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Duty Free: Daiwa Major in focus
by Franco Raimondi / Globeform
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Daiwa Major, among the top horses in Japan, won three valuable events towards the end of last season.

In early October, he beat arch-rival Dance In The Mood by a neck in the Minishi Okan (G2) over 9 furlongs at Tokyo racecourse. Later in the month, he defeated Swift Current by half a length in the Tenno Sho Autumn (G1) over 10 furlongs at the same venue, when Admire Moon, Cosmo Bulk Sweep Tosho, Dance In The Moon and Asakusa Den’en filled the next placed.

All these are solid G1 performers, and Daiwa Major is a serious contender for the Dubai Duty Free (G1).

Three weeks after his Tenno Sho success, the son of Sunday Silence cut back successfully in trip in the Mile Championship (G1) at Kyoto. Having a new battle with the classy mare Dance In The Mood, he beat her by a neck, with Symboli Gran third and Meiner Sherzi fourth. It was another fine run, and it set him up for a stamina test (and a clash with the champion Deep Impact) in the 12.5-furlong Arima Kinen (G1) at Nakayama on December 24. Deep Impact was way too good for him, as could be expected, but Daiwa Major also surrendered to the Melbourne Cup (G1) runner-up Pop Rock, who beat him by ¾ length for third. Deep Impact won by 3 lengths. Dream Passport, who had been second to Deep Impact in the Japan Cup (G1), was just a nose behind Daiwa Major in the Arima Kinen, and Meisho Samson (6th in the Japan Cup) came home in fifth.

Back in February 2006, Daiwa Major was beaten 5 lengths when second to Balance Of Game in the 9-furlong Nakayama Kinen (G2) – run on soft ground – and in April he won the Yomiuri Milers Cup (G2) at Hanshin, by holding Dance In The Mood ¾ length behind this time. She went on to take the Victoria Mile (G1) over the same course and distance in May, and landed the valuable Cash Call Mile (G3) at Hollywood Park in July.

Daiwa Major has the measure of Dance In The Mood, but with her fillies’ allowance she often makes him pull out all the stops. Both these runners kept their form remarkably well through the season in Japan, where Daiwa Major was a serious threat to all but Deep Impact in 2006.

He is effective from 8 to 10 furlongs, he is almost certainly best suited by firm ground, and is a thoroughly game and genuine runner. He was beaten just a nose by Hat Trick in the 2005 Mile Championship (G1) and has been in the top flight on turf in Japan the past two years.

More often than not, horses who manage that can travel anywhere and be competitive.

Published: 2007-03-20 05:46:25

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