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Race favorite Kiseki captured this year’s Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger), the last leg of the Triple Crown, with powerful strides over soft going under the heavy rain and wind from the approaching typhoon, to register his first grade-race title. Winning his first and only start as a two-year-old, the Rulership colt kicked off this season with a fifth and two thirds, which included the G3 Mainichi Hai, and won two allowance races before coming in second, two lengths behind Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) winner Rey de Oro in the previous Kobe Shimbun Hai. This win marked trainer Katsuhiko Sumii’s 24th JRA-G1 win, the first since the Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes with Leontes in 2015, and third Kikuka Sho title, which he claimed with Delta Blues in 2004 and Epiphaneia in 2013. Jockey Mirco Demuro claimed his 22nd JRA-G1 victory following the Sprinters Stakes with Red Falx three weeks ago. Kiseki became the first G1 winner for his sire Rulership (JPN, by King Kamehameha) who retired for stud service in 2013.

Breaking somewhat slowly from stall 13, Kiseki traveled wide in mid-division toward the rear while the field expanded into a long line in the backstretch. With all the horses turning wide through the last corners to avoid the muddy inner track, Mirco Demuro led the Rulership colt to take the widest turn, and once facing the homestretch, urged him to make bid, to which the dark bay responded willingly, taking the front 200 meters out and further accelerating to a two-length victory.

“The race condition was tough but I had confidence in him because he’s a great horse. I just tried to race him in good rhythm as his tension was a bit high and the distance of 3,000 meters was not his favorite. Though the pace was slow, I was able to race him well, traveling behind Mikki Swallow. I was sure we were going to win when we entered the straight, and he displayed a great turn of speed at the end,” commented Mirco Demuro.

Tenth pick Clincher also traveled toward the rear, in front of the winner, and made an early bid toward the end of the backstretch and through the corners to enter the straight in second. The son of Deep Sky won out a fierce rally with Popocatepetl and Danburite at the top of the straight and, although overtaken by Kiseki, managed to fend off the persisting efforts of Popocatepetl to finish a nose in front.

Popocatepetl, though posted 13th favorite, showed an impressive kick in the stretch after traveling in midfield, around ninth from the front, and dueled strongly with the runner-up for a well-fought third.
Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) winner and second pick Al Ain settled in mid-division, swung wide and entered the lane in good striking position behind Clincher, but the Deep Impact sired colt failed to respond to finish seventh.

Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) (G1) - Preview19 Oct 11:33 am

Kyoto Racecourse stages its second Grade 1 in as many weeks on Sunday, Oct. 22, and after the 3-year-old fillies slogged it out in the wet last Sunday in the Shuka Sho, the track gets ready for the 78th running of the Kikuka Sho, the final leg of the Triple Crown, run over 3,000 meters on the outer turf course. Once again, there will be no Triple Crown winner this year (there have only been seven in Japanese racing history), as this year’s Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) winner, Rey de Oro, swerves the race for a tilt at the Japan Cup later in the year, while Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) winner, Al Ain, bids to make it two out of three by taking on the Kikuka Sho.

The race has attracted 24 nominations for a maximum field of 18 runners, and some progressive colts are in the mix to make sure Al Ain doesn’t have things all his own way. The race, which was first run in 1938, is run over one and a half circuits of the outer course, with a homestraight of 404 meters, the final test of a horse’s stamina to see out the trip. All colts will carry a set weight of 57kgs. Total prize money for the Kikuka Sho runs to nearly 250 million yen, with 115 million going to the winner. It’s to be hoped the ground firms up by the weekend, so the runners get to have a crack at the record time for the race, 3:01.0 seconds set by the remarkable Toho Jackal in 2014.

Some of the lead-up races to this year’s Kikuka Sho have included the Grade 2 Sapporo Kinen in August, Grade 2 Asahi Hai St. Lite Kinen, and Grade 2 Kobe Shimbun Hai, the latter two races both run in September. First favorites have been coming off pretty well in the race, with five winning in the last 10 years.

The Kikuka Sho will be Race 11 on the card at Kyoto on Sunday, with a post time of 15:40 local time. Here’s a look at some of the runners expected to head the betting market:

Al Ain: The Deep Impact sired colt has done little wrong in his career with four wins from seven starts, and has only been unplaced twice, once when he was fifth in the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby), just 0.3 seconds off the winner. His trainer, Yasutoshi Ikee, won the race last year with Satono Diamond, and holds a strong hand again for this year’s race. Assistant trainer at the stable, Hiroshi Kanetake, said of Al Ain: “He ran well last time in the St. Lite Kinen, and he got to put in the kind of race he’s suited to. Returning after his break and putting in such a good run, he showed his sharpness, and that he’s capable of more improvement.”

Mikki Swallow: A Select Sale purchase in 2014, the Northern Farm bred Mikki Swallow was an eye-catching winner of the Grade 2 Asahi Hai St. Lite Kinen most recently. He has only run as a 3-year-old, and two of his three wins have come over 2, 200 meters. Jockey Norihiro Yokoyama will be looking for some compensation after Aerolithe’s defeat last week, as will trainer Takanori Kikuzawa, who is looking to notch just his second JRA Grade 1. The trainer said, “Two starts back he put in a good effort, but couldn’t quite match the winner, and it was a good run up against the older horses. With that experience, he went on to win the St. Lite Kinen, but next up won’t be easy.”

Kiseki: The dark bay colt by Rulership is seemingly rocketing up through the ranks. He’s only been unplaced once in seven starts, and although it’s his first Grade 1, he has the formidable combination of jockey Mirco Demuro and trainer Katsuhiko Sumii behind him. In his latest race, he finished second to Rey de Oro over 2,400 meters in the Grade 2 Kobe Shimbun Hai at Hanshin in September. Assistant trainer Yasuyuki Tsujino said, “He was second in the Kobe Shimbun Hai, and he had to be patient during the race with things tight on the inside, but he really ran on well in the end. It was a good experience in the race overall. He’s come on a lot since the spring, especially mentally.”

Satono Arthur: The Deep Impact colt is another from trainer Yasutoshi Ikee’s stable, and yet another interesting prospect for owner Hajime Satomi. The colt has raced just six times, has notched up two wins, and has only been unplaced once, when finishing 10th in the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby). His big race jockey will be Yuga Kawada, and assistant trainer, Hiroshi Kanetake said: “He was a bit excited last time and ran freely for a while, but settled later and ran well in the end. He’s developed since the spring and gained weight, and he should be in top condition come race time.”

Satono Chronicle: With the same owner and trainer as Satono Arthur, this Heart’s Cry colt is coming off a third place finish in the Grade 2 Asahi Hai St. Lite Kinen most recently. His two career wins have both come at Kyoto, and he’s another horse who’s only been unplaced once in seven career starts. Assistant trainer, Hiroshi Kanetake stated: “Things got a bit tight for him last time out, which didn’t help him so much. He’s come out of the race fine, however, and things have been good with him in training since.”

My Style: Another colt by Heart’s Cry, My Style will be taking on his third Grade 1 this time, attempting to improve on his fourth-place finish in the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby). He’s coming off a seventh most recently in the Grade 2 Kobe Shimbun Hai. An assistant trainer at the stable of trainer Mitsugu Kon said: “It was a fast run race last time, two seconds or so faster than the Derby, and after his layoff he couldn’t quite adjust to things. All’s been good with him at the stable since that run.”
Win Ganador: The dark bay by Stay Gold is a confirmed frontrunner, but will have his work cut out seeing out the 3,000 meters and carrying 57kgs, the most weight he’s ever carried. Stranger things have happened though, and Win Ganador is coming off a fourth-place finish in the Grade 3 Niigata Kinen over 2,000 meters in September. Trainer Hiroyuki Uehara commented: “He gave me confidence last time, putting in a good race against the older horses, despite just going down. He’s had a short break at the farm and has come back to the stable very full of himself.”

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Shuka Sho (G1) - Deirdre Claims Last Jewel of Thre16 Oct 11:00 am

The last leg of the three-year-old fillies’ Triple Crown began with the top six fillies sent to post with single digit odds (decimal odds) and the lineup short of the Oaks winner. The close competition resulted in third favorite Deirdre claiming her first G1 title and landing her third consecutive wins since August. Her first G1 victory also was the first JRA-G1 victory for sire, Harbinger. Debuting last year as a two-year-old, the bay filly broke her maiden in her third career start and qualified for the Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) after a runner-up effort in her second start this year in the Anemone Stakes. She finished sixth in her G1 debut and came off another win in the Yaguruma Sho (allowance race) for the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) in which she finished fourth. Following a break, she won against a mixed field of older runners in the HTB Sho (allowance) and landed her first grade-race victory in the Shion Stakes. Her trainer Mitsuru Hashida captured his first G1 win in 10 years—the last being the 2007 Takamatsunomiya Kinen with Suzuka Phoenix—and 11th JRA-G1 overall. Christophe Lemaire won his 14th G1 title following the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) with Rey de Oro.

Deirdre was off slow and raced well behind the pace around five horses from the rear, gradually made headway after halfway and saved some ground along the rails between the third and fourth corner. As the field began to scatter turning into the stretch, Christophe Lemaire smartly shifted Deirdre off the rails, tracked Lys Gracieux who closed in quickly to pass tired rivals and gained on the leader up to the last 100 meters then overtook both Lys Gracieux and Mozu Katchan in a flash, crossing the finish line by a 1-1/4-lengh margin.

“I think the filly was in top condition today—she was on her toes in the post parade which just shows how keen she was to go out there and run—and I was quite confident going into this race. Her break wasn’t good and we had to race further back than we had hoped but the pace was fast which worked for us and she gave a terrific run in the stretch,” commented Christophe Lemaire.

Lys Gracieux broke awkwardly then immediately advanced to mid-division, made headway passing the third corner and swung wide for home, losing some ground again but came with a terrific late charge, gaining on the leader with every stride. While pinned by Deirdre in the closing stages, the Heart’s Cry filly still managed to outrun Mozu Katchan by a nose for second.

Mozu Katchan broke nicely out of the gate and secured a good position while saving ground along the rails, made an early move before the last corner, shifting out and advancing to third before the fourth corner and assuming command soon after entering the homestretch. She held on gamely to hold off fast closing Lys Gracieux and Deirdre up to the very last strides while outrun in the end to third but crossed the wire three lengths in front of the next finisher.

Aerolithe broke smoothly and positioned along the rails in third, was second as Fan Dii Na dropped back nearing the third corner and was still prominent entering the stretch but unable to respond as the late chargers came rushing to contention thereafter.

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Shuka Sho (G1) - Preview10 Oct 4:30 pm

Kyoto Racecourse hosts the Grade 1 action this week as the fillies wrap up their triple crown with the Shuka Sho, this year in its 22nd running. Soul Stirring, victor in the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks), won’t be in the lineup having opted for the Mainichi Okan, but two other Grade 1 winners are amid the 25 nominees – NHK Mile Cup champion Aerolithe and Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) winner Reine Minoru. Landing the Shuka Sho would most likely give either one the title for 3-year-old Filly of the Year award.

The top three finishers of the Grade 2 Kansai Telecasting Corp. Sho Rose Stakes – Rabbit Run, Kawakita Enka, and Lys Gracieux – qualified for the Shuka Sho as did the top two finishers of the Shion Stakes – Deirdre and Caribbean Gold.

The Shuka Sho, run over 2,000 meters of turf at Kyoto Racecourse and paying 92 million yen to the winner, was established in 1996, when the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup was opened to older fillies and mares. The race won international Grade 1 status in 2009.

The race is run over the inner course and starts in front of the stands, with little ground before the full gate of 18 meets the first two corners. One thousand meters out, the backstretch rises, then descends again on the run toward home, which is just short of 330 meters.

All fillies will carry a set weight of 55kgs. Mikki Queen holds the race record of 1 minute, 56.9 seconds she set in 2015. The Shuka Sho is the 11th race on Sunday’s card of 12 at Kyoto. Post time is 15:40 local time.

Here’s a look at the expected top choices in this year’s Shuka Sho.

Aerolithe: Aerolithe followed in sire Kurofune’s footsteps when she clinched the NHK Mile Cup in May before she was given a furlong more and went wire-to-wire to win the Grade 3 Queen Stakes at Sapporo at the end of July. Aerolite is taking on her first race at 2,000 meters and, admittedly, the Queen Stakes (1,800 meters) saw her racing under only 52 kg, 3 kg less than she’ll have on Sunday. Still, 2,000 meters is a distance Kurofune won over three times, including at the Grade 3 level, so it shouldn’t be out of her reach, especially given that she can run successfully from further back as well. A brisk pace would stand her well as Aerolithe has proven that she can stand the heat in the frontlines. If the race comes down to late speed, however, she may be at a disadvantage. Aerolithe, along with Deirde, may be breeder Northern Farm’s ace from seven fillies nominated for chasing down their eighth Grade 1 victory of the year. Those seven also include Mirissa, sister to 2016 Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) champion Sinhalite. Mirissa ran fourth in the Rose Stakes, an 1,800-meter Grade 2 at Hanshin on Sept. 17, and is partnered with Yuichi Fukunaga, who won the Shuka Sho aboard Vivlos last year.

Rabbit Run: The American-bred Rabbit Run, one of three fillies nominated by trainer Katsuhiko Sumii, is making her top-level debut after her surprise win of the Rose Stakes. Though the mystery surrounding her is much of her allure, the Tapit-sired Rabbit Run is not considered to be a flash in the pan. In the Rose Stakes, she once again displayed her fine late kick to grab first from the front-running Kawakita Enka after a long drive home from only four off the rear. Like Aerolithe, Rabbit Run will be moving to 2,000 meters for the first time and experiencing four turns for the first time as well, but is expected to handle both well.

Fan Dii Na: A big-striding, big Deep Impact filly, Fan Dii Na weighed in at 526kg for her Rose Stakes run last out. That was coming off a 5-month layoff and ended in sixth place, but improvement can be expected with one race under her belt. Fan Dii Na’s race prior was the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) and she put in a decent showing amid the colts to finish 0.5 seconds and some 2 1/2 lengths off the winner. Though she has yet to win over 2,000 meters in her short five-race career, Fan Dii Na has won at Kyoto over 1,800 meters. With her size and big stride, Fan Dii Na is likely suited to a more wide-open course, but if she can run on or close to the pace, she should be in contention.

Lys Gracieux: Runnerup in the Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) and fifth in the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks), Lys Gracieux has made the board in all of her starts, including two wins, two seconds and two thirds. A consistent runner, she has, however, failed to make the winner’s circle since last October. Following a 5-month spell, the daughter of Heart’s Cry returned to the track for the Rose Stakes and finished third, 2 lengths behind Rabbit Run. Though she is known to be a light eater, Lys Gracieux looks to have filled out a bit. She has always had good racing sense and has matured further mentally. She is reported to be less high strung than earlier, enough to hopefully help her keep calm in front of the grandstand, where the race will begin.

Other runners considered good chances to make the money include two Harbinger fillies –Shion Stakes winner Deirdre and Oaks runnerup Mozu Katchan. Deidre returned to racing after her fourth in the Yushun Himba to win a conditions race at Sapporo in August, then followed that with the Grade 3, 2,000-meter Shion Stakes at Nakayama Racecourse in September. Experienced at the distance, it will be her first 2,000 meters at Kyoto, but she has won at the venue over 1,800 meters and will have ace rider Christophe Lemaire for support.

Mozu Katchan, with a win over 2,000 meters at the Grade 2 level and her second in the Yushun Himba, is one filly for whom an extra furlong on her Rose Stakes’ seventh-place run should prove a plus. That race was her first in four months and improvement is certain. Key will be whether this high-strung girl can keep her cool. Mirco Demuro is pegged for the ride and looking to bag his fourth Grade 1 win this year and the third in a row following his wins of the Takarazuka Kinen and the Sprinters Stakes. The competition above the saddle is as heated as it is below this Sunday, with Demuro tied with Lemaire for three Grade 1 wins in Japan this year.

Rose Stakes runnerup Kawakita Enka will take on 2,000 meters for the first time and her front-running style may put her at a disadvantage, but with first-time partner Yuichi Kitamura up, it may be her time in the spotlight. If the ground is soft on Sunday, Kawakita Enka is worth a serious look.
Oka Sho champion Reine Minoru has fallen out of grace after running 13th place in the Oaks, followed by a ninth in the Rose Stakes, not a promising start to either her fall campaign or for her Shuka Sho bid. The Daiwa Major-sired filly had made the board in her seven starts through the Oka Sho, all at the mile or less. Whether it was the distance or due to her 5-month layoff, her poor showing in her last two starts will undoubtedly have the odds up on her this Sunday.

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JRA doubles Japan Cup winner's bonus money to $2 m04 Oct 12:37 pm

The Japan Racing Association announced that the bonus money for the winner of the 2017 Japan Cup will be increased to $2 million (previously $1 million), in an effort to attract the highest level horses to run in the JRA's flagship Grade 1 race of the autumn season.

The $2 million bonus will be provided to the winner of the upcoming Japan Cup, if the horse was a winner of any of the 24 designated races overseas this year, including the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, Dubai Sheema Classic, King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Breeders' Cup Turf. For winners of such designated races, a bonus will be given for finishing runner-up ($400,000), third place ($250,000) and fourth place or below ($100,000) in the Japan Cup.

This year's Japan Cup will be run with a total purse of 648,000,000 yen (about $5.6 million) – with 300,000,000 yen (about $2.6 million) going to the winner. It will be held over 2,400m at Tokyo Racecourse on Sunday, Nov. 26.

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Last week Results

  • Highest Payout
  • Return Rate
Rank Tipster Race Payoff
1 km km
22 Oct Niigata2R
162,680 1,626,800
2 Joie Joie
21 Oct Tokyo9R
6,480 421,500
3 Ikkun Ikkun
21 Oct Kyoto11R
66,740 333,700
4 Ace No.2 Ace No.2
22 Oct Tokyo7R
2,030 231,400
5 Kiiro Kiiro
21 Oct Niigata11R
5,690 198,300

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Rank Tipster No.of
1 km km
48R 338% 2% 1,146,800 1,626,800
2 E.Yamazaki E.Yamazaki
9R 220% 44% 108,080 49,520
3 Joie Joie
51R 151% 45% 218,210 27,852
4 Ace No.1 Ace No.1
59R 145% 37% 261,960 38,193
5 Shimoon Shimoon
72R 127% 18% 57,130 20,548
6 kiri kiri
72R 118% 29% 58,430 18,172
7 Mutsuki Mutsuki
72R 115% 23% 110,000 48,235
8 Saramappo Saramappo
11R 111% 27% 8,600 26,866
9 Ace No.2 Ace No.2
59R 111% 18% 63,800 55,090
10 Taku Katoh Taku Katoh
28R 106% 32% 12,480 24,097
11 Baken Seikatsu Baken Seikatsu
50R 105% 20% 13,460 25,086
12 Okabe Okabe
24R 104% 33% 4,800 13,725

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

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 Tournament Info:Tournament 134 is currently being held!(7 Oct - 29 Oct)

Tournament 134 Latest result

Rank Tipster Level
Deviation Return
riho riho
80.5 333%
raul7 raul7
80.3 444%
018a56d968 018a56d968
78.6 410%
zero001 zero001
78.2 433%
wata724 wata724
77.5 363%

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