Clear third for Clean Air in G3 Niigata Nisai Stakes
Clean Air backed up the promise of a debut victory with a closing third in the G3 Niigata Nisai Stakes over a mile at Niigata, Japan, on Sunday, 27 August.
Successful over the course and distance earlier in the month, the Hiroyuki Uehara-trained colt broke smartly from his wide draw and soon tracked the leaders in fifth.
Ascoli Piceno passed Clean Air after the first three furlongs and the Godolphin homebred was shuffled back another couple of places at the halfway point.
Clean Air travelled kindly behind horses in the straight and picked up well after finding daylight with two furlongs to race. The son of Real Impact galloped out powerfully for Takuya Ono, taking third over half a furlong out.
Ascoli Piceno collared long-time leader Shonan Manuela close home to score by a length as fillies finished and second, with the same margin back to the fast-finishing Clean Air.
Harry Sweeney, President of Godolphin in Japan, said: “Clean Air surprised us a little on his debut when sweeping the field impressively to win. He didn’t enjoy a clear passage today and encountered traffic at a critical juncture in the race, but accelerated well when he got the opportunity to be a clear third. He is a big scopey colt, who certainly should be able to extend beyond a mile in due course, and will hopefully be an interesting horse next year for the Classics.”