Saturday, May 31, 2014

Isla Bonita favorite for Japan Derby

After closing betting round on Saturday, Isla Bonita has been installed as the favorite for the Japanese Derby at odds of 17-10(2.7). To the World was the second favorite at 47-10(5.7) followed by One and Only at 24-5(5.8). The fourth favorite was Red Reveur 61-10(7.1) with Tosen Stardom 79-10(8.9). 

Friday, May 30, 2014

Derby trends

The Satsuki Sho(Japanese 2000 Guineas) is a key prep race for the Japanese Derby. Satsuki Sho runners have finished six firsts, four seconds and five thirds in the last 10 Derby runnings.
Surprises are rare. Six of the last 10 favrorites have won. The longest priced winner in the last 10 years was Eishin Flash in 2010, who was the 309-10 seventh choice.
Good form in last outing is important. Horses who had come into the Derby off victory have a good record with six firsts, five seconds and three thirds in the last 10 years.
Vodka(2007) was the only filly to win the Derby in the last decade.

Brief news
Win Full Bloom has been scratched from the field of the Japanese Derby due to lameness on his left front leg.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Stage set for 2014 Japanese Derby

A field of the Tokyo Yushun(known as the Japanese Derby) has been drawn Thursday afternoon.

Isla Bonita, who makes a bid for a Satsuki - Derby double, drew post 13. The Satsuki Sho(Japanese 2000 Guineas) hero will be guided by Masayoshi Ebina, who looks for riding the first Derby winner in 22 attempts.

Having finished a 1 1/4-length second in the Satsuki Sho, To the World drew post 5. Win Full Bloom, third in the Satsuki Sho, got post 7 with Satsuki Sho fourth finisher One and Only breaking from post 2.

Red Reveur, the only filly in the 18-horse field, drew post 16.

The Derby runs at Tokyo Race Course on Sunday, June 1, going to the post at 3:40 p.m. JST.

The field in draw number with riders is as follows:

1 Sounds of Earth, S. Hamanaka
2 One and Only, N. Yokoyama
3 Meiner Frost, M. Matsuoka
4 Admire Deus, Y. Iwata
5 To the World, S. Kawada
6 Shona Lagoon, Y. Yoshida
7 Win Full Bloom, D. Shibata
8 Suzuka Devious, M. Sakai
9 Aduma Shuttle, K. Matsuyama
10 Bell Canyon, K. Tosaki
11 Hagino Hybrid, C. Williams
12 Ekimae, T. Eda
13 Isla Bonita, M. Ebina
14 Tagano Granpa, Y. Hishida
15 Satono Lupin, F. Komaki
16 Red Reveur, Y. Fukunaga
17 Tosen Stardom, Y. Take
18 World Impact, H. Uchida

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Isla Bonita works for Japanese Derby

Isla Bonita, who is likely to be the favorite for the up-coming Japanese Derby, worked for the race on Miho Training track with a couple of good exercises Tuesday morning. The Satsuki Sho(Japanese 2000 Guineas) winner had a light exercise of 800 meters in 71.80 seconds and followed up with breezing the same distance in 58.70 seconds.
On the following day, he breezed twice on the same course.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Just A Way nominated to Irish race

Just A Way has been nominated to the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown, which is considered one of the options before the Arc de Triomph.

Denim and Ruby has been nominated to the Irish Champion Stakes and Irish St. Leger.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Japanese Derby nominations

A total of 22 horses remain on the final nomination list of the 2014 Japanese Derby. The top finishers in the Satsuki Sho are likely strong contestants: ISLA BONITA, TO THE WORLD, WIN FULL BLOOM and ONE AND ONLY.

The Derby runs at Tokyo Race Course on Sunday, June 1, 2014.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Harp Star defeated; Nuovo Record wins Oaks

In the warm Oaks day of May, a huge attendance wittnessed the defeat of heavy favorite Harp Star when she finished behind Nuovo Record in the Japanese Oaks(Yushun Himba). 

With 200 meters to go, Nuovo Record drew out on the middle, chased by Bounce Shasse on the inside with Harp Star creeping up on the outside. Prior to the Oaks, Nuovo Record had never finished before Harp Star at two occasions, but this time she held off challenge from the favorite horse. Harp Star's strong late stride did not prevail. The two separated by a neck. Another neck back Bounce Shasse ran third in a field of 18 fillies.

Trained by Makoto Saito and ridden by Yasunari Iwata, Nuovo Record completed the 2,400-meter distance in 2 minutes 25.80 seconds at Tokyo on firm. 

Nuovo Record, a 3-yeay-old filly by Heart's Cry out of the Spinning World mare Omega Spirit, has now recorded three wins in six starts with more than 181 million jp yen in career earnings. The chestnut filly was bred by R. Hara, who also owns her.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Harp Star heavy favorite for Japanese Oaks

After closing betting round on Saturday, Harp Star has been the heavy favorite for the 2014 Japanese Oaks at odds of 1.3(3-10). This was the lowest price to win in Oaks history.
Nuovo Record was the second favroite at 11.3(103-10) followed by Sang Real at 14.9(139-10).

The post time for the filly classic will be at 3:40 p.m. JST on Sunday, May 25, 2014.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Field set for Japanese Oaks

A field was set for the 2014 Japanese Oaks(Yushun Himba) for which a total of 18 fillies have been entered.

Harp Star, winner of the recent Oka Sho(Japanese 1000 Guineas), is likely to be the overwhelming favorite. She drew post 10. 
Nuovo Record, third in the Oka Sho, drew post 9. Flora Stakes winner Sang Real and Queen Stakes winner Forevermore break from post 8 and 17 respectively.

The field with post position order with riders for Sunday's filly classic is as follows:

1 Bella Regina, Kota Fujioka
2 Dilga(USA), Suguru Hamanaka
3 Meine Auram, Masami Matsuoka
4 Peisha Felice, Hiroyuki Uchida
5 Bounce Shasse, Hiroshi Kitamura
6 Pacific Gal, Craig Williams
7 Shiny Girl, Katsuharu Tanaka
8 Sang Real, Keita Tosaki
9 Nuovo Record, Yasunari Iwata
10 Harp Star, Yuga Kawada
11 Marble Cathedral, Hironobu Tanabe
12 Meine Greville, Daichi Shibata
13 Nishino Akatsuki, Masaki Katsuura
14 Blanc Neige, Shinichiro Akiyama
15 Magic Time, Norihiro Yokoyama
16 Xmas, Kosei Miura
17 Forevermore, Masayoshi Ebina
18 Eliza Best, Shinji Kawashima

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Harp Star tops Oaks nominations

Harp Star is one of the 23 fillies nominated to the coming-up Japanese Oaks at the final nomination stage. With her incredible late stride, she won four of her five races. Her latest success was the grade one Oka Sho(Japanese 1000 Guineas) last month. Some are worried a bit about the extended Oaks distance, as she has yet to run beyond 1,600 meters. Nevertheless, she will be given huge support and is the one to keep an eye on for sure.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Verxina wins Victoria M again

Verxina made a glorious return to form at Tokyo when she won the Victoria Mile this afternoon for two years in a row. This was the first victory since she won last year.

A great ecitement was aroused as a group of four horses were closing in on Verxina, who led a field of 18 from the start, but none of them could catch the unstoppable leader.

Y. Tomomichi-trained Verxina ran the 1,600 meters in 1 minute 32.30 seconds under Hiroyuki Uchida on firm ground. Meisho Mambo finished a 1/2-length behind the winner in second with Straight Girl finishing another head back in third.

Verxina, a  5-year-old daughter of Deep Impact and the Machiavellian mare Halwa Sweet, has now won five of her 18 races with more than 427 million jp yen in career earnings under the color of K. Sasaki.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Field of 2014 Victoria Mile

A field of the 9th Victoria Mile has been drawn on Friday morning. 18 entrants go for the grade one 1,600-meter event for 4yo+ fillies and mares on Sunday. 

Smart Layer, winner of the Hanshin Himba Stakes, drew post 8. Denim and Ruby, placed second in last year's Japan Cup, drew post 3. Multiple grade one winner Meisho Mambo breaks from post 4. Last year's winner Verxina and Whale Capture, winner of two seasons ago, drew post 14 and 9 respectively.

The field in postposition order with riders are as follows:

1 Straight Girl, Yasunari Iwata
2 Kurofune Surprise,Yuichi Shibayama
3 Denim and Ruby, Suguru Hamanaka
4 Meisho Mambo, Koshiro Take
5 Princess Memory, Hiroshi Kitamura
6 Lachesis, Yuga Kawada
7 Lei Carla, Syu Ishibashi
8 Smart Layer, Yutaka Take
9 Whale Capture, Masayoshi Ebina
10 Quatre Feuilles, Craig Williams
11 Ever Blossom, Katsuharu Tanaka
12 Golden Number, Kosei Miura
13 Keiai Elegant, Yutaka Yoshida
14 Verxina, Hiroyuki Uchida
15 Excellente Cave, Keita Tosaki
16 Robe Tissage, Norihiro Yokoyama
17 Hula Bride, Manabu Sakai
18 Uliuli, Yuichi Fukunaga

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Six Japanese nominations for Arc de Triomphe

A total of 113 horses have been nominated for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomph, held on October 5 at Longchamp, at the first entry stage. Among the nominations six Japanese horses include as follows:

Harp Star
Denim and Ruby
Just a Way
Red Reveur
Gold Ship
Pray and Real
(in random order)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mikki Isle leads all the way to win NHK Mile Cup

Hot favorite Mikki Isle led a 18-horse field to win the NHK Mile Cup on Sunday afternoon at Tokyo Racecourse. With this victory, he extended his winning streak to five.

In the same way that they did previously, Mikki Isle and regular rider Suguru Hamanaka broke well off the gate, setting the pace with a first 800-meter in  56.60 seconds.

In the very final stage, a bunch of rivals drew near, but Mikki Isle held off their challenges to get up to the winning post.

Second, a neck behind the winner, went to Tagano Burg with another nose back Kings of the Sun third. Another neck back Rosa Gigantea was fourth with Horai Akiko finishing another nose further back in fifth.

Mikki Isle, a 3-year-old colt by Deep Impact out of the Rock of Gibralter mare Star Isle, has now recorded five wins in six starts with more than 188 million jp yen in career earnings for trainer H. Otonashi and owner M. Noda. Northern Racing was the breeder of the bay colt.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Mikki Isle likely favorite for NHK Mile

Mikki Isle, coming off four straight victories including three graded races, is likely to be favored for the NHK Mile Cup, the grade one 1,600-meter race for 3-year-olds, held at Tokyo on Sunday, May 11, 2014. Suguru Hamanake will be on board, breaking from post 10.

Other main contenders include: Shonan Achieve and Shonan Wadachi, who finished first and second in the New Zealand Trophy; Spring Stakes winner Rosa Gigantea and a couple of graded race winner Horai Akiko.

The postposition with riders is as follows:

1 Kings of the Sun, Masayoshi Ebina
2 Tagano Burg, Kosei Miura
3 Dantsu Cancer, Shinji Fujita
4 Rosa Gigantea, Yoshitomi Shibata
5 Shonan Achieve, Keita Tosaki
6 Belle Lumiere, Shinji Kawashima
7 Horai Akiko, Ryuji Wada
8 Satono Lupin, Yutaka Take
9 Atom, Yuga Kawada
10 Mikki Isle, Suguru Hamanaka
11 Karada Legend, Hironobu Tanabe
12 Shonan Wadachi, Hiroshi Kitamura
13 Arma Elnath, Yutaka Yoshida
14 Win Phoenix, Syu Ishibashi
15 Admire Bijin, Hirofumi Shii
16 A Shin Bullseye(USA), Yuichi Fukunaga
17 Meiner Diavel, Craig Williams
18 Peak Tram, Norihiro Yokoyama

Kizuna has suffered a leg injury, which may give him more than 6 months out of action.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Fenomeno wins second Tenno Sho Spring

Fenomeno, ridden by Masayoshi Ebina, won his second Tenno Sho Spring Sunday afternoon at Kyoto as he defeated Win Variation by a neck. The winning time was 3 minutes 15.10 seconds for a 3,200-meter turf trip on firm ground.

Fenomeno and Win Variation drew out in the stretch, and they fought it out to the line in a thrilling finish. Hokko Brave, a nose behind Win Variation, finished strongly to get third place. Another 1/2-length back Kizuna came from well behind to finish fourth in a strong 18-horse field.

Fenomeno, a 5-year-old horse by Stay Gold out of the Danehill mare De Laroche, has now earned more than 629 million jp yen with 7 wins in 14 starts for trainer H. Toda and owner Sunday Racing Co. Ltd. Oiwake Farm was the breeder of the black bay horse.

Friday, May 02, 2014

Kizuna tops Tenno Sho field

Kizuna tops the Tenno Sho(Spring) field for which a total of 18 horses have been entered. The 4-year-old colt had a good gallop on Wednesday morning at Ritto Training Center, covering a 1,200-meer CW course in 82.20 seconds.

Yutaka Take will take a mount on Kizuna, breaking from post 14.

The main rivals to Kizuna could be: Fenomeno, winner of the last year's Tenno Sho; Gold Ship, winner of the Hanshin Daishoten and Nikkei Sho winner Win Variation.

The Tenno Sho runs at Kyoto's 3,200-meter turf course on Sunday. The post time will be at 3:40 p.m. JST.

The field in post position order with riders are as follows:

1 Asuka Kurichan, S. Akiyama
2 Admire Flight, Y. Fukunaga
3 Satono Noblesse, S. Hamanaka
4 Silent Melody, K. Ikzoe
5 Red Cadeaux(GB), G. Mosse
6 Hokko Brave, H. Tanabe
7 Fenomeno, M. Ebina
8 Gold Ship, C. Williams
9 Tanino Epaulette, R. Wada
10 Fame Game, H. Kitamura
11 Last Impact, Y. Kawada
12 Win Variation, A. Starke
13 Ocean Blue, S. Fujita
14 Kizuna, Y. Take
15 Admire Rakti, H. Shii
16 Jaguar Mail, S. Ishibashi
17 Hit the Target, Y. Kitamura
18 Desperado, N. Yokoyama