Japan’s Dancing Prince twirls the competition to claim the Riyadh Dirt Sprint crown

February 26, 2022

Incredible Four-Timer For Japan And Lemaire

The Japanese domination of King Abdulaziz Racecourse continued in The Riyadh Dirt Sprint presented by Saudia, with a facile victory for Dancing Prince (JPN) giving Christophe Lemaire and Japan an unprecedented fourth victory at The Saudi Cup meeting.

Lemaire remarked excitedly: “This is unbelievable. I knew this was a very good horse and it’s easy when you are riding good horses. I’m so happy for connections. I have been in Japan for two years with the restrictions and no travel, so I was fresh tonight! My horses were just too good tonight. I don’t know what to say.”

The Keisuke Miyata-trained six-year-old had the run of the Group 3 race from the off after bursting from the gates to claim the lead. Setting blistering early fractions, he maintained his advantage and galloped into the straight with Good Effort (IRE) in hot pursuit. Ismail Mohammed’s runner was always going to have to settle for second, however, as Dancing Prince surged further clear in the closing stages to win by five and three-quarter lengths.

“This is only our third season training, so this is huge. This is our best moment.” said Takuhito Sawae, assistant to Miyata.

The winner of his only two starts in Japan in the last 12 months, including the Grade 3 Capella Stakes in December, the consistent Dancing Prince has now won nine of his 13 lifetime starts.

Adding to Japan’s incredible night in Riyadh, Chain Of Love (JPN), trained by Michihiro Ogasa, ran on well to take third, three and three-quarter lengths behind the runner-up. 

Jim Crowley, jockey, Good Effort, who finished in second place remarked: “He ran a massive race. He has a lot of speed when he jumps, but I didn’t have the speed to lead and he was quite content. The winner is a good horse and won by about five lengths, but it was a very good run by Good Effort.”

Other jockey quotes:

Mickael Barzalona, jockey, Gladiator King, 7th: “He didn’t perform to his best. He was never really going like he can.”

Alexis Moreno, jockey, Faz Zae, 8th: “He ran OK but this is a different level. Those Japanese horses are like planes.”

Francisco Goncalves, jockey, Rudy Trigger, 13th: “He was up there but was wide and then tired.”

King Abdulaziz Racecourse Press Release
Top photo: Christophe Lemaire guides Dancing Prince to a smooth success in The Riyadh Dirt Sprint presented by Saudia (Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia/Mathea Kelley)

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