Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Flashback: 2000 Tenno Sho Spring


April 30, 2000
The 121st running of the Tenno Sho Spring

T.M.Opera O brilliant triumps the Tenno Sho(Spring)
T.M.Opera O showed a superb final stretchrun in beating Rascal Suzuka by a 3/4-length in the Tennosho/Emperor's Cup(Spring) at Kyoto Racecourse also known as "Yodo". A 3/4-length behind Rascal Suzuka, Narita Top Road settled in third place. In his 12th run on the grade one races, Stay Gold was fourth with Hokkai Rousseau fifth. 
The 4-year-old T.M.Opera O, a son of Opera House, proved himself the best long-distance runner in the country. The victory was his third straight win this year, remaining his undefeated season of 3 for 3. For jockey Ryuji Wada and trainer Ichizo Iwamoto, it was the first Tennosho victory.

12 starters went to the post for the traditional race for 3,200-meter. Tamamo Inazuma led the field in the early stage, clocking the opening 1,000-meter and 2,000-meter in 1:00 9/10 
and 2:06 8/10 respectively. A big pack of the 12 runners formed before going down the slope at the far turn for the second time. Favorite T.M.Opera O with third pick Rascal Suzuka tailing on him advanced to a position close to the front runners. While, second pick Narita Top Road, making an early spurt in the same way that he was successful in the Kikuka Sho last November, was in second place turning into the stretch. With Leo Ryuho fading, Narita Top Road and T.M.Opera O took command and dueled for a short time until Wada sent his colt T.M.Opera O into a lead with less than 200-meter to go. Narita Top Road with K.Watanabe on him tried to track the new leader, but Y.Take's Rascal Suzuka, challenging them late on the outside, took the second place from Narita Top Road near the finish line.The thrilling finish between the three, who were separated by one and a half lengths, was witnessed by the attendance of more than 96,000 people. 

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