Tower of London Wins Sprinters Stakes at Nakayama and Gains Automatic Berth into Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint
Photo courtesy of Yuki Shimono
Edited article by Junichi Takada, Japan Racing Association
FUNABACHI, CHIBA, JAPAN (September 29, 2019) – Godolphin’s 4-year-old Tower of London (JPN), ridden by Christophe Lemaire, caught pacesetter Mozu Superflare in the final yards to win Sunday’s 53rd running of the six-furlong US$2,075,000 Sprinters Stakes (G1) at Nakayama Racecourse, and gained an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint through the international Breeders’ Cup Challenge.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge is an international series of 86 stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held at Santa Anita Park, in Arcadia, California, Nov 1-2.
As a part of the benefits of the Challenge series, the Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for Tower of London to start in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, which will be run at five furlongs. Breeders’ Cup also will provide a $40,000 travel allowance for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships.
Tower of London is a bay son of 2008 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Raven’s Pass out of the Dalakhani (IRE) mare Snow Pine (JPN) and trained by Kazuo Fugisawa. Tower of London joins World of Trouble, the since-retired Blue Point (IRE), Battaash (IRE), Totally Boss and Fairyland (IRE) as the automatic qualifiers thus far for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.
Under cloudy skies at Nakayama, the 16-horse field broke evenly with the 4-year-old filly Mozu Superflare gunning for the lead and setting the pace as expected. Sitting in mid-field stalking 2.8-1 favorite Danon Smash down the backstretch, Tower of London (2.9-1) launched his bid as he swiftly angled out after the third corner and entered the lane four wide with a clear path in front of him. Gliding up the stretch with a good turn of foot, Tower of London swooped past Mr Melody 100 meters out and caught pacesetter Mozu Superflare in the final strides for a half-length win.
“I was a bit worried that we were not in a good striking position since the fast track today at Nakayama was definitely an advantage for the frontrunners,” commented Lemaire after the race. “We had our eyes on Danon Smash who was traveling on the rails so we shifted out. Tower of London has great talent and stretched strongly all the way to the wire today. I knew he was an exceptional horse but he’s getting stronger with every sprint start.”
Sent off third favorite, Mozu Superflare, bred in Kentucky by Alpha Delta Stables, dashed to the front to set the pace, and stubbornly held on well but was unable to withstand the fast-closing Tower of London. She finished a good second, demonstrating a much better performance than her disappointing defeat (15th) earlier this year in the Takamatsunomiya Kinen (G1) at Chukyo.
Danon Smash, breaking from an inner stall, saved ground on the rails in front of Tower of London in mid-division. While the eventual winner made a smooth wide turn for his stretch run, the Keeneland Cup (G3) winner was a fraction late to slide out behind a pack of horses and although ran strongly down the straight, was short in tagging Mozu Superlfare but dug in for a neck third.
Tower of London now has seven wins in 14 starts. He came into the Sprinters Stakes off a commanding three-length win, in course-record time, in the six-furlong Sankei Sho Centaur Stakes (G2) at Hanshin on Sept. 8. Prior to that, he finished second to Danon Smash in the Keeneland Cup at Sapporo on Aug. 25. Tower of London also captured the Grade 2 Keio Hai Spring Cup at Tokyo Racecourse in May.
About Breeders’ Cup
The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing’s year-end Championships. The Breeders’ Cup also administers the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The 2019 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 championship races (13 Grade 1 events and one Grade 2 race) with purses and awards totaling more than $30 million, will be held on November 1-2 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., and will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup website, www.breederscup.com. You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
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