African Gold out to shine in Japanese St Leger
African Gold out to shine in Japanese St Leger.
Improving three-year-old colt African Gold steps up significantly in class for the G1 Kikuka Sho, the Japanese St Leger, over a mile and seven furlongs at Kyoto on Sunday, 21 October.
The half-brother to 2014 Dubai World Cup winner African Story, trained by Masato Nishizono and ridden by Fuma Matsuwaka, has won on three of his last four starts, most recently when the impressive victor of a 12-furlong allowance handicap at Hanshin on 2 October.
African Gold gained a cosy victory in an 11-furlong allowance race at Chukyo in July and put up two good performances at Kyoto, including a swooping nose verdict in a maiden over a mile and a half in April.
The Stay Gold colt breaks from stall 10 in a field of 18 for the Kikuka Sho which also features Epoca d’Oro, Cosmic Force, Etario and Blast Onepiece, - who were second, third, fourth and fifth in the G1 Japan Derby – plus G2 St Lite Kinen winner Generale Uno.
Harry Sweeney, President of Godolphin in Japan, said: “African Gold will have no problem with the 15 furlongs of the Japanese St. Leger.
"He struggled in his first three races over 10 furlongs, but has been very consistent since stretching out further, winning three of his four races at 11 and 12 furlongs and placing in the other."
“He has already earned Japanese black-type and absolutely deserves his chance in Kyoto on Sunday following a facile third career win almost three weeks ago
“This year’s Derby winner has opted not to run on Sunday, but the horses finishing second, third, fourth and fifth that day will be lining up.
“African Gold is far from a forlorn hope and his trainer is very happy with him.”