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Fierce Pride provides plenty of joy with G1 Victoria Mile second


Fierce Pride produced a superb effort on her G1 debut with a valiant second in the Victoria Mile at Tokyo, Japan, on Sunday, 12 May.

The Sakae Kunieda-trained mare, winner of the G3 Turquoise Stakes at Nakayama in December, broke on terms from her inside draw and was sent on to settle in fourth behind Conch Shell, Feel Sympathy and Stunning Rose.

Christophe Lemaire switched Fierce Pride towards the outside of the field down the back and the Godolphin homebred travelled powerfully into the race with two furlongs left.

Fierce Pride quickened past the leading trio shortly afterwards, establishing a clear lead approaching the final furlong.

Ten Happy Rose charged home and reeled in Fierce Pride with just over half a furlong to race before going on to score by a length and a quarter. Fierce Pride stuck to her task, hanging on to second by a neck from the unlucky-in-running Masked Diva.

Harry Sweeney, President of Godolphin in Japan, said: “While we would naturally have preferred to win, we are nevertheless delighted to have finished second. Normally, we would have retired Fierce Pride to our broodmare band last year at the age of five, but Kunieda san talked to me after she won the G3 Turquoise Stakes and said that he believed she would be competitive in this race. As her Black Type then was in G3 races only, it was naturally tempting, and we are relieved that the plan has yielded substantial dividends.

“The next step is not so clear however as she has limited opportunity over a mile. We may consider running her back in three weeks in the G1 Yasuda Kinen. Leopardstown Racecourse have already been in contact with me suggesting the G1 Matron Stakes, so that is in the mix too.

“One way or other, she will be an exciting addition to our broodmare division next year.”