Monday, November 27, 2006

Deep Impact back on winning track

Great attendance Sunday at Tokyo. Many racing fans turned out there to see their hero coming right back on the winning track. That’s exactly happened when heavy favorite Deep Impact lived up to their expectations with a great triumph for the 2006 Japan Cup(g1).

Coming from the dead last, Deep Impact, confidently ridden by Yutaka Take, flashed up 10 rivals on his way to crossing the winning post in 2 minutes 25.1 seconds by two lengths over Dream Passport. Another 1/2-length back, third was Ouija Board. Cosmo Bulk and Fusaichi Pandora finished, respectively, fourth and fifth to complete the finishing order of money earners. Disappointment was second favorite Heart’s Cry, finishing 10th.

The 11 runners bunched up when they entered the stretch.
Right before the field reached the final turn, Deep Impact made an early move as Yutaka Take gave him a go-sign, and he exploded throughout the stretch when Take pulled him to the outside. Second-placed Dream Passport, taking over from Cosmo Bulk at around 300 meters to go, offered no resistance when overtaken by Deep Impact.Third-placed Ouija Board was blocked behind horses at top stretch, but Dettori switched her to the middle before finishing strongly.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Star on the rise in JCD

Alondite came from nowhere in the highest level when he beat the 14 strong rivals, claiming yesterday’s Japan Cup Dirt(g1) victory at Tokyo. The 3-year-old colt won the JRA biggest dirt event by a 1 1/4-length from favorite Seeking the Dia(USA). Another 1 1/4-length further back, Field Rouge ran third with Vermillion fourth, another 3/4-length further away. Hiroki Goto was aboard the winner to complete the 2,100-meter distance in 2 minutes 8.5 seconds on dirt.

As the field made the final turn into the stretch, it seemed that Goto and Alondite did not have a clear path, but, outside 400 meters from home, when the room was opened up for them, Alondite just split between Meisho Battler and the rail, quickening up into the front. On the outside, Yutaka Take’s Seeking the Dia came out of the crowd to challenge. A duel of the two was short-lived as Alondite just drew away from Seeking the Dia.

Alondite, once struggled in the maiden division, quickly climbed to the top level with victory in the Japan Cup Dirt, which was a five-straight-win for him. Just 5 months ago, he was a maiden. The El Condor Pasa colt, however, turned over a new leaf for switching to the dirt event to step up in class by leaps and bounds.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Stage set for 2006 Japan Cup

A stage is all set for the 26 running of the Japan Cup, held November 26 at Tokyo Racecourse. The post position order with weights(in kgs) and jockeys for the Japan Cup field is:

1 Heart's Cry 5h 57 C.Lemaire
2 Swift Current 5h 57 N.Yokoyama
3 Ouija Board(GB) 5m 55 L.Dettori
4 Yukino Sun Royal 9h 57 K.Tanaka
5 Tosen Shana O 3c 55 H.Goto
6 Deep Impact 4c 57 Y.Take
7 Dream Passport 3c 55 Y.Iwata
8 Fusaichi Pandora 3f 53 Y.Fukunaga
9 Freedonia(GB) 4f 55 T.Gillet
10 Cosmo Bulk 5h 57 F.Igarashi
11 Meisho Samson 3c 55 M.Ishibashi
The post time will be at 3:40p.m.

Japan Cup Dirt field

Saturday sees the 2006 Japan Cup Dirt at Tokyo over 2,100 meters. The post position order with weights(in kgs) and jockeys for the Japan Cup Dirt field is:

1 Vermillion 4c 57 C.Lemaire
2 Meisho Battler 6m 55 T.Sato
3 Fusaichi Richard 3c 55 H.Uchida
4 Alondite 3c 55 H.Goto
5 Gene Crisis(USA) 5h 57 F.Igarashi
6 Blue Concorde 6h 57 H.Miyuki
7 Seeking the Dia(USA) 5h 57 Y.Take
8 Alfajores 6h 57 S.Fujita
9 Osumi Hennessy 4c 57 K.Tanaka
10 My Sole Sound 7h 57 K.Tsunoda
11 Don Cool 4c 57 H.Kitamura
12 Sunrise Bacchus 4c 57 K.Ando
13 Hard Crystal 6h 57 N.Yokoyama
14 Pit Fighter 7h 57 L.Dettori
15 Field Rouge 4c 57 Y.Yoshida
The post time will be at 3:20p.m.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Small field for Japan Cup

The 2006 Japan Cup(g1), taking place November 26 at Tokyo, has only 12 nominations. It is certain that the field will be the smallest in JC history. The nominated horses for the world-famous Japanese race are as follows:

Cosmo Bulk
Deep Impact
Dia de la Novia
Dream Passport
Fusaichi Pandora
Heart's Cry
Meisho Samson
Ouija Board
Swift Current
Tosen Shana O
Yukino Sun Royal
[in alpahbetical order]

Monday, November 20, 2006

Daiwa Major takes Mile Championship

The 23rd Mile Championship(G1) was won Sunday afternoon in the drizzling Kyoto Racecourse by Daiwa Major(2.3 favorite), who broke from the pack in mid-stretch having tracked the pace. However, before a neck victory, the 5-year-old Sunday Silence horse had to deny the late challenging Dance in the Mood(6.7 second favorite) with Yutaka Take up. Third, a 1 1/4-length further back, was 8th favorite Symboli Gran(IRE).

Daiwa Major, confidently ridden by Katsumi Ando, chased pace-setting Suteki Shinsukekun(USA) early on, and then the veteran jockey forced the horse to take up the running as the field entered the Kyoto stretch. From there, Ando and Daiwa Major were never behind in the rest of the way.

Yutaka Take brought Dance in the Mood into the middle to run through the crowd, and they became the last horse to challenge, but did not prevail.

Court Materpiece made a slow start and never got into contention, finishing seventh.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Field set for Mile Championship

A maximum field of 18 is set for the Mile Championship(g1) to be run Sunday at Kyoto.

Coming off a couple of grade victories, Daiwa Major has had a fabulous fall campaign and could be one of the major players here. Dance in the Mood has disappointed a bit last time out in the Tenno Sho Autumn, but she can get the best run at a 1,600-meter trip. The field for the 1,600-meter turf includes last year’s champion Hat Trick, multiple English group one winner Court Masterpiece.

The 18-horse field in post position order with weights(in kgs) and jockeys is:

1 Course Masterpiece(GB) h6 57 L.Dettori
2 Super Hornet c3 56 H.Miyuki
3 Precise Machine h7 57 M.Matsuoka
4 Logic c3 56 C.Lemaire
5 Telegnosis h7 57 M.Ebina
6 Camphor Best h7 57 T.Eda
7 Dance in the Mood m5 55 Y.Take
8 Hat Trick h5 57 Y.Iwata
9 Suteki Shinsukekun(USA) c3 56 F.Komaki
10 Daiwa Major h5 57 K.Ando
11 Meiner Scherzi c3 56 Y.Shibata
12 New Very h8 57 H.Shii
13 Kinetics h7 57 K.Ikezoe
14 Kinshasa no Kiseki(AUS) c3 55 S.Akiyama
15 Maruka Shenck c3 56 Y.Fukunaga
16 Symboli Gran(IRE) c4 57 Y.Shibayama
17 Agnes Raspberry m5 55 K.Tsunoda
18 Daring Heart f4 55 S.Fujita
The post time will be at 3:40 p.m.

Saturday's Tokyo feature

Saturday sees the Tokyo Sports Hai Nisai Stakes(g3), a grade three race for 2-year-olds at Tokyo over 1,800 meters on grass. The field of 12 juveniles is:

1 Saratoga f M.Katsuura
2 Keiai My Ski(USA) c N.Yokoyama
3 Tosen Crown c H.Yoshida
4 Fusaichi Ho O c K.Ando
5 Elvis c E.Nakadate
6 Meiner Caro c M.Matsuoka
7 Weltmeister c L.Dettori
8 Dream Journey c M.Ebina
9 Sugano King c H.Kowata
10 Boss Amigo c I.Sugawara
11 Nishino Kondokoso c Y.Yoshida
12 Flying Apple(USA) c H.Kitamura
Weight: 55-kgs for colts, 54-kgs for fillies
Post time: 3:25 p.m.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Kawakami Princess disqualified; Fusaichi Pandora promotes to first

Kawakami Princess passed the finish line first in the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup at Kyoto, but was disqualified for interfering with Yamanin Sucre in the stretch. She was demoted to 12th place.Fusaichi Pandora, beaten by a 1 1/2-length, promoted to first. Sweep Tosho got second after finishing a neck behind Fusaichi Pandora in third place. Dia de la Novia and Asahi Rising received promotion to third and fourth respectively.

The event took place about 300 meters from home. Masaru Honda used the whip in his left hand several times. When he did so, Kawakami Princess broke in on Yamanin Sucre’s way.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Only two foreigners to participate in JC

Cosmonaut of USA was withdrawn from the invitational list. As a result, the only two foreign horses will participate in the Japan Cup.

Ouija Board, winner of the Breeders' Cup F&M, is scheduled to arrive in Japan on November 13. Meanwhile, Freedonia of France will come to Japan on November 15.
(source: JRA)

Only three foreign horses for JC

The foreign horses for this year's Japan Cup could the smallest number in its race history. As of November 12, the only three foreigners are likely to run in the Japan’s most world famous race as follows:

Cosmonaut, Freedonia and Ouija Board[alphabetic order]

Note that Best Name was withdrawn from the invitational list.

With Kandidate’s withdrawal, there is no foreign horse, as of November, to participate in the Japan Cup Dirt.

The six Japanese horses have been selected for the 2006 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Races, taking place December 10 at Sha Tin, as follows:

Admire Moon and Swift Current for the Cathay Pacific HK Cup
Admire Main and Delta Blues for the Cathay Pacific HK Vase
She is Tosho and Meisho Bowler for the Cathay Pacific HK Sprint

However, recent Melbourn Cup winner Delta Blues is likely to be withdrawn from the HK Vase because he will be heading for the Arima Kinen(g1).

Friday, November 10, 2006

Field set for QEII Cup

The field for the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup(g1) has been drawn. The 16 fillies and mares will go to the post for the 2,200-meter race at 3:40p.m. on Sunday. Kawakami Princess, undefeated 3-year-old filly who came into the race off an impressive victory in the Shuka Sho(g1), drew outmost post 16. Regular rider Masaru Honda takes the mount. Multiple grade one winner Sweep Tosho, who looks for back-to-back victory in the QEII Cup, drew post 8. Kenichi Ikezoe returns to ride her.

The field with weights(in kgs) and jockeys in post position order for the 2,200-meter turf is as follows:

1 Asahi Rising f3 54 Y.Shibata
2 Yamanin Sucre m5 56 H.Shii
3 Admire Kiss f3 54 Y.Take
4 Yamato Marion f3 54 H.Miyuki
5 Solid Platinum f3 54 F.Komaki
6 Shells Lei f3 54 C.Lemaire
7 Les Clefs d'Or m5 56 S.Fujita
8 Sweep Tosho m5 56 K.Ikezoe
9 Lailaps f4 56 R.Sameshima
10 Kiss to Heaven f3 54 K.Ando
11 Dia de la Novia f4 56 Y.Iwata
12 Winglet m5 56 K.Tanaka
13 Sanrei Jasper f4 56 T.Sato
14 Yamaninmerveilleux f4 56 K.Take
15 Fusaichi Pandora f3 54 Y.Fukunaga
16 Kawakami Princess f3 54 M.Honda

Thursday, November 09, 2006

2006 QEII Cup

A total of 20 fillies and mares have been nominated for the 31st running of the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup.

Brief History
The first Queen Elizabeth II Cup was run over 2,400 meters as the 3-year-old filly championship in 1976. The Cup was run over 2,200 meters for the first time in 1996. In the same year, the race was open to the older fillies and mares and has since then been established as the prestigious championship for female runners. The door was opened for foreign runners in 1999.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
2006 Japan Cup

As of November 9, the four foreign horses have been accepted for an invitation of the 2006 Japan Cup as follows:

Ouija Board, Best Name, Freedonia* and Cosmonaut* [in random order]
*- additional invitees

Cacique, English Channel, El Segundo, Go Deputy, Hurricane Run, Laverock, Maraahel and Pride are all out of the JC.

For the 2006 Japan Cup Dirt, Kandidate is the only foreign horse, as of November 9, to accept the invitation.

Good Reward, Invasor, Jazil, Lava Man, Premium Tap and Utopia are all out of the JCD.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Tosho Knight achieves first grade success

For the first time in 27 starts, Tosho Knight finally achieved the grade success when he took the Copa Republica Argentina(g2) Sunday afternoon at Tokyo. The 5-year-old horse won it by a neck from Eye Popper. Third, another neck further back, was Dragon Captain in the field of 14 for the 2,500 meters. It also provided jockey Tomoharu Bushizawa with the first grade victory in a 10-year riding career.

They came into half-way in the final stretch when Bushizawa drove Tosho Knight into the lead. Then, the great thrill began as the two challengers went after him. Around 100 meters to go, Eye Popper was drawing up on his right hand. On the further outside, Dragon Captain closed in on the two. The strong stride carried Eye Popper and Dragon Captain into contention, but Tosho Knight just held on to win the first prize.

Aston Machan romps Fantasy Stakes

The race for the juvenile fillies' Fantasy Stakes(g3) was decided Sunday afternoon at Kyoto in one-sided style by third favorite Aston Machan, ridden by Yutaka Take and trained by Sei Ishizaka. The Admire Cozzene filly won the 1,400-meter in record time from a commanding 5-length from second favorite Excuse with favorite Hello Speed another 1 1/2-length back in third. The final time was 1:20.3, a new course record for the 2-year-olds.

Take had Aston Machan reserved behind the leaders, until, outside 100 meters from home, the jockey called for the last effort. When he did so, Aston Machan just got past Excuse and Admire Pluto in the blink of an eye, pulling her way to the front and galloping to the line for an easy victory.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Sunday's JRA Graded Races

A feature for Tokyo Sunday meeting will be the Copa Republica Argentina(g2) for 3yo+. 14 contestants will go to the post for the 2,500-meter handicap race. The field in post position order with weights(in kgs) and jockeys is as follows:

1 Advantage c3 50 S.Kawashima
2 Treowe of King h5 51 A.Tsumura
3 Grass Position h7 54 M.Ebina
4 Eye Popper h6 58 N.Yokoyama
5 Chaste Wing h5 54 K.Tanaka
6 Dragon Captain h5 51 S.Ishigami
7 Tokai Trick c4 56 C.Lemaire
8 Rubens Memory h6 55 Y.Shibata
9 Tosho Knight h5 57.5 T.Bushizawa
10 Mejiro Tonkinese f4 51 H.Gohara
11 Win Generale h6 57 M.Katsuura
12 Suzu Japan(USA) h6 53 H.Goto
13 Mejiro Corsair c4 53 H.Kitamura
14 Bullet Lane h7 53 M.Matsuoka
The post time will be at 3:35 p.m.

A field for the Fantasy Stakes(g3) has been drawn. 14 juvenile fillies will search for the first prize of more than 32.5 million yen. The post position order with jockeys for the 1,400-meter turf is as follows:

1 Top Comet R.Wada
2 Smart Custom Y.Fujioka
3 Meine Intima T.Sato
4 Nishino Mao K.Dazai
5 Hot Fashion Y.Fukunaga
6 Alhaja S.Akiyama
7 Meine Luce H.Miyuki
8 Admire Pluto K.Take
9 Excuse S.Fujita
10 Hagino Lucere H.Shii
11 Kanoya Zakura F.Komaki
12 Aston Machan Y.Take
13 Hello Speed H.Yoshida
14 Genius Y.Iwata
All starters carry 54kgs.
The post time will be at 3:45p.m.