Group 1 winner Japonisme led the all Chris Waller-trained quinella in the Arrowfield 3YO Sprint 2016 at Royal Randwick Racecourse this Saturday in Sydney holding on by a nose to beat stablemate Counterattack in the half-a-million-dollar feature.
Last Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival Waller won the $500,000 Group 2 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint (1200m) with Delectation who went on to win the spring’s Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) in Melbourne.
He is likely to aim for the same Flemington classic this year with impressive Choisir gelding Japonisme who is already proven down the Flemington straight having won last November’s Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m).
This time in Japonisme kicked things off with a third to Chautauqua in the Group 1 Lighting Stakes (1000m) before a close fifth to The Quarterback in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m).
Last start he was beaten a long neck for a luckless third to Flamberge in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley, prompting Waller to bring him back to Sydney for the first time since October.
Back against a field of his own kind, Japonisme jumped the short priced favourite, and while there was nothing in the finish he didn’t disappoint saluting for the punters on the Soft track with Hugh Bowman in the saddle.
“He’s a better horse on top of the ground….so credit to the horse,” Bowman said.
“In saying that, he had a bit of a look around in front and nearly threw it away.
“But he hasn’t let anyone down.
“He’s a lovely horse.”
The on-fire Bowman stayed aboard and saluted for his third win on Day 2 of ‘The Championships’ following earlier wins with Prized Icon in the Fernhill Handicap and Missrock in the Percy Sykes Stakes.
Japonisme travelled around fifth throughout the Arrowfield 3YO Sprint, Kinglike moving up to lead on the rails early from Takedown while the Ciaron Maher-trained filly Petits Filous settled into third before eventually dropping out to finish last.
Petits Filous was caught three deep on the outside of Japonisme and Spill The Beans, while market mover Ghisoni for John O’Shea was second last early before moving back towards the inside one off them.
Bowman was riding Japonisme with confidence, moving him up to the leaders while hard-luck story of the race Ghisoni was coming with a run but just couldn’t get through the traffic out of the pocket.
In a devastatingly close photo finish Japonisme ($3.60) just held off the Craig Williams-ridden Redoute’s Choice colt Counterattack ($9.50), who also ran third to his star stablemate in the Coolmore last year.
A nose separated the Waller-trained Arrowfield 3YO Sprint quinella, Counterattack lunging late but just unable to get the better of the winner.
Finishing off the trifecta in third was Gary Moore’s roughie hope Takedown ($21) coming off a fourth in the Listed Darby Munro at Rosehill from March 19.
“The winner is a Group 1 horse,” Waller said after the win.
“He was very unlucky not to win last start so he’s a genuinely consistent Group 1 galloper.
“The other colt (Counterattack) is getting there.
“They’ll even up as time runs on and you’ll see a Group 1 win from him too I guarantee.”
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2016 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint Results & Finishing Order
Randwick Race 5 – 09/04/2016
|1||1||JAPONISME||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||–||7||56.5kg||$3.20F|
|2||3||COUNTERATTACK||Chris Waller||Craig Williams||0.1L||9||56.5kg||$10|
|3||4||TAKEDOWN||Gary Moore||Brett Prebble||0.6L||4||56.5kg||$26|
|4||2||KINGLIKE||Gerald Ryan||Kerrin McEvoy||0.9L||3||56.5kg||$26|
|5||11||GHISONI||John O’Shea||James McDonald||1.3L||13||54.5kg||$7.50|
|6||14||EGYPTIAN SYMBOL||Bjorn Baker||Brenton Avdulla||2.7L||6||54.5kg||$17|
|7||13||LAKE GENEVA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||4.2L||11||54.5kg||$101|
|8||6||SPILL THE BEANS||Gerald Ryan||Tim Clark||4.5L||2||56.5kg||$11|
|9||8||STELLAR COLLISION||Darren Weir||Mark Zahra||5.3L||10||56.5kg||$19|
|10||15||SPIETH (NZ)||Bryce Heys||Nicholas Hall||5.9L||5||56.5kg||$61|
|11||9||BASSETT (NZ)||Mick Price||Dwayne Dunn||7.3L||8||56.5kg||$41|
|12||7||HELLBENT||Kurt Goldman||Blake Shinn||8.3L||1||56.5kg||$11|
|13||12||PETITS FILOUS||Ciaron Maher||Damien Oliver||12.6L||12||54.5kg||$5|
|–||10||SOOBOOG||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Christian Reith||–||0||–||–|
|–||5||READY FOR VICTORY||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||–||0||–||–|