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Double triumph for Japan in early World Cup races

March 29, 2014

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Japanese horses dominated the two main supporting races of the $10 million Dubai World Cup.

Twice Japan Cup champion Gentildonna was a narrow winner in the 2,400m $5 million Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic, but Just A Way demolished the quality field at the $5 million Group 1 Dubai Duty Free to win the 1800m feature race on turf by six-and-a-quarter length Saturday.

For Just A Way, it was almost a repeat of his win in Tenno Sho in October last year, when he left a quality field, which included Gentildonna, in his wake with a powerful finish over the last 400m.

The race ran almost according to form, with South African Vercingetorix second and Britain’s Dank in third behind the Naosuke Sugai-trained champion. However, The Fugue, trained by John Gosden and winner of three Group 1 races, disappointed with a 11th place finish.

On Saturday, Just A Way kept behind compatriot Logotype, who did all the early running, but once on the home stretch, jockey Yuichi Fukunaga generated a startling burst that saw him power past the leaders.

Sugai said: “We had two tactics. One was to get in good position from Gate 2, or Plan B was to sit behind in midfield as we did in the Tenno Sho. The jockey opten for Plan B and gave him the best rides I have ever seen.”

In the Sheema Classic, which traditionally gets one of the most competitive fields during the Dubai World Cup night, Gentildonna, ridden by jockey Ryan Moore, overcame a poor draw from post 12 to blitz past Cirrus Des Aigles and Ambivalent in the closing stages.

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