You won’t see many easier wins this year than that of Lys Gracieux in the Group 1 Takarazuka Kinen back in June, and the data backed it up with a Timeform rating of 124. Benbatl came to Australia to run a brave second behind Winx last year with a similar Timeform rating, suggesting Lys Gracieux is right around the mark needed to figure this year.
LYS GRACIEUX WINS G1 TAKARAZUKA KINEN 🇯🇵
— World Horse Racing (@WHR) June 23, 2019
Lys Gracieux is the most well credentialed Japanese invader we have seen in many years. Prior to the last start win, Lys Gracieux recorded a 119 Timeform rating winning the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth 2 Cup in Kyoto back in November before running a close second and rating a 121 Timeform rating at Sha Tin in December behind Exultant beaten 0.2L in the Hong Kong Vase. On that day, Lys Gracieux settling much further back than in the Takarazuka Kinen this year and beat home the likes of Prince of Arran, Pakistan Star, Latrobe, Waldgeist, Mirage Dancer and Rostropovich to name a few!
— Racing.com (@Racing) December 9, 2018
While not on the plane yet, Lys Gracieux has accepted the invitation and has been cleared by the Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture (DA) as special permission had to be sought for the horse. The stable seem to have learned a lot since the defeat at Sha Tin, with Lys Gracieux traveling up to the eventual winner like a $1.10 chance at the 100m on that day before failing to get past Exultant. They didn’t make a similar tactical mistake last start.
The only hitch in most Japanese runners record seems to be performances on tracks that are not rock hard. Lys Gracieux has a Group 1 second behind Deirdre back in 2017 on her record on a soft track, ticking that box. Lys Gracieux is a proven traveller and a force to be reckoned with this Spring. Once on the plane, this is a horse you MUST be including in your book as a winner on Cox Plate day.