Fine Needle landed his biggest triumph to date on Sunday, 25 March when taking his first G1 in the Takamatsunomiya Kinen. Run over 1200m at Chukyo, it was a notable result for both his sire Admire Moon and owner Godolphin as it was their first locally trained G1 winner in the blue. It was the second successive winner of the race for Admire Moon after Seiun Kosei in 2017.
The winner of eight career races, Fine Needle has now won three Group contests in his last four starts after a victory in the G2 Sankei Sho Centaur Stakes last September and a last time out victory in the G3 Silk Road Stakes in January.
Bred by Darley Japan, Fine Needle is a son of the G3-winning Mark Of Esteem mare Needlecraft, who won Group races in both France and Italy. A half-sister to Godolphin's four-time Group winner Fractional (Manduro), Needlecraft also has a yearling filly by Admire Moon.
Admire Moon, who is standing this season at a fee of 1.5 million yen, enjoyed his best ever year in 2017. With an average earnings index of two on turf he was only beaten by other leading stallions King Kamehameha and Deep Impact.