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Summer Scent blossoms in G3 Mermaid Stakes

Four-year-old Summer Scent stayed on strongly to record an impressive victory on her G3 debut in the Mermaid Stakes at Hanshin, Japan, on Sunday, 14 June.

The Takashi Saito-trained daughter of Harbinger was prominent throughout the 10-furlong contest and soon settled in second under Manabu Sakai, a length behind Naruhaya.

Naruhaya and Summer Scent kicked on a furlong and a half out, with the Godolphin filly reeling in the long-time leader approaching the final half-furlong before quickening clear. Centelleo and Lune Rouge emerged from the pack late on but posed no threat to Summer Scent, who was pushed out to score by three-quarters of a length.

Harry Sweeney, President of Godolphin in Japan, said: “Kudos to the trainer for Summer Scent’s G3 win today. It was entirely his decision to go for this race and in doing so he passed over a much easier opportunity in a conditions race. It seemed a slight reach when the entries were made but the trainer has done very well for us and we were happy to invest in his instincts.

“And it paid off wonderfully. Summer Scent weighed in at 452kg which was precisely her racing weight in four of her last five races. She looked really well in the paddock and though not among the favourites, was nevertheless deservedly chosen as a nap by one of the TV paddock commentators.

“Credit also to veteran jockey Manabu Sakai who give her a textbook ride. She was prominent from the start but raced in a relaxed manner and was able to take control at the top of the stretch and hold off the fast finishers. Sakai san, who is now 40 years old, is a journeyman jockey and indeed has only ridden two Group winners in the last six years. However, he was brilliant today.

“There is a slight downside however. As this was a Group race, Summer Scent will be restricted in future to running in Listed and Group races and she won’t have it as easy from now on. She will be given a short spell now and we will decide on future plans later.

“Her dam, Primrose Lane, is still on our farm. She has a yearling filly by American Patriot. She is carrying and due early to Talismanic.”