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OSAKA HAI 2017 - Preview

29 Mar 11:41 am

This year, the curtain opens on a new face among the Grade 1 lineup - the Osaka Hai. The Osaka Hai is a 2,000-meter event over turf to be run at Hanshin Racecourse on Sunday, April 2 and it will boost the number of JRA G1s on the flat to 24. It follows the mile-long February Stakes and the 1,200-meter Takamatsunomiya Kinen as the third top-level race of the year.

Though this is the first year for the race to attain Grade 1 status, the 2017 version is regarded as the 61st running of the race. The Osaka Hai has been served as an important trial race for the Tenno Sho (Spring). In more recent years, the race’s winners have included such stars as Tokai Teio, Mejiro McQueen, Air Groove, and Orfevre, to name but a few.

The Osaka Hai winner’s prize is 120 million yen and from this year, the race winner will also win a ticket to the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes.

Fifteen horses have been nominated for this year’s Osaka Hai, which allows a field of a maximum 16 runners, and the roll call boasts a number of already well-known names. These include four G1 winners -- 2016 Horse of the Year Kitasan Black, 2016 Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) winner Dee Majesty, 2016 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) champion Makahiki and 2016 LONGINES Hong Kong Vase winner Satono Crown.

The race is the 11th race on the Sunday card of 12 at Hanshin. Post time is 3:40 p.m. Hiruno d'Amour holds the Osaka Hai record of 1 minute, 57.8 seconds set in 2011.

Here’s a look at some of the likely top picks.

Makahiki - Following his win of the Japanese Derby at the end of May, the Deep Impact-sired Makahiki flew to France, where he clinched the G2 Qatar Prix Niel before running in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in October. Though he was heavily favored for the win, he stunned with a 14th-place finish. Now 4 years old, Makahiki started the year with a run in the G2 Kyoto Kinen in February. He finished third over a slightly yielding track, but with a fast track and the sharpener behind him, Makahiki is once again considered one of the most likely to pull off a win Sunday and notch his second G1. “The going was surely a factor in the Kyoto Kinen,” says trainer Yasuo Tomomichi. “Luckily, he came out of the race well and we’ve kept him in training at Ritto Training Center since. He had a solid workout on March 23. He needs a fast track, but I think the 2,000-meter distance is the best for him.” Makahiki has a good record over distances in the 1,800-2,000 meter range, with three wins and one second in four starts. It is, however, the first time since his second in last year’s Satsuki Sho for Makahiki to take on that distance. Christophe Lemaire is set for the ride.

Kitasan Black - Kitasan Black, a son of Black Tide, will take on the Osaka Hai as his first start of the year and his first race since finishing second in the Arima Kinen at yearend. Winner of the 2015 Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger), last year’s Tenno Sho (Spring) and the Japan Cup, Kitasan Black is known as an ace at longer distances. He did, however, run second in the Osaka Hai last year, while running under 58 kg. Marked by the eventual winner, who only carried 56 kg, Kitasan Black lost by a neck but it was a stellar performance. He displayed stamina with honest running throughout and a final 3-furlong time in the 33-second range, showing that he can be expected to perform well no matter what the pace. It will be the 4-year-old’s first time over the distance since last year’s Osaka Hai, but if anyone can do it with aplomb, Kitasan Black can. A very consistent runner, Kitasan Black has eight wins, two seconds and three thirds from 14 starts. In fact, he has figured out of the top three spots only once in his entire career. The only blemish on his record is a 14th-place finish in the Japanese Derby. Pegged for the ride is Yutaka Take, who holds the record for most wins of the Osaka Hai with six first-place performances to date. Trainer Hisashi Shimizu says of his star horse, “Last week, we clocked him and he looked good and like he still had a lot to give. He can sense that a race is near. As for his condition, I think he looks the best he ever has coming off a layoff.”

Yamakatsu Ace - Yamakatsu Ace, a son of King Kamehameha and now 5 years old, is fresh off a win of the G2 Kinko Sho at Chukyo on March 11. Oddly, it is his second win of the race in only three months, a feat that is possible due to the race having been run in December as well before being moved to the March spot to serve as a step race for the Osaka Hai. Sandwiched between the two Kinko Sho wins was Yamakatsu Ace’s fourth-place finish just 0. 3 seconds off the winner in the Arima Kinen. Run at the same distance as the Kinko Sho, albeit on a right-handed track, the Osaka Hai could be within reach. Though his recent results at Hanshin have been a sixth place and a 13th, the former saw Yamakatsu Ace finish only 0.4 seconds behind the winner, who clinched the race in record time. The latter, the Takarazuka Kinen, was over poor going and carrying 58 kg. Yamakatsu Ace is by no means unsuited to Hanshin and, more importantly, he is currently looking good. Trained by Kaneo Ikezoe, Yamakatsu Ace is to be piloted by Kenichi Ikezoe. It represents a father-son combination that has reaped 10 graded-stakes wins, but has yet to notch a G1 victory.

Satono Crown - Following his win of the LONGINES Hong Kong Vase in December, in which he beat Highland Reel, runnerup in the Arc and winner of the Breeders’ Cup Turf, by half a length, Satono Crown returned to the track in February to win the G2 Kyoto Kinen. Despite carrying 58 kg, the now 5-year-old son of Marju was able to reach the finish line ahead of Makahiki and looks to be in fine shape, with considerable more punch per pound. Satono Crown is trained by Noriyuki Hori, current No. 2 trainer at Miho Training Center. Mirco Demuro is due up.

Ambitious - Winner of last year’s Osaka Hai, Ambitious has only finished further down the line than fourth once in his four starts since and that was over soft ground in the Takarazuka Kinen. He’s been right up there battling in the upper ranks and holding his own as he fights for his first G1 win. The Deep Impact-sired Ambitious won the race running from a No. 2 position, but he has learned to settle well, has patience and can run from any position successfully. Fourth in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) (run over the difficult Tokyo 2,000) and fourth in the 1,800-meter Nakayama Kinen at the end of February, Ambitious is expected to improve. Slated to take the reins for the first time is Yuichi Fukunaga, who won the race in 2006 aboard Company, who was owned by Hideko Kondo, who now owns Ambitious.

Staphanos is also worth a wager. He returned to the track for the first time since his third-place finish in the 2,000-meter LONGINES Hong Kong Cup in December to finish sixth in the Kinko Sho. Improvement is likely.

Vivlos captures Dubai Turf for Japan; Epicharis ru 28 Mar 11:31 am

Japan’s team of 10 at Dubai’s Meydan Racecourse brought home one win and a close second-place finish from two of the World Cup Day races on Saturday, March 25. In the day’s headliner, the Dubai World Cup, Awardee turned in the best result in the day’s headliner. One of four Japan-trained horses in the lineup of 14, Awardee finished in fifth place under Yutaka Take.

This year, fans in Japan were able to place wagers on three of the Dubai races – the World Cup, the Sheema Classic and the Dubai Turf. Turnover from the betting amounted to more than 2.58 billion yen.

In the 1,800-meter Dubai Turf, the 4-year-old filly Vivlos surprised with a late run that won her the day’s seventh race, which got under way at 7:30 p.m. local time over yielding ground. Jockey Joao Moreira rode the Yasuo Tomomichi-trained Vivlos quietly until the final stages. He rounded into the stretch on the rail but at the 400-meter mark brought the filly sharply out. Vivlos continued to gain ground, but with 200 meters left, France’s Heshem looked likely to win the $6-million Grade 1 event. Vivlos continued to pour it on and caught and passed both Heshem, with Gregory Benoist up, and Ribchester, under William Buick, to win by half a length in the final strides. Race favorite Zarak finished in fourth place under Christophe Soumillon.

"She was brilliant,” Moreira said of the Deep Impact-sired Vivlos. “From the time that I sat on top of her on Friday, she gave me the feel that she was going to be very competitive. She was probably one of the lightest horses in the race. If the ground was soft, which is probably what the people were thinking about, she wasn't sinking (into the turf) the most. I think that is why she was able to let down and was able to get there.

“The wind was very strong in the backstretch but I did my best to get her cover. When I went to move her up the inside on the rail in the stretch, she was annoyed by the rail, so I brought her outside. She really accelerated well in the end.”

The Brazilian-born Moreira continued, “Good horses make a jockey's life easier. She made the job very easy for me today. We were travelling nice and when I took her out and she had daylight, she was strong to the line.”

Vivlos, who went to the gate the fifth choice of the race, was the first horse trainer Yasuo Tomomichi had taken to Dubai. She had scooped her first G1 last October on capturing the 2,000-meter Shuka Sho as a 3-year-old. Her only race since had been the G2 Nakayama Kinen, in which she ran fifth.

"She travelled very well from Japan and she was very relaxed after arriving in Dubai,” the Ritto-based Tomomichi said. “At one point during the race, she fell back and that scared me a bit. But she quickened from there again. It kept raining but I think the ground was still on the fast side and suited to the Japanese horses.”

Vivlos was the second Japan-based horse in as many years to win the Dubai Turf and the fourth winner for the country overall. She was the fifth Japan-based female to capture a G1 abroad. Real Steel, victorious last year, had made the trip to Dubai again this year. But, bleeding from the nose, he was forced to withdraw only four days before the race.

Vivlos’s winning time was 1 minute 50.2 seconds. She was running under 55 kg, 2 kg less than runnerup Heshem. Vivlos was bred by Northern Racing and is owned by former baseball player Kazuhiro Sasaki. An overjoyed Sasaki commented after the win, “I am really happy and really excited. Last year, after she’d won the G1, we gave her a rest and made this race our goal. Watching her race, I was more nervous than I ever have been playing baseball. I am just so happy.”

Japan’s next-best result had come earlier in the star-studded day, one that boasted six G1s and three G2 races. The day’s fourth race, the G2 1,900-meter UAE Derby over dirt saw Epicharis just miss the win by a short head to finish second in a field of 16. From the gate, Christophe Lemaire moved Epicharis quickly into the lead 100 meters into the 1,900-meter race and from there the son of Gold Allure shone bright, holding his ground until just two strides before the wire, where he was passed by the Irish-bred Thunder Snow, giving jockey Christophe Soumillon his second-straight win on the day’s card.

The Helmet-sired Thunder Snow, trained by Saeed bin Suroor, was bred in Ireland by Darley. He covered the 1,900 meters in a time of 1:57.76 and is now four for eight.

The narrowly edged Epicharis, who had been undefeated before the UAE Derby finish line, was coming off a win of the Feb. 19 Hyacinth Stakes, an open-class mile event at Tokyo. The UAE Derby was, in his five career starts including the same, his first race longer than 1,800 meters. Epicharis is owned by Carrot Farm and bred by Masatsugu Kamada in Hokkaido’s Urakawa. Trainer Kiyoshi Hagiwara said, “It was a really frustrating race. But even though he didn’t win, I am still satisfied and grateful to all those people who helped get us this far.” Christophe Lemaire, for whom the second-place finish was to be his best result from three rides on the day, said, “It was a very good race. He didn’t quite have enough at the very end and that is sad. But, it was his first time at the track, he was relaxed and really gave it his all. The winner was stronger.”

Also running in the UAE Derby for Japan was the Rulership-sired colt Adirato. His best in Japan so far had been a second behind Epicharis in the Hyacinth Stakes. It was a big step up to the G2 UAE Derby from there and Adirato only managed to finish 12th of the 16 runners running over a muddy track. Trainer Naosuke Sugai said. “I think the race was a bit long for him. And I think that understanding that now at this point in his career is a good thing to have reaped from this experience. I also think that it being his first time on the Dubai dirt for the first time was a factor in his result.”

Rider Yutaka Take said, “He showed us some very nice speed and it shows how tough he is to have been able to run on this kind of going. The pace was good and I think it was a nice try for him.”

The day’s main event, the 2,000-meter Dubai World Cup over dirt, saw four horses from Japan participate. The number was one more than Japan’s biggest turnout in the race to date. Rain had continued all day and the track was still muddy by the official 8:45 p.m. post time. Nothing, however, was to stop Bob Baffert’s 4-year-old Arrogate, ridden by Mike Smith from winning. By Unbridled’s Song, Arrogate flubbed the break but made up for it with his tremendous long stride in an amazing late run for an unbelievable win. He covered the 2,000 meters of dirt in a time of 2 minutes 2.15 seconds.

Japan’s best result was a far-less-spectacular fifth-place finish from Awardee, a highly consistent son of Jungle Pocket. The 7-year-old has had seven wins, two seconds and a third from his past 10 starts, including a win of the Champions Cup last December at Chukyo. Awardee ran midfield and made his run from 600 meters out but showed no great acceleration. “He was in excellent shape,” assured rider Yutaka Take. “I tried to get a forward position but ended up further back than I would have liked. Still, I think he was able to run his own race and was able to give it what he has.”

Trainer Mikio Matsunaga agreed it was a good performance. “He really put up a good battle. He was in a position to have to take a lot of kickback and I thought he really tried hard. I plan to take him to the Teio Sho next.”

The World Cup fifth matched Hokko Tarumae’s performance in 2015 and was the best since the one-two finish by Victoire Pisa and Transcend in 2011.

Matsunaga also fielded the 4-year-old Lani, who was never near enough to challenge but did run solidly until the finish and finished in eighth place. “I thought the Dubai dirt would suit this horse,” the Ritto-based ex-jockey said. “The jockey thinks he would do better with more distance. I think if he has a bit more distance he could win at the graded-stakes level.”

Ryan Moore had the ride on the Tapit-sired Lani, who had won the UAE Derby last year. “The horse was in good shape and I don’t think the track was the problem,” Moore said.

Finishing in ninth place was Kenji Yamauchi’s Apollo Kentucky, who never advanced further than mid-field. Apollo Kentucky is an American-bred 5-year-old by Langfuhr and was coming off a win of the Tokyo Daishoten at Ohi Racecourse on Dec. 29. “It was a fast time and the competition was strong,” said Yamauchi. “I think this has been a good experience for him and if all goes well from here on, I’d like to run him in the Teio Sho.”

Christophe Lemaire agreed, “It was a fast pace and a very busy race. We got caught inside and couldn’t get out.”

The 4-year-old Gold Dream, by Gold Allure, finished in 14th place. He was slow out of the gate and never was a threat. Gold Dream had just won the G1 February Stakes in Tokyo on Feb. 19 before making the trip to Dubai. Trainer Osamu Hirata said of Gold Dream, “The results are unfortunate. I suppose I’ll have to think of the many reasons things went wrong. I’m going to take some time and think this through well.”

Rider Joao Moreira said, “The start wasn’t very good and I had to push him in the beginning. His running got better in the backstretch and he was feeling good, but he tired over the last 600 meters.”

In other races, Kafuji Take, third in this year’s February Stakes on Feb. 19, ran fifth in the World Cup Day’s first race, the G2 Godolphin Mile over 1,600 meters of dirt. Never near to challenge, Kafuji Take nonetheless ran solidly to the finish. The race was won by Second Summer, partnered by Patrick Dobbs. Yuichi Fukunaga had the ride in the Mile and commented, “It was a hard race to win traveling from behind. There was no stopping those up front and he did very well to make it to fifth. He was in good shape and OK on the surface. He really gave it his all.”

Trainer Sachio Yukubo said, “I think it was because it was his first time at Meydan and the surface affected his racing. He was able to run his kind of race so the results just can’t be helped.”

Japan had no runners in the fourth race, the Al Quoz Sprint, but had one runner in the next race up, the Dubai Golden Shaheen, a G1 over 1,200 meters of dirt that went to the American-bred colt Mind Your Biscuits. Japan’s Dios Corrida, trained by Yoshitada Takahashi and ridden by Shane Foley, finished in 11th place amid the 14-strong field.

“He didn’t break straight out of the gate,” said Takahashi. “He’s only 3 years old, so I expect him to improve and I think this was a good learning opportunity for him. He’s calmer now too so I think we can now give him more distance.”

Rider Shane Foley thought the start wasn’t that bad for the youngest member of a race that included horses as old as 11. “It was a good race and the start was OK. He settled in midfield and didn’t seem bothered by the different surface. I think he did very well up against older horses and I expect him to show a lot of improvement.”

Japan’s Sounds of Earth finished in sixth place amid the small field of seven in the Dubai Sheema Classic, the day’s eighth race and run over 2,410 meters of yielding turf. “The pace wasn’t bad,” said trainer Kenichi Fujioka, “but, whether it was the surface or what I don’t know, but he didn’t quicken as he normally does. He went into the race in good condition.”

Rider Christophe Lemaire said, “His start was really very good, but the ground was too soft for him and I don’t think he’s ever run on ground like this. He did his best but tired in the end.”

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TAKAMATSUNOMIYAKINEN 2017 - Seiun Kosei Captures F 27 Mar 11:22 am

Fifth pick Seiun Kosei sired by Admire Moon captured his first graded title in this year’s Takamatsunomiya Kinen. Making his debut in a 1,800m race in June of his two-year-old season, he scored his first win in a 1,200m race in his seventh career start as a three-year-old. Marking three more wins that year, he won his kickoff start this year in the open-class Yodo Tankyori Stakes (1,200m) in January and marked a runner-up effort in his first grade-race challenge in the Silk Road Stakes (G3, 1,200m) three weeks later. This win marked the sixth JRA-G1 victory for trainer Hiroyuki Uehara since winning the 2007 Mile Championship with Daiwa Major. For jockey Hideaki Miyuki, this is his second Takamatsunomiya Kinen title, his first being in 2008 with Fine Grain, and his sixth JRA-G1 victory following his win in the 2014 Champions Cup with Hokko Tarumae.

Four-year-old Seiun Kosei broke smoothly from stall six and rallied to take the lead but eventually settled in fourth to press the pace. Taking a wide route entering the lane, the chestnut exerted a tenacious stretch kick, overtaking the dueling Let’s Go Donki and Red Falx 100 meters out from the outside, and continued to accelerate strongly to widen the gap for a 1-1/4-length victory.

“I raced the colt for the first time but I found him easy to ride from when I rode him at the training. I was told by the trainer that he handled the soft ground well and he ran comfortably in the forward position. He felt really good from the beginning and although I was afraid that I may have slipped him out too early, I believed in him and urged him to go until the wire,” commented Hideaki Miyuki.

Making a good break, second pick Let’s Go Donki was eased back to around sixth from the rear. Finding a narrow gap by the rail at the top of the homestretch, the 5-year-old mare by King Kamehameha rallied strongly with Red Falx and Teehaff at first then with Red Falx in the last 100 meters and managed to edge over the race favorite for second place with her impressive late charge that timed the fastest over the last three furlongs.

Odds-on favorite Red Falx hugged the rails around seventh from the front and dueled strongly with Let’s Go Donki in the last 100 meters for second place but was a neck short to finish third.
Other Horses:
4th: (1) Teehaff—sat behind favorite along rails, rallied with 2nd&3rd-place finishers, weakened in last 100m
5th: (2) Fiero—saved ground in rear pack, accelerated between horses, timed 2nd fastest over last 3 furlongs
6th: (14) Talking Drum—ran 3-wide in mid-group, switched to outside at early stretch, showed belated charge
7th: (11) Snow Dragon—settled in mid-pack, showed effort but never a threat
8th: (17) Nac Venus—traveled 4-wide in mid-division, lacked needed kick on outer stretch
9th: (13) Solveig—raced 3-wide in mid-group, showed little at stretch
10th: (12) Melagrana—took wide trip toward rear, showed brief effort, unable to threaten
11th: (15) Hiruno Devaro—traveled near rear, turned wide, passed tired rivals
12th: (8) Bakushin Teio—sat in rear division, even paced at stretch
13th: (4) Rhein Spirit—set pace, sustained bid until 300m out, fell back gradually
14th: (10) Xmas—rated outside favorite in mid-pack, showed brief response until 200m marker
15th: (9) Shuji—pressed pace in 2nd, led briefly, dropped back after 300m out
16th: (18) Once in a Moon—ran outside eventual winner, unable to reach contention
17th: (5) Red Arion—trailed in rear, no factor throughout
18th: (16) Tosho Piste—positioned among leading trio, faded after top of stretch

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TAKAMATSUNOMIYAKINEN 2017 - Preview 22 Mar 3:36 pm

The year’s first Grade I race over turf - the Takamatsunomiya Kinen -- is hosted by Nagoya’s Chukyo Racecourse this coming Sunday, March 26.

The Takamatsunomiya Kinen, a race first designed in 1971 by Prince Takamatsu and run under the name the Takamatsunomiya Hai, received its current name in 1998, was designated an international race in 2001, and saw its first two foreign-based participants two years later. The current version of the race, which includes the latest renovations to the Chukyo course, dates to 2012.
Long a fan favorite, with its fast pace and stars such as Lord Kanaloa, Curren Chan and Kinshasa no Kiseki, this year sees no strong standout and no foreign-based horses in the lineup either. Last year’s Best Sprinter Mikki Isle, runnerup in last year’s Takamatsunomiya, has been retired. Two certain top picks were knocked out of action in the leadup to the race. Dance Director suffered a break on Feb. 23. Two days later connections of Big Arthur announced that the 2016 record-setting champion was also not running in the Takamatsunomiya due to injury. With no one horse in the 1,200-meter sprint considered a shoo-in step in and headline, the mood is mixed, the outcome forecast murky. Though many fans may feel tempted to pass on a wager, they could miss out on a fat return by doing so.

The Takamatsunomiya Kinen, which is also the third leg of the Global Sprint Challenge, is the 11th race on the Sunday card of 12 at Chukyo. Just a little over a minute from the 3:40 p.m. post time, one horse will rake in 98 million yen of the total purse of over 212 million yen.

Last year, Big Arthur rewrote the record book with a winning time of 1 minute, 6.7 seconds.

Here’s a look at some of the likely top picks.

Red Falx - The 6-year-old gray by the American-bred Swept Overboard surprised last autumn in capturing the Sprinters Stakes and his first top-level win. He had preceded that with a string of dirt races, moved to the turf and won the G3 CBC Sho before claiming the Sprinters. His next hurdle, however, an overseas trip, proved a bit too high with a resulting 12-place finish in the Dec. 11 Longines Hong Kong Sprint. Now back for his first run since Hong Kong, Red Falx has had success over the Chukyo turf and boasts a perfect three for three, with two of those races over 1,200, one a furlong longer. “I thought he would give us a solid run in the Hong Kong Sprint,” says trainer Tomohito Ozeki, “but he mustn’t have been fully recovered from the Sprinters Stakes.”
“Since then, we haven’t overworked him and we’re going straight in to this race. On March 16, I gave him a long workout and his movement was good. He’s had a nice bit of time off and his recovery has gone well. He is very well suited to Chukyo and I’m looking forward to the race.”

Let’s Go Donki - Eighth in last year’s Takamatsunomiya Kinen, the 5-year-old daughter of King Kamehameha has recently given her best performances since at the G3 level, including a win last time out in the 1,400-meter Kyoto Himba Stakes. That victory was her first since the 2015 Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas), and unlike in that race, where she went wire to wire, she won the Kyoto Himba traveling from midfield with a nice display of late speed on a somewhat slow track. Though Let’s Go Donki’s best results over 6 furlongs are two third-place finishes, the Chukyo course, with a hill in his stretch, is suited to the racing style she displayed in the Kyoto Himba Stakes.

Melagrana - The Australian-bred Melagrana, a 5-year-old mare by the Australian champion sprinter Fastnet Rock, scooped two races in a row and jumped from an open-class win to an impressive first in the G3 Yukan Fuji Sho Ocean Stakes last time out on March 4 at Nakayama. Following that race, jockey Keita Tosaki said, “Riding her again after three months, I feel she has matured even more from her previous race. She’s a clever horse and I think she can handle any kind of race.” Though her last two wins came at Nakayama, Melagrana has fared well at Chukyo as well, with one win over the distance from her two starts at the venue.

Shuji - Fourth in last year’s Sprinters Stakes, Shuji returned to win the G2 Hanshin Cup amid strong competition, then last time out ran eighth in the G3 Hankyu Hai. That loss was attributed to his being overly agitated. Having less time between races this time, things are expected to go better. A 4-year-old son of two-time Takamatsunomiya winner Kinshasa no Kiseki, Shuji’s best performance at the top level was the Sprinters’ fourth, but a G1 victory is believed to be well within this colt’s reach. “He was agitated for the Hankyu Hai after a layoff,” says trainer Naosuke Sugai. “And he was pressured on his outside and tense during the race. But that should have given him a chance to let off steam and we’ve taken care to watch his mental state since then. He had poor results in the (Chunichi Sports Sho) Falcon Stakes at Chukyo last year but that was over 1,400 meters and on a sloppy surface. He has a fourth place in the Sprinters and ample ability.”

Solveig - Even as a 3-year-old last year, the Daiwa Major-sired Solveig turned in a fine third-place performance in the Sprinters Stakes. Last time out in the Silk Road Stakes, she took the lead for the first time and was pressed from start to finish. She battled gallantly but was overtaken in the stretch. She needn’t lead, however, and a more relaxed run would likely stand her well. The venue this time, in closer proximity to where Solveig is based at the stable of Ippo Sameshima, should also prove an advantage over the long hauls of her three starts before last.

Talking Drum - Last time out, Talking Drum won his first graded stakes race, the G3 Hankyu Hai, on his second start after reaching open-class competition. He has put on muscle and was able to travel up the inside in a style first for him. Though it’ll be his first 6-furlonger in a while, if he can get an economical ground-saving run, he has a chance. “I worked him in tandem on March 16 and pushed him hard. He looks to have maintained his condition. This year, with no big star, I have my hopes up and think he’s up for the challenge,” said trainer Makoto Saito.

Seiun Kosei - With five seconds and five firsts in his last 11 starts, 14 total, Seiun Kosei has demonstrated outstanding consistency. He moved to graded stakes competition from his last start and ran second by a neck to Dance Director in the G3 Silk Road Stakes, a formidable run notwithstanding the 2.5 kg less he ran under. This will be his first time at Chukyo, but he has had success over the left-handed Tokyo as well. The 4-year-old son of Admire Moon is one to keep an eye on. Trainer Hiroyuki Uehara says, “I had jockey Hideaki Miyuki ride work last week so he could get a handle on the horse. He gave him a strong workout and his movement was good. This time he’ll have the long stretch at Chukyo to deal with but he has done well at Tokyo, so I don’t think it should pose a problem. A torn-up track will actually work in this horse’s favor.”

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Summary of Sires results for 2016 07 Mar 6:43 pm

Deep Impact became the champion in the general ranking for the fifth consecutive year.

General Overall Sires Ranking

In the 2016 general ranking in Japan, Deep Impact (sire: Sunday Silence (USA)) who has produced seven generations over his career, became the champion sire in this category for the fifth consecutive year, keeping the top spot from February.

Deep Impact’s colts won all three Triple Crown races with different offspring, that is, Makahiki who won the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) (G1), Satono Diamond who won the Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) (G1) and Arima Kinen (The Grand Prix) (G1) and Dee Majesty who won Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) (G1). By the fact that A Shin Hikari won the Prix d'Ispahan (G1) of French and Real Steel won the Dubai Turf (G1) of Dubai, Deep Impact demonstrates that he is already an international top rank sire.

In second place in the Sires' ranking was King Kamehameha (sire: Kingmambo (USA)). His colt, Duramente won Nakayama Kinen (GII) and was second place in Dubai Sheema Classic (G1). His 2 year old colt, Rey de Oro decisively won the Hope Full Stakes (GII), thus performing brilliantly though being far from the top.

In third place in the Sires' ranking was Daiwa Major (sire: Sunday Silence (USA)), who was also ranked second in the Two-Year-Old ranking. His 3 year old filly, Major Emblem won the NHK Mile Cup (GI) thus performing greatly, and kept a position in the top three.

The full brother of Deep Impact, Black Tide (sire: Sunday Silence (USA)) showed outstanding performance. Kitasan Black, the 2016 JRA Awards horse of the year, won the Tenno Sho (Spring) and Japan Cup (G1) demonstrating an excellent performance through the year and was moved up in rank from 17th place last year to 12th place this year.

General Two-Year-Old Sires’ Ranking

In the Two-Year-Old ranking, Deep Impact became the sixth champion by catching up to last year’s defending champion, Daiwa Major (sire: Sunday Silence (USA)) on December. The major reason that he became champion was that Satono Ares decisively won the Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes (G1)

In second place was Daiwa Major. His filly, Reine Minoru won the Kokura Nisai Stakes (GIII), and took third place in the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies (G1) and kept second place by thus performing well.

Rulership (sire: King Kamehameha) as a first crop sire achieved 6th place in this category and demonstrated a better record than his father.

Though not a horse produced in Japan, Frankel (GB) attracted attention by the winning of two great races by his offspring such as Soul Stirring winning the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies (G1) and Mi Suerte winning the Fantasy Stakes (GIII).

General First Crop Sires Ranking

Rulership (sire: King Kamehameha) who won the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1) of Hong Kong 2012 became a champion by producing many superb race horses. Though there was no win of a Graded race, his 19 offspring won 21 races such as King’s Rush who won the Fuyo Stakes (L) and Danburite who came in second in the Saudi Arabia Royal Cup (GIII).

In second place was I’ll Have Another (USA) (sire: Flower Alley (USA)), the USA Double Crown Horse who won the 2012 Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. I’ll Have Another’s offspring showed adaptability to turf racecourses as shown in the fact that out of 19 wins, 6 were on grass tracks such as Sigrun who was third place in Artemis Stakes (GIII).
Coming in third was the 2012 Japanese Derby winner, Deep Brillante (sire: Deep Impact). His 18 strong offspring won 21 races such as Obu Spring who won the Floral Cup of Hokkaido Local (NAR) principal race and Dipavamsa who placed 4th in the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies (G1) of the Japan Racing Association. Fourth was Summer Bird (USA) (sire: Birdstone (USA)) who won the 2009 Belmont Stakes. His 15 offspring won 20 races. It is a shame that he produced only one generation.

JRA = Japan Racing Association
NAR = National Association of Racing (Racing by Local Governments)

*For further details, please visit the following sites.
JBIS http://www.jbis.jp/
2016 General Overall Sires Ranking
2016 General Two-Year-Old Sires Ranking
2016 General First Crop Sires Ranking

[See more]

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Pro Tipster MAX - provides racing tips in the competitive horseracing world, with completely transparent wins/losses -

Pro Tipster MAX is a service that allows you to buy the racing tips of elite Umanity professional tipsters--starting at just 100 yen/race. The racing tips of Umanity-approved professional tipsters aren't just symbols that indicate the outcome, but a proper racing tip that indicates the betting combination and how to allocate funds--racing tips whose wins/losses are completely transparent in this head-to-head world. That's a clear distinction from the racing tips of other sites, which do not publish their wins/losses.

Simply registering as a member (free) allows you to buy the racing tips of professional tipsters.

Last week Results

  • Highest Payout
  • Return Rate
Rank Tipster Race Payoff
1 km km
25 Mar Nakayama11R
167,310 1,673,100
2 Mandegan Mandegan
25 Mar Chukyo12R
115,270 1,037,430
3 Mandegan Mandegan
26 Mar Chukyo2R
15,180 151,800
4 Priest Ranzan Priest Ranzan
26 Mar Nakayama10R
18,160 145,280
5 Masked Doctor Ei Masked Doctor Ei
25 Mar Hanshin5R
180 113,200

>>See more

Rank Tipster No.of
1 km km
16R 1,045% 6% 1,513,100 1,673,100
2 Umashigura Umashigura
22R 286% 54% 122,200 15,641
3 Mandegan Mandegan
69R 194% 5% 650,650 334,687
4 Royce Royce
52R 149% 32% 47,540 8,437
5 Shimoon Shimoon
72R 123% 30% 55,460 13,202
6 Sugadai Sugadai
65R 117% 33% 47,880 14,835
7 K.Kawachi K.Kawachi
72R 116% 40% 68,420 17,080
8 Taku Katoh Taku Katoh
6R 102% 16% 1,030 44,530
9 Joie Joie
21R 101% 42% 2,660 19,940

>>See more

Tip Coliseum --Japan's Biggest Racing Tips Arena! Are you Going to Compete? Or just Watch?

Over the course of a year, some 5 million racing tips are registered in the Tip Coliseum, Japan's largest and highest-level racing tip event. Different people use it in different ways--from participating in the tournament and competing for rankings, to watching the tips of top rankers.

Just registering as a member (free) allows you to use the functions of the Tip Coliseum for free.

 Tournament Info:Tournament 127 is currently being held!(25 Mar - 16 Apr)

Tournament 127 Latest result

Rank Tipster Level
Deviation Return
13b8d64f30 13b8d64f30
85.3 415%
250edebffd 250edebffd
83.2 344%
Aimin Aimin
82.3 280%
nyako_keiba nyako_keiba
81.7 428%
csijapan csijapan
81.5 317%

>>See more

To Beginners
--Smart Ways to Use Umanity--from Racing Tips to Horse Racing Romance--

Umanity offers all kinds of services to meet the different needs of racing fans, but on the other hand, some people feel "there are so many services, I don't know where to begin." For that reason, we introduce ways to use Umanity according to the type of user. We know you'll find a way that fits you perfectly♪

Data Cruncher

You are the type who assembles information useful for making tips, especially on high-stakes races, such as GI races, and refer to them as you make your own racing tips.
Suitable service

Graded race Page
U index

Recommend using!

[High Stakes Strategies] is packed with useful information for making racing tips, such as the latest information, like pre-race training times on the horses scheduled to run in high stakes races, the expected odds in the racing card, the columns of professional tipster, results from the past 10 years, etc. Then there is Umanity's proprietary racehorse performance index, the U-index, which many people pay to use for its accuracy; members can use it free, but just for high-stakes races, so using it in conjunction with the High Stakes Strategies makes for a perfect combo.

Racing Tip

Likes racing tips better than 3 squares a day! You're the type who makes tips on lots of races per day, not just the main ones!
Suitable service

Tip Coliseum
Race Info

Recommend using!

First off, try registering your tips in the [Tip Coliseum]. Of course there's the fun of competing for rankings and the racing tips bragging rights for all of Japan--but with our auto-tallying tools you can keep track of your results and bump up your racing prediction prowess through objective self-analysis. What's more, Umanity's [Racing Card (for VIP Club members)] is full of tools for increasing the accuracy of your tips, such as our proprietary speed index, the U-index, as well as “Stable Comments” and “Training Evaluation” and so on provided by Horseracing 8.


You see the horses as a vehicle for investing and you don't hold the your purse strings tight when it comes to high-quality information--you're looking for a high return!
Suitable service

Pro tipster "MAX"
Sugouma Robot

Recommend using!

With Pro Tipster MAX over 20 well-known professional tipsters provide their racing tips for a fee (from 100 yen/race). And their tips aren't just symbols that indicate the outcome, but proper racing tips that indicate the betting combination and how to allocate funds--racing tips whose wins/losses are completely transparent in this head-to-head world--a totally different critter from other horseracing tip sites, which only post their wins, but not the balance of wins/losses. The racing tips software [Sugouma Robot] is equipped with expected value theory for automatically buying only betting tickets with high expected yields.


You love the fun of horseracing with all your friends! You're the type who wants friends to go to the track with!
Suitable service

Horseracing Diary
offline get-togethers

Recommend using!

It's surprising how many people have nothing to say about horseracing on SNS, such as on Facebook. Umanity is a community just for horseracing fans, so don't hold back in talking about horseracing, such as in your Horseracing Diary. What's more, Umanity rents guest rooms at the Tokyo Race Course and holds horseracing offline get-togethers in both Spring and Fall. As these get-togethers are of like-minded horseracing fans, you're sure to make friends. Come along and have fun.


You're the type who wants to get into horseracing but you don't know where to start!
Suitable service

Graded race Page
Tip Coliseum

Recommend using!

First of all, you should try focusing on high-stakes races because you can get lots of information. [High Stakes Strategies] is packed with useful information for making racing tips, such as the latest information on the horses scheduled to run, the racing card, columns and results from the past 10 years. Next, try registering your tips in the [Tip Coliseum]. Simply registering a tip on a race will double the fun of watching them run. And up to this point it won't even cost you a single penny. You have nothing to lose as it's all free and you can take part in horseracing without betting any money.


More than for picking races or investing, you like horseracing because the horses are so beautiful! You're the type who wants to start as a partial owner!
Suitable service

Umanity POG

Recommend using!

[POG] stands for Paper Owner Game. Even though it's a virtual game, the horses are all real--several thousand JRA registered thoroughbreds. You select from among them and if your bid wins the auction, it's registered as your POG horse. You can keep up to 20 POG horses in your stable and the game is in competing for prize money with those horses. Apart from the game, pictures of about 400 race horses have been posted, and appreciating their beautiful bodies is one more pleasure.


Does it cost anything to use Umanity?

No, registering with and using Umanity is free. Once you become a member (free), you can participate in the Tip Coliseum, and use functions that are helpful in making tips, such as the U-index (Umanity's proprietary speed index) on high-stakes races, U-Favorites (tip odds ), which show what's popular among Umanity users, register horses to watch, betting ticket purchasing tools, etc.--not to mention enjoying horseracing community functions, such as diaries, messaging and circles--all the basics for free.

What do I have to do to register as a member?

Registering is simple--all it takes is an email address.
Once you register your email address, follow the instructions and you'll be registered as a member in 1 to 2 minutes flat! You can also register as a member via an account, such as your Yahoo! JAPAN ID.

Do I have to register to use the site?

No, some functions (such as news) can be used without registering.
However, most of the functions require becoming a member (free) and then you can use them for free, so we recommend becoming a member.
[Free Functions Available to Umanity Members]
-Participate in the Tip Coliseum (registering tips, rankings and auto tallying of results)
-U-index of high-stakes races (Umanity's proprietary racehorse performance index with some 10,000 regular users)
-U-Favorites (tip odds), which show what's popular among Umanity users
-Plus, functions useful for making tips, such as registering horses to watch and betting ticket purchase support
-Community functions like diaries, messaging and circles

Can I see racing tips for free?

There are both free tips and those you pay for.
You have to pay for the racing tips of professional tipsters.
Doing so requires the Umanity virtual currency, Gold (G).
Gold can be purchased with credit card.
Although you can view the racing tips of non-professional tipsters for "free," in some cases you need to use Umanity points, which you can get for free by being active on the site, such as by logging in, posting tips in the Tip Coliseum, etc.

What is the U-index?

It is an index developed exclusively by Umanity to indicate the performance of a racehorse.
The value is based on the time over the distance of each horse to date, and estimates whether and how well they will perform in this race; as such, the higher the index, the better the race performance is expected to be.
The U-index is provided to Umanity members free for high-stakes races. To use it on all races, you have to become a member of the Umanity VIP Club, which is a paid service.

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