Saturday, April 30, 2016

Gold Actor early favorite for Tenno Sho Spring

As of Saturday, Gold Actor has been installed as the 3.5(5/2) favorite for the Tenno Sho Spring to be run on Sunday, May 1. 
Kitasan Black was the 4.5(7/2) second favorite followed by Cheval Grand 6.2(26/5) and Sounds of Earth 9.3(83/10).

Field of NAR Kakitsubata Kinen

10 horses quest for the first prize of 21 million jpn yen as they contend the NAR grade three Kakitsubata Kinen to be run on Tuesday, May 3 at Nagoya Race track. JRA entries are Nobo Baccara, Snow Dragon, Tagano Tonnerre, Laser Bullet and Bulldog Boss.

The field for the 1,400-meter dirt race is:

1 Kent Ryuko, 8h, 54, M. Ohata
2 Love Bullet, 5h, 54, S. Yamamoto
3 Nobo Baccara, 4c, 54, M. Demuro
4 Snow Dragon, 8h, 59, T. Ono
5 Tagano Tonnerre, 6g, 55, Y. Kawada
6 Iwakura Ginga, 7m, 52, T. Imai
7 Laser Bullet, 8h, 55, K. Tosaki
8 Bright Shimpu, 7h, 54, S. Kakihara
9 Bulldog Boss, 4c, 54, C. Lemaire
10 Up Anchor, 6h, 54, Y. Abe

Vanquish Run wins Aoba Sho

Vanquish Run, fourth favorite in the field of 13, pulled away from the rest in the middel of the home stretch to win the grade two TV Tokyo Hai Aoba Sho under Hiroyuki Uchida at Tokyo on Saturday. A 1 1/4-length behind, Red Eldest finished second with another 3-length back Laevateinn third. The final time for the 2,400-meter distance was 2 minutes 24.20 seconds.
Vanquish Run is a 3-year-old dark bay colt by Deep Impact out of Lilly of the Valley, by Galileo.

Friday, April 29, 2016

13 colts for Aoba Sho

13 colts have been entered for the TV Tokyo Hai Aoba Sho, one of the major preps for the Japanese Derby, to be run on Saturday at Tokyo Racecourse.

The leading contenders could be: Prodigal Son, Vanquish Run, Maitres d'Art, Laevateinn and Alcazar.

The field in post position order with riders for the grade two 2,400-meter race is:

1 Love and Pop, Takuya Ono
2 Friend Miracle, Masami Matsuoka
3 Los Cabos, Kenichi Ikezoe
4 Red Eldest, Hirofumi Shii
5 Don Chabu, Yuichi Shibayama
6 Vanquish Run, Hiroyuki Uchida
7 Meiner Honey, Daichi Shibata
8 Tencendor, Yutaka Yoshida
9 Alcazar, Hironobu Tanabe
10 Noble Mars, Ryo Takakura
11 Maitres d'Art, Hugh Bowman
12 Prodigal Son, Keita Tosaki
13 Laevateinn, Christophe Lemaire

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Gold Actor heads field for 2016 Tenno Sho Spring

Gold Actor, who has won last five outings including the grade one Arima Kinen, heads a field of 18 entered for the Tenno Sho Spring at Kyoto Racecourse. Regular rider Hayato Yoshida will mount on him to break from post 17.

The main opponents to Gold Actor are likely to: Kitasan Black, winner of last year's Kikuka Sho; Hanshin Daishoten winner Cheval Grand; Sounds of Earth, who nearly missed winning the big race in several occasions  and Fame Game, runner-up in this race last year.

The post time for the 3,200-meter marathon race will be at  3:40 p.m. JST on Sunday, May 1.

The field in post position order with riders is:

1 Kitasan Black, Yutaka Take
2 Twinkle, Masaki Katsuura
3 Curren Mirotic, Kenichi Ikezoe
4 Tosen Reve, Koshiro Take
5 Fame Game, Hugh Bowman
6 Admire Deus, Yasunari Iwata
7 Fata Morgana, Hiroyuki Uchida
8 Cheval Grand, Yuichi Fukunaga
9 Toho Jackal, Manabu Sakai
10 Albert, Christophe Lemaire
11 Tanta Alegria, Masayoshi Ebina
12 Yamanin Voielactee, Genki Maruyama
13 Meiner Medalist, Daichi Shibata
14 Satono Noblesse, Ryuji Wada
15 Sounds of Earth, Yusuke Fujioka
16 Phantom Light, Kosei Miura
17 Gold Actor, Hayato Yoshida
18 Reve Mistral, Yuga Kawada
All starters carry 58 kgs.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Flashback: 2000 Tenno Sho Spring

April 30, 2000
The 121st running of the Tenno Sho Spring

T.M.Opera O brilliant triumps the Tenno Sho(Spring)
T.M.Opera O showed a superb final stretchrun in beating Rascal Suzuka by a 3/4-length in the Tennosho/Emperor's Cup(Spring) at Kyoto Racecourse also known as "Yodo". A 3/4-length behind Rascal Suzuka, Narita Top Road settled in third place. In his 12th run on the grade one races, Stay Gold was fourth with Hokkai Rousseau fifth. 
The 4-year-old T.M.Opera O, a son of Opera House, proved himself the best long-distance runner in the country. The victory was his third straight win this year, remaining his undefeated season of 3 for 3. For jockey Ryuji Wada and trainer Ichizo Iwamoto, it was the first Tennosho victory.

12 starters went to the post for the traditional race for 3,200-meter. Tamamo Inazuma led the field in the early stage, clocking the opening 1,000-meter and 2,000-meter in 1:00 9/10 
and 2:06 8/10 respectively. A big pack of the 12 runners formed before going down the slope at the far turn for the second time. Favorite T.M.Opera O with third pick Rascal Suzuka tailing on him advanced to a position close to the front runners. While, second pick Narita Top Road, making an early spurt in the same way that he was successful in the Kikuka Sho last November, was in second place turning into the stretch. With Leo Ryuho fading, Narita Top Road and T.M.Opera O took command and dueled for a short time until Wada sent his colt T.M.Opera O into a lead with less than 200-meter to go. Narita Top Road with K.Watanabe on him tried to track the new leader, but Y.Take's Rascal Suzuka, challenging them late on the outside, took the second place from Narita Top Road near the finish line.The thrilling finish between the three, who were separated by one and a half lengths, was witnessed by the attendance of more than 96,000 people. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

2016 Tenno Sho Spring Nominations

A total of 19 horses have been nominated for the Tenno Sho Spring to be run on May 1 at Kyoto as follows.

Admire Deus
Curren Mirotic
Kitasan Black
Gold Actor
Sounds of Earth
Satono Noblesse
Cheval Grand
Tanta Alegria
Tosen Reve
Toho Jackal
Fata Morgana
Phantom Light
Fame Game
Meiner Medalist
Madrid Cafe
Yamanin Voielactee
Reve Mistral
(in random order)

Data analysis
Favorites have a poor record in the last ten years. 2006 winner Deep Impact was the only favorite winner in the last decade. The longest priced winner in the last 10 years was Beat Black in 2012, who paid 15,960 yen for win as 14th favorite. During the same period, 7-year-olds or older horses have not won.
Horses who have previously raced the Tenno Sho Spring or raced the Kikuka Sho have a good record.  

Monday, April 25, 2016

Kyoto Racecourse

KYOTO Racecourse
Course address: 
32 Yoshijima Watashibashima-machi Fushimi-ku Kyoto
A 5-minute walk from Yodo Station on Keihan Line. A 20-minute bus ride from JRA Yamazaki Station.
Course description: 
The inner main turf circuit is an oval of 1,782.8 meters in length, run right-handed. The width is between 27 meters and 38 meters. The run-in is 328.4 meters. There is a hill around the third turn. The outer main turf circuit is an oval of 1,894.3 meters in length and the home stretch to the finish line lengthened to 403.7 meters. The dirt course is an inside oval of 1,608 meters.
Kyoto Racecourse is the home of the Tenno Sho Spring and the Kikuka Sho.

2016 Meetings: 39 days

Tenno Sho Spring

Grade one
4-year-olds and upwards
weight: 58 kgs, fillies or mares allowed 2 kgs
3,200-meter turf
Kyoto Racecourse

Brief History
The Tenno Sho Spring(so called in 1948 for the first time) was inaugurated in 1938 at Hanshin over 2,700 meters and  was run over 3,200 meters for the first time the following year.
Kyoto Racecourse hosted the race for the first time in 1944. 
War caused the race to be suspended in 1945 and 1946.
The race was run under the name of Heiwa Sho in 1947.
As grading system began in 1984, the Tenno Sho Spring was graded as a grade one race.
NAR horses can participated in the race in 1995.
The door was open to a limited number of foreign-bred horses in 2000.
The door was open to a limited number of foreign-trained horses in 2005.

The Tenno Sho(Emperor’s Cup) is a biannual race, taking place in Spring at Kyoto and Autumn at Tokyo. The traditional Spring edition is the biggest and important race for routers.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Cecchino romps Flora Stakes

Cecchino, ridden by Christophe Lemaire, drew out inside 200 meters out to win the Sankei Sports Sho Flora Stakes at Tokyo on Sunday. She won it by a 3-length from Pearl Code with another 1/2-length back Awake third.
Cecchino is a 3-year-old chestnut filly by King Kamahameha out of Happy Path, by Sunday Silence.

Kluger takes Milers Cup
Kluger ran with the rail down the stretch to win the grade two Yomiuri Milers Cup at Kyoto on Sunday. Danon Shark was second, a neck behind, with Clarente anther 1/2-length back third.
Kluger is a 4-year-old dark bay colt by King Kamehameha out of Addicted, by Diktat.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Outsider takes Fukushima Himba S

Makoto Brillar, outsider of 15th favorite, stalked the pace at second spot to win the Fukushima Himba Stakes at Fukushima Racecoruse on Saturday. A 1 1/4-length behind, Chaleur came second with another neck back Otsu third.
Yuichi Kitamura rode the winner to come cross the winning post in 1 minute 47.50 seconds for the final time of the 1,800-meter trip on firm turf.
Makoto Brillar is a 6-year-old bay mare by Storming Home out of Makoto Koran, by Brian's Time.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Fields set for JRA graded races on April 23 and 24

A maximum field of 18 fillies is set to run in the Sankei Sports Sho Flora Stakes, one of the major preps for the Japanese Oaks, at Tokyo on Sunday.
The main contenders are likely to Cecchino, Pearl Code and Queen's Best.

The field for the grade two 2,000-meter race is:

1 Ballet Dancer, Takuya Ono
2 Gekkako, Masami Matsuoka
3 Biche, Norihiro Yokoyama
4 Agreable, Yasunari Iwata
5 Chocolate, Yukito Ishikawa
6 Awake, Yutaka Yoshida
7 Fire Crystal, Hironobu Tanabe
8 Sha La La, Takayuki Kato
9 Frontier Queen, Masayoshi Ebina
10 Blue Orient, Yuichi Shibayama
11 Pearl Code, Yuga Kawada
12 Tokai Schon, Katsuharu Tanaka
13 Emanon, Manabu Sakai
14 Queen's Best, Kosei Miura
15 Seek the Future, Syu Ishibashi
16 Crocosmia, Masaki Katsuura
17 Elvish, Hiroyuki Uchida
18 Cecchino, Christophe Lemaire


Kyoto's main event on Sunday will be the Yomiuri Milers Cup for 4-year-olds and upward. The major players could be Fiero, Danon Liberty, Albert Dock and Sunrise Major.

The field for the grade two 1,600-meter event is:

1 Danon Shark, 8h, 57, Yuichi Fukunaga
2 Kluger, 4c, 56, Kohei Matsuyama
3 T M Inazuma, 6h, 56, Yoshihiro Furukawa
4 Clarente, 7h, 56, Futoshi Komaki
5 Katie Pride, 6h, 56, Shinichiro Akiyama
6 Extra End, 7h, 56, Daisaku Matsuda
7 Fiero, 7h, 56, Ryota Sameshima
8 Arma Waioli, 4c, 56, Koshiro Take
9 Neo Stardom, 4c, 56, Kenichi Ikezoe
10 Martinborough, 7h, 56, Yusuke Fujioka
11 Red Arion, 6h, 57, Haruhiko Kawasu
12 Albert Dock, 4c, 56, Hideaki Miyuki
13 Kento O, 4c, 56, Ryuji Wada
14 Danon Liberty, 4c, 56, Fuma Matsuwaka
15 Sunrise Major, 7h, 56, Hirofumi Shii


The Fukushima Himba Stakes for 4-year-olds and upward fillies and mares will be run on Saturday at Fukushima Racecourse. A total of 16 horses have been entered for the grade three 1,800-meter race.

Thre field is:

1 Deep Jewelry, 4f, 54, Kosei Miura
2 Flame Code, 7m, 54, Yuji Hishida
3 Earthrise, 4f, 54, Genki Maruyama
4 Alma Divin, 6m, 54, Yusuke Fujioka
5 Queen's Milagro, 4f, 54, Hideaki Miyuki
6 Otsu, 6m, 54, Shota Kato
7 Lethal Weapon, 5m, 54, Hironobu Tanabe
8 Makoto Brillar, 6m, 54, Yuichi Kitamura
9 Happiness Dancer, 5m, 54, Hayato Yoshida
10 Cat Coin, 4f, 54, Yuichi Shibayama
11 Not Formal, 4f, 54, Hiroto Mayuzumi
12 Meisho Suzanna, 7m, 54, Takuya Ono
13 Win Liberty, 5m, 54, Kohei Matsuyama
14 Minaret, 6m, 54, Takayuki Kato
15 Curren Che Carina, 6m, 54, Masaki Katsuura
16 Chaleur, 4f, 54, Norihiro Yokoyama

Three Japanese horses for QE II Cup in Hong Kong

Three Japanese horses are among the 13 horses entered for the Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Sha Tin on April 24 as follows:
Lovely Day
Nuovo Record
Satono Crown

Maurice is scheduled to leave Japan for Hong Kong on April 23 to run in the May 1 Champions Mile at Sha Tin. 

With company of his stablemate A Shin Erwin(IRE), A Shin Hikari is scheduled to leave Japan for France on April 27 to run in the May 24 Prix d'lspahan at Chantilly.

A Shin Hikari and A Shin Erwin have been nominated for the June 15 Prince of Wales Stakes and the June 14 Queen Anne Stakes at Ascot respectively.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

JRA Graded Races on April 23 and 24

Kyoto Racourse features the grade two Milers Cup for 4-year-olds and upwards on Sunday. 16 horses have been nominated for the 1,600-meter event.

Tokyo Racecourse features the Flora Stakes, one of the major preps for the Japanese Oaks, on  Sunday. A total of 27 fillies have been nominated for the grade two 2,000-meter race.

A total of 21 fillies and mares have been nominated for the grade three Fukushima Himba Stakes at Fukushima Racecourse over 1,800 meters on turf Saturday. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Dee Majesty storms home in Satsuki Sho

Eighth favorite Dee Majesty came from far behind to win the Satsuki Sho(Japanese 2000 Guineas) at Nakayama Sunday. In the final stage, Masayoshi Ebina-driven Dee Majesty got past Leontes, Air Spinel and Satono Diamond on the outside in the blink of an eye before completing the 2,000-meter distance in a near-record time of 1 minute 57.90 seconds on a firm ground.

The late-running Makahiki came on the far outside to finish second, a 1 1/4-length behind. Another 1 1/4-length behind, Satono Diamond finished third. Leontes finished fourth, but was demoted to fifth for interference with Air Spinel, who was promoted to fourth from fifth.

The winning rider Ebina said, "All went well. The race with the high pace early on worked out perferctly for us. He relaxed at the rear of the field. I thought he smashed into the front as he was going well heading for the stretch slope."

Trained by Y. Ninomiya, Dee Majesty has raced five times, finishing three firsts and two seconds,  with more than 178 million jpn yen in career earnings. Owned and bred by M. Shimada, Dee Majesty is a 3-year-old bay colt by Deep Impact out of Hermes Tiara, by Brian's Time.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Heavy favorite wins Antares Stakes

Heavy favorite Awardee(USA) extended his winning streak to four as he won the grade three Antares Stakes at Hanshin on Saturday. Yutaka Take on Awardee rallied in the stretch to get past Asukano Roman near the finish, winning the 1,800-meter race in 1 minute 49.90 seconds on dirt. A 1/2-length behind, Asukano Roman was second with another 3-length behind Sergeant Badge third.
Awardee, a half brother of Lani, who has yet to lose since switching to the dirt surface, is a 6-year-old bay horse by Jungle Pocket out of Heavenly Romance, by Sunday Silence.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Awardee(USA) tops field of Saturday's Antares Stakes

Awardee(USA) tops the field of 16 entered for the Antares Stakes at Hanshin on Saturday, April 16. Awardee, a half brother of Lani, keeps winning since switching to the dirt surface three starts back. Victory of the NAR grade three Nagoya Daishoten was his most recent effort.
The main opponents to Awardee could be: Chrysolite, Roi Jardin and Asukano Roman.

The field for the 1,800-meter dirt race is:

1 Chrysolite, 6h, 58, Yuga Kawada
2 Sergeant Badge, 4c, 56, Mirco Demuro
3 Roi Jardin, 5h, 57, Norihiro Yokoyama
4 Isshin Dotai, 7h, 56, Hironobu Tanabe
5 Sammaru Duke, 7h, 56, Tomoharu Bushizawa
6 Vent Nouveau, 7h, 56, Shinichiro Akiyama
7 Top Divo, 4c, 56, Hirofumi Shii
8 King Hero, 7h, 56, Futoshi Komaki
9 Awardee(USA), 6h, 57, Yutaka Take
10 Meiner Crop, 6h, 56, Ryuji Wada
11 Roman Legend, 8h, 58, Yasunari Iwata
12 Solor, 6h, 56, Kota Fujioka
13 Tosho Freak, 9h, 56, Kenichi Ikezoe
14 Centurion, 4c, 56, Christophe Lemaire
15 Shonan Apollon, 6h, 57, Masami Matsuoka
16 Asukano Roman, 5h, 58, Keisuke Dazai

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Post position draw for 2016 Satsuki Sho

The post position for the 2016 Satsuki Sho(Japanese 2000 Guineas) has been drawn. 18 colts were entered for the first leg of the Triple Crown Races.

Makahiki drew post two. Satono Diamond drew post 11. Leontes drew post 15.

The post time for the grade one 2,000-meter turf race will be at 3:40 p.m. JST on Sunday, April 17.

The field in post position order with riders is:

1 Dreadnoughtus, Yusuke Fujioka
2 George Cing, Hayato Yoshida
3 Makahiki, Yuga Kawada
4 Admire Daio, Yuichi Fukunaga
5 Mount Robson, Tommy Berry
6 Miraieno Tsubasa, Daichi Shibata
7 Umbuch, Yuichi Shibayama
8 Mikki Rocket, Norihiro Yokoyama
9 Namura Shingun, Hironobu Tanabe
10 Toa Raijin, Takuya Ono
11 Satono Diamond, Christophe Lemaire
12 Respect Earth, Yukito Ishikawa
13 Prophet, Keita Tosaki
14 Lord Quest, Kenichi Ikezoe
15 Air Spinel, Yutaka Take
16 Leontes, Mirco Demuro
17 Admire Morale, Hiroyuki Uchida
18 Dee Majesty, Masayoshi Ebina
All starters carry 57 kgs.

Big Three ready for Classic

Big Three, final workout for Satsuki Sho(Japanese 2000 Guineas) on Wednesday morning

Makahiki(3-3-0-0) had a piece of workout at Ritto, clocking 800 meters in 52.70 seconds.
Leontes(3-2-1-0) with Mirco Demuro aboard breezed 1,000 meters in 67.60 seconds at Ritto CW course.
Satono Diamond(3-3-0-0) with Christophe Lemaire aboard galloped 1,200 meters in 82.90 seconds at Ritto CW course. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Vita Allegria takes Marine Cup

Vita Allegria stalked the pace to win the NAR grade three Marine Cup at Funabashi Racetrack on Wednesday night. Blue Chipper set the pace to finish second, a 1/2-length behind. Keita Tosaki was aboard the winner to complete the 1,600-meter trip in 1 minute 40.20 seconds on dirt surface. Race favorite Buchiko was scratched just before the post time.
Vita Allegria, trained at JRA Miho by M. Takayanagi, is a 5-year-old dark bay mare by Neo Universe out of Cactus Pear, by Lion Heart.

Flashback: 2000 Satsuki Sho

April 16, 2000 at Nakayama Racecourse
60th Satsuki Sho(Japanese 2000 Guineas)

Air Shakur triumphs Satsuki Sho
The Satsuki Sho, a first leg of the Triple Crown Races for 3-year-olds, was won by second pick Air Shakur, who beat favorite Daitaku Riva by a neck, with outsider Titanic O two and a half lengths back third. 
Yutaka Take rode the winner to gain his second Satsuki Sho victory. He won the race on Narita Taishin in 1993. Hideyuki Mori, trainer of Air Shakur, was provided with his first Satsuki Sho title.

Purple Ebisu, who rushed into the lead as expected, with Meiner Condor on his heels, set the pace for the opening 1,000-meter in 1:00.2 that was mediocre.

Yutaka Take kept Air Shakur well in the rear until he asked his colt at aroung 600-meter remaining, to move toward the front. In response to Take, Air Shakur made up grounds on the final bend. As the field entered into the sretch, the Sunday Silence colt Air Shakur sailed on the far outside within striking distance. Meanwhile, Daitaku Riva, traveling on the inside, was about to come out of the crowd. With 200-meter to go, Daitaku Riva passed Purple Ebisu to take a slightly lead with Air Shakur closing in swiftly. The two made a neck-to-neck battle for the rest of the way. In the end, Air Shakur beat Daitaku Riva in the last stride, clocking 2:01.8 for 2,000-meter turf. Titanic O scrambled into third with Joten Brave fourth.

A maximum of 18 went to the post. However, 17 runners were on the course. Unfortunately, third pick Rugger Regulus fell off  his rider Tetsuo Sato and got caught in the gate, simultaneously upon completion of opening the gate. He has showed a tendency to behave badly in the gate before.

Air Shakur, bred by Shadai Farm in Chitose , Hokkaido, has now recorded three wins of six starts with increasing a career earnings to more than 177 million yen. Air Shakur broke a maiden at Hanshin last November after finishing fifth in his debut. He ran second in the condition race before winning the Hopeful Stakes at Nakayama Dec. 26, 1999. In the Yayoi Sho prior to the Satsuki Sho, Air Shakur finished second to Fusaichi Zenon by comining from behind.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

2016 Satsuki Sho(Japanese 2000 Guineas) nominations

A total of 22 horses have been nominated for the 2016 Satsuki Sho(Japanese 2000 Guineas) to be run on Sunday, April 17 at Nakayama.

Admire Daio(4-3-0-1)
Admire Morale(7-1-2-1)
Air Spinel(4-2-1-1)
Dee Majesty(4-2-2-0)
George Cing(8-2-2-1)
Lord Quest(4-2-1-1)
Mikki Rocket(5-1-3-0)
Miraieno Tsubasa(5-2-1-1)
Mount Robson(5-3-2-0)
Namura Shingun(6-2-2-1)
Respect Earth(4-1-1-0)
Saimon Seele(7-1-2-0)
Satono Diamond(3-3-0-0)
Toa Raijin(5-1-0-0)
Unison Delight(4-1-2-0)
Wild Game(9-1-0-0)

Data Analysis
Only two winning favorites in the last 10 years. Few surprises in the last decade - 2007 winner Victory paid 1,730 jpn yen for win as seventh favorite. 2008 winner Captain Thule paid 1,710 jpn yen for win as seventh favorite. A win last outing is almost essential - Eight of the last 10 winners have come off victories in a prep race. Three runners of Kyodo News Services Hai have won recently -Durament in 2015, Isla Bonita in 2014 and Gold Ship in 2012.

Prominent runners not to run in Satsuki Sho
Grade two Hopeful Stakes winner Hartley, who finished ninth in the Kyodo News Service Hai as favorite, will not run in the Satsuki Sho due to colic. His next action has not been decided.
Logi Cry, winner of the grade three Shinzan Kinen, will be out of Spring campaign due to leg injury.
Grade three Mainichi Hai winner Smart Odin will skip the Satsuki Sho and be heading for the May 7 grade two Kyoto Shimbun Hai.
Meiner Honey, runner-up in the grade two Spring Stakes, will bypass the Satsuki Sho and go for the April 30 grade three Aoba Sho.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Field of 2016 Marine Cup

A field of 11 is set for the NAR grade three Marine Cup for 3-year-olds and upwards fillies and mares. JRA entries are Buchiko, Forevermore, Vita Allegria and Dear My Darling.

The Marine Cup will be run on Wednesday night at NAR Funabashi Racecourse over 1,600 meters on dirt surface.

1 Double Fantasy 6m 55 T.Sasagawa
2 Cerca Trova 9m 55 K.Seio
3 Buchiko 4f 55 C.Lemaire
4 Bora Tosho 6m 55 Y.Yamanaka
5 Black Baccara 5m 55 N.Fujita
6 Forevermore 5m 55 M.Demuro
7 Blue Chipper 6m 55 Y.Iwata
8 Vita Allegria 5m 55 K.Tosaki
9 Kura Carmen 7m 55 
10 Dear My Darling 4f 56 Y.Fukunaga
11 Touch Duel 7m 55 S.Nakano


Funabashi Racetrack
Course Address
1-2-1 Wakamatsu Funabashi-shi Chiba
A 10-minute walk from JR Minami Funabashi Station
A 5-minute walk from Keisei Dentetsu Line Funabashi Keibajyo Station
Course Description
The outer course is a left-handed, flat, oval dirt track of 1,400 meters with 363 meters in stretch and 25 meters in width. The homestretch to the finish is 308 meters in length.
The inner course is a left-handed, flat, oval dirt tack of 1,250 meters.
Maximum field: 14
Meetings: 54 days in 2016 fisical year(41 of them are evening meetings)

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Jeweler storms home in Oka Sho

Jeweler came from far off the pace to win the Oka Sho(Japanese 1000 Guineas) as third favorite in a thrilling photo finish at Hanshin on Sunday afternoon. She won it by a nose from Sinhalite with another 1 3/4-length back At the Seaside third. Heavy favorite Major Emblem, who struggled in the crowd down the final stretch, finished fourth, another 1/2-length behind. The final time for the 1,600-meter on firm ground was 1 minute 33.40 seconds.
Sinhalite pulled away from the rest at around 200 meters from home and looked to win the race. But Mirco Demuro-driven Jeweler rallied on the outside to collar Sinhalite at the finish line.

Trained at Ritto by K. Fujioka and owned by Y. Aoyama, Jeweler finished two firsts and two seconds in his four career starts with more than 155 million jpn yen in career earnings.
Bred by Shadai Farm, Jeweler is a 3-year-old bay filly by Victoire Pisa out of Baldwina, by Pistolet Bleu.

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Major Emblem early favorite for 2016 Oka Sho

As of Saturday, Major Emblem has been installed as the early favorite for the 2016 Oka Sho(Japanese 1000 Guineas) at odds of 1.4(2-5). Jeweler was the 5.1(41-10) second favorite followed by Sinhalite 5.8(24-5). The rest of the field was 10.0(9-1) or higher.

Smart Layer wins second Hanshin Himba S

Second favorite Smart Layer led all the way to gain the second Hanshin Himba Stakes victory at Hanshin on Saturday. Race favorite Mikki Queen made a great effort to challenge, but finished a neck short of the victory in second. Another 3/4-length behind, Win Primera finished third. The final time for the 1,600-meter distance on firm ground was 1 minute 33.10 seconds.
Mirco Demuro on Smart Layer won the second Hanshin Himba Stakes since 2001 as he won the race on Air Thule.
Smart Layer, who won the Tokyo Shimbun Hai prior to the Hanshin Himba Stakes, is a 6-year-old grey mare by Deep Impact out of Snow Style, by White Muzzle.

Dantsu Prius takes NZ Trophy
Dantsu Prius denied challenge by Stormy Sea to win the grade two New Zealand Trophy at Nakayama on Saturday. A nose separated by the two. Another neck behind, Eclat Millenaire came third. Genki Maruyama rode the winner to cover the 1,600-meter trip in 1 minute 33.90 seconds on firm ground.
Dantsu Prius is a 3-year-old bay colt by Brian's Time out of Strong Leda, by Manhattan Cafe.

Friday, April 08, 2016

JRA Graded Races on Saturday, April 9

A total of 16 three-year-olds have been entered for the New Zealand Trophy at Nakayama Racecourse.
The main contenders could be: Astra Emblem, Rainbow Line, Dantsu Prius and  Ball Lightning.

The field for the grade two 1,600-meter race is:

1 Madidi(USA), c, Kosei Miura
2 Rainbow Line, c, Hiroyuki Uchida
3 Astra Emblem, c, Hironobu Tanabe
4 Eclat Millenaire, f, Hiroshi Kitamura
5 Dantsu Prius, c, Genki Maruyama
6 Monster King, c, Yukito Ishikawa
7 Captain Perry, c, Takuya Ono
8 Stormy Sea, c, Teruo Eda
9 Sable Or, c, Yuichi Shibayama
10 Shonan Rise, c, Norihiro Yokoyama
11 Hallelujah Boy, c, Yutaka Yoshida
12 Carp Streamer, c, Yasunari Iwata
13 Jun the World, c, Katsuharu Tanaka
14 Ball Lightning, c, Masayoshi Ebina
15 Matera Arion, c, Masami Matsuoka
16 Danon Spark, c, Syu Ishibashi


Hanshin hosts the SankeiSports Hai Hanshin Himba Stakes for 4-year-olds and upwards fillies and mares. 13 female runners have been entered for the grade two 1,600-meter truf race.

The field is:

1 Dantsu Cancer, 5m, 54, Ryuji Wada
2 Kokorono Ai, 4f, 54, Yutaka Take
3 Red Reveur, 5m, 54, Yuji Hishida
4 Andriette, 4f, 54, Kota Fujioka
5 Eye Line, 4f, 54, Kohei Matsuyama
6 Mikki Queen, 4f, 56, Christophe Lemaire
7 Smart Layer, 6m, 54, Mirco Demuro
8 Cafe Brilliant, 6m, 55, Yuichi Fukunaga
9 Win Primera, 6m, 54, Yuga Kawada
10 Perfica, 4f, 54, Yusuke Fujioka
11 Meisho Mambo, 6m, 55, Koshiro Take
12 Dance Amiga, 5m, 54, Kenichi Ikezoe
13 Straight Girl, 7m, 56, Keita Tosaki

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Field drawn for 2016 Oka Sho(Japanese 1000 Guineas)

A field of 18 fillies has been drawn for the 2016 Oka Sho(Japanese 1000 Guineas).

Major Emblem, the likely favorite for the first filly classic of the year, drew post 5. Tulip Sho winner Sinhalite drew post 12. Jeweler, a neck-second in the Tulip Sho, drew post 13.

The 76th running of the Oka Sho will be run on Sunday, April 10 at Hanshin Racecourse over 1,600 meters on turf. The post time will be at 3:40 p.m. JST.

The field in the post position order with riders is:

1 Candy Barows, Yuji Hishida
2 Blanc Bonheur, Kosei Miura
3 Meisho Suizuki, Kohei Matsuyama
4 Solveig, Masayoshi Ebina
5 Major Emblem, Christophe Lemaire
6 B B Barrel, Syu Ishibashi
7 Denko Ange, Yuga Kawada
8 Alla Salute, Ryuji Wada
9 G Plumeria(USA), Daisaku Matsuda
10 At the Seaside, Yuichi Fukunaga
11 Red Avancer, Yutaka Take
12 Sinhalite, Kenichi Ikezoe
13 Jeweler, Mirco Demuro
14 Quatre Rapport, Shinichiro Akiyama
15 Lavender Valley, Keita Tosaki
16 Win Fabulous, Masami Matsuoka
17 Admire Lead, Kota Fujioka
18 Meisho Bird's, Yoshihiro Fukukawa
All starters carry 55 kgs.

Flashback: 2000 Oka Sho(Japanese 1000 Guineas)

April 9, 2000
60th Oka Sho

Cheers Grace triumps Oka Sho 
Sixth pick Cheers Grace performed a splendid stretchrun under control of Mikio Matsunaga and became the grade one winner as she clinched the triumph of Oka Sho at Hanshin Racecourse. Her final time was 1:34.9 for 1,600-meter on firm grass. 

Jo De Shiraoki rushed into the lead, setting the pace for the opening 800 meter and 1,000 meters in 46.3 seconds and 58.2 seconds respectively. Cheers Grace, one of the four starters tained by Kenji Yamauchi, raced never out of the first five until she took the lead in the stretch after taking a three-wide on the final turn. Cheers Grace with her head up pulled away from the field for a 1 1/2-length victory. Mayano Maybe, who had not raced since last December, showed her strong stretchrun to finish second. Another K.Yamauchi-trained Silk Primadonna settled in third, a half length in front of heavy favorite Saiko Kirara, who failed to perform for the final stretch and finishing a disappointing fourth.

Bred by Shirai Farm, Cheers Grace, a daughter of Sunday Silence and Cheers Flower, has now recorded three wins of eigth starts with a career earnings of more than 162 million yen. In her last start prior to the Oka Sho, the soft ground prevented Cheers Grace from displaying her ability in the rainy Tulip Sho and finishing 10th.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Wire-to-wire victory for Corin Berry in Tokyo Sprint

Corin Berry was never behind in the 1,200-meter trip to win the NAR grade three Tokyo Sprint in 1 minute 11.40 seconds under Kohei Matsuyama at Ohi on Wednesday night. Grape Brandy, who chased the pace at third spot, finished second, a 2 1/2-length behind. Race favorite Danon Legend(USA) broke badly to finish third, a 2-length behind the runner-up.
Corin Berry is a 5-year-old mare by South Vigorous out of Korin la Vi En, by Mythic Tribe.

SATSUKI SHO(Japanese 2000 Guineas)

Satsuki Sho(Japanese 2000 Guineas)
3-year-old colts and fillies
2,000-meter turf at Nakayama Racecourse

Brief History
The first run took place under the name of Yokohama Norinsho Shoten Yonsai Yobiuma in 1939 at Yokohama Racecourse over 1,850 meters on turf. The stage was moved to Tokyo Racecourse over 1,800 meters on turf in 1943 and the race name was changed to the Noushoushou Shoten Yonsai the following year. The race had to be suspended due to war in 1945.
In 1949, the Classic race was first called the Satsuki Sho and run over 1,950 meters at Nakayama Racecoure for the first time. The race distance was lengthened to 2,000 meters the following year. 
As the grading system began in 1984, the Satsuki Sho was graded as a grade one.
The door was open to NAR horses in 1995. The door was open to foreign-bred horses in 2002.
In 2010, the Satsuki Sho gained an international status and a maximum of eight foreign-bred or foregin-trained horses can enter the race. A maximum of nine foreign-trained horses can enter the race.

The Satsuki Sho equivalent to the English 2000 Guineas is the first leg of the Triple Crown Races for 3-year-olds. The Japanese Derby and Kikuka Sho(Japanese St. Leger) follow it to complete the Triple Crown series.

NAKAYAMA Racecourse

Nakayama Racecourse
Course address: 1-1-1 Kosaku Funabashi-city Chiba
Access: A 10-minute walk from  Funabashi Hoten Station on JR Musashino Line. A 10-minute bus ride from Keisei Line Higashi Nakayama Station. A 15-minute bus ride from JRA Nishi Funabashi Station.
Course description: The turf course is a right-handed oval of 1,667.1 meters. The course drops gently from the second corner to the third corner. There is a slightly uphill on the 310-meter homestretch from the last 200 meters to about 60 meters from the finish line. The outer course is run on a partly separate backstretch course which gives the main course a 1,840-meter circuit. Inside the turf course is a oval dirt track of  1,493 meters.
Nakayama is the home of the Arima Kinen and the Satsuki Sho(Japanese 2000 Guineas).

2016 Meeting:  34 days

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Major Emblem tops nominations of 2016 Oka Sho

Major Emblem tops among the 23 fillies nominated for the 2016 Oka Sho(Japanese 1000 Guineas) to be run on Sunday, April 10 at Hanshin Racecourse.
Juvenile champ Major Emblem has shown great speed when returning to this season with a sensation victory in the grade three Queen Cup in latest effort. No doubt she is the one to keep an eye on in this filly classic.
The main oppositions to Major Emblem could be Sinhalite and Jeweler, both whom have a great closing kick, finished first and second, respectively, in the Tulip Sho last outing. 

Favorites have finished 3 firsts and 3 seconds in the last 10 years. During the same period, the longest-priced winner was Reginetta in 2008, who paid 4,340 jpn yen for win.
Good form of run in latest must. The last 10 winners have never finished worse than fourth prior to the Oka Sho. The Tulip Sho could be the best trial race. Tulip Sho runners have registered 7 firsts, 4 seconds and 5 thirds in the last 10 Oka Sho runnings.

Monday, April 04, 2016

2016 Tokyo Sprint at Ohi Racecourse

The NAR grade three Tokyo Sprint with 15 entrants will be run on April 6, 2016 at Ohi Racecourse over 1,200 meters on dirt. 
JRA entries are Danon Legend(USA), Laser Bullet, Grape Brandy, Bulldog Boss and Corin Berry.

1 Fire Prince 5h 56 S. Sakai
2 Satono Daytona 8h 56 T. Imano
3 Tosen Ares 9h 56 S. Akaoka
4 Danon Legend(USA) 6h 56 M. Demuro
5 Kogyo Douglas 9h 56 T. Kashiwagi
6 Touch Duel 7m 54 T. Sato
7 Laser Bullet 8h K. Tosaki
8 Saint Memory 9h 56 K. Motohashi
9 Cody 8h 56 H. Yoshihara
10 Grape Brandy 8h 58 Y. Take
11 Bulldog Boss 4c 56 C. Lemaire
12 Corin Berry 5m 56 K. Matsuyama
13 Looks That Kill 4c 56 K. Hayata
14 Squadron 6h 56 T. Nagamori
15 Major Athlete 7h 56 K. Wada

OHI Racecourse

Ohi Racecourse
Course address: 2-1-2 Kachijima Shinagawa-ku Tokyo
Access: A 2-minute walk from monorail line Keibajyoumae station
A 12-minute walk from Keihin Kyuko Line Tachiaigawa station
Course description:
The outer oval dirt track is 1,600 meters with 25 meters in width, flat and run right-handed. The homestretch to the finish is 386 meters. The inner oval track is 1,500 meters with 286-meter run-in. The inside main track is the training oval track. 
Maximum field: 16
Meetings: 97 days(in Fisical 2016)

Ohi Racecourse, also known as TCK(Tokyo City Keiba), features evening meetings(Twinkling Race) on March thru December. Ohi is the home of the Japan Dirt Derby and the Teio Sho.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Magic Time defeats males in Lord Derby CT

Magic Time, the only female horse in the field of 16, produced a strong late stride off the rail to win the grade three Lord Derby Challenge Trophy at Nakayama on Sunday.
Andrasch Starke guided the winner to the victory with the final time of 1 minute 32.80 seconds for the 1,600-meter turf race. 
A neck behind, Logotype came second with another 1 1/4-length back Satono Aladdin third.
Magic Time is a 5-year-old dark bay mare by Heart's Cry out of Time Will Tell, by Brian's Time.

Ambitious triumphs Sankei Osaka Hai

Having placed a neck second to Duramente in the Nakayama Kinen last February, Ambitious continued to run well as he won the grade two Sankei Osaka Hai at Hanshin on Sunday.
Norihiro Yokoyama on Ambitous for the first time stalked the pace by Kisatan Black before getting past him for a neck victory. Third was, another 1 1/4-length behind, Shonan Pandora. Race favorite Lovely Day finished fourth, another 1 1/2-length further behind. The final time for the 2,000-meter on firm ground was 1 minute 59.30 seconds. Ambitious paid 390 jpn yen for win as second favorite. 
Ambitious is a 4-year-old dark bay colt by Deep Impact out of Carnival Song, by El Condor Pasa.

Friday, April 01, 2016

Lord Derby Challenge Trophy on April 3

The main event for the Nakayama Sunday meeting will be the grade three Lord Derby Challenge Trophy for 4-year-olds and upwards. A total of 16 horses have been 

entered for the 1,600-meter handicap race.

The field is:

1 Campbell Junior(AUS), 4c, 54, Yuga Kawada
2 Arma Waioli, 4c, 55, Masaki Katsuura
3 Daiwa Maggiore, 7h, 57, Kyosuke Maruta
4 Clarente, 7h, 58, Kohei Matsuyama
5 Dashing Blaze(USA), 4c, 56, Keita Tosaki
6 Satono Aladdin, 5h, 57, Christophe Lemaire
7 Meisho Yataro, 8h, 55, Keisuke Dazai
8 Extra End, 7h, 57, Hayato Yoshida
9 Impulse Hero, 6h, 56, Katsuharu Tanaka
10 Magic Time, 5m, 53, Andrasch Starke
11 Sunrise Major, 7h, 56, Yuichi Shibayama
12 T M Taiho, 7h, 57, Hiroyuki Uchida
13 Daiwa Liberal, 5h, 56, Kosei Miura
14 Logotype, 6h, 58, Hironobu Tanabe
15 Fra Angelico, 8h, 55, Shy Ishibashi
16 Tagano Burg, 5h, 54, Yuichi Kitamura

48th Lord Derby Challenge Trophy, grade three
Sunday, April 3, 2016 at Nakayama Racecourse
4yo+ 1,600-meter turf right-handed
Total purse: 75,410,000

Strong field of Sunday's Sankei Osaka Hai

A strong 12-horse field of the Sankei Osaka Hai has been drawn.
Multiple grade one winner Lovely Day, with Mirco Demuro on his back for the first time, drew post 2. Recent Japan Cup winner Shonan Pandora drew post 8. Kikuka Sho hero Kitasan Black drew post 7. Nuovo Record, second in the Hong Kong Cup, drew post 3. Ambitious, a neck-second in the Nakayama Kinen, drew post 9.

The field for the grade two 2,000-meter race is:

1 Red Raven(USA), 6h, 56, Yoshitomi Shibata
2 Lovely Day, 6h, 58, Mirco Demuro
3 Nuovo Record, 5m, 54, Yasunari Iwata
4 Isla Bonita, 5h, 57, Masayoshi Ebina
5 Action Star, 6h, 56, Fuma Matsuwaka
6 Touching Speech, 4f, 54, Yuichi Fukunaga
7 Kitasan Black, 4c, 58, Yutaka Take
8 Shonan Pandora, 5m, 56, Kenichi Ikezoe
9 Ambitious, 4c, 56, Norihiro Yokoyama
10 Meiner Lacrima, 8h, 56, Yuji Tannai
11 Nishino B Quick, 7h, 56, Kyosuke Kokubun

60th Sankei Osaka Hai, Grade two
Sunday, April 3, 2016 at Hanshin Racecourse
4yo+ 2,000-meter right-handed turf
total purse: 128,820,000 jp yen