Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Eight head for Dubai

Japan will send eight horses to Dubai. As of today, the Japanese horses who will be heading for the 2007 Dubai World Cup races are as follows:

Vermillion for Dubai World Cup
Admire Moon and Daiwa Major for Dubai Duty Free
Agnes Jedi for Dubai Golden Shaheen
Pop Rock for Dubai Sheema Classic
Victory Tetsuni for UAE Derby
Fusaichi Richard for Godolphin Mile

Agnes Jedi and Victory Tetsuni have already arrived there to have their respective races at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse on March 1.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Sunrise Bacchus great performance in February

Sunrise Bacchus put up a great performance in the Tokyo sloppy track as the 5-year-old horse gained Sunday's February Stakes(G1) victory. Katsumi Ando guided the winner to complete the 1,600-meter trip in 1 minute 34.80 seconds, 0.10-second slower than the course record.

Winning rider Katsumi Ando said, "The horse really had a strong finish. He made a little bit of a slow start, but he got going very well. The outside post gave us a big help and made it possible to have a smooth race."

With 200 meters remaining, second favorite Sunrise Bacchus broke away from the leading pack in the process of winning it by a 1 1/2-length. Second was favorite Blue Concorde, finishing a 2 1/2-length ahead of Big Grass. Another half-length further back Café Olympus(USA) finished fourth with Field Rouge fifth in the strong-field of 16.

Daiwa Bandit with Tosen Shana O right behind set the strong pace with the first 1,000-meter in 58.90 seconds. This set it up for the closers. In fact, the first five were all held off the pace early on.

This was Sunrise Bacchus' first grade one success and the sixth victory in 18 starts for trainer Hidetaka Otonashi and owner Takao Matsuoka. The 94+ million yen first prize brought his career earnings to more than 271 million yen. Sunrise Bacchus is a 5-year-old son of Hennessy out of the Real Shadai mare Real Sapphire. Yanagawa Bokujo in Hidaka, Hokkaido is the breeder of the dark bay horse.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Field set for February Stakes

The February Stakes field, the first JRA grade one event of the year, has been drawn. A total of 16 runners will go for the 1,600-meter premier event. Top-rated horses such as Alondite, Kane Hekili and Vermillion are absent from the field, but the members are quite a lineup. The field in post position with riders is described below.

1 Saqalat h7 Y.Yoshida
2 Adjudi Mitsuo h6 H.Uchida
3 Tagano Cyclone c4 K.Ikezoe
4 Seeking the Dia(USA) h6 Y.Take
5 Café Olympus(USA) h6 Y.Iwata
6 Meisho Tokon h5 K.Take
7 Blue Concorde h7 H.Miyuki
8 Field Rouge h5 C.Lemaire
9 Limitless Bid h8 M.Ebina
10 Seeking the Best(IRE) h6 Y.Fukunaga
11 Orewa Matteruze h7 H.Goto
12 Sunrise Bacchus h5 K.Ando
13 Daiwa Banditg(USA) h6 H.Kitamura
14 Meisho Battler m7 O.Peslier
15 Big Grass h6 I.Murata
16 Tosen Shana O c4 N.Yokoyama
All starters except Meisho Battler(55kgs) carry 57kgs.

The post time will be at 3:40 p.m. on Sunday.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

2007 February Stakes

The February Stakes, a first JRA grade one of the year, will take place Sunday at Tokyo. A total of 31 horses have been nominated for the 1,600-meter dirt event. Despite absence of top-rated runners such as Alondite, Kane Hekili and Vermillion, it is likely to be quite a lineup.

Brief history
The first February Stakes was run in 1981 and upgraded to g2 in 1994. The race gained a g1 status in 1997 and was open to eligible NAR horses in the same year. There are only two dirt events in JRA program to hold a g1 status. The February Stakes is one of them, while the Japan Cup Dirt is the other.