Monday, October 30, 2006

Daiwa Major takes Tenno Sho Autumn

The 2006 Tenno Sho Autumn was won Sunday afternoon at Tokyo in a sensational stalking style by fourth favorite Daiwa Major, who beat seventh favorite Swift Current by a 1/2-length. Admire Moon came with a late run to snatch third, a 3/4-length behind, with Cosmo Bulk another 3/4-length away fourth. Sweep Tosho, the 3.9 favorite in the field of 16, finished fifth, another 3/4-length further back.

Inti Raimi set the pace. On several lengths back, Katsumi Ando settled Daiwa Major nicely, as head of the big pack. “The pace was an ideal one to my horse.”, said Ando. Inti Raimi was still in front as the field made the final turn into the stretch, but Daiwa Major took it up while climbing up the stretch hill.

On the inside, Swift Current loomed in the picture. Norihiro Yokoyama brought him almost the same level with Daiwa Major, but Ando asked for a final effort and Daiwa Major never gave up his position, coming at the winning post in 1 minute 58.8 seconds.

All the problems Daiwa Major had was left behind and the highest honor has been given again to his connection following his Satsuki Sho win two seasons ago. His next run is likely to be the Mile Championship.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Comeback win for Precise Machine in Swan

The Swan Stakes(g2) took place Saturday at Kyoto. In the 1,400-meter event, Precise Machine won by a half length having produced an impressive turn of foot throughout the stretch. Symboli Gran(IRE) was next home, a half length in front of third-placed Agnes Raspberry. The winning rider was Masami Matsuoka after completing the distance in 1 minute 20.3 seconds on Kyoto main surface.

This will be Precise Machine’s first win since December 2004 when he won the Chunichi Shimbun Hai at Chukyo. The 7-year-old horse by Mayano Top Gun out of the Sunday Silence mare Be Silent, has now won eight in 23 starts for trainer K.Hagiwara and ower S.Iketani.

Seeking the Best takes Musashino

Seeking the Best finally grabbed a grade victory when he won the Musashino Stakes(g3) in stalking fashion Saturday at Tokyo. Masaki Katsuura rode the winner, covering the 1,600-meter trip in 1 minute 35.3 seconds on dirt surface. Second was Sunrise Bacchus, a 3/4-length behind the winner and a 1 1/4-length before Field Rounge. Heavy favorite Fusaichi Richard finished fifth in the 16-horse field.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Saturday's Graded Races

Saturday sees the Musashino Stakes(g3), a major prep for the Japan Cup Dirt, for a feature of Tokyo meeting. The 16 runners will go to the post for the 1,600-meter dirt contest at 3:40 p.m.

Kyoto hosts the Swan Stakes(g2) for which the 18 horses have been entered. It runs over 1,400 meter on turf. The post time will be at 3:45 p.m.

Foreign invitees for Japan Cup

A total of 10 foreign invitees for the 2006 Japan Cup have been selected as follows:

Best Name
English Channel
El Segundo
Go Deputy
Hurricane Run
Ouija Board
(in alphabetic order)

Selected foreign invitees for the 2006 Japan Cup Dirt are:

Good Reward
Lava Man
Premium Tap
(in alphabetic order)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Field set for Tenno Sho Autumn

A field for the Tenno Sho Autumn has been drawn. The 17 horses have been entered for the g1 2,000-meter turf to be run this Sunday at Tokyo. The field in post position with weights(in kgs) and jockeys is:

1 Asakusa Den'en h7 58 S.Fujita
2 Company h5 58 Y.Fukunaga
3 Sakura Mega Wonder c3 56 H.Uchida
4 Dance in the Mood m5 56 H.Kitamura
5 Lohengrin h7 58 Y.Shibata
6 Trillion Cut(USA) h6 58 R.Wada
7 Sweep Tosho m5 56 K.Ikezoe
8 Cosmo Bulk h5 58 F.Igarashi
9 Inti Raimi c4 58 T.Sato
10 Swift Current h5 58 N.Yokoyama
11 Fast Tateyama h7 58 K.Take
12 Hat Trick h5 58 Y.Iwata
13 Osumi Grass One c4 58 H.Shii
14 Daiwa Major h5 58 K.Ando
15 Admire Moon c3 56 Y.Take
16 Great Journey h5 58 M.Ebina
17 Rosenkreuz c4 58 F.Komaki
Post time: 3:40 p.m.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Kikuka Song

The sensational feature of the Sunday afternoon’s Kyoto meeting was the victory of Song of Wind in the Kikuka Sho(Japanese St.Leger), which he won in record time after a neck-and-neck battle. In the 3,000-meter turf, Song of Wind beat Dream Passport by a neck with Admire Main another 1 3/4-length away third. A 2 1/2-length further back favorite Meisho Samson got fourth with Axion fifth.

As expected, Yutaka Take let Admire Main go into the lead from start, and opened up, with a big pack of the 17 runners far back, coming into the stretch for the first time. Setting the pace for the first 1,000-meter in 58.7 seconds, Admire Main remained a big lead throughout the backstretch. Koshiro Take, a brother of Yutaka Take, allowed Song of Wind to sit on far back of the big pack until, going into the far turn for the second time, he was on the quick move outside.

Admire Main was still far ahead of the pack while turning for home for the second time. Within 300 meters to go, Meisho Samson moved into second on the inside, but he was done and his hope for the Triple Crown win was gone.

A thrilling finish began as Dream Passport and Song of Wind drove out of the pack to challenge. With a strenuous stride, the two traveled side by side and then proceeded to take Admire Main out of the picture at around 50 meters remaining. The exciting finish then completed when Song of Wind got a final stride, putting his neck into front at the line. The clock stopped at 3 minutes 2.7 seconds for the course record.

Koshiro Take said, “All I tried to do was to run him as relax as possible in the early pace. I got a good response out of him and a good harmony with him. We found ourselves running far back of the pack(third from last), but I decided to stay there for saving his best late stride.” “The leader was far in front at the final turn, so whether we could catch him was uncertain. I desperately pushed him thru the stretch.”

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Fuji Stakes won by outsider

The g3 Fuji Stakes was won Saturday afternoon by outsider Kinetics, who rallied to take over in the top stretch en route to gaining a half-length victory. Air Shady ran second, finishing a neck in front of third-placed favorite Suzuka Phoenix in the field of 18.
The final time for 1,600 meters on turf was 1 minute 32.8 seconds.

Delta Blues finished a good third in the Caulfield Cup Saturday, while Pop Rock ran seventh. The two will be heading to the Melbourne Cup.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Stage Set For Kikuka Sho

The eighteen 3-year-old colts have been entered for the 2006 Kikuka Sho(Japanese St.Leger) Sunday at Kyoto over 3,000 meters on grass. The field in post position with jockeys is:

1 Toho Alan S.Fujita
2 Mistral Cruise K.Ikezoe
3 Silk Crusader S.Akiyama
4 Tagano Marshal R.Wada
5 Admire Main Y.Take
6 Never Bouchon S.Ishibashi
7 Maruka Shenck Y.Fukunaga
8 Manno Racing F.Komaki
9 Intelleto Y.Fujioka
10 Fusaichi Junk Y.Iwata
11 Tosen Shana O L.Innes
12 Meisho Samson M.Ishibashi
13 Dream Passport N.Yokomaya
14 Aperitif K.Ando
15 Axion K.Tanaka
16 Tosho Scirocco Y.Yoshida
17 Passing Mark H.Shii
18 Song of Wind K.Take
Weight: 57kgs
Post time: 3:40 p.m. JST

Tokyo features Fuji Stakes

Tokyo features the Fuji Stakes(g3) for 3-year-olds and up on Saturday. The field with weights(in kgs) and jockeys for the 1,600-meter turf is:

1 Mateor Burst h5 56 S.Fujita
2 Meiner Scherzi c3 56 Y.Shibata
3 Mejiro Meyer h7 57 K.Tanaka
4 Super Hornet c3 54 Y.Yoshida
5 School Boy h6 56 J.Ono
6 Camphor Best h7 57 T.Eda
7 Denshamichi c3 54 H.Goto
8 Telegnosis h7 58 T.Ono
9 Vril(AUS) h5 56 L.Innes
10 San Valentin h5 56 T.Sato
11 Fuji Silence h6 57 H.Kitamura
12 Kinetics h7 56 M.Katsuura
13 Suzuka Phoenix c4 56 Y.Take
14 Dance in the More c4 57 M.Ebina
15 Incentive Guy h5 56 N.Yokoyama
16 Air Shady h5 56 K.Ando
17 New Very h8 56 H.Shii
18 Tanino Martini h6 56 N.Sugai
Post time: 3:40 p.m. JST

Thursday, October 19, 2006

27 Nominees for Kikuka Sho

A total of 27 horses headed by dual classic winner Meisho Samson have been nominated for the 2006 Kikuka Sho, the last leg of Triple Crown series for 3-year-olds, held this Sunday at Kyoto over 3,000 meters on grass. The Kikuka Sho field will be drawn on Friday morning.

Brief History
The first running of the Kikuka Sho(Japanese St.Leger), not so-called until 1947, was in 1938. This is one of the rare marathon races in the country, held at Kyoto where contestants run over the third corner hill twice in 3,000-meter trip to be tested their stamina. In combination with the Satsuki Sho(Japanese 2000 Guineas) and Japanese Derby, Kikuka Sho is the last leg of the Triple Crown Races.

Two JRA horses run at Down Under

Two JRA horses will take on the Australian group one company when they run in the Caulfield Cup Saturday at Caulfield. Delta Blues with the top weight of 56kgs has drawn post 17 and Nash Rawiller takes the mount, while Pop Rock with Damien Oliver on his back will break from post 11.

Good luck!  Delta Blues and Pop Rock

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

K Princess Confirms Best 3YO Filly

The 2006 Shuka Sho(g1) was won Sunday afternoon by Kawakami Princess, ridden by veteran jockey Masaru Honda, who confirmed the best 3-year-old filly in the country. Second was Asahi Rising and beaten by a half length. Another 1 1/4-length back, third was Fusaichi Pandora. Race favorite Admire Kiss was fourth with Shells Lei fifth in the field of 18.

Toshi the Sansan was out in lead leaving the second corner with Koiuta and Shells Lei following. As the first three were far in front, Asahi Rising was at fourth. On far back, Kawakami Princess was lying about 9th.

As they made the final turn into the stretch for home, Shells Lei was into the lead and Asahi Rising just trailed. At around 300 meters from home, Asahi Rising took over. Kawakami Princess was trailing by five or six lengths with Fusaichi Pandora laboring on the inside of her.

For the rest of the way, Honda asked for a big effort and Kawakami Princess came rapidly, closing the gap at every stride. She forged ahead, stride by stride, just prevailing for the winning post.

Honda said, "I though we had no chance of winning at final turn, but she got up to the line just in time. She has an excellent finishing kick."

Following the Japanese Oaks, this was the second g1 victory for Kawakami Princess, who remained undefeated in five starts. The King Halo filly out of the Seattle Slew mare Takano Secretary has now earned more than 255.6 million jpy for owner and breeder of Mitsuishi Kawakami Bokujo. Katsuichi Nishiura trains the bay filly at Ritto. Her next action will be the Queen Elizabeth Commemorative Cup(g1) on November 12 at Kyoto to face the older females.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Foreign nominees for Japan Cup

A total of 50 foreign horses have been preliminarily nominated for the Japan Cup which is to be run Sunday November 26 at Tokyo. In the meantime, the Nov. 25 Japan Cup Dirt has 17 foreign nominees. (source: JRA)

Field set for Shuka Sho

A field of 18 three-year-old fillies is set for the Shuka Sho(g1) Sunday at Kyoto over 2,000 meters on turf. The field in post position with jockeys is as follows:

1 Kiss to Heaven K.Ando
2 Solid Platinum F.Komaki
3 Touch the Peak K.Ikezoe
4 Shells Lei Y.Iwata
5 Fusaichi Pandora Y.Fukunaga
6 Blumenblatt S.Kawashima
7 Secret Code M.Yokomaya
8 Hosho Ruby(USA) Y.Fujioka
9 Admire Kiss Y.Take
10 Yamato Marion H.Miyuki
11 Keep Your Smile K.Tanaka
12 Kawakami Princess M.Honda
13 Cendrillon S.Akiyama
14 Broncone R.Wada
15 Nishino Fujimusume S.Fujita
16 Asahi Rising Y.Shibata
17 Toshi the Sansan S.Kumazawa
18 Koiuta H.Yoshida
All starters carry 55kgs.
The post time will be at 3:40 p.m. JST.

The 18 fillies and mares will go to the post for the Fuchu Himba Stakes(g3) Sunday at Tokyo. The field with jockeys in post position is:

1 Yamaninmerveilleux m5 M.Katsuura
2 Ribbon Art m5 M.Matsuoka
3 Daring Heart f4 H.Goto
4 Yamanin Sucre m5 H.Shii
5 Les Clefs d’Or m5 M.Ebina
6 Hozan Glamour m7 T.Tanaka
7 Mlle de Paris m5 N.Onishi
8 Dia de la Novia f4 H.Kitamura
9 Lofty Aim f4 S.Ishibashi
10 Winglet m5 H.Kowata
11 Coreless Patio m5 T.Kikuzawa
12 Spring Drew m6 Y.Shibayama
13 Jacky Taste m5 T.Eda
14 Lailaps f4 R.Sameshima
15 Cosmo Marvelous f4 L.Innes
16 Sanrei Jasper f4 E.Nakadate
17 Eishin Tender f4 K.Take
18 Princess Dolce f3 Y.Yoshida
Weight: 55kgs for 4yo+, 54kgs for 3yo
The post time will be at 3.30 p.m. JST.

Saturday Kyoto meeting features the Daily Hai Nisai Stakes(g2) for which the 13 two-year-olds have been entered. The field with jockeys for the 1,600-meter event is:

1 Crown Princess f F.Komaki
2 All Right Now c K.Ando
3 Maruka Hannibal c Y.Fukunaga
4 Osumi Daido c Y.Take
5 Laurel Guerreiro c M.Honda
6 Cool Superior g H.Shii
7 King’s Delight c T.Koike
8 Snark Tomokun c R.Wada
9 Al Sirat(USA) c S.Fujita
10 Meisho Baldr c 55 M.Ishibashi
11 Meiner Soliste c Y.Iwata
12 Alhaja f S.Akiyama
13 Keiai My Ski(USA) c H.Miyuki
Weight: 55kgs for colts and geldings, 54kgs for fillies
The post time will be at 3:45 p.m. JST.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Deep Impact to retire end of this season

Deep Impact will be retired from racing the end of this season and go to stud at Shadai Stallion Station, his trainer Yasuo Ikee announced in the press Wednesday on behalf of owner Makoto Kaneko. The Sunday Silence 4-year-old colt will be syndicated into 60 shares for 5.1 billion yen.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Thrilling Mainichi Okan goes to Daiwa Major

The Mainichi Okan(g2) was won in a thrilling head-to-head battle Sunday afternoon at Tokyo by Daiwa Major, ridden by veteran Katsumi Ando. The 2004 Satsuki Sho winner won it by a neck from Dance in the Mood. The third went to Lohengrin with Maruka Shenck finishing another nose behind in fourth. Disappointment for the 1,800-meter race was Asakusa Den’en, finishing 13th in the field of 16. The final time was 1 minute 45.5 seconds, 0.1 second slower than the course record.

Third favorite Daiwa Major saved the ground to chase pace-setting Mejiro Mantle early on. As the field came around the turn into the straight, Ando forced Daiwa Major into the front. On the outside, Second favorite Dance in the Mood challenged. The International stakes winner was then in the lead, but Daiwa Major fought back. A 200-meter from home, neither of the two yielded and they traveled side by side. An exciting finish, however, ended when Daiwa Major put his neck into front at the line.

Sweep Tosho bests a male grade company

Sweep Tosho with Kenichi Ikezoe up bested a grade company of 10 males to win the Kyoto Daishoten(g2) Sunday afternoon at Kyoto. After the second favorite traveled the 2,400-meter distance on firm ground, the final time was 2 minutes 31.5 seconds.

A 3/4-lengh behind the winner, seventh pick Fast Tateyama got second with fifth pick Tosho Knight another neck away third. Inti Raimi, who backed as the favorite, was a disappointing seventh.

As the field made the final turn into the stretch, Sweep Tosho was placed on the inside. Ikezoe had been made to come inside. It seemed impossible that she could split between horses, but once Ikezoe found the room, she just got up to the line with an eye-catching turn of foot.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Mood in Mainichi Okan

CashCall Invitational Stakes(g1) winner Dance in the Mood has been entered to the grade two Mainichi Okan at Tokyo Sunday. The Sunday Silence mare breezed the 1,000 meters in 64.2 seconds on Wednesday in her drill before the Sunday’s grade two event. She will face the 15 rivals of the strong stakes company.

The Mainichi Okan field with weights(in kgs) and jockeys in post position order is:

1 Sidewider h8 57 K.Hasegawa
2 Daiwa Bandit(USA) h5 57 J.Ono
3 Mejiro Mantle h9 57 Y.Yoshida
4 Company h5 58 Y.Fukunaga
5 Osumi Grass One c4 57 H.Shii
6 Craft Work h6 57 N.Yokoyama
7 Asakusa Den'en h7 58 S.Fujita
8 Logic c3 57 Y.Take
9 Great Journey h5 57 M.Ebina
10 Dance in the Mood m5 56 H.Kitamura
11 Hat Trick h5 59 Y.Iwata
12 Maruka Shenck c3 55 Y.Shibata
13 Lohengrin h7 57 K.Tanaka
14 Sakura Mega Wonder c3 H.Goto
15 Telegnosis h7 58 T.Ono
16 Daiwa Major h5 58 K.Ando
The post time will be at 3:40p.m.JST

On the same day, Kyoto hosts the grade two Kyoto Daishoten for which the 11 runners have been entered. The post position with weights and jockeys for the 2,400-meter turf is:

1 Inti Raimi c4 57 H.Miyuki
2 Alfajores h6 57 Y.Fujioka
3 Nisshin Green m5 55 M.Higashikawa
4 My Sole Sound h7 57 M.Honda
5 Rosekreuz c4 57 F.Komaki
6 Stratagem h5 57 S.Kumazawa
7 Tosho Knight h5 57 T.Bushizawa
8 Fast Tateyama h7 57 K.Take
9 Sweep Tosho m5 56 K.Ikezoe
10 Key Volante h7 57 K.Uchida
11 Eye Popper h6 57 R.Wada
The post time will be at 3:50p.m. JST

Deep Impact, recent third in the Arc, will run either the Japan Cup or the Arima Kinen to wrap up his 2006 season, according to his trainer Yasuo Ikee. No determination has been made about that he continues to be in training next season.

Monday, October 02, 2006

On Target

Having engaged an early duel with Silent Witness of Hong Kong and Suteki Shinsukekun, Takeover Target of Australia fought them off and pulled clear at the top-stretch, winning the Sprinters Stakes(g1) Sunday afternoon at Nakayama. He won by a decisive 1 1/2-length from Meisho Bowler, who finished strongly in the inside for second. It was another neck behind that Tagano Bastille came with a strong late charge on the inside to deprive Silent Witness of third place. Benbaun of England was next in fifth in the field of 16. Jay Ford was aboard the winner after completing the 1,200-meter trip in 1 minute 8.1 seconds on good grass.

Silent Witness broke well and went into front, but his lead was short-lived when Takeover Target from the inside and Suteki Shinsukekun from the outside collared him. Thanks to the duel by the three, the pace was pretty fast, setting the opening 600-meter in 32.8 seconds.

By the time the field reached the third turn, Takeover Target took advantage of his inside position and had the slight lead with Silent Witness right next to him. On the outside of Silent Witness, Suteki Shinsukekun labored.

Takeover Target was ready to take off on the final turn. Coming into the stretch, he reserved plenty of power to shift into a second gear. When he did so, the rest was left behind. The Australian champion sprinter just galloped to the finish for an overwhelming victory.

With this victory, Takeover Target clinched the championship for the Global Challenge Trophy.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Update on Sprinters Stakes

Takeover Target(AUS) of Australia pulled away in the stretch to win the Sprinters Stakes(jpn-g1) Sunday afternoon at Nakayama. A 1 1/2-length behind the winner, Meisho Bowler finished second with Tagano Bastille finishing another neck back in third. Silent Witness(AUS) of Hong Kong ran fourth, finishing another head behind. Benbaun(IRE) of England was fifth in the field of 16 runners. Jay Ford was aboard the winner to complete the 1,200-meter trip in 1 minute 8.1 seconds on good ground.

Three-straight-win for Meisho Batter in Sirius

It was a three-straight-win at g3 dirt event for Meisho Battler when she won the Sirius Stakes(g3) Saturday afternoon at Chukyo. “She got going very well and defied the imposed weight of 56kgs.”, said the winning jockey Tetsuzo Sato.

Meisho Battler, stalking the early pace in the 15-horse field, took the lead at around 200 meters from home to win the 1,700-meter Sirius S in 1 minute 43.1 seconds by a 1 1/2-length. Tsumujikaze(USA) finished second, a 1 1/2-length in front of Kinetics, who closed from the rear for third.

Meisho Battler, a 6-year-old mare by Meisho Homura, who is trained by Shigetada Takahashi, has now registered the eighth win of her 23 races. The 39+ million yen first purse for the Sirius Stakes brought her career earnings to more than 302 million yen.

Favorite wins Sapporo Nisai in good style

Race favorite Namura Mars got past the three rivals near the line, winning the Sapporo Nisai Stakes(g3) by a 1/2-length from Admire Head, who edged third-placed Excuse by a nose for second place in the field of 12 juveniles. Yusuke Fujioka steered the winner to complete the 1,800-meter distance in 1 minute 49.7 seconds on firm grass.

By Chief Bearhart out of the French Glory mare Bistro de Paris, Namura Mars, trained at Ritto by Nobuharu Fukushima, has now won three in seven starts with more than 60 million yen in earnings.