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Sensational Lemaire bags four-timer in Riyadh as Japanese runners dominate

Christophe Lemaire dominated proceedings on Saudi Cup night with four winners, all for different Japanese trainers.

He started off by dominating the Neom Turf Cup on Authority, trained by Tetsuya Kimura.

Pyledriver was the big hope for Europe but having been drawn out wide he could fare no better than 11th.

The Japan Cup runner-up had the race wrapped up from some way out.

Lemaire said: “I could settle the pace the way I wanted without any pressure and then he used his long acceleration. He did the same in Japan. His strength made the difference.

“I knew he could stay the trip very well. The ground is firm and drawn two I knew I he would be very relaxed over the 2100 metres.

“The Japan Cup is one of the best races in the world and he was beaten by a very good horse (Contrail).”

The winner now heads for the Dubai Sheema Classic.

Songline then won the 1351 Turf Sprit for Toru Hayashi, battling on gamely to see off Bill Mott’s Casa Creed with Richard Hannon’s Happy Romance in third.

Lemaire made it a hat-trick on a famous night for the rider and Japan as Stay Foolish galloped his rivals into the ground in the Red Sea Turf Handicap.

Once again employing front-running tactics aboard Yoshito Yahagi’s runner, Lemaire bossed the one-mile-seven-furlong contest with Irish raider Princess Zoe one of the few to keep tabs on him through the early stages along with Nayef Road.

They both paid for those efforts as they dropped away quickly, leaving the Charlie Appleby-trained Siskany, who appeared to be travelling well, to throw down the only real challenge.

When Lemaire asked for a bit more though, Stay Foolish lengthened again and he had no trouble holding the finishing flourish of the Johnny Murtagh-trained Sonnyboyliston.

Lemaire said: “I thought Authority and Stay Foolish would be my best rides. I was very confident with Authority as he had the best credentials.

“Then Stay Foolish, I rode him two years ago but I rode him on Wednesday morning at the track here in Riyadh and he gave me a great impression so I could see he was in great condition. I thought he could be a good challenger.

“It is fantastic because it is great for jockeys and trainers to be part of these international meetings. It is always very exciting and a big challenge. If you have the chance to win a race you are the happiest man on earth.”

Lemaire racked up a remarkable four-timer for Japanese-trained runners when storming to victory on Dancing Prince in the Riyadh Dirt Sprint.

The six-year-old, from Keisuke Miyata’s stable, burst clear in the straight to win emphatically from Good Effort, who is trained in Newmarket by Ismail Mohammed.

Lemaire said: “Unbelievable. I don’t realise it right now, but it’s real.

“He is a bit high tension and going into the gate I was a bit worried because it took time at the start. Fortunately he jumped well, I could take the lead, reduce the pace and then let him go.”

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