Saturday, June 25, 2016

Duramente early favorite for 2016 Takarazuka Kinen

After closing Saturday betting round, Duramente has been installed as the favorite for the Takarazuka Kinen at odds of 2.2(6/5). Kitasan Black was the second favorite at 4.9(39/10) followed by Ambitious 8.2(36/5).

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Field set for 2016 Takarazuka Kinen

A field of 17 horses is set to run in the Takarazuka Kinen to be run on Sunday, June 26 at Hanshin Racecourse.

Last year's dual classic winner Durament, who showed an excellent run at Dubai last outing, drew post 9. Having become the Tenno Sho Spring hero, Kitasan Black drew post 3. Ambitious, winner of the Sankei Osaka Hai, drew post 2.

The field for the grade one 2,200-meter race is:

1 Fame Game, 6h, 58, Yuichi Shibayama
2 Ambitious, 4c, 58, Norihiro Yokoyama
3 Kitasan Black, 4c, 58, Yutaka Take
4 One and Only, 5h, 58, Hironobu Tanabe
5 Cheval Grand, 4c, 58, Yuichi Fukunaga
6 Last Impact, 6h, 58, Yuga Kawada
7 Lovely Day, 6h, 58, Christophe Lemaire
8 Staphanos, 5h, 58, Keita Tosaki
9 Duramente, 4c, 58, Mirco Demuro
10 Curren Mirotic, 8g, 58, Tommy Berry
11 Toho Jackal, 5h, 58, Manabu Sakai
12 Satono Noblesse, 6h, 58, Ryuji Wada
13 Touching Speech, 4f, 56, Suguru Hamanaka
14 Hit the Target, 8h, 58, Futoshi Komaki
15 Satono Crown, 4c, 58, Yasunari Iwata
16 Marialite, 5m, 56, Masayoshi Ebina
17 Yamakatsu Ace, 4c, 58, Kenichi Ikezoe

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Flashback - 2000 Takarazuka Kinen

June 25, 2000
T.M.Opera O wins the grade one Takarazuka as favorite
T.M.Opera O, undefeated in this season, extended his winning streak up to four when he won the rainy Takarazuka Kinen this afternoon at Hanshin Racecourse by rallying down the stretch. On a rainy day, the winner completed a 2,200-meter trip in 2 minutes 13.8 seconds. The winning rider was Ryuji Wada. A neck in second was Meisho Odo, who finished a neck ahead of Jo Big Bang. Stay Gold was another one and a half lengths back in fourth with Rascal Suzuka fifth.

Silent Hunter, who set the pace with a opening 1,000-meter in 1:00.7, led the field before fading into the crowd at the far turn. Rascal Suzuka with the rail took a slight lead when the field turned 
into the stretch. His lead did not last. The leaders were replaced by Meisho Odo and Jo Big Bang, who dueled a head-to-head battle with favorite T.M.Opera O approaching them with a strong stride on the outside. T.M.Opera O got past them near the finish line to pick up his third G1
victory. Meisho Odo edged Jo Big Bang in second place. Stay Gold came in fourth followed by Rascal Suzuka, Grass Wonder, Meisho Doto, Matikanefukukitaru, Osumi Bright, Silent Hunter and
Matikane Kinnohoshi.

It was the eighth race victory of 15 career starts for T.M.Opera O, who is trained at Ritto by Ichizo Iwamoto. The 4-year-old chestnut son of Opera House has improved a career earnings to more than 762 jpn million yen.

Grass Wonder, limping after the race, was examined and diagnosed as fracture of his left front leg that suffered during the race. He is now under observations.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Takarazuka Kinen

3yo+ 2,200-meter turf right-handed Hanshin Racecourse
53 kgs for 3yo, 58 kgs for 4yo+, fillies and mares allowed 2 kgs

Brief history
The first running of the Takarazuka Kinen took place in 1960 at the distance of 1,800 meters and the trip was lengthened to 2,000 meters the following year. In 1966, the distance was further extended to 2,200 meters.
As grading system began in 1984, the race was graded as a grade one. The door was open to NAR horses in 1995.
The Takarazuka Kinen gained an international status in 1997 and was open to foreign horses the same year. The race was upgraded to an international grade one in 2001.
The Takarazuka Kinen is considered as the Spring edition of the Arima Kinen. As far as local entries are concered, the starters are based on voting from racing fans just like the Arima Kinen.

Nominations of 2016 Takarazuka Kinen

A total of 18 horses have been nominated for the Takarazuka Kinen to be run on June 26 at Hanshin Racecourse. The nominations for the grade one 2,200-meter turf race are:

Cheval Grand
Curren Mirotic
Fame Game
Hit the Target
Kitasan Black
Last Impact
Lovely Day
Majesty Hearts
One and Only
Satono Crown
Satono Noblesse
Toho Jackal
Touching Speech
Yamakatsu Ace
(in alphabetic order)

Surprises are sometimes. Three of the last 10 favroites have won in the last 10 years.
Horses who have won prior to the Takarazuka have finished four firsts, four seconds and three thirds in the last 10 years.
Tenno Sho Spring runners have a good record, registering five firsts, two seconds and a third in the last decade. 7-year-old horse or above has not won in the last 10 Takarazuka runnings. Five wins for 4-year-olds, three wins for 5-year-olds and two wins for 6-year-olds in the same period. 3-year-old horse has yet to win this race.