Courageous victory for Territorial in G3 Kokura Daishoten
Territorial secured a first G3 success at the age of seven with a brave display in the Kokura Daishoten over nine furlongs at Kokura, Japan, on Sunday, 21 February.
The Katsuichi Nishiura-trained son of Teofilo, who had twice placed at G3 level during a productive 2020 campaign, was quickly into his stride and soon raced in a clear third as Taurus Gemini and Dirndl opened up significant advantages over the rest of the field.
The pack started to close on the two leaders turning in, with Territorial quickening well for Yukito Ishikawa after being taken wide in the straight.
Territorial established a narrow advantage just inside the final half-furlong and gamely saw off the late challenge of Boccherini, holding on by a nose as the duo flashed past the post together.
Harry Sweeney, President of Godolphin in Japan, said: “We are absolutely thrilled. It was a really tight finish and Territorial fought bravely to hold on. There were a very anxious few minutes as we waited for the slow motion to confirm the result.
“Territorial is now seven years old and his win today was in fact his first ever in a Group race, though he did previously score twice in Listed races. He had been close on a few occasions to landing a big prize and there was enough encouragement for us to keep going. He had a break last summer in our Castle Park Training Centre in Hokkaido, where he did really well, and went on to have a productive autumn campaign. He has earned more than US$750,000 in the last six months and his career bank balance now exceeds US$2,000,000.
“There are occasionally raised eyebrows when we choose to keep older horses in training but in fact there are great opportunities for these in the JRA. Fashionista won her first G1 for us at the age of six last year and now Territorial has won his first major prize at the age of seven. Teehaff, whom we have now retired, was still being placed in G1 races at the age of nine.
“Territorial’s trainer, Katsuichi Nishiura, will actually be saddling his very final JRA runners next weekend as he has now reached the age of 70 and must retire under JRA rules. We are delighted that Territorial has given him a good send off.
“Territorial will stay in training however and will be moving to the stable of Kenji Nonaka.”