The Pearl Bloodstock-owned Great Pearl won the Gr. 3 Antares Stakes on dirt at Hanshin Racecourse on Sunday.
Five-year-old entire Great Pearl, by King Kamehameha out of Dehere mare Fortune Word, showed a fantastic attitude to get up late in the 16-runner Gr. 3 Antares Stakes over 1800m in Japan. After being drawn 1, Great Pearl hugged the inside rail for most of the way but had to be pulled out and around horses to lay down his challenge at the top of the home straight.
It was a perfectly-time ride by Yuga Kawada, and winning trainer Mitsu Nakauchida was also very happy with Great Pearl, saying: "He ran a huge race considering he'd had 11 months off and the ground was sloppy. The winning time is good, too."
Great Pearl has now won his last five starts, including another Gr. 3, the Heian Stakes on his final start in 2017, and he remains unexposed after just nine starts. The only time he's been beaten on dirt was on his debut on the surface.
There was more reason to cheer later on Sunday as Out of The Flames also won a Stakes race, namely the first running of the Mizdirection Stakes over six furlongs on turf at Aqueduct. She has now won her last two starts for Simon Callaghan and was given a fine ride by Paco Lopez here, just holding on at the line.