The late Japanese supersire Deep Impact has thrown yet another star in Contrail, who maintained his unbeaten record in emphatic style on Saturday in the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes (1m2f) at Nakayama in Japan.
Sent off the even money favourite following a five-length success in the Grade 3 Tokyo Sports Hai Nisai Stakes (1m1f) at Tokyo in November, Contrail again made light of the opposition, travelling smoothly for jockey Yuichi Fukunaga in a stalking position behind the leaders before swooping round the final turn and kicking clear for a length and a half victory.
Weltreisende, a half-brother to this season’s Group 1 Kikuka Sho (1m7f) winner World Premiere and a relation to Manduro, stayed on well to take second two lengths ahead of the third Wakea, yet another promising two-year-old by Heart’s Cry.
It was another big race success for trainer Yoshito Yahagi following Lys Gracieux’s stunning victory in the Group 1 Arima Kinen (1m41/2f) last weekend.
Contrail becomes the 46th Group/Grade 1 winner for Deep Impact and the ninth sired this year; others include Roger Barows and Loves Only You, who swept the Japanese Derby and Oaks in May, Japanese 1,000 Guineas heroine Gran Alegria and recent Hong Kong Vase winner Glory Vase.
Contrail was bred by the Maeda family’s North Hills Co Ltd and will now be strongly fancied to become the operation’s third winner of the race in the past decade following One And Only and Kizuna, successful in 2014 and 2013. Like Contrail, Kizuna – who also defeated Ruler Of The World to win in the 2013 Group 2 Prix Niel (1m4f) at Longchamp – is a son of Deep Impact. Currently, he sits among the leading younger lights of the Shadai Stallion Station’s roster as the dominant Japanese leading first-crop sire of 2019, a development that naturally bodes well for the prospects of other sons of Deep Impact based around the world, notably Coolmore’s Saxon Warrior and Lanwades Stud’s Study Of Man.
Contrail also reinforces the productive partnership between Deep Impact and Unbridled’s Song that was previously to the fore through another Group 1-winning two-year-old in Danon Platina and Group 2 winner Red Bel Jour.
He is the third foal out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Rhodochrosite, a $385,000 Keeneland September Sale yearling purchase by Koji Maeda who was placed on three occasions in Japan. In turn, she is a daughter of Folklore, the champion American two-year-old of 2005 by virtue of her victory in that year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.
Rhodochrosite has a yearling brother from the final full crop of Deep Impact on the ground and was bred to Heart’s Cry in 2019.
Deep Impact died in the summer aged 17 following a lengthy battle with a neck problem. Only a select number of mares are currently in foal to him but they do, however, include several well known European names such as Minding, Rhododendron, Hydrangea and Maybe.