Darlington Hall bravely takes G3 Kyodo News Hai
New Approach colt Darlington Hall displayed excellent resolve when getting up near the line in a pulsating finish to the nine-furlong G3 Kyodo News Hai at Tokyo, Japan, on Sunday, 16 February.
The Tetsuya Kimura-trained three-year-old was covered up in a close sixth by Christophe Lemaire after the first quarter-mile, before moving up to fourth at the half-way point.
Darlington Hall stayed on strongly passing the two-furlong pole and challenged the front-running Bitterender soon after. Both horses battled for the lead as they went clear inside the final furlong, with Darlington Hall rallying to assert in the dying strides for a nose victory.
Harry Sweeney, President of Godolphin in Japan, said: “It was a very pleasing run by Darlington Hall. He was reasonably relaxed throughout the race and accelerated effortlessly to contest the lead from about two furlongs out. It was impressive how well he battled to prevail on the line and especially so as it was a further four lengths back to third with My Rhapsody, who was already a Group winner, back in fourth. Darlington Hall will have learned a lot from the run and, as he is a big horse, we expect that he will improve further as he matures.
“He has now earned enough prizemoney to be guaranteed a starting berth in the Japanese 2,000 Guineas, which is run over ten furlongs at Nakayama in April. We don’t believe that the extra distance will be any barrier to Darlington Hall though, in truth, the Nakayama track is tighter and may not be the most suitable for a big striding horse. He is unlikely to run again before the Guineas and we hope that he then will be back in Tokyo for the Derby.”