Australian-bred babies loom large in Japan

3 min read

by Alan Carasso

A pair of Australian-breds, still just Southern Hemisphere juveniles, but forced to take on year-older rivals in the Northern Hemisphere, each look to improve on debut third-place efforts when they face the starter for the second time in their young careers this weekend in Japan.

Off Width (Fastnet Rock) is the second produce for his dam Inglorious (Can) (Hennessy {USA}), the 2011 champion 3-year-old filly in Canada who defeated males to win the Queen’s Plate, the first leg of that country’s Triple Crown.

Also victorious against her peers in the Woodbine Oaks, she placed in four graded stakes on turf, dirt and synthetic and was purchased by Kia Ora stud for US$1.35 million at the 2013 Fasig-Tipton November Sale.

Consigned by the New South Wales-based operation to the 2018 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale, Off Width was hammered down to Northern Farm for $525,000 and turned in a bold debut effort over 1600 metres at Nakayama Mar. 16, rallying from second-last to just miss second after a tardy dispatch (video, barrier 5). Off Width contests Saturday’s sixth race at Niigata over 1800 metres.

Off Width as a yearling

Coincidentally, Kia Ora is also the breeder of Fastnet Rock’s 4-year-old son Fiano Romano, a $250,000 Easter acquisition who has a half-dozen victories from 11 runs in Japan, including a latest success in the G3 Lord Derby Challenge Trophy (1600m) at Nakayama Mar. 30.

Through bloodstock agent James Bester, Kia Ora acquired Fiano Romano’s multiple Grade III-winning dam Heart Ashley (USA) (Lion Heart {USA})--a half-sister to young Coolmore America stallion Cupid (USA) (Tapit {USA})--for $500,000 at the 2010 Keeneland November sale. Off Width and Fiano Romano are similarly bred, as each hails from a Storm Cat (USA) female line.

Sandre (Olympic Glory {Ire}), out of Manhattan Rain mare, Downtown Manhattan, takes in Sunday’s first race at Kyoto going 1400m on the dirt track, having finished third over this course and distance two weeks ago.

Produced by a winning full-sister to South African champion Whisky Baron, the Aug. 19 foal was consigned by Arrowfield Stud and fetched $600,000 from Katsumi Yoshida at the 2018 Magic Millions Gold Coast sale, easily the most expensive of his sire’s 17 Southern Hemisphere-bred first-crop yearlings to go under the hammer at the auction.

Sandre as a yearling

A victory by either Off Width or Sandre could continue a good stretch of Japanese success for the Yoshida family with Australian bloodstock. Just last weekend, Primo Scene (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}), a daughter of the Katsumi Yoshida part-owned 2011 G1 Crown VRC Oaks and 2012 G1 Australian Guineas victress Mosheen (Fastnet Rock), finished a neck second in the G1 Victoria Mile at Tokyo.