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by Geir Stabell / Globeform
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Gentildonna is a filly that will get a lot of attention on World Cup night. This Japanese bred and trained Sheema Classic contender was an absolute sensation last year, when she swept the fillies' Triple Crown before taking on both males and older horses with success in the Japan Cup (G1) over 2400 metres at Tokyo racecourse last November. Three-year-old fillies have a poor record in the Japan Cup, making her win over the mighty Orfevre even more meritorious. It was also some result the Shadai racing club Sunday Racing Co. Ltd., owners of both these top class performers. They flashed past the post inseparable to the naked eye, after having come a bit too close for comfort in the closing stages, but there was to be no repeat of the controversial disqualification of Buena Vista when she intimidated Rose Kingdom in Japan's biggest race two years earlier.

Incidentally, those two were also owned by Sunday Racing Co. The photo finish revealed that Gentildonna had won by a nose. It was her sixth race from seven starts, and her fifth on the trot. Orfevre was coming off a good (and unlucky) second to Solemia in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (G1) in Paris and Rulership, who was third in the Japan Cup, had won two Group One events earlier in the season (one against Orfevre). Japan's best filly had just taken her game to a new level.

Gentildonna, a daughter of the Japanese Triple Crown champion Deep Impact, was voted Horse of The Year 2012 in Japan, and if she runs up to her best at Meydan, well, then her 2013 campaign will be off to an excellent start. She has a high cruising speed and is thus able to find a good position not to far off the early leaders, and she always produces a smart turn of foot at the finish. Gentildonna has won over 1600 metres, but 2400 metres is her ideal distance. That is also the distance of the 'Sheema', a race she will probably be hard to beat in.

Last update: 2013-03-07 12:18:19 (First published: 2013-03-07 08:38:15 )

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