Exciting sprint prospect Japonisme (3g Choisir x Haiku, by Encosta de Lago) won brilliantly at Rosehill at the start of the month and confirmed his potential when beating a crackerjack field to win the Group III ATC San Domenico Stakes at the same venue on Saturday.
In a race packed with up and coming talent and established stars such as Golden Slipper hero Vancouver and Silver Slipper winner Headwater, Japonisme was always going to have to raise the bar on his recent impressive winter form.
Raise it he did, stalking the leaders to settle back in fifth place before unleashing a powerful finish to roll past his rivals and win the 1100 metre feature by half a length.
Japonisme has won four successive races since being spelled and gelded and his trainer Chris Waller now has to decide if the handsome chestnut will progress to the $1 million Group I ATC Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) in three weeks.
“I think we’ve got a Group I horse on our hands,” Waller said. “The Golden Rose is a very hard race to bypass, it’s in our backyard, but I really think he’s a good sprinter.
“1400 (metres) to me is not really a genuine sprint, it’s getting more like a mile for a three-year-old this early in the season.
“If you back off now you could easily get ready for a race like the Coolmore Stud Stakes.”
The 69th stakes-winner worldwide for Choisir, Japonisme now has the overall record now four wins and two placings from seven starts with prizemoney topping $250,000.
A homebred for the Ingham family, Japonisme was foaled and raised at Coolmore and is the second foal and second winner for Encosta de Lago mare Haiku, a half-sister to Group I New Zealand Oaks winner Tapildo and Group II STC Silver Slipper winner Plagiarize.