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Famous G1 Sprinters Stakes victory for Fine Needle


Fine Needle captured the G1 Sprinters Stakes over six furlongs at Nakayama, Japan, on Sunday, 30 September with a thrilling run to take the lead close home.

The five-year-old Admire Moon horse, trained by Yoshitada Takahashi and partnered by Yuga Kawada, broke well in the field of 16 for the six-furlong race on turf.

Held up in eighth towards the outside, he came with a very strong and prolonged burst of speed in the straight to beat Love Kampf by a neck in 1m 8.3s on ground officially described as good.

He is the fifth horse to win both of Japan’s G1 sprints in the same year, having again shown excellent speed to come from off the pace and triumph by a nose in the G1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen over the same distance at Chukyo in March. 

Harry Sweeney, President of Godolphin in Japan, reported: “We are extremely pleased with this very exciting victory.

“Fine Needle had the best form coming into the race, but with the ground turning soft there was always the chance of a surprise result since Japanese racing generally takes place on good to firm ground.

“He has won on soft before and is very consistent – he has now won two G1s, a G2 and a G3 this year.

“There are no more G1 sprints in Japan until March next year so he will have to race overseas.

“The options are the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1, 5f 110y, Churchill Downs, USA, November 3) or the Hong Kong Sprint (G1, 6f, Sha Tin, December 9).

“We will see how Fine Needle comes out this race before making a decision.”

Fine Needle’s only 2018 defeat came in the G1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize, also over six furlongs, at Sha Tin, Hong Kong, in May, when he kept on to finish fourth.