TOKYO: Dolce More took his second straight victory in the 8th Saudi Arabia Royal Cup at Tokyo Racecourse on Saturday.
The 2-year-old was ridden by Kazuo Yokoyama and trained by Naosuke Sugai.
The G3 race for 2-year-olds was run over 1,600 meters for 33 million yen in prize money. Nine runners participated in this year’s race, with 20,000 fans packing the stands.
Dolce More, the second favorite at 6-1, chased down frontrunner Granite and won by a head. Silver Duke finished third. Favorite Knocking Point finished in fourth place.
Dolce More is descended from his father, Rulership, mother, Ayusan, and mother’s father, Deep Impact, one of Japan’s most famous racehorses.
His previous win was in August in Sapporo city of Hokkaido prefecture.
Eng. Marwan Al-Olayan, the secretary-general of the Saudi Equestrian Authority and the Chief Executive Officer of the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia, extended the winning prize of $619,000 to the jockey Yokoyama.
“I would like to thank Nayef Al-Fahadi, our ambassador in Japan, for the support he provided,” Al-Olayan told Arab News Japan.
“I’m very happy and proud to present Saudi Arabia and the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia on behalf of Prince Bandar bin Khalid bin Faisal Al Saud and extend my welcome for the warm hospitality I’ve found here in Japan. This race is an opportunity for us to collaborate on this partnership and for Japan and Saudi Arabia to take it to the next level.”
Meanwhile, Japan Racing Association General Manager ITO Hiroshi told Arab News Japan that Saudi Arabia and Japan have been very close, and we have established the Saudi Arabia Royal Cup. “The Saudi Arabia Royal Cup winner in Japan has been very successful and has become a very good 3-year-old in the classic seasons.
Ito expressed his hope that the winner will be able to participate in races in Saudi Arabia. “We hope representatives from Japan racing will have opportunities to visit the great Kingdom. Japanese horsemen look forward to participating in the Saudi Cup and other races.”
Ambassador Al-Fahadi hosted a reception at the venue attended by high-ranking Japanese officials of JRA, the foreign ministry, and diplomats.