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Savvy proves sharp in Summer Champion


Savvy translated some strong JRA dirt form to the NAR when bravely making all in the Jpn G3 Summer Champion over seven furlongs at Saga, Japan, on Wednesday, 12 August.

The six-year-old, successful over the same distance for trainer Nakauchida Mitsuru in the Tempozan Stakes at Hanshin on his previous start in June, was immediately sent to the front of the 11 runners by Ryu Wada.

He was strongly challenged on both sides turning in but rallied gamely in the straight, finding plenty in front to score by half a length over Meisho Tensui.

Savvy’s success continued a productive year on the NAR circuit for his sire Street Sense, whose daughter Fashionista won the Jpn G3 Sparkling Lady Cup for a second successive year at Kawasaki in July.

Harry Sweeney, President of Godolphin in Japan, said: “Savvy had previously won six times on dirt over seven furlongs in the JRA circuit and had progressively worked his way through all the classes from maiden, conditions and right up to Listed class. Interestingly, five of those six victories were on sloppy or muddy tracks.

“It therefore made excellent sense for Nakauchida trainer, who had handled Savvy both patiently and skilfully over four years, to try to win a first Group race over seven furlongs and during the wet season when track conditions were most likely to suit Savvy. However, in the JRA circuit, the preponderance of Group races are on turf and indeed there are only 15 dirt Group races in the entire JRA calendar. And the next Group race over seven furlongs on dirt is not until February 2021!

“Hence, the decision to travel Savvy out of the JRA for the first time to contest a combined JRA/NAR Group race contested at the NAR track in Saga, a truck journey of more than 11 hours and in the height of the summer heat. But it was a journey well worth making as Savvy was tenacious in holding on for the win in the Jpn3 Summer Champion after making all the running. It was a significant win as he was joined in the race by four other JRA runners, three of whom were more favoured in the market by the betting fans.

“Savvy has now won twice this year and in 2020 alone has banked more than US$500,000. His next target has not yet been discussed.

“It is perhaps somewhat fortuitous that Savvy in fact carried the royal blue Godolphin colours at all. As a yearling he lacked stature and initially was slated to be sold only to get an eleventh hour reprieve. But whatever he lacks in stature he certainly makes up for in heart.”