Yakushima takes the laurels in Listed Crocus Stakes
Yakushima earned himself a return to Graded company with a straightforward victory in the Listed Crocus Stakes over seven furlongs at Tokyo, Japan, on Saturday, 28 January.
The Ryo Terashima-trained three-year-old, fifth over the same course and distance in last season’s G2 Keio Hai Nisai Stakes, was quickly into his stride and settled in third behind From Dusk and Smooth Velvet.
Yakushima cruised up between the front two entering the final quarter-mile before kicking clear under Christophe Lemaire soon after. The Havana Grey colt had plenty in reserve to see off the late challenge of Satono Wille, hitting the line strongly for a comfortable three-quarter length success.
Harry Sweeney, President of Godolphin in Japan, said: “Yakushima had previously been a bit unlucky, having encountered congestion, interference and pilot error at crucial stages in some of his earlier races. We are therefore relieved that he has finally won a Listed race. Nevertheless, he clearly learned from his previous runs and was much more relaxed today in running.
“He looked very well in the paddock before the race and is a well-made, powerful colt. Christophe Lemaire commented afterwards that while he believed he may extend to a mile, six to seven furlongs may be his best trip for the moment.
“The G3 Falcon Stakes over seven furlongs on St Patrick’s Day weekend is the only real option for him and, depending on how he fared there, he might go to the G1 NHK Mile in early May. He is an exciting colt and hopefully we will have many good days out with him.”