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今宵、大井で2頭が決戦!(再掲)

Smartfalcon by M.H

昨年秋から今年にかけての動きを見る限り、今年の秋のダート戦線もスマートファルコンの主役の座は揺るがないだろう。その皮切りとなったのが、昨年秋のJBCクラシックであった。それまでは抑える競馬を試行錯誤していたが、武豊騎手に手綱が渡ってから2戦目となるレースで、あっと驚く大逃げを打ったのだ。大逃げを打ったというよりも、武豊騎手に言わせてみれば、スマートファルコンの気持ちに逆らわずに走らせただけ、ということになるのか。私も現場にいたから分かるが、それにしても気風のよい逃げっぷりであった。後続に影も踏ませないとは、こういう走りのことを言うのだろう。

スマートファルコンの血統に目を移してみると、父ゴールドアリュールの名が浮かび上がってくる。サンデーサイレンスの仔として、ダートのG1(フェブラリーS)を制した唯一の馬である。現役当時は、芝を中心に使われていたことからも分かるように、芝でこそ本領を発揮できそうな、絵画から抜け出てきたような美しい馬体を誇っていた。それでも実際に自身が勝ったのはダートのG1レースであり、ここまでダートの一流馬を誕生させているのだから、ダートに滅法強い何かを持っていたのだろう。それは細部に至るまでの肉体の形であり、気の強さという精神面でもあり、あらゆる全てがダートを走るために授けられたものであったのだ。

その特徴を素直に遺伝した産駒のダートでの活躍は当然のことだ。スマートファルコンに立ち向かう有力馬たちの中でも、ゴールドアリュールの血を受け継ぐ馬は多い。エスポワールシチー、オーロマイスター、シルクフォーチュンといった面子が、後継者争いも含めた戦いを挑んでくる。その中でも最大のライバルになるのは、JCダートとフェブラリーSを制しているエスポワールシチーだろう。今年の春は海外遠征のダメージがあって、本来の走りができなかったが、本来の力が戻ってくればスマートファルコンとマッチレースをしても伍する馬である。脚質的にも同じなので、ぜひともゴールドアリュール産駒の追い比べを見てみたい。

父ということであれば、トランセンドの父ワイルドラッシュにも勢いがある。2004年からシンジケートが日本で組まれ、日本で産駒が走ったのは外国産馬のパーソナルラッシュが最初であり、その後、アメリカに残してきた産駒が次々と活躍したので、買戻しのオファーがあったとされている。自身はそれほどの大物ではなかったが、その仔らにはダートの鬼の資質がはっきりと遺伝している。トランセンドを筆頭に、クラーベセクレタやクリールパッションといった馬たちが、この秋のダート戦線での活躍が見込まれている。クラーベセクレタは、失格になってしまうなどリズムが悪いが、順調に育てばどこまで強くなるのだろうという期待を抱かせてくれる牝馬である。

その他、有力馬であるフリーオーソの父はブライアンズタイム、ランフォルセの父はシンボリクリスエス、そしてヤマニンキングリーの父はアグネスデジタルなど、まさにダートを主戦場として活躍馬を出してきた(もしくはダートで輝かしい実績を積み上げてきた)種牡馬たちが並ぶ。もはやこれは時代を超えたダートを巡る覇権争いと言っても過言ではないだろう。中央と地方のダートG1のローテーションがやや食い違っているため、なかなか全馬が揃って激突するシーンはないが、もしあるとすれば今年暮れの東京大賞典あたりか。

と思いきや、なんとスマートファルコンとトランセンドが、今宵、大井競馬場で激突することになった。ゴールドアリュールとワイルドラッシュのダートの血を賭けての争いでもある。逃げるスマートファルコンをトランセンドがどこで捕まえに動くのか、はたまたこの2頭の間隙を突くことができる馬は果たしているのか。もしかすると、阪神大賞典におけるナリタブライアンとマヤノトップガンばりのマッチレースが観られるかもしれないと思うと心が躍る。


関連エントリ
「ガラスの競馬場」:理想のサラブレッドによる理想的なレース(前編)
「ガラスの競馬場」:理想のサラブレッドによる理想的なレース(後編)

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