Horse racing around globe heads toward Ascot, summer fixtures, Breeders' Cup

Danon Decile wins Sunday's Grade 1 Tokyo Yushun or Japanese Derby. Photo by and courtesy of Katsumi Saito
Danon Decile wins Sunday's Grade 1 Tokyo Yushun or Japanese Derby. Photo by and courtesy of Katsumi Saito

May 28 (UPI) -- Weekend racing round the globe provided immediate thrills and a preview of the upcoming Royal Ascot meeting, summertime turf racing in New York, ongoing 3-year-old battles in Japan and even a Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" result.

Next weekend, it's the Oaks and Derby at Epsom Downs -- unusually wide-open races that should provide plenty of thrills.



Rebel's Romance wins Sunday's Group Champions & Chater Cup at Sha Tin Racecourse. Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Jockey Club
Rebel's Romance wins Sunday's Group Champions & Chater Cup at Sha Tin Racecourse. Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Jockey Club

Rebel's Romance wins Sunday's Group Champions & Chater Cup at Sha Tin Racecourse. Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Jockey Club

Rosallion just did catch stablemate Haatem in the final strides to win Saturday's Group 1 Irish 2,000 Guineas with River Tiber third. All are likely to see action at Royal Ascot with Rosallion eyed by trainer Richard Hannon for a rematch in the St James's Palace with Notable Speech, the only horse ahead of him at the finish of the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.

Haatem was third in that. Jockey Jaimie Spencer turned Haatem loose at mid-straight in Saturday's race and nearly stole the win, although winning rider Sean Levey said, "I was confident I was going to get him."

Aidan O'Brien said River Tiber performed well first up and said he will have to judge the colt's best distance for a return at the royal meeting.

Sunday at the Curragh, Fallen Angel bounced back from an eighth-place finish in the Qipco 1000 Guineas to win the Irish equivalent by 2 3/4 lengths over A Lilac Rolla. Opera Singer was another 2 lengths back in third.

Fallen Angel, a Too Darn Hot filly, won three of four in 2023, finishing with a win in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes, and looked back to that form Sunday.

Also Sunday, White Birch got the lead in the final furlong of the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup and rolled home first by 3 lengths over Breeders' Cup Turf winner Auguste Rodin.

White Birch, a 4-year-old colt by Ulysses, got his third straight win of the season.

Auguste Rodin, touted by trainer Aidan O'Brien after the Breeders' Cup as a potential game-changer for the breed, suffered his second defeat of 2024, but O'Brien noted progress and said he's headed for the Prince of Wales's Stakes at the Royal Meeting next month.


Mqse De Sevigne, the solid favorite, was all-out to win Sunday's Group 1 Prix d'Ispahan at Longchamp by a short head from Horizon Dore. Haya Zark was third, just another 3/4 length in arrears.

Mqse De Sevigne, a 5-year-old Siyouni mare trained by Andre Fabre for owner and breeder Baron Edouard De Rothschild, 2-for-2 this season after a 2023 campaign that found her second in four of six starts, while victorious in the other two, both Group 1 affairs.

"It's a dream, above all with a filly that I bred and from a mare that my father had," Racing Post quoted Rothschild. "She'll be prepared for the Arc in October, so we won't run her again until Deauville in August."

Hong Kong

Rebel's Romance has blossomed into a "real international superstar," jockey William Buick said after piloting the Dubawi gelding to a commanding, 2-lenth victory over the best Hong Kong had to offer in Sunday's Group 1 Standard Chartered Champions and Chater Cup at Sha Tin Racecourse.

The handy win, with Five G Patch second and La City Blanche third, was the fifth top-level win for the Godolphin star, following the 2022 Breeders' Cup Turf at Keeneland, two in Germany and one in Dubai.

La City Blanche and Five G Patch were first and second in the Group 3 Queen Mother Cup at the same 2,400 meters in their last start.

Rebel's Romance also trounced Hong Kong Derby winner Massive Sovereign and Russian Emperor, who had won the Champions & Chater in 2022 and 2023.

"He's done it really well," Buick said. "You always respect the local horses here in Hong Kong, and obviously he had to travel over here and everything else."

He outlined plans to unleash Rebel's Romance on the rich turf stakes in New York this summer, likely as a prelude to another stab at the Breeders' Cup in November at Del Mar.


Danon Decile, in his first start at the Grade 1 level, scored a visually impressive 2-length victory over the previously undefeated favorite, Justin Milano, in Sunday's Grade 1 Tokyo Yushun or Japanese Derby.

Danon Decile, an Epiphaneia colt, was scratched from the Grade 1 Satsuki Sho or Japanese 2,000 Guineas in April when stewards found him lame in his right fore, leaving him short of experience while tackling 2,400 meters for the first time.

After breaking cleanly, jockey Norihiro Yokoyama settled Danon Decile just behind the two early leaders, while Justin Milano and jockey Keita Tosaki, coming from the No. 15 stall, hustled up to race just outside Danon Decile behind the easy pace.

The two held those positions into the stretch, when Yokoyama took Danon Decile to the inside to grab the lead. Justin Milano went outside, and despite clear sailing, was unable to make up any ground late.

Shin Emperor finished third and Regaleira, the only filly in the race and second-favorite, launched a bid in the stretch, but could only advance to finish fifth after a slow start

"I thought that the pace would be normal or slow since there were no horses that wanted to set the pace," said jockey Norihiro Yokoyama said. "But as Ecoro Walz took the front, we were able to wait in good position until the straight, and the horse responded strongly from there."

Neither Justin Milano nor Regaleira was embarrassed by the Derby upset, and both remain in the top rank of Japanese 3-year-olds.

In addition, there's last year's 2-year-old champ, Jantar Mantar, who finished third in the Satsuki Sho, then abandoned the Triple Crown trail and instead won the Grade 1 NHK Mile in his last start.


Frateli La Vita earned a "Win and You're In" spot in November's Breeders' Cup Mile at Del Mar with a 1/2-length victory in Sunday's Group 1 Gran Premio Club Hipico Falabella in Chile.

The favorite, Wentrue, finished a fading ninth. Frateli La Vita won his first race since last July's Raimundo Valdes Cuevas at Club Hipico. He came into the Club Hipico Falabella off an eighth-place finish in the Grade 1 El Derby at Valparaiso on March 17.