'THERE ARE NO WORDS TO DESCRIBE IT' - GLORY FOR JAPAN AS PANTHALASSA LANDS SAUDI CUP
By Racing Post | 25 Feb 2023 |
Panthalassa: wins the Saudi Cup Credit: Edward Whitaker
There were tears of joy and huge celebrations for the travelling Japanese contingent as Yutaka Yoshida led the $20 million Saudi Cup field a merry dance on Panthalassa.
For a racing nation with global ambitions and three winners overall after four last year, it was clear what the result meant to all concerned with a horse who had dead-heated with Saturday's Winter Derby winner Lord North in last year's Dubai Turf.
Trainer Yoshito Yahagi had won earlier on the card with the speedy Bathrat Leon, but the trainer described this win as “the highest" in his career.
A visibly emotional Yahagi said: "It's unbelievable, there are no words to describe it. [On where it ranks in his career] It's the highest."
The six-year-old son of Lord Kanaloa was making it a second top-level success in the world's richest race, and having seen off the late challenge of Country Grammer, led home a one-three-four-five for Japan after earlier successes with Bathrat Leon and Silver Sonic.
Country Grammer was runner-up for the second year in a row and jockey Frankie Dettori was philosophical in defeat after landing the previous race on Elite Power.
"I was outpaced all the way," he said. "At the top of the straight I thought I'd be sixth, but bless him, he's got so much heart and stayed on well. A mile and a quarter is his game."
Dual February Stakes winner Cafe Pharoah finished third and last year's winner Emblem Road was sixth.