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G3 second for Right On Cue in Keeneland Cup


Right On Cue was collared close home when finishing second in the G3 Keeneland Cup over six furlongs at Sapporo, Japan, on Sunday, 30 August.

The Mitsugu Kon-trained five-year-old, seeking a second G3 sprint victory after taking the Keihan Hai at Kyoto in November, broke well from his wide draw and soon settled in ninth of the 16 runners on the outside of the field.

Right On Cue made a bold move around runners turning for home and showed excellent acceleration under Yoshihiro Furukawa to hit the front with just over half a furlong to race. He galloped out resolutely but could not resist the potent late run of Eighteen Girl, who flew home to head the Shamardal entire well inside the final half-furlong before going away for a length and a quarter success.

Harry Sweeney, President of Godolphin in Japan, said: “While it is always a great achievement to place second in a Group race in Japan, we are nevertheless a little disappointed not to have won the main prize. Right On Cue was certainly good enough to win today but was handicapped by an outside draw and by being burdened by the second heaviest weight in the 16-runner field. Also, his jockey asked him to corner six-wide coming into the straight and, though the official distance of the race today was 1200 metres, there is no doubt that Right On Cue travelled considerably longer. We don’t believe that Yoshihiro Furukawa, who was on board today, will wish to include today’s race in his career highlights reel.

“However, all that been said, it should be stated that the winner, who stormed home from behind, was carrying 3kg less than the Godolphin horse so perhaps there was not much lost in defeat.

“All are in agreement that Right On Cue is an improving type and is now among Japan’s top sprinters. Tower of London finished second in this race last year before going on to win the G2 Centaur Stakes and the G1 Sprinters Stakes and Mitsugu Kon, who trains right On Cue, is planning a similar race programme. Hopefully, it will have a similar outcome.”