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Fourth favorite Nonkono Yume captured this year’s February Stakes, one of the two major dirt races on the calendar with G1 status, after displaying an impressive stretch run to defeat the defending champion Gold Dream in second. It is the six-year-old gelding’s second title at the highest level since his Japan Dirt Derby victory in 2015. In the same year at the age of three, the dark chestnut also notched two G3 wins and showed a runner-up effort in the Champions Cup before landing another two runner-up finishes the following year in the February Stakes and the Teio Sho. His best finish was a fourth after being gelded in the summer of his four-year-old season, but finally found his form in his latest start, the Negishi Stakes three weeks earlier, where he tenaciously dug in to claim the win. For trainer Yukihiro Kato, who has 12 JRA graded wins since opening his stables in 2002, this is his first JRA-G1 win while he already obtains the G1 Singapore Airlines International Cup title with Shadow Gate in 2007. Jockey Hiroyuki Uchida has now claimed his 12th JRA G1 victory—his latest with Verxina in the 2014 Victoria Mile—and his second February Stakes triumph since the 2009 version with Success Brocken.

Breaking from stall 12, Nonkono Yume was settled in the far rear as the field of 16 cruised down the backstretch with Nishiken Mononofu setting the early pace up front. After taking a wide route on the heels of Gold Dream rounding the last two corners and still near the rear when entering the straight, the son of Twining had no trouble to find his best stride as he blew past his rivals while producing the fastest last three-furlong speed, eventually pinning Incantation and a stubborn Gold Dream in the last 100 meters to clear the wire first for the title.

“The staff tuned him up beautifully and he was in very good form. I kept him wide and in good striking position so that he could unleash his good late charge at any point, which is probably the reason why we were able to win today,” commented Hiroyuki Uchida after the race.

After breaking from a wide stall, race favorite Gold Dream was off slow sitting third to fourth from the rear and lost ground on both turns but displayed his trade-mark turn of foot down the lane under good urging from Ryan Moore. Although the five-year-old fought back persistently against the fast closing winner, he was eventually caught and finished a neck behind in second.

Multiple grade-race winner and sixth pick Incantation traveled in sixth to seventh in mid-pack before hitting the top of the lane right beside Gold Dream. The eight-year-old bay charged strongly down the straight but failed to overtake the defending champion and was furthermore nailed by the winner in the last half-furlong to finish third.

Other Horses:
4th: (16) Sunrise Nova―ran in 9th, quickened in last 300m but finished 3 lengths behind top 3 finishers
5th: (13) Let’s Go Donki―settled around 13th, switched to inside for clear path, showed effort until 100m out
6th: (9) King’s Guard―trailed in rear, switched to outside at mid-stretch and showed good response
7th: (8) Meisho Sumitomo―sat around 11th, switched to inside and improved position
8th: (5) Sound True―raced 2nd from rear, lacked needed kick, unable to reach contention
9th: (4) Awardee―took economic trip around 10th, met traffic 300m out, passed tired rivals
10th: (15) Best Warrior―traveled in 6th, struggled to find clear path at early stretch, never a threat
11th: (2) K T Brave―pressed pace in 2nd, led at top of stretch, weakened in last 300m
12th: (10) T M Jinsoku―stalked leaders in 3rd, outrun by rivals in last 300m
13th: (3) Nobo Baccara―chased leaders in 4th, sustained bid until 400m out, faded
14th: (11) London Town―positioned around 7th along rails, never fired at stretch
15th: (7) Lalabel―hugged rails in 5th, gradually fell back in last 400m
16th: (1) Nishiken Mononofu―set pace, ran out of steam at 300m out

February Stakes (G1) - Preview14 Feb 4:11 pm

After a thrilling wrap to 2017, the first of the top-level races are already upon us. On Sunday, Feb. 18, Tokyo Racecourse hosts the first of the two biggest dirt events in the Japan Racing Association calendar – the February Stakes. This year marks the 35th running of the 1,600-meter competition and 24 horses age 4 and up have been nominated. Sixteen of them will vie for a first-place prize of 100 million yen.

In addition to last year’s winner Gold Dream and runnerup Best Warrior, this year’s gate will see a number of new faces with a lot of talent. The mood is mixed and chances are good the return on the year’s first big race will be an attractive one.

The Tokyo 1,600 meter course itself is a bit of an oddity, with the first 150 meters of the race actually over the turf. And, depending on the gate position, the difference between the inside gate and the outside gate can mean a difference in turf length of about 30 meters. Some believe this difference gives the outside horses an advantage as they are running over the faster turf, but it’s more likely simply that the 1,600-meter Tokyo dirt course has the longest run from the gate of any JRA dirt race. It’s a full 640 meters to the first turn and outside runners have ample time to get a reading on the competition before maneuvering for position.

Despite the distance to the first turn, the pace of the February Stakes is rarely slow. It is a highly competitive race after all, and the first 400 meters are also over a slight downgrade. After that, the track rises briefly about a meter, dips around the third turn and, from 500 meters out, rises nearly 3 meters in the stretch until leveling out from 200 meters before the finish line. The rise in the stretch is steeper than that of the turf track at Tokyo and makes for a grueling test of strength. Lightweights don’t ace the February Stakes and this is clearly reflected in the last seven winners of the race, all who weighed in at over 500kg.

As for jockeys, no one shines of recent like Mirco Demuro. Demuro, who also won best winning average in 2017, has ridden two February Stakes winners (Gold Dream in 2017, Moanin in 2016) and is the only foreign jockey to have won the race other than Olivier Peslier (2000 and 2001). Yutaka Take holds the record for most wins of the February Stakes. He rode four winners – Gold Allure in 2003 (at Nakayama over 1,800 meters), Kane Hekili in 2006, Vermilion in 2008 and Copano Rickey in 2015. Moanin holds the race record of 1 minute, 34 seconds flat.

The February Stakes will be the 11th race on the Sunday card of 12 at Tokyo Racecourse and post time is 15:40 local time. Here’s a look at the horses likely to be gaining the most attention in the wagering.

Gold Dream: Winner of both last year’s February Stakes and the 2017 Champions Cup, Gold Dream was duly recognized with the JRA award for Best Dirt Horse of 2017. After last year’s February Stakes, he traveled to Meydan Racecourse, where he took on the Dubai World Cup and failed to deliver with a last-place finish. Two starts at NAR tracks saw him finish out of the money but he was back on track in the Champion’s Cup where he bagged his second Grade 1 victory. He’s been given the same rotation as he had last year, but was coming off a 12th place finish in the Champions Cup then as opposed to returning from a win this year. Gold Dream is by Gold Allure, whose progeny have now won four February Stakes, and three other Gold Allure progeny (Sunrise Nova, Lalabel, and Meisho Sumitomo), are expected to be in the final lineup. Gold Dream, now 5 years old, has failed to show the consistency he had as a 3-year-old, but obviously still has what it takes to pocket the big money. Only one other horse (Copano Rickey) has won back-to-back editions of this race since it became a Grade 1 event in 2007, but when it comes to the Tokyo 1,600 over dirt, Gold Dream is on the money, with three firsts and one second from four starts.

T M Jinsoku: Missing out on the Champions Cup by a neck was T M Jinsoku, a 6-year-old son of Kurofune, winner of the 2001 Japan Cup Dirt. It was T M Jinsoku’s first Grade 1 bid and he ran a strong race in what was a big leap up in class. Skipping the Grade 2 level, T M Jinsoku had gone directly to the top after a second in the Grade 3 Elm Stakes at Sapporo and a win of the Grade 3 Miyako Stakes at Kyoto. Last out, on Jan. 21, he aced the Grade 2 Tokai Stakes (over 1,800 meters at Chukyo). Raced predominately over 1,800 meters, this will be T M Jinsoku’s first time over 1,600 meters and his first time at Tokyo. The gray horse bred at Hidaka T M Bokujo, weighs in just under 500kg and tends to take the lead or race from a forward position. He has been highly consistent in his career and equally swift, which is what “jinsoku” means in Japanese. Of his 25 career starts, T M Jinsoku has finished in the money 19 times, with nine firsts, six seconds and four thirds. His last seven races have brought five wins and two seconds and all were ridden by Yoshihiro Furukawa. Furukawa, who is set for the ride, has not won a Grade 1 race since 2007 and has not won any of his 21 bids over the Tokyo 1,600-meter dirt course. Perhaps, however, this combination can come through a winning one once again.

Nonkono Yume: Nonkono Yume was in great form from his debut at the end of 2014, with results that included a second in the Champions Cup in 2015 and a second in the February Stakes in 2016. In June of 2016 he ran second in the top-level Teio Sho at Ohi Racecourse. He was then gelded and the now 6-year-old son of Twining slumped through his next six races. He finished seventh in the February Stakes last year and ninth in the Champions Cup, but returned this year on Jan. 28 for a win of the 1,400-meter Grade 3 Negishi Stakes at Tokyo. Partnered with Hiroyuki Uchida, he narrowly beat Sunrise Nova to the line, but he covered the final 3 furlongs in only 34.2 seconds, moving up the ranks from just two off the rear to a good 2 1/2 lengths ahead of third place Kafuji Take. It was a promising start to the year and may augur well for 2018.

Sunrise Nova: The only 4-year-old nominated for the February Stakes is the Gold Allure colt Sunrise Nova. He aced his debut in November 2016 over the Tokyo 1,600 over dirt and moved smartly up in the class to a win of the Grade 3 Unicorn Stakes at the same conditions in June of last year. Despite a total flub of the Musashino Stakes last November, Sunrise Nova returned to form next out for a second in the open class and, last out, second in the Grade 3 Negishi Stakes over a heavy track. Trainer Hidetaka Otonashi said, “He had a perfect ride. If the ground had been dry, I don’t think the winner could have caught him. I think he could have made it. There hasn’t been much time between races but he came out of the last race well even though it was won in record time and the extra distance shouldn’t pose a problem at all.”

K T Brave: After running fourth in the Champions Cup, the 5-year-old K T Brave took third in top-level racing at Ohi Racecourse, followed by a wire-to-wire win of the Kawasaki Kinen at Kawasaki. Sixth in last year’s February Stakes, K T Brave has made the board in all of his last eight starts since being partnered with Yuichi Fukunaga and missed the money only twice. The combination may fill out a wager nicely on Sunday as well.
Those looking for some dark horses may want to look to Best Warrior, who has finished third, fourth and second in his last three February Stakes and is expected to be partnered with Christophe Lemaire. Sound True, Incantation, and Awardee are all solid runners not to be ignored. Coming back to the dirt after a poor try on the turf is Nishiken Mononofu and sharpened up for his third start since winning the 1,800-meter Grade 1 Korea Cup in Seoul last September is London Town.

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Minarik, Moore, Vargiu receive short-term JRA Jock08 Feb 6:56 pm

The Japan Racing Association (JRA) announced that short-term riding jockey's licenses have been issued to the following jockeys:

License term: Feb. 7 thru April 2, 2018
Past Licenses (since 2016):
- Nil
Overall record (JRA races): 0 wins/6 rides
Sponsor trainer: Yukihiro Kato (JRA Miho Training Center)
Contract owner: Katsumi Yoshizawa

License term: Feb. 10 thru Feb. 27, 2018
Past Licenses (since 2016):
- Oct. 29 thru Dec. 5, 2016
- Feb. 11 thru Feb. 28, 2017
- Nov. 11 thru Dec. 24, 2017
Overall record (JRA races): 112 wins/558 rides (14 graded race wins)
Sponsor trainer: Noriyuki Hori (JRA Miho Training Center)
Contract owner: Kazuko Yoshida

License term: Feb. 10 thru March 25, 2018
Past Licenses (since 2016):
- Jan. 30 thru March 27, 2016
- July 30 thru Aug. 28, 2016
Overall record (JRA races): 111 wins/1,425 rides (4 graded race wins)
Sponsor trainer: Katsuhiko Sumii (JRA Ritto Training Center)
Contract owner: Ryosuke Fujii

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Kitasan Black Repeats as Horse of the Year18 Jan 12:14 pm

Kitasan Black drew 287 out of 290 votes to win The Japan Racing Association’s (JRA) Horse of the Year award again with another outstanding season that included victories in the Osaka Hai, the Tenno Sho (Spring), the Tenno Sho (Autumn) and the Arima Kinen. He becomes the ninth horse in JRA history, the first since Gentildonna (2012, 2014) to win two Horse of the Year titles and the seventh to win consecutively—the last being Vodka in 2008 and 2009. The annual JRA Awards, which will be handed out in a ceremony at Prince Park Tower Tokyo on Monday, January 29, recognize horses, trainers, jockeys, and other individuals and organizations for outstanding performances or achievements in the thoroughbred racing season.

Kitasan Black was also named Best Older Colt or Horse for the consecutive year with full votes. Best Two-Year-Old Filly Lucky Lilac was the only other unanimous choice while Best Three-Year-Old Colt Rey de Oro and Best Steeplechase Horse Oju Chosan were each just one vote short. Best Two-Year-Old Colt Danon Premium, Best Sprinter or Miler Red Falx and Best Dirt Horse Gold Dream also collected more than 90% of 290 maximum votes. Vivlos won the Best Older Filly or Mare title with 194 votes while Soul Stirring won the Best Three-Year-Old Filly with 162, 42 votes over the runner-up.

JRA Best Trainer Awards are presented for Races Won, Winning Average, Money Earned and Training Technique based on JRA races and designated NAR and overseas races. Yasutoshi Ikee won his second Best Trainer title for Races Won and fourth for Money Earned. Mitsumasa Nakauchida won his first JRA Award title for Winning Average since opening his yard in 2014. Noriyuki Hori won his second and consecutive title for Training Technique.

Best Jockey Awards are presented for Races Won, Money Earned, Winning Average, Steeplechase and Newcomer based on accomplishments in JRA races alone. Christophe Lemaire claimed his first titles for Races Won and Most Valuable Jockey, the latter determined by points earned for wins, earnings, winning average and rides in JRA, designated-NAR and overseas races combined. The French native also won his second consecutive title for Money Earned. Mirco Demuro won the title for Winning Average while Shinichi Ishigami turned in another stellar season to stamp his claim as the Best Steeplechase Jockey for the second consecutive year. No one was eligible for the Best Jockey (Newcomer) title because no jockey who debuted in 2017 was able to score the required minimum 30 wins.

The Equine Culture Award was presented to Tamsin Pickeral (author), Astrid Harrisson (photographer), Fumi Kawagishi (translator) and X-Knowledge Co., Ltd. (publisher) for their pictorial book “Sekai de Ichiban Utsukushii Uma no Zukan” (The Majesty of the Horse: An Illustrated History).

Notes: All information, including ages and race performances, are as of December 31, 2017, unless otherwise indicated. Wins and earnings include JRA-designated local public races under the National Association of Racing (NAR; local public racing) and overseas starts, except for jockeys. The Season Performances chart shows the horse’s positions in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and final corners, from left to right. “L3F” and “[Horse]” indicate time over the last 3 furlongs (600m) and the horse’s weight, respectively.

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Winners of the 2017 JRA Awards announced10 Jan 4:32 pm

On Jan. 9, Kitasan Black was announced as the Japan Racing Association’s Horse of the Year for the second consecutive year. Kitasan Black was also awarded the Best Older Colt or Horse award. In the voting for the Horse of the Year award, Kitasan Black received 287 votes out of 290.

The Horse of the Year title is the highest honor given to JRA-registered race horses and is selected by the Horse of the Year Selection Committee represented by journalists of various dailies and magazines.

The JRA Awards ceremony will be held on January 29.

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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.

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Last week Results

  • Highest Payout
  • Return Rate
Rank Tipster Race Payoff
1 Y.Satoh Y.Satoh
18 Mar Nakayama10R
1,368,150 1,368,150
2 kiri kiri
17 Mar Hanshin11R
642,490 642,490
3 Y.Satoh Y.Satoh
17 Mar Nakayama10R
408,080 408,080
4 Hahahafuhohoho Hahahafuhohoho
17 Mar Nakayama12R
7,990 300,720
5 Mandegan Mandegan
18 Mar Nakayama9R
9,840 207,830

>>See more

Rank Tipster No.of
1 kiri kiri
72R 380% 30% 916,530 56,496
2 Okabe Okabe
6R 285% 33% 11,100 8,550
3 Y.Satoh Y.Satoh
70R 280% 14% 1,228,040 190,884
4 dream1002 dream1002
10R 206% 20% 106,120 103,060
5 manken manken
17R 170% 29% 36,160 17,432
6 E.Yamazaki E.Yamazaki
9R 161% 44% 55,120 36,280
7 Mandegan Mandegan
63R 156% 28% 353,110 54,617
8 K.Souma K.Souma
68R 125% 44% 86,090 14,103
9 Kiiro Kiiro
72R 123% 40% 169,350 30,667
10 Sugadai Sugadai
61R 122% 42% 50,050 10,525
11 K.Nishino K.Nishino
64R 117% 18% 40,870 23,280

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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.

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 Tournament Info:Tournament 139 finished! The high achievers are recognized! Next tournament will be held from 24 Mar!

Tournament 139 Award

Rank Tipster Level
Deviation Return
f3d06091a5 f3d06091a5
81.5 587%
kiri kiri
79.4 173%
ken-ken ken-ken
78.7 157%
kamoshire kamoshire
78.5 206%
d89045ac36 d89045ac36
78.4 318%

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