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Japan's Top Sprinter Sleepless Night Retired
In Japan, Australian raider Scenic Blast's prospects in this weekend's Gr1 Sprinters Stakes (6th leg of the Global Sprint Challenge) over 1200m at Nakayama improved yesterday with the announcement "the nation's top sprinter Sleepless Night (who won the race last year & was due to defend her Sprinters Stakes title against Scenic Blast on Sunday) has been retired after sustaining a tendon injury on her most recent outing," reported racingpost.com. The 5YO mare Sleepless Night was beaten into 2nd placing by outsider Ultima Thule in the Gr2 Centaur Stakes a fortnight ago at Hanshin, but "was subsequently found to have suffered a superficial flexor tendon injury to her right foreleg during the race". Meanwhile newly-crowned Australian Horse-Of-The-Year & current Global Sprint Challenge leader Scenic Blast (Scenic-Daughter's Charm, by Delgado) arrived in Japan last week after a 15-hour trip from the UK & trainer Dan Morton reported: "His condition is very good. He has adjusted well to the change in environment." If Scenic Blast wins the Sprinters Stakes (at A$2.8 million the world's richest sprint) his connections will land a $1m bonus offered to a horse with 3 Gr1 Challenge leg wins in any 3 different countries: Scenic Blast has already won both the Gr1 Coolmore Lightning Stakes in January at Flemington in Melbourne & the UK Gr1 King's Stand Stakes in June at Royal Ascot.