Saturday, March 31, 2007

Sunday's JRA graded stakes

Silent Pride takes on g3 Challenge Trophy

Silent Pride takes on the g3 company for the second time in Sunday's Lord Derby Challenge Trophy. The last time he raced in the grade event was the g3 dirt Unicorn Stakes in which he finished fourth. That was his sole defeat in last 4 starts. Refreshed from a 6-month layoff, the French Deputy colt gained a 1/2-length victory in the Aquamarine Stakes last time out.

As of Saturday, Dance in the More has been installed as the early favorite for the Lord Derby Challenge Trophy at odds of 3.0. Silent Pride was the second favorite at 4.6. The 7.6 third favorite was g1 winner Logic and Incentive Guy followed at 9.9.

Meisho Samson makes his first start

Meisho Samson, last year's dual classic winner, makes his first start under new trainer S.Takahashi in Sunday's Sankei Osaka Hai at Hanshin. Placed fifth in the Arima Kinen last time out, Meisho Samson would like to get off to a good start of 2007 campaign in the 2,000-meter grade two event on Sunday.

As of Saturday, Meisho Samson was the 2.0 favorite to win the Sankei Osaka Hai on Sunday at Hanshin. Nakayama Kimpai winner Shadow Gate was the second favorite at odds of 6.4. Cosmo Bulk, winner of the Singapore g1 race last season, was the 6.7 third favorite. Hokko Soresore was the fourth favorite at 8.5 followed by Asaka Defeat at 9.2.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Eight horses run at Dubai for Japan

Eight horses will run for Japan in the 2007 Dubai Cup races, held March 31 at Nad Al Sheba. The Japanese entries are as follows:

Vermillion for the Dubai World Cup
Admire Moon and Daiwa Major for the Dubai Duty Free
Pop Rock for the Dubai Shema Classic
Agnes Jedi and Seeking the Best for the Dubai Golden Shaheen
Victory Tetsuni for the UAE Derby

Fusaichi Richard for the Godolphin Mile

We wish all of them the best success at Dubai.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Suzuka Phoenix dominates Takamatsunomiya

The Takamatsunomiya Kinen looked like a wide-open contest in a pre-race talk, but it turned out to be a dominant victory for Suzuka Phoenix, who drew away from the rest in the last 200 meters.

Yutaka Take-steered Suzuka Phoenix ranked at mid-field until he went into the far turn, and then
he produced a splendid stretch run for a 2 1/2-length victory. In the Chukyo muddy 1,200-meter course, the 5-year-old horse stopped the clock in 1 minute 8.90 seconds.

Peer Gynt and Precise Machine, both of whom came with a belated charge, finished second and third respectively. A neck separated the two. A half-length behind, Venus Line took fourth with Orewa Matteruze another neck further back fifth in the maximum field of 18.

Mitsuru Hashida, trainer of Suzuka Phoenix, said, "Take had a good and aggressive ride, making the move earlier than usual because of the really heavy ground. His next prime target will be the Yasuda Kinen. We have not decided yet to run him in a prep or go straight into the g1 mile event."

Suzuka Phoenix, owned and bred by Keiji Nagai, is a 5-year-old son of Sunday Silence and the Fairy Kine mare Rose of Suzuka. He has now registered 7 wins in 17 starts. The 98.9+ million yen first prize for the g1 sprint brought his career earnings to 251+ million yen.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Saturday's JRA graded stakes results

Never Bouchon takes Nikkei Sho

The Nikkei Sho for 4yo+ took place at Nakayama Racecourse. It was the haf-length victory for third favorite Never Bouchon, who showed a good turn of foot to take the race in the very final stage. Hiroshi Kitamura rode the winner to complete the 2,500-meter event in 2 minutes 31.80 seconds. Second favorite Tosho Knight came with a strong late run, but his effort was just too late. He finished second, a neck before favorite Matsurida Gogh.

Never Bouchon will run next in the Tenno Sho(Emperor's Cup) Spring to take on the top company at Kyoto.

Never Bouchon, by Marvelous Sunday out of the Mill Reef mare Pearl Necklace, has now won 6 in 19 starts, and the Nikkei Sho was his first grade success. With the 65+ million yen first prize for the Nikkei Sho, his career earnings improved to more than 15.7 million yen. Masanori Ito and T.H.Co.Ltd. trains and owns, respectively, the 4-year-old colt. Hayata Farms is the breeder of the dark bay.

Favorite wins Mainichi Hai

The 1,800-meter Mainichi Hai(jpn-G3) was won in great fashion by favorite Namura Mars. Ridden by Yusuke Fujioka, Namura Mars led 200 meters out to get up home in 1 minute 48 seconds. Second, a 1 1/4-length behind, was Hiraboku Royak with New Beginning another 1 1/4-length back third in the field of 14 three-year-old colts.

This was Namura Mars' second grade success following the Sapporo Nisai Stakes last September. The dark bay colt will take on the classic company, "the Satsuki Sho(Japanese 2000 Guineas)", on his next action.

By Chief Bearhart out of the French Glory mare Bistro de Paris, Namura Mars has raced under the name of N.Namura with 4 wins in 10 starts. His trainer is N.Fukushima. Hatta Farm is the breeder of the dark bay colt.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Takamatsunomiya Kinen field

Takamatsunomiya Kinen, grade one
Sunday, March 25
Chukyo Race 11
4yo+, 1,200-meter turf, left-handed
Total purse: 186,140,000 jpy
First prize: 98,948,000 jpy

pp horse age/sex jockey
1 SHE IS TOSHO 7m K.Ikezoe
2 AMBERJACK 4c N.Yokoyama
4 VENUS LINE 6m S.Akiyama
7 SPINNING NOIR 6h Y.Fukunaga
10 MONROE BLOND 5m M.Okabe
12 M O WINNER 6h F.Komaki
13 TAMAMO HOT PLAY 6h K.Watanabe
14 RIKIAI TAIKAN 9h E.Nakadate
15 COSMO FORTUNE 5m S.Kawashima
17 PEER GYNT 5h H.Uemura
18 THREE AVENUE 5h K.Tanaka
Weight: 57kgs, fillies and mares allowed 2kgs
Post time: 3:40p.m.

2007 Takamatsunomiya Kinen

A field is set for the Takamatsunomiya Kinen(G1) which is to be run Sunday at Chukyo Racecourse. 18 runners have been entered for the 1,200-meter turf event.

Precise Machine, who dead-heated with Eishin Dover for first place in the Hankyu Hai four weeks ago, will go for his first grade one glory in the g1 sprint. He finished fourth in this event last year. M O Winner could have a good momentum off two straight sprint victories. His latest effort was a 1 1/2-length victory in the Silk Road Stakes(G3) early last month.
Other leading conteders are Tokyo Shimbun Hai winner Suzuka Phoenix, Kyoto Kimpai winner Meiner Scherzi and Chukyo specialist She is Tosho.

Saturday's JRA graded stakes

The Mainichi Hai for 3-year-olds will take place at Hanshin. 14 runners have been entered for the 1,800-meter event.
Namura Mars could be the one to follow in the Mainichi Hai. The likely favorite for the 2,000-meter event has shown a solid run on the grade level. Cresco World, an impressive winner in the allowance race three weeks ago, could blow his late stride to earn a trip to the Satsuki Sho. Other leading contenders are Black Olive, Tascata Sorte and New Beginning.

Hanshin Racecourse hosts the Nikkei Sho. Matsurida Gogh heads the 14 casts of the 2,500-meter race. Coming off a runaway victory in the America Jockey Club Cup, the Sunday Silence 4-year-old colt could pick up another grade title. Diamond Stakes runner-up Erimo Expire, Kyoto Kinen third-placed Tosho Knight and Never Bouchon, winner of three of last 4 strats, could be the main oppositions to Matsurida Gogh.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

2007 Takamatsunomiya Kinen

The Takamatsunomiya Kinen(G1) is to be run at Chukyo Racecourse on Sunday. A total of 33 horses have been preliminarily nominated for the 1,200-meter spring race. A maximum field of 18 is expected to be drawn.

The first run was in 1971 which started with the 2,000-meter contest under the name of Takamatsunomiya Hai. In 1996, the race was upgraded to g1 and run over 1,200 meters for the first time. In the same year, the newly g1 event was first seen in Spring. The name was changed to the Takamatsunomiya Kinen in 1998. It gained an international status in 2001. The Takamatsunomiya Kinen is the biggest race and main objective for sprinters in Spring season. This event is the only g1 race hosted by Chukyo.

There was no big surprise, but only one winning favorite(Trot Star in 2001) in the last 10 runnings. The last 10 winners have been no bigger than 20.0. During the last decade, the longest priced winner was Masa Lucky(paid 1,860 yen as 8th favorite) in 1999. In the last 10 years, 4-year-olds have a poor record, while 5- or 6-year-olds have preformed well.
The Hankyu Hai is the important trial – the last 4 winners had a prep run there. Prefer horses who has made the frame in the Hankyu Hai.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Eye Popper wins Hanshin in final stride

Second favorite Eye Popper beat favorite Dream Passport by a neck, winning the Hanshin Daishoten(G2) Sunday afternoon at Hanshin. Yutaka Take rode one of the five winners on the day to guide the 7-year-old horse to the winning post in 3 minutes 8.30 seconds for the 3,000-meter trip on the main course.

Before making the final turn into the stretch for the second time, Dream Passport went into the front with Eye Popper trailing just behind. The two battled gamely to the line until Eye Popper prevailed. Third-placed Tokai Trick and fourth-placed Delta Blues made a final effort to get home just behind the first two.

Eye Popper, by Soccer Boy out of the Sunday Silence mare Sunday I., has raced under the name of Sunday Racing Co. Ltd. The 7-year-old horse has earned more than 404 million yen with 8 wins in 25 starts. I. Shimizu trains the horse at Ritto. Northern Farm is the breeder of the chestnut horse.

Flying Apple makes a come-from-behind victory

Race favorite Flying Apple rallied on the final stretch to take the Fuji TV Sho Spring Stakes(G2) on the Nakayama main course. He won it by a 3/4-length from third favorite Meiner Segal in 1 minute 49 seconds. Third was sixth favorite A Shin P C, a 1/2-length behind the runner-up.

Flying Apple showed a new dimension to race far off the pace early on. As the field turned for home, Flying Apple was still in the rear, but as soon as room was opened up for him, he just split between horses on the inside to get home first.

Flying Apple, trained by Kazuo Fujisawa and owned by H.Yamamoto, is a 3-year-old son of Rahy out of the Fire Maker mare Roza Robata. The colt has now won three in 7 starts with more than 106 million yen in earnings. McKee Stables Inc. in US is the breeder of the bay colt.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Favorite wins Flower Cup

Shonan Talent displayed a good run of form to win the Flower Cup at Nakayama Racecoruse on Saturday. Yoshitomi Shibata steered the winning filly to stop the clock in 1 minute 49.60 seconds for the 1,800-meter distance. A 1 1/2-length behind, Hokulele took second with Croco Reine third.

Shonan Talent grabbed the sole lead before going into the backstretch, and then she went all the way to the winning post. The Flower Cup’s victory was her third winning effort in 6 starts. Shonan Talent returned 240 yen for win as favorite. The Agnes Tachyon filly is trained at Miho by Y.Ninomiya and owned by Shona Co. Ltd.

Wakaba Stakes for Victory

Victory stalked the pace set by Gold Kirishima, and then took over while leaving the backstretch en route to winning the Wakaba Stakes. Second, a neck behind, was Sunrise Max with Nataraja third.
Victory, a half brother of multiple grade winner Lincoln, completed the 2,000-meter trip in 2 minutes 1.20 seconds under Yasunari Iwata.
Victory and Sunrise Max were qualified for an entry of the Satsuki Sho without selection process.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Hanshin Daishoten preview

Dream Journey attempts to get off to a good start in his 4-year-old campaign when he competes the Hanshin Daishoten(G2) on Sunday at Hanshin Racecourse. The Fuji Kiseki colt has won only three of 13 starts, but he has never missed hitting on the board on the highest level. Dream Passport drew post 2. Katsumi Ando will reunite with the colt.
Last year's Melbourne Cup winner Delta Blues and the Diamond Stakes winner Tokai Trick could be the main oppositions to Dream Passport.

The Hanshin Daishoten is considered as the important steppingstone for the Tenno Sho(Emperor's Cup) Spring(G1).

Final major prep for Satsuki Sho

Classic hopefuls will go for the Fuji TV Sho Spring Sakes(G2), the final major prep for the Satsuki Sho(Japanese 2000 Guineas), at Nakayama on Sunday.

Flying Apple(USA), showing a good form on the grade class last 3 outings, could gain his first grade success here. Meiner Segal, winner of three in 4 starts, has yet to race beyond 1,600 meters, but this colt may have a good momentum off an impressive victory in the Junior Cup in early January. Sun Zeppelin, who notched up the Keisei Hai victory last time out by leading all the way, could dance again at the front end. Ferrari Pisa(USA) switches back to the turf competition after winning a couple of dirt events. It will be interesting to see how he runs on turf.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Classic prospect in Wakaba

Victory will make his 3-year-old debut on the Hanshin main course on Saturday in the Wakaba Stakes. The classic prospect from Otonashi’s barn has raced only twice. His latest effort in the Radio Nikkei Hai Nisai Stakes gave many a great impression as he got a neck second to Fusaichi Ho O in the Radio Nikkei Hai Nisai Stakes last December.

Victory with Yasunari Iwata on his back for the first time will break from post 6 and attempts to make a good step toward the Satsuki Sho.

The 2,000-meter Wakaba Stakes is one of the preps for the Satsuki Sho(Japanese 2000 Guineas).

Field set for Flower Cup

The Flower Cup(g3) field has been drawn. 16 three-year-old fillies will contend the 1,800-meter event on Nakayama main course.

The Flower Cup has produced classic winners in recent times. Four of the last 5 winners were success in the filly classic.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Aston Machan wins Fillies' Revue in great style

Aston Machan had no trouble landing the Fillies' Revue(G2) Sunday at Hanshin Racecourse. Half-way in the stretch, Yutaka Take took Aston Machan to move into front, and just galloped to the finish line for the 1,400-meter race in 1 minute 21.80 seconds. It was a 2 1/2-length behind that Amano Cherry Run finished second with Hagino Lucere another 1 1/4-length further back third.

Aston Machan's next start will be the Oka Sho(Japanese 1000 Guineas) where she faces the tougher opponents such as Vodka and Daiwa Scarlet.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Major preps for Oka Sho

Sunday sees the Fillies' Revue(G2), the final three major preps for the Oka Sho(Japanese 1000 Guineas) at Hanshin Racecourse.
Aston Machan, who has won three in 5 starts with victories in the Kokura Nisai Sakes(G3) and the Fantasy Stakes(G2), tops among 31 nominations for the 1,400-meter g2 event. Her latest effort on the course was the Juvenile Fillies(G1) last December in which she finished a neck behind Vodka. She is expected to get a lot of support and have a good warming run right before the first 3-year-old filly classic in early next month.

The other two preps are the Tulip Sho(G3) and the Anemone Stakes.
The Tulip Sho took place at Hanshin on March 3, where Vodka beat Daiwa Scarlet by a neck. The two top-rated fillies are scheduled to meet again in the Oak Sho.

The Anemone Stake is to be run this Saturday at Nakayama. The first two will be qualified for the Oka Sho without selection process.