Yuga, who is spending six weeks with Varian Stable during a summer stint riding in Europe, has ridden over 1200 winners in his native Japan, including ten successes at Group 1 level and Classics victories aboard three household names in Gentildonna, Harp Star and Makahiki.
While Sheikh Mohammed Obaid’s Star Shield has some way to go to match the level of form displayed by that illustrious trio he proved a landmark winner for his 32-year-old pilot, who rode a sensible race on the son of Helmet, sitting just behind the leaders in the early stages before producing him to challenge approaching the two-furlong marker.
Long-time leader Scenic River, who carried an official rating of 66 following six career starts, turned in a brave performance from the front end but Star Shield mastered her resolve inside the final furlong and won going away by two and a quarter lengths.
A 140,000 guineas purchase from Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale, Star Shield had previously finished fourth in a warm Newmarket maiden on debut and he became the third subsequent winner to emerge out of that contest with the winner, Naval Intelligence, having landed the Listed Sir Henry Cecil Stakes at Newmarket’s July Meeting.
Roger said: “Star Shield ran well over 7f at Newmarket on debut and he took a small step forward to win here. Yuga gave him a nice ride and I’m delighted for him. Thanks must go to Sheikh Mohammed Obaid for allowing Yuga to take the ride.”