Close third for Darlington Hall in G3 Epsom Cup
Darlington Hall produced another strong effort as he was narrowly beaten into third in the G3 Epsom Cup at Tokyo, Japan, on Sunday, 12 June.
The New Approach entire won the 2020 G3 Kyodo News Hai and was returning to nine furlongs on the back of two good performances this season over a mile, including a third in the G3 Lord Derby Challenge Trophy on his latest outing.
After settling in sixth between horses, Darlington Hall moved up a place leaving the back straight before being asked to improve by Christophe Lemaire with three furlongs to race.
Darlington Hall stayed on down the centre of the course and pressed for third as several horses looked to hold chances approaching the final furlong.
The Tetsuya Kimura-trained five-year-old continued to battle, edging out Justin Cafe for the minor honours in the closing strides.
North Bridge held on to prevail by a neck over Galore Creek, with the same margin back to Darlington Hall as less than a length and a half covered the first six home.
Harry Sweeney, President of Godolphin in Japan, said: “We are reasonably pleased with Darlington Hall’s run. His form has certainly improved following tie-back larynx surgery last year and he has finished in the first three in all runs since coming back to racing.
“Indeed, every time he has stepped on to a racetrack this year, he has banked at least US$100,000 so he is absolutely paying his way. However, we would like to get another one or two big wins on to his curriculum vitae and we believe that he is certainly well capable of that. He has been knocking on the door in all his recent races and his day will come, though it is certainly overdue as it is now more than two years since his last win.
“Nevertheless, all that being said, we are delighted that he has proven that he is competitive in JRA Group races and we look forward to having good fun with him in the years to come. He is only five years old and a horse like this can race in the JRA until they are 10 or more if they remain sound.”