Thursday, March 31, 2016

Flashback to 2000 Osaka Hai and Lord Derby Challenge T

Sankei Osaka Hai: April 2, 2000
Meisho Odou takes Osaka Hai(g2)
Meisho Odou grabbed his first grade victory when he overdrove his rivals down the stretch to win the Sankei Osaka Hai under Yuji Iida at Hanshin Racecourse. Yuji Iida also captured the first grade win.
After dueling with Lord Platinum shortly in the deep stretch, favorite Meisho Odou drew away from him for a 1/2-length victory. Lord Platinum, a first starter on any grade race, was one and a half lengths better than the eventual third Jo Big Bang and finishing third.
The steward inquired about inteference for Meisho Odou, who was bearing in during the stretch, but no change of finishing orders was made.
Trained by Akihiro Iida, the 5-year-old Meisho Odou, a son of Sunday Silence, has now won five races of 14 starts.

Lord Derby Challenge Trophy: April 2, 2000
Fusaichi Airedale triumphs Lord Derby(g3)
Fusaichi Airedale, regarded as one of the top fillies for 1999 3-year-old classics, made a successful debut of 2000 season as she won the grade three Lord Derby Challenge Trophy against the male runners at Nakayama.
Third pick Fusaichi Airedale, ridden by Yutaka Take, made a great effort to hold off challenging Shinko Edward and Taiki Bridle down the final stretch. The 4-year-old filly Fusaichi Airedale completed a 1,600-meter turf in 1:33.0, finishing a neck in front of the second finisher Shinko Edward with another neck further back Taiki Bridle third.
Trained by at Ritto Training Center by Kunihide Matsuda, Fusaichi Airedale, a daughter of Sunday Silence, has now won three grade races with improving a career record to 15-4-6-0.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Strong field of Sankei Osaka Hai is expected

Hanshin features the 60th Sankei Osaka Hai on Sunday, April 3.
12 horses have been nominated for the grade two 2,000-meter race.
The nominations inlcude Ambitous, Isala Bonita, Kitasan Black, Shonan Pandora, Nuovo Record and Lovely Day.

The main event at Nakayama on Sunday will be the grade three Lord Derby Challenge Trophy for which a total of 26 horses have been nominated.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Dirt Grade Races on April 2016

April 6 Tokyo Sprint g3 4yo+ 1,200-meters right-handed NAR Ohi
April 13 Marine Cup g3 3yo+ fillies and mares 1,600-meters left-handed NAR Funabashi
April 16 Antares Stakes g3 4yo+ 1,800-meter right-handed JAR Hanshin 

HANSHIN Racecourse

Course address: 1-1 Komano-cho Takarazuka-city Hyogo
Access: A 5-minute walk from Hankyu Imazu Line Nigawa Station.
Course description: 
The inner main course is run right-handed, an oval turf track of 1,689 meters with 356.5 meters in homestretch. The course declines gently at 800 meters from home, and then rises in the last 200 meters. The outer main course is run on an outer path at the bend(third and final corners) which becomes an oval of 2,089 meters with 473.6 meters in homestretch. 
There is a 1,517.6-meter dirt track inside the main course.

Hanshin Racecourse is the home of big races such as the Oka Sho(Japanese 1000 Guineas), the Takarazuka Kinen.

2016 Meeting: 28 days

Oka Sho(Japanese 1000 Guineas)

Oka Sho(Japanese 1000 Guineas)
Hanshin Race Course
3-year-old fillies, 1,600 meters, turf, right-handed
Weight: 55 kgs

The 1,600-meter Oka Sho is run on the Hanshin outer main course. It starts at just off the middle of the back stretch, goes around the bend, then runs into the 473.6-meter homestretch.

Brief History
The first run was in 1939 at Nakayama over 1,800 meters on turf under the name of Nakayama Yonsai Himba Tokubetsu. The race was run unde the name of Noryoku Kentei Race at Tokyo over 1,800 meters on turf in 1944. Following absences in 1945 and 1946 due to war, the race resumed in 1947, running over 1,600 meters at Kyoto for the first time. In the same year, the Oka Sho was first used as the race name. Hanshin hosted the Oka Sho for the first time in 1950. As the grading system began in 1984, the Oka Sho was graded as a grade one. In 2004, the door was open to foreign-bred horses. In 2010, with the race gained an international status, a maximum of nine foreign horses(either foreign-bred or foreign-trained horses) can run.

 The Oka Sho, the first filly classic of the year, is equivalent to the English 1000 Guineas. Twiple Crown Races for 3-year-old fillies are Oka Sho, Japanese Oaks and Shuka Sho.
Oka and Sho mean, respectively, cherry blossom and prize in English.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Shonan Apollon mid-upset in March Stakes

Eighth pick Shonan Apollon gained a mid-upset victory in the grade three March Stakes by leading from start to finish. He won it by a 3/4-length from Buster Type with another 3/4-length back Dokofukukaze third. Masami Matsuoka rode the winner to cover the 1,800-meter distance in 1 minute 52.70 seconds on dirt surface.
Shonan Apollon is a 6-year-old bay horse by Admire Max out of Mejiro Aludra, by Afleet.

Big Arthur wins Takamatsunomiya Kinen in record time

Big Arthur, with Yuichi Fukunaga on his back for the first time, sailed behind the leading group early on, and then came out a strong run down the final stretch to win the Takamatsunomiya Kinen in the record time of 1 minute 6.70 seconds for the Chukyo 1,200-meter turf course.
A 3/4-length behind, Mikki Isle came second with Albiano(USA) third, another 1 3/4-length behind.
Fukunaga, who has now ridden the second Takamatsunomiya Kinen winner, said, "The race worked out perfectly, so he had a smooth run. We took a good position behind the leading horses who were going well. In the stretch, the horse in front of us was still going well, but he managed to get past him at the end."

Trained by K. Fujioka and owned by A. Nakatsuji, Big Arthur has now won seven of his 11 races with more than 239 million jp yen in career earnings. Bamboo Stud was the breeder of Big Arthuer, a 5-year-old bay horse by Sakura Bakushin O out of Siyabona, by Kingmambo.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Mikki Isle early favorite for 2016 Takamatsunomiya

As of Saturday, Mikki Isle has been installed as the 4.6 favorite for the wide-open Takamatsunomiya Kinen at Chukyon on Sunday, March 27, 2016.
Big Arthur was the 4.8 second favorite followed by Albiano(USA) 5.7, Uliuli 6.3 and A Shin Bullseye(USA) 9.8.

Race favorite wins Mainichi Hai

Race favorite Smart Odin has a great run to take the Mainichi Hai inside the final 200 meters at Hanshin Racecourse on Saturday. The colt won it by a 1 1/4-length from Urban Kid with another 3/4-length back Taisei Summit third. Keita Tosaki was aboard the winner to run the 1,800-meter distance in 1 minute 47.30 seconds on firm ground.
Smart Odin is a 3-year-old colt by Danon Chantilly out of Lady Upstage, by Alzao.

Gold Actor gets off good start in Nikkei Sho

Gold Actor, winner of the Arima Kinen, got off to a good start of the season to win the grade two Nikkei Sho at Nakayama on Saturday.  
Hayato Yoshida-steered Gold Actor emerged in a duel with Sound of Earth down the stretch and got the better of him by a 3/4-length. Marialite came third, another 1 1/4-length behind. The winner covered the 2,500-meter distance in 2 minutes 36.80 seconds on firm ground. 
Gold Actor is a 5-year-old brown horse by Screen Hero out of Heilong Xing, by Kyowa Alysheba.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Fields of March Stakes and Mainichi Hai

The main event at the Nakayama Sunday meeting will be the grade three March Stakes for 4-year-olds and upwards on dirt. A total of 16 horses have been entered for the 1,800-meter handicap race.
The main contenders could be: Buster Type, Dokofukukaze, Sammaru Duke and Kurino Star O.

The field of the March Stakes is:

1 King Hero, 7h, 54, Katsuharu Tanaka
2 Hiraboku Prince, 6h, 54, Genki Maruyama
3 Buster Type, 4c, 56, Hiroyuki Uchida
4 Shonan Apollon, 6h, 54, Masami Matsuoka
5 Meiner Crop, 6h, 57, Yuji Tannai
6 Grand City, 9h, 57, Akihide Tsumura
7 Isshin Dotai, 7h, 56.5, Hironobu Tanabe
8 Dokofukukaze, 6h, 56.5, Yukito Ishikawa
9 Sammaru Duke, 7h, 56.5, Masayoshi Ebina
10 Keep in Touch, 6h, 54, Yutaka Yoshida
11 Kikuno Sol, 6h, 55, Yoshitomi Shibata
12 Solor, 6h, 57.5, Hayato Yoshida
13 Mozu Raijin, 4c, 55, Yuta Nakatani
14 Kurino Star O, 6h, 58, Kosei Miura
15 Meiner Bounce, 7h, 54, Daichi Shibata
16 Tosho Freak, 9h, 56, Yuichi Shibayama


The Mainichi Hai for 3-year-olds will be run as the main event at the Hanshin Saturday meeting.
10 horses have been entered for the 1,800-meter turf race.
The main conteders could be: Roi Absolu, Taisei Summit and Smart Odin.

The Mainichi Hai field is:

1 Roi Absolu, c, Andrasch Starke
2 Urban Kid, c, Syu Ishibashi
3 Oken Dia, f, Yuji Hishida
4 Deep Exceed, c, Yasunari Iwata
5 Taisei Summit, c, Yuga Kawada
6 Rainbow Flag, c, Futoshi Komaki
7 Eifer Pretty, f, Kenichi Ikezoe
8 Cannon Storm, c, Kohei Matsuyama
9 Toa Raijin, c, Ryota Kozaki
10 Smart Odin, c, Keita Tosaki

Gold Actor heads field of Nikkei Sho

Arima Kinen winner Gold Actor heads the field of 9 entered for the Nikkei Sho at Nakayama on Saturday. The 5-year-old horse, who had a great 2015 season with 4 for 4, makes his seasonable debut in the grade two 2,500-meter race.
The major oppositions to Gold Actor could be: Decipher, Sounds of Earth and Marialite.

The Nikkei Sho field is:

1 Fragarach, 9h, 56, Ryo Takakura
2 Marialite, 5m, 55, Masayoshi Ebina
3 Decipher, 7h, 57, Koshiro Take
4 Sounds of Earth, 5h, 56, Yuichi Fukunaga
5 Action Star, 6h, 56, Takuya Ono
6 Cosmo Robin, 8h, 56, Daichi Shibata
7 Albert, 5h, 57, Christophe Lemaire
8 Hokko Brave, 8h, 56, Hironobu Tanabe
9 Gold Actor, 5h, 58, Hayato Yoshida

Field of 2016 Takamatsunomiya Kinen

A total of 18 sprinters is set to run in the 2016 Takamatsunomiya Kinen at Chukyo Racecourse on Sunday, March 27.
The likely favorite in the grade one 1,200-meter race is Mikki Isle, who led all the way to win the Hankyu Hai last outing. Front-running Mikki Isle, third in this contest last year, drew post 6.
Snow Dragon, winner of the 2014 Sprinters Stakes, who finished third in the Ocean Stakes, drew post 5. Albiano(USA), unlucky fifth in the Ocean Stakes, drew post 8. Impressive closer Big Arthur drew post 4.

The grade one Takamatsunomiya Kinen will go to post at 3:40 p.m. JST on Sunday.

pp HorseName AgeSex Weight(in kgs) Rider
1 Bravissimo, 4c, 57, Norihiro Yokoyama
2 Ukiyono Kaze, 6m, 55, Hirofumi Shii
3 Sakura Gospel, 8h, 57, Masaki Katsuura
4 Big Arthur, 5h, 57, Yuichi Fukunaga
5 Snow Dragon, 8h, 57, Takuya Ono
6 Mikki Isle, 5h, 57, Kohei Matsuyama
7 Satono Lupin, 5h, 57, Ryuji Wada
8 Albiano(USA), 4f, 55, Christophe Lemaire
9 Teehaff, 6h, 57, Kenichi Ikezoe
10 Active Minoru, 4c, 57, Kota Fujioka
11 Let's Go Donki, 4f, 55, Yasunari Iwata
12 Uliuli, 6m, 55, Keita Tosaki
13 A Shin Bullseye(USA), 5h, 57, Syu Ishibashi
14 Earth Sonic, 7h, 57, Dario Vargiu
15 Laurel Veloce, 5h, 57, Yuji Nakai
16 Sugino Endeavour, 8h, 57, Katsuma Sameshima
17 Hiruno Devaro, 5h, 57, Keisuke Dazai
18 Hakusan Moon, 7h, 57, Manabu Sakai

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

2016 Takamatsunomiya Kinen Nominations

A total of 21 horses have been nominated for the Takamatsunomiya Kinen to be run on Sunday, March 27 at Chukyo Racecourse.

Active Minoru
A Shin Bullseye(USA)
Big Arthur
Dance Director
Earth Sonic
Hakusan Moon
Hiruno Devaro
Laurel Veloce
Let's Go Donki
Mikki Isle
Sakura Gospel
Satono Lupin
Sudden Storm
Sugino Endeavour
Snow Dragon
Ukiyono Kaza
Wakino Brave 
(in alphabetical order)

Hong Kong Champion horse Aerovelocity has been out of the Takamatsunomiya Kinen due to colic.

Recent Ratings
Mikki Isle 113
Dance Director 111
A Shin Bullseye 110
Bravissimo 108
Sudden Storm 108
Hakusan Moon 106

Surprise results are rare. Three 1st favorites, one 2nd favorite, three 3rd favorites and three 4th favorites have won in the last 10 years. No horse at odds of 10.0 or over has won in the last decade. Prior to Taktamatsunomiya Kinen, the last 10 winners have finished 4 firsts, 3 seconds, 2 thirds and a fourth. The best trial race has been the Hankyu Hai. Five of the last 10 winners have previously raced there.

Other grade races this weekend:
Sunday, March 27 sees the grade three March Stakes for 4-year-olds and upwards at Nakayama. A total of 18 horses have been nominated for the 1,800-meter dirt race.

Gold Actor tops among the 10 horses nominated for the grade two 2,500-meter Nikkei Sho at Nakayama on Saturday, March 26.

On the same day, Hanshin features the grade three 1,800-meter Mainichi Hai for which 14 three-year-olds have been nominated.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Favorite leads all the way in Flower Cup

Race favorite Angel Face set the pace to win the grade three 1,800-meter Flower Cup at Nakayama on Monday. A 1 1/4-length behind, Gekkako was second place with Winkle Salute another nose back third. Yuichi Fukunaga was aboard the winner to reach the winning post in 1 minute 49.30 second on firm ground.
Angel Face is a 3-year-old dark bay filly by King Kamehameha out of One for Rose, by Tejano Run.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Deep Impact colt wins Spring S

Mount Robson(by Deep Impact) sailed behind the leading pack before a neck victory in the grade two Fuji TV Sho Spring Stakes at Nakayama Racecourse on Sunday. Meiner Honey finished second, a neck in front of favorite Lord Quest.
Andrasch Starke rode the winner to complete the 1,800-meter distance in 1 minute 48.10 seconds. 
Mount Robson, a grey colt out of Miss Pascali, by Greeley, has now scored three straight wins in a row.

Favorite wins Hanshin Daishoten
Race favorite Cheval Grand drew away from the rest at the mid-stretch to win the grade two Hanshin Daishoten on Sunday afternoon at Hanshin Racecourse. Ridden by Yuichi Fukunaga, Cheval Grand Tanta Alegria with another 3-length back Admire Deus third.
Cheval Grand is a 4-year-old chestnut colt by Heart's Cry out of Halwa Sweet, by Machiavellian.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Tosho Drafter takes Falcon S

Second favorite Tosho Drafter rallied in the middle of the stretch course to win the grade three Falcon Stakes at Chukyo on Saturday. He won it by a 1 3/4-length from Brave Smash with another 1/2-length back Sigerunokogirizame third.
Hironobu Tanabe was aboard the winner to cover the 1,400-meter trip in 1 minute 25 seconds flat on soft ground.
Tosho Drafter is a 3-year-old chestnut colt by Unrivaled out of Witch Tosho, by Jade Robbery.

Admire Daio wins Wakaba S
Admire Daio won the Wakaba Stakes, one of the trials for the Satsuki Sho(Japanese 2000 Guineas) in a neck and neck battle at Hanshin on Saturday. A nose behind, Namura Shingun finished second.
Admire Daio and Namura Shingun has now gained a ticket to run for the Satsuki Sho.
Admire Daio is a 3-year-old bay colt by Deep Impact out of Admire Marine, by Kurofune. Namura Shingun is a 3-year-old dark bay colt by Victoire Pisa out of Dream of Genie, by Pivotal.

Japan sends three to Hong Kong
The three horses will run in the Hong Kong group one races.
Maurice for May 1 Hong Kong Mile
Lovely Days and Nuovo Record for April 24 Queen Elizabeth II Caup

Monday's Flower Cup looks wide-open

The Flower Cup for 3yo fillies to be run on Monday, March 21 at Nakayama looks like a wide-open contest. 
A total of 16 fillies have been entered for the grade three 1,800-meter  turf race.

The post position with riders for the Flower Cup is:

1 Lovely Amont, Tomoharu Bushizawa
2 Phase Velocity, Keita Tosaki
3 Gekkako, Masami Matsuoka
4 Aoi Sunshine, Kenichi Ikezoe
5 Guimauve, Andrasch Starke
6 Vivlos, Hiroyuki Uchida
7 L'Arc, Yutaka Take
8 L'Oeuf Or, Yasunari Iwata
9 Angel Face, Yuichi Fukunaga
10 Winkle Salute, Shinichiro Akiyama
11 Eterna Minoru, Masayoshi Ebina
12 Personnalite, Daichi Shibata
13 Aoi Princess, Kosei Miura
14 Casino Queen, Hiroto Mayuzumi
15 God Caribbean, Ryota Sameshima
16 Fujimasa Actress, Teruo Eda
All starters carry 54 kgs.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Lord Quest tops field of Spring Stakes

Lord Quest, winner of the Niigata Nisai Stakes, tops the field of 11 entered for the Fuji TV Sho Spring Stakes,  one of the major preps for the Satsuki Sho(Japanese 2000 Guineas), at Nakayama on Sunday. The main opponents to Lord Quest could be Dreadnoughtus and Mount Robson.

The post position with riders for the grade two 1,800-meter race is:

1 Mount Robson, Andrasch Starke
2 Hallelujah Boy, Yutaka Yoshida
3 Admire Morale, Hironobu Tanabe
4 Meiner Honey, Daichi Shibata
5 Mo Katteru, Nanako Fujita
6 Prayer Samson, Masami Matsuoka
7 Mikki Rocket, Christophe Lemaire
8 Prince Charmant, Hiroyuki Uchida
9 Ken Hovawart, Keita Tosaki
10 Lord Quest, Kenichi Ikezoe
11 Dreadnoughtus, Yutaka Take


The main event at Sunday's Hanshin meeting will be the grade two Hanshin Daishoten for 4-year-olds and upwards for which 11 horses have been entered. The major players are likely Admire Deus, Toho Jackal, Tanta Alegria and Cheval Grand.

The field for the 3,000-meter race is: 

1 Curren Mirotic, 8g, 56, Shinichiro Akiyama
2 Admire Deus, 5h, 57, Yasunari Iwata
3 Toho Jackal, 5h, 57, Mirco Demuro
4 Admire Flight, 7h, 56, Yusuke Fujioka
5 Meiner Medalist, 8h, 56, Ryuji Wada
6 Tanta Alegria, 4c, 55, Masayoshi Ebina
7 Comfy, 7h, 56, Yuga Kawada
8 Strawberry King, 5g, 56, Yuya Mizuguchi
9 Tamamo Best Play, 6h, 56, Dario Vargiu
10 Saimon Tornare, 10h, 56, Hideaki Miyuki
11 Cheval Grand, 4c, 55, Yuichi Fukunaga


A total of 18 three-year-olds have been entered for the Chunichi Sports Sho Falcon Stakes at Chukyo on Saturday. 
The field for the grade three 1,400-meter race is:

1 Sigerunokogirizame, c, Keisuke Dazai
2 Meisho Shachi, c, Yutaka Take
3 Meisun Spurt, c, Yuichi Shibayama
4 Miss Kirara, f, Kohei Matsuyama
5 Tosho Drafter, c, Hironobu Tanabe
6 King Heart, c, 56, Yuta Nakatani
7 Monster King, c, Masayoshi Ebina
8 Le Grand Frisson(USA), c, Futoshi Komaki
9 Shuji, c, Yasunari Iwata
10 Red Lauda, c, Fuma Matsuwaka
11 Peisha Felicita, f, Hayato Yoshida
12 Saimon Seele, c, Hideaki Miyuki
13 Basileus Lion, c, Kota Fujioka
14 Ocean View, c, Takayuki Kato
15 Brave Smash, c, Norihiro Yokoyama
16 Shonan Rise, c, Yutaka Yoshida
17 Madidi(USA), c, Andrasch Starke
18 Lazool Rickey, f, Hiroto Mayuzumi

Thursday, March 17, 2016

NAGOYA Racecourse

Course address: Taimei cho 1-1 Minatoku Nagoya city Aichi
Access: A 3-minute walk from Aonami-Line Nagoya Keibajyoumae Station
Course description:
The dirt course is an oval of 1,100 meters with 25 to 23 meters in width, generally flat, run right-handed. The bends are very sharp and the homestretch to the finish is 194 meters. A maximum field is 12.
Meetings: 113 days(in 2015 Fisical Year)

Nagoya Racecourse is the home of Kakitsubata Kinen and Nagoya Grand Prix.

Awardee(USA) romps home in Nagoya

Awardee(USA), one of the five JRA entries, won the NAR grade three Nagoya Daishoten by a street at Nagoya on Thursday. Yutaka Take-steered Awardee took the lead on the final bend on his way to winning the 1,900-meter race in 2 minutes 1.20 seconds on dirt.
Bang Zoom finished second, far behind the winner. Mozu Raijin finished a 3/4-length behind the runn-up in second.
Awardee, a 6-year-old bay horse by Jungle Pocket out of Heavenly Romance, by Sunday Silence, has now scored 3 for 3 on the dirt surface.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

JRA Grade Races March 19 - March 21

On Saturday, March 19, Chukyo features the Chunichi Sports Sho Falcon Stakes for 3-year-olds. A total of 25 horses have been nominated for the grade three 1,400-meter race.

The grade two Hanshin Daishoten for 4yo+ will be run on Sunday, March 20. 11 horses have been nominated for the 3,000-meter race. The nominations include Cheval Grand, Toho Jackal, Tanta Alegria and Admire Deus.

Nakayama features the Fuji TV Sho Spring Stakes, one of the major preps for the Satsuki Sho(Japanese 2000 Guineas), for 3-year-olds on Sunday, March 20. 13 horses remains on the nomination list of the grade two 1,800-meter race.

On Monday, March 21, the Flower Cup for 3-year-old fillies will be run at Nakayama.
A total of 31 fillies have been nominated for the grade three 1,800-meter turf event. 

KOCHI Racecourse

Course address: Nagahama Miyata 2000, Kochi-city, Kochi
Access: A 25-minute bus ride from JR Kochi Station
Course description:
The dirt track is an oval of 1,100 meters with 22 to 27 meters in width, generally flat, run right-handed. The bends are very sharp and the homestretch to the finish is 200 meters. A maximum field is 12.
Meetings: 106 days(in 2016 Fisical Year)

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Danon Legend(USA) wins NAR grade three Kurofune

Danon Legend(USA) won the NAR grade three Kufune Sho for two consecutive years at Kochi track on Tuesday, March 15. Ridden by Mirco Demuro, JRA-trained Danon Legend took a good position and made headway turning for home to win the 1,400-meter dirt race in 1 minute 27 seconds flat. A length behind, Nishiken Mononofu came second with another 2 1/2-length back Tahltan(USA) third in the field of 12. The first three are all JRA horses.
Danon Legend(USA) is a 5-year-old dark bay horse by Macho Uno out of My Goodness, by Storm Cat.

Monday, March 14, 2016

CHUKYO Racecourse

Course address: 1225 Shikita Magome-cho Toyoake-city Aichi
Access: A 10-minute walk from Meitetsu Main Line Chukyo Keibajomae Station.
Course description: 
The turf main circuit is run left-handed, oval of 1,705.9 meters with the homestretch of 412.5 meters and the range of 28 to 30 meters in width. The course rises gently to the middle of the backstretch, drops steadily from there to about 350 meters from home, then has an uphill to the finish. The oval dirt track of 1,530 meters with 410.7-meter homestretch is run on inside of the main circuit. Chukyo Racecourse is the home of the grade one Takamatsunomiya Kinen and Champions Cup.

2016 Meetings: 26-day

Takamatsunomiya Kinen

Takamatsunomiya Kinen, Grade One
runs in late March at Chukyo Racecourse
4-year-olds and upwards, 1,200-meter, turf, left-handed
Weight: 57 kgs, Fillies allowed 2 kgs
Field: 18 at maximum

Brief History
1971 - the first run over 2,000 meters for 3yo+ under the name of Takamatsunomiya Hai
1984 - gaines a grade two status as the grading of races start
1989 - open to foreign-bred horses
1996 - upgraded to grade one, run over 1,200 meters for the first time, open to eligible NAR-trained horses
1998 - the name is changed to the Takamatsunomiya Kinen
2000 - first seen in March, age condition is changed to 4-year-olds and upwards
2001 - gaines an intenational status, a maximum of five foreign-trained horses can run
2007 - upgraded to an international grade/group one, foregin-trained horses to run extends up to nine at maximum
2011 - run as the second leg of the Global Spring Challenge for the first time

The 1,200-meter Takamatsunomiya Kine at Chukyo Racecourse starts at just off the middle of the back stretch and goes round anti-clockwisely and follows up with 

412.5-meter homestrech.
The course drops steadily about 1,000 meters from home and rises from last 350 meters or so to the finish line.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Dirt Grade Races March 2016

March 27 March Stakes
g3 4yo+ 1,800m at JRA Nakayama

March 17 Nagoya Daishoten
g3 4yo+ 1,900m at NAR Nagoya

March 15 Kurofune Sho
g3 4yo+ 1,400m at NAR Kochi

March 9 Dio Lite Kinen
g2 4yo+ 2,400m at NAR Funabashi

Chrysolite, trained by JRA, grabbed the lead before the first bend and went all the way to win the Dio Lite Kinen under Yutaka Take in 2 minutes 36.40 seconds.  Chrysolite is a 6-year-old horse by Gold Allure out of Chrysoprase, by El Condor Pasa.

March 2 Empress Hai
g2 4yo+ f&m 2,100m at NAR Kawasashi

Amour Briller(USA), ridden by Yutaka Take, won the NAR grade two Empress Hai in two consecutive years. Amour Briller(USA) is a 5-year-old mare by Smart Strike out of Heavenly Romance, by Sunday Silence.

Sundarbans rallies in Nakayama Himba S

Fourth favorite Sundarbans got past race favorite Rouge Buck near the finish line to win the grade three Nakayama Himba Stakes for 4-year-olds and upwards at Nakayama on Sunday. They separated by a neck. Another 3/4-length back, Meisho Suzanna was third.
Yutaka Yoshida rode the winner to complete the 1,800-meter trip in 1 minute 50.30 seconds on firm ground.
Sundarbans is a 5-year-old brown mare by Heart's Cry out of Nature Guide, by El Condor Pasa.

Solveig takes Fillies' Revue
Eighth favorite Solveig took a good position to win the grade two Fillies' Revue under Yuga Kawada in 1 minute 22.10 seconds over 1,400 meters at Hanshin. A 1 1/4-length behind, At the Seaside came second with Candy Barows another nose back third.
Solveig is a 3-year-old chestnut filly by Daiwa Major out of As de Coeur, by Jungle Pocket.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Satono Noblesse ends losing streak in Chunichi Shimbun

Satono Noblesse ended a long drought as he won the grade three Chunichi Shimbun Hai in great acceleration at Chukyo on Saturday. He won it by a 1/2-length from Phantom Light. Recondite was third, another neck behind. Yuga Kawada was aboard the winner to cover the 2,000-meter 2 minutes 1.30 seconds on firm ground.
This was the first victory for Satono Noblesse since Aug. 10, 2014 when he captured the Kokura Kinen. 
Satono Noblesse is a 6-year-old dark bay horse by Deep Impact out of Cry with Joy, by Tony Bin.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Rouge Buck attempts to redeem her reputation in Nakayama Himba S

Rouge Buck heads the field of 16 entered for the grade three Nakayama Himba Stakes for 4yo+ fillies and mares on Sunday at Nakayama Racecourse.
Rouge Buck makes her seasonable debut and drew post 15. The main opponents to her could be: Earthrise and Sing with Joy.

The field for the 1,800-meter event is:

1 Queen's Milagro, 4f, 53, Masayoshi Ebina
2 Reine de Neige, 6m, 53, Yukito Ishikawa
3 Win Liberty, 5m, 53, Daichi Shibata
4 Earthrise, 4f, 54, Haruhiko Kawasu
5 Lethal Weapon, 5m, 51, Hiroyuki Uchida
6 Meisho Suzanna, 7m, 55, Takuya Ono
7 Flame Code, 7m, 53, Yuji Hishida
8 Nobori Diana, 6m, 56, Katsuharu Tanaka
9 Happiness Dancer, 5m, 53, Hayato Yoshida
10 Alma Divin, 6m, 54, Norihiro Yokoyama
11 Remain Silent, 6m, 53, Akihide Tsumura
12 Sing with Joy, 4f, 55, Yasunari Iwata
13 Virginia, 6m, 50, Katsuma Sameshima
14 Cat Coin, 4f, 54, Yuichi Shibayama
15 Rouge Buck, 4f, 56, Keita Tosaki
16 Sundarbans, 5m, 54, Yutaka Yoshida


A total of 18 fillies have been entered for the grade two Hochi Hai Fillies' Revue at Hanshin Racecourse on Sunday.
The main contenders are likely: Candy Barows, At the Seaside, Natalie Barows and Queue du Lapin.

The post position with riders for the 1,400-meter turf race is:

1 Sardona, Daisaku Matsuda
2 Solveig, Yuga Kawada
3 Diana Halo, Yusaku Kokubun
4 Riding High, Yuta Nakatani
5 Borderless, Hirohumi Shii
6 Kanetoshi Breath, Yoshimasa Kido
7 Candy Barows, Yutaka Take
8 Eternal Youth, Kyosuke Kokubun
9 At the Seaside, Yuichi Fukunaga
10 So Divine, Tomonori Sato
11 Lilting Ink, Christophe Lemaire
12 Wonderful Rush, Andrasch Starke
13 Win Mireille, Ryuji Wada
14 Queue du Lapin, Hironobu Tanabe
15 A Shin Picasso(USA), Kota Fujioka
16 Natalie Barows, Mirco Demuro
17 Quatre Rapport, Kyosuke Maruta
18 Meisho Suizuki, Kenichi Ikezoe


Chukyo hosts the 2,000-meter Chunichi Shimbun Hai with 18 entrants on Saturday.
The field for the wide-open handicap race is:

1 Rise to Fame, 6h, 56, Yukito Ishikawa
2 Satono Apollo, 8g, 56, Masayoshi Ebina
3 Meadowlark, 5h, 55, Dario Vargiu
4 Bounce Shasse, 5m, 55.5, Hironobu Tanabe
5 Satono Noblesse, 6h, 58, Yuga Kawada
6 Angreifen, 4c, 55, Hayato Yoshida
7 Deus Vult, 8g, 55, Hideaki Miyuki
8 Bright Emblem, 4c, 57, Christophe Lemaire
9 Shonan Bach, 5h, 55, Kenichi Ikezoe
10 Albert Dock, 4c, 57, Fuma Matsuwaka
11 Quetzaltenango, 4c, 56, Andrasch Starke
12 Meisho Kampaku, 9h, 52, Katsuma Sameshima
13 Recondite, 6h, 55, Yutaka Take
14 Historical, 7h, 57, Katsuharu Tanaka
15 Phantom Light, 7h, 55, Keita Tosaki
16 Yamanin Voielactee, 5g, 55, Takashi Fujikake
17 Longing Dancer, 7h, 53, Kazuo Yokoyama
18 Kluger, 4c, 55, Yuichi Fukunaga


Brief horseracing news
Christophe Lemaire has decided to ride Satono Diamond in the Satsuki Sho(Japanese 2000 Guineas). In Lemaire's place, Yuga Kawada will take the mount on Makahiki for the 2,000-meter classic race. Satono Diamon and Makahiki, both winning three times without loss under Lemaire, are headling for the Satsuki Sho.

Christophe Lemaire rode the nine winners from 18 mounts at Nakayama last Saturday and Sunday. He has now 42 wins for the season and remains in the JRA top rider's standing.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Rouge Buck heads Nakayama Himba nominations

Rouge Buck heads the list of 20 nominated for the grade three Nakayama Himba Stakes for 4yo+ fillies and mares to be run on Sunday, March 13 at Nakayama.
The 4-year-old Manhattan Cafe filly, once regarded the best filly of her generation early last season, could bid for rebuilding her reputation in her first start of the season.
Among other horses nominated for the 1,800-meter turf race are Earthrise and Sing with Joy.

On the same day, Hanshin Racecourse features the Fillies' Revue, one of the major preps for the Oka Sho(Japanese 1000 Guineas). A total of 20 fillies remain on the final list of the grade two nomination list.

There are 20 nominees for the grade three Chunichi Shimbun Hai to be run on Saturday, March 12 at Chukyo Racecourse.

Japan sends 10 horses to the March 26 Dubai races:
Hokko Tarumae for Dubai World Cup
Duramente, Last Impact, One and Only for Dubai Sheema Classic
Real Steel for Dubai Turf
Neo Black Dia for Dubai Gold Cup
Bel Canto for Al Quoz Sprint
Lani, On the Rocks, Yu Change for UAE Derby

UK bookmakers install Duramente as the favorite or second favorite for Dubai Sheema Classic at odds of 3.0 to 4.5.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Makahiki makes big leap to Satsuki Sho with Yayoi win

Makahiki made a big leap toward the Satsuki Sho(Japanese 2000 Guineas) as he won the grade two Yayoi Sho under Christophe Lemaire in a superb 1 minute 59.90 seconds over 2,000 meters on the Nakayama firm ground Sunday.
Second favorite Makahiki, having trailed early on, made up a lot of grounds in the stretch, and he just got up in time to win by a neck from race favorite Leontes. Another 2-length behind, Air Spinel was third.

Makahiki, a 3-year-old bay colt by Deep Impact out of French Deputy mare Wikiwiki, has now won three in as many starts. He is definitely one of the serious Satsuki Sho contenders.

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Sinhalite remains undefeated in Tulip Sho

Sinhalite remained undefeated in three starts as she won the Tulip Sho in a ding-dong battle at Hanshin on Saturday. Race favorite Jeweler fought it out to finish a nose-second. Lavender Valley got third place, a 1 1/2-length behind the runner-up.
Kenichi Ikezoe rode the winner to stop the clock in 1 minute 32.80 seconds for the final time over 1,600 meters on firm ground.
Sinhalite is a 3-year-old dark bay filly by Deep Impact out of Singhalese, by Singspiel.

Closing kick gives A Shin Bullseye(USA) Ocean S victory
A strong closing kick gives A Shin Bullseye(USA) Ocean Stakes victory. In the hands of Syu Ishibashi, the 5-year-old chestnut horse ran the 1,200-meter distance in 1 minute 7.50 seconds on firm ground.
Hakusan Moon, who led the field from start, finished second, a 1 1/2-length behind, with another 1 1/4-length back Snow Dragon third.
A Shin Bullseye, bred in USA by Elijah Bailey, is a son of Belgravia out of Miss Fear Factor, by Siphon.

Friday, March 04, 2016

12 starters for Yayoi Sho

A field of 12 is set for the Hochi Hai Yayoi Sho, led by Leontes, a sensational winner of the Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes in his only second start last December. 
The King Kamehameha colt will be controlled by hot rider Micro Demuro to break from post 10. 
Air Spinel, second in the Futurity Stakes behind Leontes, drew post 4. 
Makahiki, a two-time winner who won the Wakagoma Stakes in great style last outing, takes a big test. He drew post 11.

The post position with riders for the grade two 2,000-meter race at Nakayama is:

1 Admire Eikan, Yasunari Iwata
2 Sha La La*, Teruo Eda
3 Taisei Summit, Hiroyuki Uchida
4 Air Spinel, Yutaka Take
5 Vigor Edge, Norihiro Yokoyama
6 Mo Katteru, Kosei Miura
7 Ken Hovawart, Ryoya Kozaki
8 Imagine That, Keita Tosaki
9 Moses, Masayoshi Ebina
10 Leontes, Mirco Demuro
11 Makahiki, Christophe Lemaire
12 Edict, Takuya Ono
* - filly


16 fillies have been entered for the Tulip Sho, one of the major preps for the Oka Sho(Japanese 1000 Guineas) at Hanshin on Saturday.

Jeweler, who showed a great closing kick when a narrow-second in the Shinzan Kinen last January, is the likely favorite for the 1,600-meter race. Mirco Demuro will ride her to break from post 9.
The main oppositions to Jeweler could be: Elfin Stakes winner Red Avancer, two-time winner Sinhalite and Win Fabulous, second in the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies.

The post position with rider for the Tulip Sho is:

1 Fall in Love, Kohei Matsuyama
2 Denko Ange, Yuga Kawada
3 Vivlos, Hiroyuki Uchida
4 Admire Lead, Yuji Hishida
5 Queen's Best, Fabrice Veron
6 Sacre Diva, Shinichiro Akiyama
7 Lavender Valley, Keita Tosaki
8 Elvish, Yuichi Fukunaga
9 Jeweler, Mirco Demuro
10 Blanc Bonheur, Yasunari Iwata
11 Sinhalite, Kenichi Ikezoe
12 Win Fabulous, Masami Matsuoka
13 Kaiserball, Hirofumi Shii
14 Kurino Lahore, Futoshi Komaki
15 Crocosmia, Masaki Katsuura
16 Red Avancer, Yutaka Take


The main event of the day at the Nakayama Saturday meeting will be the grade three Ocean Stakes, one of the trials for the Takamatsunomiya Kinen, for 4-year-olds and up.
The 1,200-meter race with a total of 16 entrants looks like a wide-open contest.

The field is:

1 Sky Cutie, 6m, 54, Yutaka Yoshida
2 Hakusan Moon, 7h, 56, Manabu Sakai
3 Nero, 5h, 56, Kosei Miura
4 Kahala Bisty, 7m, 54, Daichi Shibata
5 Henny Hound(USA), 8h, 56, Masayoshi Ebina
6 Gold Pegasus, 4c, 56, Andrasch Starke
7 Snow Dragon, 8h, 57, Takuya Ono
8 Sugino Endeavour, 8h, 56, Yuichi Shibayama
9 Total Heat(USA), 5m, 54, Ryuji Wada
10 Seiko Raiko, 9h, 56, Hironobu Tanabe
11 A Shin Bullseye(USA), 5h, 56, Syu Ishibashi
12 Wakino Brave, 6h, 56, Norihiro Yokoyama
13 Afford, 8h, 56, Yukito Ishikawa
14 Sakajiro Royal, 8h, 56, Yusaku Kokubun
15 Flame Halo, 8g, 56, Teruo Eda
16 Albiano(USA), 4f, 55, Christophe Lemaire

Brief Horseracing News

Amour Briller(USA), ridden by Yutaka Take, won the NAR grade two Empress Hai in two consecutive years at Kawasaki on March 2.
Lovely Day will make his 2016 debut in the April 3 Sankei Osaka Hai before going for the April 24 Queen Elizabeth II Cup in Hong Kong.
Shonan Pandora, winner of last year's Japan Cup, will return to this season in the April 3 Sankei Osaka Hai. 
German rider Andrasch Starke has been granted the JRA temporary license effective from March 5 thru April 3.

As of Friday, six horses will go for the March 26 Dubai World Cup Races:
Duramente, Last Impact for Dubai Sheema Classic
Real Steel for Dubai Turf
Neo Black Dia for Dubai Gold Cup
On the Rocks, Yu Change for UAE Derby

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

JRA graded races on March 5 and 6

The Hochi Hai Yayoi Sho, one of the major preps for the Satsuki Sho(Japanese 2000 Guineas), will be run on March 6 at Nakayama Racecourse. 13 three-year-olds have been nominated for the grade two 2,000-meter race. Among the nominations are juvenile champ Leontes, who won the Asahi Hai Futurity S in his only second start, Asahi Hai Futurity runner-up Air Spinel and Makahiki, an impressive two-time winner.

A total of 20 filies have been nominated to the grade three Tulip Sho for 3-year-old fillies to be run on March 5 at Hanshin Racecourse. The nominations for the 1,600-meter race include Jeweler, Red Avancer, Shinhalite and Win Fabulous.

Nakayama hosts the Ocean Stakes, one of the preps for the Takamatsunomiya Kinen, on March 5. 19 horses have been nominated to the 1,200-meter turf race. The nominations include Albiano(USA), Nero and A Shin Bullseye(USA).