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G3 third for Darlington Hall at Sapporo


Darlington Hall produced a strong late run to snatch third on the line in the nine-furlong G3 Sapporo Nisai Stakes at Sapporo, Japan, on Saturday, 31 August.

The two-year-old New Approach colt, making his second start for trainer Tetsuya Kimura following a debut success at Hakodate in July, disputed fourth of the 12 runners under Kenichi Ikezoe throughout the first six furlongs.

Darlington Hall was shuffled back to ninth at the top of the straight but quickened well down the inside rail in the final furlong to take third in a photo-finish and come home three lengths behind the victorious Black Hole, who won in 1m 50.4s on good ground.

Harry Sweeney, President of Godolphin in Japan, said: “Darlington Hall ran a very solid race and did well to finish third despite little luck in running.

“Having been drawn in stall one, he was trapped on the rail when it mattered most and had to avail himself of not one but two gaps in the home straight before making his run. He did accelerate when the space became available, but the first two finishers had already stolen the lead.

“He is a big, scopey horse and having to hug the rail on a tight track was not ideal. He will much prefer the big galloping Tokyo track where it is intended that he will run next.

“Nevertheless, he showed clearly that he is a Group calibre horse and despite being disappointed with the result today, we can be optimistic for the future.”