Fifth-favorite Namur galloped to victory in the 40th running of the Mile Championship over 1,600 meters on turf at Kyoto Racecourse on Sunday, the 4-year-old mare securing her first Grade 1 victory.
Namur stayed at the back of the pack before spectacularly darting past her rivals in the home stretch to cross the wire in 1 minute, 32.5 seconds, a neck ahead of Soul Rush. Justin Cafe was another half a length further back in third.
Jockey Kota Fujioka steered Namur to victory after her original rider, Ryan Moore, fell from the mare ahead of the race and had to be replaced. It was the first Mile Championship victory for both Fujioka and trainer Tomokazu Takano.
"It was a sudden jockey switch but I had a good image (entering the race)," Fujioka said. "I was focused on letting her run a relaxed race."
"Her reaction down the final stretch was very good, she was really strong."
Top favorite Schnell Meister was seventh.