Top favorite Righteous Ruby, owned by Joseph Dyhengco, exacted revenge on Shastaloo by nipping the latter in the P1-million 2023 Philracom Japan Cup held last Sunday, Jan. 22 at the Metro Manila Turf Club.
The rivalry between the two top imported runners in the land is beginning to shape up, and this early racing aficionados are now clamoring for their rematch.
Shastaloo reigned in the Ambassador Eduardo Cojuangco Cup in November last year where she beat a tough field including Righteous Ruby.
Time For Glory took third while Take A Chance settled for fourth.
In posting a one-length win, Righteous Ruby negotiated the 1,800-meter contest in 1:51.2 (13′-22′-24′-24′-27).
On hand during the awarding ceremony were were Miyamoto Yuichiro, Japan Racing Association Chief Representative and Ota Keisuke, another representative of the JRA.
In the other big event of the day, Melaine Habla’s Brigand, this time out of Missliyev, has produced yet another champion in Going East as the three-year-old bay broke her maiden in style by bagging the P1.2-million 2023 Philracom Maiden Stakes.
The Renato “Egoy” Hipolito-trained and Kelvin Abobo-mounted filly went toe-to-toe with the fast-stepping Sandigan (Cat Brulay-Heyday) through most of the race setting blistering early fractions of 13′-22-22′ which was simply too much for Sandigan to handle.
When she was in the clear, it was more or less a breeze for Going East as she crossed the wire with a final quarter of 27′ for a total time of 1:25.8 for the 1400 meter journey.
She was about four lengths clear of second placer Domsat Seven and third place finisher Diversity. Sandigan wound up fourth.
“Congratulations to our winners for the day’s stakes races. The Japan Cup is part of the exchange of races between the Philippines and Japan where a Philippine Cup will also be held sometime in the middle of this year. We at the Commission would like to thank Mr. Yuichiro and Mr. Keisuke for gracing this momentous occasion,” Philracom Chairman Reli de Leon said.