Lovely Day has taken out the 2015 Takarazuka Kinen at Hanshin racecourse beating home his fast finishing stablemate Denim and Ruby, in a race that will be spoken about not for the result but for the performance short priced favourite Gold Ship put on at barrier rise.

The odds-on favourite typically is edgy before being loaded when he settles, but today it was the complete opposite. He loaded up into the stalls without a worry in the world, but reared simultaneously as the gates opened and missed the start by some 10 lengths. He worked hard to tack on to the field at about the 1000m mark, but he was a spent force on the corner and was eased down in the straight with nothing left to offer.

Takarazuka Kinen winner Lovely Day had won 2 Group 3’s (including last start) and a Group 2 coming into the race, but hadn’t placed at 5 attempts at Group 1 level. But today he broke through in fine fashion. He dashed clear down the home running establishing a big lead, that proved to be a race winning one. Lovely Day’s Ikee trained stablemate Denim and Ruby also looking for her first Group 1 success at attempt number 12, flew in the late stages and for a fleeting minute looked like she would haul in the winner, but she ran out of time.

lovely dayLovely Day (inside) holds on to win the Takarazuka Kinen, just staying off stablemate Denim and Ruby

Group 1 Shuko Sho winner Shonan Pandora was a couple of half length away back in 3rd spot.

Weekend King Racing had Lovely Day as it’s 2nd pick so hopefully so punters had a collect even if the favourite did let backers down.