Victoire Pisa led home another Group 1 shut-out for Sunday Silence in the Arima Kinen at Nakayama on Boxing Day. The Neo Universe colt held off 2009 Japanese Oaks winner Buena Vista (Special Week) and To the Glory (King Kamehameha).
Sunday Silence sons Neo Universe and Special Week accounted for the first two and third home To The Glory is by a Kingmambo sire out of Sunday Silence’s Group 1-winning daughter To The Victory. She was also third to Manhatten Cafe in the 2001 Arima Kinen.
Victoire Pisa is trained by Katsuhiko Sumii for owner Yoshimi Ichikawa and is from the second crop of 2003 Japanese 2000 Guineas and Derby winner Neo Universe.
Neo Universe is upholding his end of the Shadai tradition with sustained support at home. His first crop contained both the Japanese 2000 Guineas and Derby winners in Unrivaled and Logi Universe while Victoire Pisa and Group 3 winner Neo Vendome are the pick of his second.
The achievements of those crops weren’t enough for him to topple King Kamehameha as the leading Japanese first, second or third crop sire but he’s guaranteed a Top 10 general sires’ finish this year.
Victoire Pisa (3c Neo Universe – Whitewater Affair by Machiavellian) won the Japanese 2000 Guineas in April and, after a third placing in the Japanese Derby, was shipped to France. He finished fourth in the G1 Prix Niel and was then just two lengths away in the G1 Arc de Triomphe.
He returned home for a third in the G1 Japan Cup but the finish sparked a national controversy when Japanese favourite Buena Vista was disqualified for causing interference to Rose Kingdom.
In the Arima Kinen, Victoire Pisa did best off an ideal trip under champion Italian jockey Mirco Demuro. “He looked well in the paddock and settled in a nice position,” Demuro said. “It was a slow pace and I was able to position him ready to strike.”
His dam Whitewater Affair was exported to Shadai Farm in 1999 after winning the Prix de Pomone and St Simon Stakes for Sir Michael Stoute. There were also G1 placings in a Yorkshire Oaks and Irish St Leger.
She was an immediate success producing the top-class miler and young sire Asakusa Den’En (Singspiel) and Listed winner Swift Current (Sunday Silence).
Whitewater Affair is a daughter of Bustino mare Much Too Risky who has an Australian link through her G1 winning half-brother Marooned (Mill Reef). He retired to stud in Western Australia and stood at several locations until his death in November 2006.