Code breaker, as Pearl narrowly beaten

Pearl Code continued a good weekend for Pearl Bloodstock runners in Japan when finishing a gallant fourth in a Group Three event at Nakayama.

The filly’s narrow defeat came 24 hours after her stablemate, the Mitsu Nakauchida-trained Great Pearl, won an open race on dirt, his fourth in succession.

Pearl Code (pictured right) had been rested from racing since mid-November, and she had to overcome the worst draw in stall 16 when lining up in the Nakayama Himba Stakes over 1,800m on turf. Nakauchida said in advance that he was confident jockey Yuga Kawada would get a good position going into the early first bend because Pearl Code is usually smart from the gate, but she had to use precious early reserves to secure that slot.

Racing in fourth, down the back stretch she moved up one place on the final turn and then pressed for the lead in the home straight, before being collared by late finishers near the line. Tosen Victory won narrowly by a neck and three-quarters of a length, with another neck back to Pearl Code.

Film of the race can be viewed at http://japanracing.jp/en/