighted to be given the opportunity to ride and she proved what a courageous filly she is. I was very lucky to have the chance to ride today.

"She proved what a special filly she is.

"I just wanted to have a nice position, settle and ride a nice smooth race.

"Unfortunately it was not the prettiest as they went slow and it was tactical. I was in front a bit early but she she showed her massive will to win.

"She’s very special and it was a real privilege to ride.

"On a personal level, I wanted to win this race and I needed a filly as tough and genuine as her to do it."

Connections of Dunaden, trained in France by Mikael Delzangles, were thrilled with their charge’s performance as he was forced to race wide in the finish.

David Redvers, racing manager for owner Pearl Bloodstock, a subsidiary of British Champions Series sponsor QIPCO, tweeted: "Unbelievable run from Dunaden.

"What a world superstar to finish 5th widest of all. Unbelievably heart-burstingly proud. #lovethathorse."

Joshua Tree, trained by Ed Dunlop, was prominent early but faded to finish last of the 17 runners while Simenon, trained in Ireland by Willie Mullins, was not suited at all by the slow early pace and finished 13th.