Monday, October 31, 2005

Outsider stuns in Tenno Sho Autumn

HEAVENLY ROMANCE stunned in the 132nd Tenno Sho in front of more than 103,000 in attendance including the Emperor and Empress. In one of the most unexpected finishes in racing history, the 14th pick outsider won the Autumn edition of Emperor’s Cup Sunday afternoon at Tokyo by a head from favorite ZENNO ROB ROY with DANCE IN THE MOOD another neck further away third. ASAKUSA DEN’EN followed in fourth place and SWEEP TOSHO fifth. Mikio Matsunaga was the winning rider to complete the 2,000-meter turf test in 2 minutes 0.1 second.

HEAVENLY ROMANCE, starting at odds of 75.8(or 374-5), is the longest-priced winner since Gallop Dyna at 88.2(or 436-5) chance in 1985. In addition, she is the first female Tenno Sho winner in 8 years since Air Groove’s success in 1997.

As expected, STORMY CAFE led the 18 strong-field, going the first half in 62.4 seconds, and TAP DANCE CITY was right on his tail. HEAVENLY ROMANCE saved the ground at mid-field, just behind ZENNO ROB ROY, while DANCE IN THE MOOD sat behind the leaders.

Before climbing up to the stretch hill, both front-runners were done. From there, DANCE IN THE MOOD took up a lead, and ZENNO ROB ROY was drawing up. For a moment, it looked like the two stablemates would fight it out to the finish, but HEAVENLY ROMANCE was in a hurry. “I never intended to bring her to the outside throughout the race.”, said Matsunaga, who forced her to split between the two and put her head in front at the finish. Trainer Shoji Yamamoto said, “The pace was not as fast as I expected, but she had a very strong finish.”

HEAVENLY ROMANCE, a 5-year-old daughter of Sunday Silence out of the Sadler’s Wells mare First Act, registered the first g1 success, totaling 8th win in 31 starts under the color of North Hills Management Co. Ltd., who is also a breeder of her. The first prize of 135+ million yen brought her career earnings to 391+ million yen.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Tenno Sho Update

Outsider stuns in Tenno Sho

In one of the most unexpected finishes at the highest level, HEAVENLY ROMANCE, a 14th pick outsider, won the Autumn edition of Tenno Sho(Emperor’s Cup) by a head from favorite ZENNO ROB ROY with DANCE IN THE MOOD another neck further away third.

Bacchus gets even in Musashino

Five weeks ago in the Derby Grand Prix at NAR Morioka, KANE HEKILI defeated SUNRISE BACCHUS by a 2 1/2-length for the NAR grade one dirt victory, but this time, in the Musashino Stakes Saturday afternoon, the two finished in a reversal order to get even. SUNRISE BACCHUS took the command at mid-stretch to win the 1,600-meter Musashino by a 1 3/4-length in 1 minute 35.2 seconds on dirt. Despite a poor start, KANE HEKILI showed an encouraging late surge under Yutaka Take to take second in the field of 16 runners. The two will be heading for the Japan Cup Dirt to be run at Tokyo on November 26.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Comeback victory for Sunbeam

The Swan Stakes, a main showcase for the Kyoto meeting on Saturday, was won by COSMO SUNBEAM, who ended a losing streak for the comeback victory. It was the first success in nearly two years since the 2003 Asahi Futurity(g1). COSMO SUNBEAM, the 11th choice in the field of 18, won the 1,400-meter g2 event in 1 minute 21.5 seconds by a 1/2-length. Bettors’ favorite SIDEWINDER took second with WIN KLUGER third.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Rob Roy is favorite in Tenno Sho

As of Saturday, multiple g1 winner ZENNO ROB ROY has been installed as the early favorite for the Tenno Sho at odds of 2.5(or 3-2). He seeks a back-to-back victory for the Autumn edition of the Emperor's Cup. HEART'S CRY, who has the most powerful late stride of the entrants, was the second favorite at 6.9(or 59-10). Strong front-running TAP DANCE CITY was the third favorite at 7.6(or 33-5). Kyoto Daishoten winner LINCOLN was the 8.9(or 79-10) fourth choice, and SWEEP TOSHO, winner of the Takarazuka Kinen last June, was at 10.5(or 19-2) to follow. The rest of the field was 15.0(or 14-1) or higher price.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Foreign horses withdrawn from international races

Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup
Ouija Board(GB) --- out
Sweet Stream(ITY) --- out

Mile Championship
Ad Valorem(USA) --- out
Court Masterpiece(GB) --- out

Capital Stakes
Court Masterpiece(GB) --- out

Friday, October 28, 2005

Saturday's JRA Graded Races

A showcase for the Tokyo Saturday meeting will be the grade three Musashino Stakes, a major prep for the Japan Cup Dirt. Among the 16 strong field for the 1,600-meter dirt, Kane Hekili is likely to be the favorite.

Kyoto hosts the Swan Stakes, a grade two event for 3-year-old and upwards. 18 runners are scheduled to go to the post for the 1,400-meter turf.

Tenno Sho Autumn Trend

3 favorites have won in the last 10 years, but big surprises are rare; Offside Trap(1998) is the longest winner(paid 4,240 yen as 6th pick). Proven runners on the grade level figure to be fancied. All the last 10 winners have previously been successful in the grade event.

Brief Tenno Sho Autumn History

The Tenno Sho(Emperor's Cup) is a biannual race, taking place in Spring at Kyoto and Autumn at Tokyo. The first running of the Tenno Sho Autumn was in 1937 at Tokyo over 2,600 meters and the distance extended to 3,200 meters the following year. The race was not run in 1944 due to war and continued to be abandoned the next three years. In 1948, the traditional Autumn event was called as the Tenno Sho for the first time. The Autumn edition was run over 2,000 meters for the first time in 1984. The door was opened for 3-year-olds and foregin-breds in 1987. The international status was given to the race in 2005.

Tenno Sho Autumn Entrants

Introduction for Tenno Sho Autumn entrants in a post postion order

Sunday Silence – First Act, by Sadler’s Wells
Shoji Yamamoto, North Hills Management, North Hills Management

Career Record: 30-7-8-3
Out of form earlier this season, but came back on the right track after a 4-month break; recently encouraged connections to win Sapporo Kinen in August; a tough assignment to face the top male company.

Sunday Silence – Spring Mambo, by Kingmambo
Mitsuru Hashida, K. Nagai, Grand Stud

Won Tenno Sho Spring edition in early May and has not raced since; without a prep run could be a negative material, but runs well when fresh; K. Ando returns to ride for another possible great run on Tokyo long stretch.

Sunday Silence – Grace Admire, by Tony Bin
Hidetaka Otonashi, H.Kondo, Northern Farm

Looks to be an one-paced horse; has a good momentum coming off a 1/2-length victory in Kyoto Daishoten to break his losing streak; probably the distance is shorter than his best trip; Y. Take returns to control.

HAT TRICK blk 4 c
Sunday Silence – Tricky Code, by Lost Code
Katsuhiko Sumii, Carrot Farm, Oiwake Farm

Looks to be a good miler with a couple of successes at grade class; failed to connect a late charge last time out in Mainichi Okan; Tenno Sho distance could be longer than his best; to be piloted by Frenchman Peslier will be interesting.

Singspiel – Whitewater Affair, by Machiavellian
Michifumi Kondo, G.Tahara, F.Sekiguchi

Has his career best season so far which is highlighted by a recent victory in Yasuda Kinen; exclusively ran 1,600 meters or less in last 2 seasons; out of action for more than 4 months could be a slight setback; looks like a top miler but can’t make light of his ability.

Pleasant Tap – All Dance, by Northern Dancer
Shozo Sasaki, Yushun Horse, Echovalley Horse Farm & Swettenham Stud

Strong front-running type who had a couple of g1 victories, including 2003 Japan Cup, under his belt; gained his third Kinko Sho victory before disappointing in Takarazuka Kinen on his latest start; goes well fresh; has plenty of speed and could be a serious contender under the give conditions; acts well on any going.

HOOKIPA WAVE db/br 4 c
Carnegie – Platinum Wave, by Mr. Prospector
Yoshitaka Ninomiya, M.Kaneko, Northern Farm

Picked up a All Comers victory on his latest run last month; has shown the good form, but the longer distance could suit him.

KING’S TRAIL db/br 3 c
Sunday Silence – Santa Fe Trail, by Northern Taste
Kazuo Fujisawa, Sunday Racing Co.Ltd., Northern Farm

Talented 3-year-old colt from Fujisawa barn, who bypassed Kikuka Sho to take on this event; came just off his recent success in St. Lite Kinen; could be a tough task to confront the competitive company.

Scan – Kinsen Glory, by Hittite Glory
Masahiro Sakaguchi, Y.Matsumoto, M.Morinaga

Kokura specialist who will make the first appearance at g1 event; disappointing on latest run in Mainichi Okan 3 weeks ago; a tough spot in the competitive company.

Sunday Silence – Irish Dance, by Tony Bin
Kojiro Hashiguchi, Shadai Race Horse, Shadai Farm

Late-striding runner who returns to action since finishing 2nd in Takarazuka Kinen; without a prep could be disadvantage, but Tokyo long stretch is right up his alley; don’t make light of his bursting late run; French rider Lemaire takes the mount.

Admire Vega – Greetings, by Rainbow Quest
Futoshi Kojima, K. Nishikawa, Northern Farm

Front runner who skipped Kikuka Sho to gain the spot for this traditional event; posted a promising victory in Kyodo News Service earlier this year before leg injury; disappointed last outing in Kobe Shimbun Hai; could be a tough task to face the top older company for first time.

Sunday Silence – Dancing Key, by Nijinsky
Kazuo Fujisawa, Shadai Race Horse, Shadai Farm

Runner-up last year in this race but has been struggling since November when she finished 2nd in Mile Championship; failed to hit on the board last time out in Mainichi Okan; needs a drastic improvement for the comeback.

ZENNO ROB ROY db/br 5 h
Sunday Silence – Roami Rachel, by Mining
Kazuo Fujisawa, S.Oosako, Shiraoi Farm

First string of the three entries from leading trainer Fujisawa’s barn; 2004 champion who has impressive sequence of g1 victories in fall campaign of last year; has raced only twice this term – finishing third in Takarazuka Kinen in late June and following up with a respectable neck 2nd in Judomente International Stakes at York in August; returns to Tokyo since he won the race last year; runs well when fresh; firm ground prefers; Yokoyama is called up to reunite; certainly one of the major players here.

End Sweep – Tabatha Tosho, by Dancing Brave
Akio Tsurudome, Tosho Sangyo, Tosho Sangyo

Winner of Takarazuka Kinen in late June, who performed well against males at top level; ran 3 weeks ago in Mainichi Okan where she finished 6th, but not disgraced; could have a much better run in 2nd start from a long layoff; firm ground would be appreciated.

Tony Bin – Make a Wish, by Northern Taste
Hiroaki Sugiura, Shadai Race Horse, Shadai Farm

Explosive closer coming here with a good 2nd in Mainichi Okan 3 weeks ago; this will be on reappearance after having an undesired result last year; 2,000-meter is a bit longer than his best distance.

Sunday Silence – Higashi Brian, by Brian’s Time
Sei Ishizaka, T.Matsuoka, Yanagawa Bokujo

Lightly-raced horse who endured leg injury on two occasions, but has made up for lost time by winning a pair of grade races this season – recently that he topped off an impressive victory in Mainichi Okan 3 weeks ago; has yet to have impact on the highest level; maintains good form and could show a big run.

Sunday Silence – Air Groove, by Tony Bin
Mitsuru Hashida, R.Kondo, Northern Farm

Third in this event last year; has made in the frame against males, but generally struggled a bit at highest level; needs the tip-top form for reproduction of last year; Y. Uemura takes the mount for the first time.

Fusaichi Concorde – Hall of Fame, by Allez Milord
Yoshitada Munakata, H.Sonobe, Yamada Farm

Decent runner at grade class but failed to perform the best run at highest level; came here with 4th in Mainichi Okan; could find a hard time in the top company.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Field set for Tenno Sho Autumn

The 132nd running of the Tenno Sho Autumn
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Tokyo, Race 10
3-year-old and upwards
2,000 meters, turf, left-handed
Field: 18
Post time: 3:40 p.m. JST

BN*/HN**/HORSE/jockey/weight(in kgs)
1 1 HEAVENLY ROMANCE MatsunagaM 56
2 3 LINCOLN TakeY 58
2 4 HAT TRICK PeslierO 58
3 5 ASAKUSA DEN'EN EbinaM 58
4 7 HOOKIPA WAVE FujitaS 58
4 8 KING'S TRAIL FukunagaY 56
5 9 MEISHO KAIDO MiyukiH 58
5 10 HEART'S CRY LemaireC 58
6 11 STORMY CAFE ShiiF 56
6 12 DANCE IN THE DARK KitamuraH 56
7 13 ZENNO ROB ROY YokoyamaN 58
7 14 SWEEP TOSHO IkezoeK 56
7 15 TELEGNOSIS KatsuuraM 58
8 18 BALANCE OF GAME TanakaK 58

* - Bracket Number
** - Horse Number(Post Position)

Foreigners For JRA International Races

On October 26, foreign horses have been selected for the JRA international races. The selected runners are as follows:

Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup;
Summitville(GB), Ouija Board(GB), Megahertz(GB), Intercontinental(GB) and Sweet Stream(ITY) [in a random order]

Mile Championship;
Court Masterpiece(GB), Starcraft(NZ), Majors Cast(IRE), Ad Valorem(USA), Leroidesanimaux(BRZ), Intercontinental(GB) and Three Valleys(USA) [in a random order]

Capital Stakes;
Court Masterpiece(GB), Starcraft(NZ) and Majors Cast(IRE) [in a random order]

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Foreign invitees for Japan Cup

On October 25, foreign horses for the Japan Cup and Japan Cup Dirt have been selected as follows:

Japan Cup invitees
Warran(IRE), Alkaased(USA), Ouija Board(GB), Oratorio(IRE), Better Talk Now(USA), Shakespeare(USA), Pride(FR), Bago(FR), Electrocutionist(USA) and Gonbarda(GER) [in a random order]

Japan Cup Dirt invitees
Starcraft(NZ), Jack Sullivan(USA), Perfect Drift(USA), Saint Liam(USA), Choctaw Nation(USA), Borrego(USA), Rock Hard Ten(USA) and Lava Man(USA) [in a random order]

Note: The invitees described above are not final. Some of them may be replaced or withdrawn.

The 2005 Japan Cup runs November 27 at Tokyo, while the day before the JC sees the Japan Cup Dirt at the venue.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Deep Impact is latest Triple Crown winner

A record-breaking crowd at Kyoto on Sunday afternoon never stopped giving the roar of cheering for the latest edition of the Triple Crown winner as DEEP IMPACT stormed home for the winning post in the Kikuka Sho(Japanese St.Leger). He won the last classic for 3-year-olds by a 2-length from ADMIRE JAPAN with ROSENKREUZ another 4 lengths away third. SIX SENSE got fourth followed by FUSAICHI AUSTER(USA) finishing fifth to complete the money earners. The winning time for the 3,000 meters on turf was 3 minutes 4.6 seconds.

Yutaka Take, who was aboard the winner, said, "I was deeply filled with emotion." Take and DEEP IMPACT were given a tremendous ovation with overwhelming congratulations when they returned to the unsaddled enclosure.

Norihiro Yokoyama rode an aggressive and better-judged race, keeping ADMIRE JAPAN in secon place as SHADOW GATE led the field of 16. Meanwhile, Take sent heavy favorite DEEP IMPACT to the middle of the field after making a good start, but the colt seemed to be unsettled in the early stage. "He wanted to go a faster pace.", Take said.

Entering the stretch for the second time, ADMIRE JAPAN deprived SHADOW GATE of the lead, and at the same time DEEP IMPACT crept up on the outside. At the top-stretch, Yokoyama guided his colt to running just off the rails, making headway with a comfortable lead. Outside 200 meters from home, Take brought DEEP IMPACT to challenge the leader, and obviously he got the better of the two. Within 100 meters to go, DEEP IMPACT had the third classic laurel in the bag. "He was not relaxing until we got to the back stretch for the second time.", Take said. "With 600 meters to go, as I gave him a go-sign, he ran like he was flying in the rest of the way."

DEEP IMPACT is the sixth Triple Crown winner to sweep the Satsuki Sho(Japanese 2000 Guineas), Japanese Derby and Kikuka Sho(Japanese St.Leger) and he is only the second undefeated colt(other is Symboli Rudolf in 1984) to achieve it.

It was DEEP IMPACT's seventh win without loss and the 152.467 million yen first prize brought his earnings to 610.103 million yen. A 100 million yen bonus for the Triple Crown winner is not included in the earnings. DEEP IMPACT, trained at Ritto by Yasuo Ikee and owned by Kaneko Makoto Holdings Co. Ltd., is a Sunday Silence colt out of the Alzao mare Wind In Her Hair. Northern Farm in Hayakita, Hokkaido is a breeder of the bay colt.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Triple Crown win for Deep Impact

Kyoto Racecourse at a record-breaking crowd Sunday afternoon heard at the roar of cheering for the latest edition of the Triple Crown winner as DEEP IMPACT stormed home for the winning post in the Kikuka Sho(Japanese St.Leger). He won the last classic of the year by a 2-length from ADMIRE JAPAN with ROSENKREUZ another 4 length away third. SIX SENSE got fourth followed by FUSAICHI AUSTER finishing fifth to complete the money earners. Yutaka Take was aboard the winner, covering the 3,000-meter distance in 3 minutes 4.6 seconds on turf. (to be continued tomorrow)

Win Radius wins Fuji S

WIN RADIUS landed the Fuji Stakes(g3) Saturday afternoon at Tokyo. Before a 1/2-length victory, he had to deny the challenging TANINO MARTINI, who finished a neck before KINETICS to take second in the field of 16 runners. The final time for the 1,600-meter turf race was 1 minute 32.9 seconds. Katsuharu Tanaka took the mount on the winner. Trained by Kazuo Fujiwara, WIN RADIUS is a 7-year-old son of Sunday Silence and the Maruzensky mare Jono Matiere.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Deep Impact favored in Kikuka

After closing Saturday betting round at 5:30 p.m., DEEP IMPACT has been installed as the red-hot favorite for the Kikuka Sho at odds of 1.1(or 1-10). SIX SENSE was the second favorite at 20.8(or 99-5) followed by ROSENKREUZ the 24.2(or 116-5) third favorite. The rest of the field was 30.0(or 29-1) or higher price.

With win tomorrow, DEEP IMPACT would be in the exclusive league of the Triple Crown winner which five colts had previously achieved. The post time will be at 3:40 p.m. Japan Standard Time.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Greatest achievement is on in Kikuka

This Sunday could see the greatest achievement when Kyoto hosts the Kikuka Sho. With victory Sunday afternoon, Deep Impact would become the sixth Triple Crown winner in racing history to join St.Lite(1941), Shinzan(1969), Mr.C.B.(1983), Symboli Rudolf(1984) and Narita Brian(1994) who had previously been successful in the Satsuki Sho(Japanese 2000 Guineas), Japanese Derby and Kikuka Sho(Japanese St.Leger). A series of workouts at Ritto Training Center indicates that he has been in good shape and is ready to run for the feat in the last classic of the year. A large number of people are expected to show up at Kyoto to witness the historical moment.

Kikuka Sho Field

The 66th running of the Kikuka Sho(Japanese St.Leger)
Grade One
Kyoto Race11
Sunday, October 23, 2005
3yo, 3,000 meters, turf, right-handed
Added money(in million yen):
1st; 112, 2nd;45, 3rd;28, 4th;17, 5th;11.2

BN*/HN**/HORSE/Jockey/Weight(in kgs)
1 1 CONRAD KomakiF 57
2 3 MITSUWA SKY HIGH WatanabeK 57
3 5 ADMIRE FUJI FukunagaY 57
3 6 ADMIRE JAPAN YokoyamaN 57
4 7 DEEP IMPACT TakeY 57
4 8 SHADOW GATE SatoT 57
5 10 RHETT BUTLER MiyukiH 57
6 11 SIX SENSE ShiiH 57
6 12 PISA NO PATEK IwataY 57
7 13 D S HARRIER IshibashiS 57
8 15 MARUBUTSU LIGHT MatsuokaM 57
8 16 MARUKA SIEG TsunodaK 57
*-Bracket Number
**-Horse Number(Post Position)

2005 Fuji Stakes

A feature race for the Tokyo Saturday meeting will be the Fuji Stakes(g3) for 3-year-old and upwards. 16 runners including two 3-year-old colts are scheduled to contest the 1,600-meter turf race.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Kikuka Trend

Favorites have not done well in the last 10 years; Dance in the Dark is the only favorite winner. In the last 4 years, new comers have been on the rise for the success, but generally, runners who made in the money at the fist two classics have a good record. Recent formed horses figure to be fancied. A prep race is essential.

Kyoto(also known as Yodo) Racecourse

Course description: The main turf circuit is an oval of 1,783 meters in length, run right-handed. The width is between 27 meters and 38 meters. The home stretch is 328 meters. There is a hill around the third turn(far turn). Outside lane round the final bend provides the main course with a 1,894-meter oval course and 1,894-meter homestretch. The dirt course is an inside oval of 1,606 meters.

Brief Kikuka history

The first running of the Kikaku Sho, not so called until 1947, was in 1938. This is one of the rare marathone races, held at Kyoto Racecourse where contestants run over the third corner hill twice in a 3,000-meter trip to test their stamina. In combination with the Satsuki Sho and Japanese Derby, Kikuka Sho is the last leg of the Triple Crown Races for 3-year-olds.

Deep Impact heads Kikuka entries

Deep Impact faces 15 rivals in a bid for the Triple Crown title in the Kikuka Sho. With a combined victory margin of seven and a half lengths in the first two classics, the undefeated colt is likely to be the heavy favorite in the 3,000-meter marathon race. Regular rider Yutaka Take will break from post 7.

Deep Impact ready for big one

On Thursday morning, Deep Impact with Yutaka Take on his back worked at the Ritto Training track in preparation for the Kikuka Sho(Japanese St. Leger) and went 1,200 meters in 81.4 seconds with 11.4 seconds galloping for the last 200 meters.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Deep Impact is among 19 Kikuka nominees

Deep Impact tops the nomination list of nineteen 3-year-old colts for the Kikuka Sho(Japanese St. Leger). The undefeated dual classic winner will bid this coming Sunday for becoming the first Triple Crown winner in 11 years since Narita Brian achieved it in 1994.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Air Messiah wins Shuka Sho in final stride

AIR MESSIAH bested the archrival RHEIN KRAFT in final stride to win the Shuka Sho Sunday afernoon at Kyoto. Having placed fourth and second, respectively, in the Oka Sho(Japanese 1000 Guineas) and Japanese Oaks, the Sunday Silence filly out of the grade winner Air Deja Vu(by Northern Taste) finally achieved a victory in the one of the three filly classics. "I am very happy with this win.", winning jockey Yutaka Take said after the race.

RHEIN KRAFT with putting her head up was eager to go a faster pace, but she was in good hands of Yuichi Fukunaga to race a fifth or sixth position. On front, EISHIN TENDER led the field of eighteen 3-year-old fillies, setting the pace with the first 1,000 meters in 60.1 seconds. Take had AIR MESSIAH raced at mid-field.

Fukunaga called on at the far turn, creeping up to the front. As the field turned for home, RHEIN KRAFT took over the lead and opened up at mid-field. AIR MESSIAH came out of the crowd to approach at every step. "Rhein Kraft was far in front. I was not sure we made up grounds.", Take said.

Just like the Rose Stakes three weeks ago, it was a thrilling finish that AIR MESSIAH and RHEIN KRAFT got home side by side, and the result was in a same order. AIR MESSIAH edged RHEIN KRAFT by a neck. Running third was NISHINO NURSE CALL, who finished a decisive 3-length away from the first two. The final time for the 2,000 meters was 1 minute 59.2 seconds on grass.

Under the name of Lucky Field Co. Ltd., AIR MESSIAH has earned more than 250 million yen with a record of 8-4-2-1. Shadai Farm in Chitose, Hokkaido is a breeder of the bay filly. Yuji Ito, trainer of AIR MESSIAH, will run her next in the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Shuka Sho Update

AIR MESSIAH won the Shuka Sho in 1 minute 59.2 seconds at Kyoto over 2,000 meters on grass. She bested the archrival RHEIN KRAFT in final stride for a neck victory. NISHINO NURSE CALL finished a decisive 3-length behind the first two to take third in the field of eighteen 3-year-old fillies. Just like the Rose Stakes four weeks ago, the Shuka Sho came down to an exciting finish of AIR MESSIAH and RHEIN KRAFT.

Alabaster takes Fuchu Himba

YAMANIN ALABASTER produced an excellent turn of foot to take the Fuchu Himba Stakes(g3) for fillies and mares. Jockey Teruo Eda forced the 4-year-old grey filly to put her head into front 100 meters out, yet she went on to winning it by a 2 1/2-length in 1 minute 46.7 seconds. MEINE SAMANTHA ran for second, a 1/2-length in front of OSUMI HARUKA, in the field of 17 runners. It was the third-straight-win for YAMANIN ALABASTER(by Golden Pheasant), who paid 320 yen for win as favorite.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Impressive Daily Hai Win For Shenck

Under the hand of Yuichi Fukunaga, MARUKA SHENCK stormed home in the Kyoto soft ground to win the Daily Hai Nisai Stakes(g2) for 2-year-olds as favorite on Saturday. His winning style was so impressive that he scorched in the outside passage down the final stretch, blowing past the rivals for a two-length victory. The winning time for the 1,600 meters was 1 minute 37.2 seconds. Running second was DIAMOND HEAD, who finished a neck before SUPER HORNET. Trained at Ritto by T. Setoguchi, MARUKA SHENCK is a Sunday Silence colt out of Shenck, by Zafonic.

Japan Cup Foreign Nominations

Selection process of the invitational horses from overseas is just under way when a total of 53 foreigners have been nominated for the 2005 Japan Cup to be held at Tokyo on November 27. Notable nominees in the world-famous Japanese race include Alkaased, Bago, Better Talk Now, Electrocutionist, Grey Swallow, Norse Dancer, Oratorio, Ouija Board, Powerscourt, Warrsan and Yeats.

In the meantime, the Nov.26 Japan Cup Dirt has 20 foreign nominees including Borrego, Lava Man, Rock Hard Ten, Saint Liam and Starcraft.

Shuka Sho Odds

As of Saturday at 5:30 p.m., Rhein Kraft has been installed as the odds-on favroite at 1.8(or 4-5) for the Shuka Sho. Air Messiah was at 3.0(or 2-1) for the second favorite. The rest of the field was 20.0(or 19-1) or higher price. The going could be a major factor for the both top favorites. It is certain that the firm ground suits them better.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Shuka Trend

3 favorites have won in the last 9 years and 2nd favorites have the same winning number. During the same period, surprises are twice - Buzen Candle(paid 8,810 jpy as 12th pick in 1999) and Tico Tico Tac(paid 4,480 jpy as 10th pick in 2000). Rose Stakes is a key prep; 5 winners and 6 runner-ups run there in the last 9.

Brief Shuka Sho History

As part of modification for JRA racing program in 1996, the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup was open to older females. In line with this, the Shuka Sho for 3-year-old fillies was founded in the same year. It is considered to be the final leg of the Triple Crown series for 3-year-olds fillies. The top-class fillies compete the g1 event before challenging the older females in the QEIICC.

Two Top Fillies to clash again in Shuka

Air Messiah and Rhein Kraft will meet the fourth time in Sunday's Shuka Sho at Kyoto. In the absence of Oaks winner Cesario, the pair certainly stand out among the entrants.

The two met three times with Rhein Kraft finishing ahead of Air Messiah twice. Rhein Kraft won the Fillies' Revue(g2) and Oka Sho(g1)(Japanese 1000 Guineas) earlier season, while Air Messiah finished third and fourth respectively in those races. But, in the Rose Stakes(g2), the last time the two met on the course, Air Messiah beat Rhein Kraft for a 1/2-length victory as the two made clear of the rest of the field.

Before the Rose, Rhein Kraft claimed the NHK Mile Cup(g1) victory, while Air Messiah got a close second in the Japanese Oaks(g1). The Shuka could come down to a close finish like the Rose if the both fillies run their races.

Shuka Sho draws 18 fillies

The 10th running of the Shuka Sho, grade one
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Kyoto, Race 11
3-year-old fillies, 2,000 meters, turf, right-handed
total purse: 174.48 million jpy
weight: 55 kgs
field: 18
post time: 3:40 p.m.(JST)

bn*/hn**/horse name/jockey
1 2 JADEITEe KIkezoe
2 4 T M MEDALIST YHashimoto
3 5 RHEIN KRAFT YFukunaga
5 9 FELICIA FKomaki
7 13 SHE'LL BE BACK MMatsuoka
7 15 SLEW RATE KWatanabe
8 17 TOKAI LUNA KKitamura
8 18 LAILAPS MMatsunaga
* - bracket number
** - horse number(post number)

Sunday's Fuchu Himba

Tokyo hosts the Fuchu Himba Stakes for 3-year-old and upwards fillies and mare as a feature race for the Oct.16 Tokyo meeting.The 17 famales has entered the grade three event going 1,800 meters on Tokyo turf.

Daily Hai field

The eleven 2-year-old colts will compete the Daily Hai Nisai Stakes(g2) Saturday at Kyoto. The post positions(horse numbers) with jockeys for the 1,600-meter turf race are as follows:

1 Maruka Shenck(by Sunday Silence) YFukunaga
2 Hard Bakushin O(by Sakura Bakushin O) SKawashima
3 Meiner Fama(by Forty Niner) KIkezoe
4 Rikka Kiseki(by Nihon Pillow Winner) HGoto
5 Super Hornet(by Rodrigo de Triano) HShii
6 Tamuro Sturdy(by Grass Wonder) RWada
7 M S World(by Stay Gold) HMiyuki
8 Diamond Head(by Sunday Silence) YTake
9 Meiho Hop(by Eishin Sandy) MMukoyama
10 Toyo Slew O(USA)(by Swain) FKomaki
11 Go Go Kirishima(by King Halo) MIshibashi
All starters carry 55 kgs.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Shuka Sho Nominations

A total of 29 fillies have been nominated for the Shuka Sho, which serves as the final leg of Triple Crown series for 3-year-old fillies, taking place at Kyoto on Sunday, October 16th.

Lincoln ends long drought in Kyoto

LINCOLN ended a long drought Sunday afternoon at Kyoto as he won the Kyoto Daishoten(g2) under Yutaka Take. It was the first time that he made a visit to the winner's circle since March in 2004 when he gained the Hanshin Daishoten(g2) victory.

LINCOLN, the favorite in the field of 12, battled gamely inside 200 meters to beat the resisting COIN TOSS for a half length victory. FAST TATEYAMA finished another 3 lengths behind to get third. The winning time for the 2,400 meters was 2 minutes 25.4 seconds.

Under the color of Hideko Kondo, LINCOLN has now earned more than 385 million jpy with five wins of his 17 races. The Hidetaka Otonashi-trained horse is a 5-year-old son of Sunday Silence and the Tony Bin mare Grace Admire. Northern Farm is a breeder of him.

S Pegasus upsets Mainichi

Ninth choice SUNRISE PEGASUS sailed behind the leading pack early on and took command in the mid-stretch to have an upset victory in the Mainichi Okan(g2) Sunday at Tokyo. Sixth choice TELEGNOSIS took a charge in the very final stage to finish a 1 3/4-length behind the winner in second. Another one length back 13th choice KEIAI GUARD took third in the field of 17 for the 1,800-meter test.

Favorite DAIWA MAJOR and second favorite SWEEP TOSHO, respectively, finished fifth and sixth.

Hiroki Goto guided the winner to cover the distance in 1 minute 46.5 seconds on grass. SUNRISE PEGASUS returned 1,790 jpy for win. In the combination of the first three, the 12-4-7 trifecta paid a huge amount of 1,479,620 jpy.

Sei Ishizaka, trainer of SUNRISE PEGASUS, said, "He made a move before the final turn. I thought it was too early, but it turned out to be a very good move." "I expect him to get be improved for the next action as the second start from a layoff." The Tenno Sho Autumn(g1) will be his next run and he could be a serious contender there.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

C Bulk, early favorite for Mainichi

COSMO BULK has been installed as the early favorite, as of Saturday at 5:30 p.m.(JST), for the Mainichi Okan(g2) at odds of 4.5(or 7-2). Disappointed in the Takarazuka Kinen(g1) last outing, the NAR colt attempts to make the first success since September in 2004 as he won the St.Lite Kinen. Katsumi Ando is going to be aboard him for the first time. SWEEP TOSHO, a dual g1 winner who came here with the impressive Takarazuka win, was the second favorite at 5.1(or 41-10). COMPANY looking for the first grade victory was at 5.5(or 9-2), followed by the 2004 Satsuki Sho winner DAIWA MAJOR for the 6.1(or 51-10) fourth favorite. The rest of the field was 10.0(or 9-1) or higher. The 17 runners will go to the post Sunday at 3:35 p.m.(JST) for the 1,800-meter turf race at Tokyo.

To be jockeyed by Yutaka Take for the reunion, LINCOLN has been the odds-on favorite for the Kyoto Daishoten(g2) at 1.9(or 9-10). SAKURA CENTURY was at 5.5(or 9-2) for the second favorite. BIG GOLD was followed at 9.5(or 17-2) for the third favorite. The rest of the field was 10.0(or 9-1) or higher price. The Kyoto Daishoten will be contested by 12 at Kyoto over 2,400 meters. The post time will be Sunday at 3:45 p.m.(local time).

Friday, October 07, 2005

A filly continues to challenge in male company

SWEEP TOSHO, who won the Takarazuka Kinen(g1) in the top-class male company last June on her latest effort, will kick off her fall campaign when she faces the 16 rivals in the 1,800-meter Mainichi Okan, a grade two feature for the Tokyo meeting on Sunday. Prior to the Takarazuka, the End Sweep filly finished a respectable second in the Yasuda Kinen(g1) where the competitive male company also assembled.

For her style of late-striding run, the Nakayama short stretch could be a negative factor, and 1kg up in weight from the Takarazuka could be also a key element. This will be the perfect spot before she takes on the Tenno Sho Autumn. A repeat effort like the last two starts would be good enough to best the competitive company. Regular rider Kenichi Ikezoe is sitting to break from post 13. In the Mainichi field, SWEEP TOSHO is the only filly.

The bracket numbers followed by the horse numbers(gate numbers) with jockeys and weight(kgs) are as follows:

1 1 Erimo Harrier HShii 57
1 2 Higher Game YShibata 57
2 3 Daiwa Major NYokoyama 58
2 4 Telegnosis MKatsuura 58
3 5 Suzuno March HKitamura 57
3 6 Balance of Game KTanaka 58
4 7 Keiai Guard YShibayama 57
4 8 Meisho Kaido HMiyuki 57
5 9 Cosmo Bulk KAndo 57
5 10 Hat Trick MEbina 57
6 11 Kanahara Dragon SIshibashi 57
6 12 Sunrise Pegasus HGoto 58
7 13 Sweep Tosho KIkezoe 57
7 14 Silent Greene YItagaki 57
8 15 Grass Eiko O(USA) SFujita 57
8 16 Company YFukunaga 57
8 17 Lord Flag SNihonyanagi 57

Kyoto Daishoten draws

The Kyoto Daishoten(g2) at Kyoto over 2,400 meters on turf drew 12. The post positions with jockeys and weight(kgs) for the Hanshin feature event on Sunday are as follows:

1 Sakura Century TSato 58
2 Big Gold RWada 57
3 Southern Twister FKomaki 57
4 Tenjin Musashi YYoshida 57
5 Fast Tateyama KTake 57
6 Lincoln YTake 57
7 Born King SAkiyama 57
8 Marble Chief SKumazawa 57
9 Chakra KAkagi 57
10 My Sole Sound MHonda 58
11 Daddy's Dream JTakada 57
12 Coin Toss YFujioka 57

Monday, October 03, 2005

S Witness triumphs Sprinters for Hong Kong

SILENT WITNESS(AUS) of Hong Kong triumphed the Sprinters Stakes(g1) in great style yesterday afternoon. It was the first time that a foreign horse had taken the 1,200-meter sprint. "He is a great horse and he has proved it today.", said Felix Coetzee, a South African native jockey who never missed aboard the big bay gelding.

CALSTONE LIGHT O rushed into front, while SILENT WITNESS held a good position, just outside of SHE IS TOSHO. Coetzee said, "When he got the position, about third or fourth place following the horses. I was very very confident."

Coming around the final turn into the stretch, SILENT WITNESS was next to GALLANT ARROW in second. From there, many were all eyes on him. With 100 meters to go, Coetzee forced his horse to grab the lead from the weakening CALSTONE LIGHT O. SILENT WITNESS got up home in 1 minute 7.3 seconds for a 1 1/4-length victory.

Coetzee said in the TV interview, "He went past Calstone Light O and he pricked his ears like he does at home when he hit the front, but I just proposed its foreign track for him and he's never raced here. So, I gave him a few backhand smack, just keeping him remind on the business and so you know if anything is coming you just can't take a chance."

DURANDAL and ADMIRE MAX came in late, finishing second and third respectively. A 1/2-length separated the two. As the 2.0(or even) favorite, SILENT WITNESS paid 200 yen for win.

More than 57,700 people turned out on the Sprinters day at Nakayama.

By El Moxie out of Jade Tiara, by Bureaucracy, SILENT WITNESS has earnings of more than 814 million yen with a career record of 20-18-1-1. Anthony Cruz and Arthur da Silva, respectively, trains and owns him. IK Smith is a breeder of the 6-year-old gelding.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Sprinters Stakes Update

SILENT WITNESS(AUS), the Hong Kong hero, triumphed the Sprinters Stakes(g1) in great style at Nakayama. It was the first time in racing history that a foreign horse has taken the 1,200-meter race.

B Concorde takes Sirius

BLUE CONCORDE with the top weight of 58 kgs led the field of 13 at mid-strech to take the 1,400-meter Sirius Stakes(g3) on Sunday. This was the three-straight-victory for him to pick up the 7th victory in 24 starts. MILLION BELL came in second, finishing a 3/4-length behind the winner and 1 1/2-length before third-placed MEINER MORGEN. Hideaki Miyuki was the winning jockey. The winning time was 1 minute 23.9 seconds at Hanshin dirt course.

Shining Moon

ADMIRE MOON broke the pack in the stretch, winning the Sapporo Nisai Stakes(g3) for 2-year-olds Saturday at Sapporo Racecourse. Running second was DEEP AIR, who finished a 1 1/2-length behind the winner. MOERE GENIUS took third in the field of 13. The final time wasw 1 minute 50.4 seconds for the 1,800-meter distance on grass.

The winning rider Masaru Honda said, "He lugged in down the stretch.", and added "He finished with a strong kick."

ADMIRE MOON, trained by H. Matsuda and owned by R. Kondo, has now three as many in starts with more than 55 milion yen. Bred in Hayakita, Hokkaido, the bay colt is a son of late End Sweep and the Sunday Silence mare Katies.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Silent Witness early favorite for Sprinters

As of Saturday at 5:30pm JST, SILENT WITNESS(AUS) of Hong Kong has been installed as the odds-on favorite for the Sprinters Stakes at odds of 1.8(or 4-5). DURANDAL was at 4.1(or 31-10) for the second favorite. The 10.2(or 46-5) third favorite was ADMIRE MAX. PRECIOUS CAFE was the fourth choice at 17.5(or 33-2), followed by SHE IS TOSHO at 18.1(or 171-10). Another Hong Kong-based based horse CAPE OF GOOD HOPE(GB) was the sixth choice at 22.9(or 219-10). The rest of the field was at 25.0(or 24-1) or higher.