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Third pick Jun Light Bolt demonstrated an impressive late charge to win this year’s Champions Cup, registering his first G1 title in his only fourth dirt start. The King Kamehameha bay was raced over turf from his debut start in July of his two-year-old season until his four-year-old season last year, during which he won four out of 21 starts. Switching to dirt from this year, he won his second start, the BSN Sho (Listed, 1,800m) in August, and marked his first graded win in the previous Sirius Stakes (G3, dirt, 1,900m) on October 1. This win brought Trainer Yasuo Tomomichi his 17th JRA-G1 title following his Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) victory with Do Deuce and his first JRA-G1 title over dirt. This also marked jockey Yukito Ishikawa’s first G1 and seventh graded title since his debut in 2014.

Quick out of the gate, five-year-old Jun Light Bolt eased back to settle around ninth from the frontrunner. Though meeting traffic entering the lane, the son of King Kamehameha waited until finding an open space outside T O Keynes 200 meters out, then unleashed a powerful burst of speed with the fastest closing drive to overtake the frontrunners one by one including Crown Pride right before the wire for a neck victory.

“I can’t find any other word to describe this other than “happy.” I tried to feel the horse’s rhythm and was confident that if we can find an open space after entering the lane, he would burst out. The colt responded so well that I knew we could win. Though I have yet to feel my first G1 win, I would like to savor this joy from now on,” commented jockey Yukito Ishikawa.

Fourth pick and UAE Derby victor Crown Pride, while keen to go early, tracked the leader in second, inherited the lead at the top of the stretch and, though nosed out by the fast-closing winner just before the wire, held the rest of the field by 1-1/4 lengths for a runner-up seat.

Six choice Hapi broke sharply and eased back to settle behind Crown Pride in third of fourth position. The Kizuna colt overtook the tiring pacesetter 300 meters out but failed to close the gap between the runner-up and was passed by the winner in the last 100 meters while securing third place from T O Keynes by a neck.

Odds-on-favorite T O Keynes missed his break and traveled four wide around sixth from the front. The defending champion made headway entering the lane and advanced to third at the 200-meter pole but was unable to make ground and was overtaken by the winner in the last 100 meters to finish fourth.

Other Horses:
5th: (13) Shamal—tracked leaders in 4th, sustained bid, weakened in last 200m
6th: (2) Sunrise Hope—trailed in rear, advanced after 3rd corner, passed tired rivals
7th: (4) Smashing Hearts—saved ground around 6th, met traffic at early stretch, responded briefly
8th: (9) Notturno—settled inside favorite around 6th, lacked needed kick at stretch
9th: (7) Auvergne—sat in 5th, chased leaders up to 200m marker, outrun thereafter
10th: (14) Tagano Beauty—positioned in 14th, closed in on frontrunners after 3rd corner, showed brief effort
11th: (6) Red Galant—ran behind winner around 10th, circled wide, passed some rivals
12th: (1) Gloria Mundi—hugged rails around 10th, met traffic at early stretch, unable to reach contention
13th: (15) Sakura Allure—raced near rear early, made headway in backstretch, weakened in last 300m
14th: (11) Badenweiler—settled 3-wide around 10th, unable to respond at stretch
15th: (8) Sunrise Nova—traveled in 13th, gradually dropped back after 3rd corner, no factor
16th: (16) Red Soldado—rushed from widest stall to set pace, faded after 400m pole

Champions Cup (G1) - Preview30 Nov 10:10 am

The Grade 1 Champions Cup takes place on Sunday, Dec. 4, at Chukyo Racecourse, just outside of Nagoya in central Japan. It will be the 23rd running of the race, which was previously known as the Japan Cup Dirt. First run in 2000 at Tokyo over 2,100 meters, the race has had a number of different venues (including Hanshin) and distances, but since 2014 it has been run at Chukyo over 1,800 meters, which was when it also got its current name. It is the fourth and final leg of the Japan Autumn International Series of races, which also includes last week’s Grade 1 Japan Cup. There will be no overseas runners in this week’s race.

The Grade 1 Champions Cup is a race for 3-year-olds and up, with 4-year-olds and above to carry 57kg, and a 1kg allowance for 3-year-olds, with a further 2kg weight pull for fillies and mares. There have been 18 nominations for the race, but a maximum of 16 runners will get a start. This year’s race looks interesting from the point of view that there are a number of emerging dirt horses expected to be in the lineup, and that quite a few of them have pedigrees that wouldn’t necessarily give them strong claims in dirt races.

A couple of JRA races leading into Sunday’s big race have been the Grade 3 Sirius Stakes run at Chukyo over 1,900 meters in October, and the Grade 3 Miyako Stakes run over 1,800 meters at Hanshin in November. In the last 10 years, just two favorites have won the Champions Cup and 5-year-olds have won it four times during that same period. Ritto-trained horses have won eight times in the past decade, making them quite a force in the race. Record time is held by Chrysoberyl, winning in a time of 1:48.5 in 2019, and he was the last 3-year-old winner of the race. This year’s winner’s check is JPY120 million (approximately USD1 million).

The Grade 1 Champions Cup will be Race 11 on the Sunday card at Chukyo, with a post time of 15.30 local time. Final declarations and barrier draw will come out later in the week.

Here’s a look at some of this year’s top dirt horses expected to be in the race:

T O Keynes: Winner of the race last year, the 5-year-old by Sinister Minister will probably be a short-priced favorite to defend his title successfully this year. Although he could only finish eighth in this year’s Grade 1 Saudi Cup in February, he recently blew away the opposition in the JBC Classic at Morioka over 2,000 meters in November. Assistant trainer Juntaro Taira said: “He took a very wide position in his last race and I did wonder about that, but at the end he showed how much power he has. He’s been at the stable since and he’s a lot more relaxed than he was previously.”

Jun Light Bolt: Living up to his name latterly, Jun Light Bolt has only had three starts on dirt, but has won two of them, the latest being the Grade 3 Sirius Stakes at Chukyo in October. The son of King Kamehameha has got his trainer Yasuo Tomomichi quite excited about his prospects from now. “I’ve always thought a lot of him, and in his first start on dirt at Fukushima he lost a shoe, but still managed to finish second. In his two wins since, he’s picked up well between the third and fourth corners, and he just seems a different horse on dirt as opposed to turf,” Tomomichi said. The trainer has never won a JRA dirt Grade 1 race, despite having 16 top-level wins to his name overall.

Sunrise Hope: Causing an upset last time in the Grade 3 Miyako Stakes in November, Sunrise Hope will be trying for a repeat performance at Chukyo, where he has won twice, but has also finished unplaced four times. Usually well up with the pace, things turned out a bit different when he won last time, as trainer Tomohiko Hatsuki explained: “He swerved a bit leaving the stalls, so it meant he had to settle for an outside position in his last race. The jockey did a great job though, to get the best out of him throughout the race and at the finish. The horse was a bit tired after the race, but we’ve taken care of him and all is well with him.”

Crown Pride: The 3-year-old colt by Reach the Crown has only had seven starts (all on dirt) and has won three times, including the prestigious Grade 2 UAE Derby at Meydan in March. Despite finishing second to T O Keynes last time, trainer Koichi Shintani still thinks there’s more to come from the colt. “The winner last time was able to catch him, but he ran a strong race, cutting out what was a good pace for him. I think that was good experience for him and I’m pleased with how he’s progressing,” the trainer said. Jockey Yuichi Fukunaga will take the ride once more on Crown Pride.

Gloria Mundi: One of two possible runners for trainer Ryuji Okubo, Gloria Mundi last ran in the Grade 1 Takarazuka Kinen in June, when he finished well down the field. Back on dirt, however, he’s a different prospect, having won four times from five starts, including two wins at Chukyo. The trainer said: “He was in among some famous horses in his last race and it was his first run on turf in a long time. He was tired after the race, but has had time to recover, and since being back at the stable, things have been fine with him. There’s still more to come from him in dirt races.” Adding to Gloria Mundi’s chances is the booking of Ryan Moore for the ride, and he showed just what he’s capable of in last week’s Japan Cup.

Hapi: The 3-year-old colt by Kizuna has a similar profile to Crown Pride, in that he has had the same number of races and the same number of wins. He’s only been unplaced twice in his career and that includes last time when he narrowly missed out behind Sunrise Hope in the Grade 3 Miyako Stakes. Also trained by Ryuji Okubo, the trainer recently commented: “It got a bit tight on the inside in his last race and he didn’t get such a smooth run. The good thing is he came out of it well and wasn’t tired, so he would seem ready to run again.” The trainer won the Champions Cup in 2020 with Chuwa Wizard.
Notturno: Another 3-year-old entry, the colt by Heart’s Cry has been guided nicely by jockey Yutaka Take in seven of his eight starts, which have included three wins all with Take aboard. The colt’s last race was at Funabashi in September, when he finished seventh in the Nippon TV Hai over 1,800 meters. An assistant trainer commented: “With an inside gate last time, he had to go forward and things didn’t work out for him, being unable to catch the frontrunner, and then other horses running on at the end. He also probably prefers the ground wet, as it was when he won two starts ago.”

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Vela Azul Shines in Japan Cup30 Nov 10:05 am

Third favorite Vela Azul captured his first G1 title in this year’s Japan Cup, giving his sire Eishin Flash his first G1 victory. Vela Azul had been raced on dirt since his debut as a three-year-old up to his first start of the current season in January. Switched to turf racing this March, the five-year-old marked two wins and two thirds before claiming his first graded victory in his latest Kyoto Daishoten (G2, 2,400m) challenge. For trainer Kunihiko Watanabe, this is his first G1 triumph after claiming three graded wins since opening his stables in 2016. British jockey Ryan Moore, who is racing under a short-term license, has scored his ninth JRA-G1 win and first since his Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes victory with Salios in 2019.

Vela Azul was forced to travel in a tight, two-wide and mid-field position up to the final corner behind a slow pace set by Unicorn Lion. Trapped behind a wall of horses, the son of Eishin Flash finally found room 300 meters out only to be forced to switch paths to avoid the tiring Danon Beluga just after passing the furlong pole, and dug in fiercely overtaking the dueling Shahryar and Weltreisende 50 meters to the wire for a 3/4-length win.  

“He broke OK. The pace was rather slow, but my horse has a good late charge and I trusted him to make a good run and. He was in good condition coming into this race but he exceeded our expectation. He is five years old but he gets better and better and still has room for improvement. The reason for racing him on dirt early in his career was because he had leg issues (fractures) as a young colt and in order to race him with less risk he was raced on dirt. However, I did think he had an aptitude to race well on turf and it was only a matter of timing as to when to shift to turf racing,” commented trainer Kunihiko Watanabe.

“I was very lucky to ride a talented horse. The pace was very steady for the Japan Cup. The horse never had much room, but when he did he quickened up very well so he was very impressive today. I had a good horse that got me out front and we had a nice spot--it wasn't too far off the pace and following a good horse, the horse in front was having to wait and I was having to wait (too), and when he found a bit of room he quickened up very well. I suppose for today being towards the inside wasn't a disadvantage,” said jockey Ryan Moore.

Breaking from stall 15, race favorite Shahryar was eased to a lower rearward position after sitting in mid-pack as the bunched-up field cruised down the backstretch. After meeting traffic then finding a clear path two furlongs out, the Sheema Dubai Classic victor kicked into gear and rallied with Danon Beluga and Weltreisende into the last furlong but was outrun by the strong-closing winner, while beating a stubborn Weltreisende and Danon Beluga who dropped behind earlier, and cleared the wire 3/4 lengths behind in second.

Fourth pick Weltreisende sat in fifth from the pace, was blocked in early stretch and after squeezing through a gap for clear sailing, briefly took over the lead at the furlong marker but was caught by the runner- up 100 meters out and then the hard-closing winner for a neck third.

14th favorite Grand Glory was settled in mid-pack, eased back a bit to run sixth to seventh from the rear, was checked at the early stretch behind horses and was then guided to an outer route for her stretch run. The six-year-old mare displayed her signature closing speed from there and, although unable to better her fifth-place finish in last year’s version, cleared the wire in sixth.

Trainer Gianluca Bietolini:
“The track condition suited her, but the path didn't open for her and she had no room to run at the stretch.”

Jockey Maxime Guyon:
“We got stuck behind horses from about the last corner and couldn't find room to run.”

Sent off sixth favorite, Onesto took a ground-saving trip in around sixth to seventh, found himself in tight quarters in early stretch but slipped into a narrow path next to the rails while overtaking fellow French contender Simca Mille 400 meters out. Still unable to find running space, the Grand Prix de Paris champion gradually shifted a few paths out and finally showed his best stride 200 meters to the wire but was too late and finished seventh.

Trainer Fabrice Chappet:
“The colt ran very well but, unfortunately, he had a wall of horses in front at the stretch.”

Jockey Christophe Lemaire:
“The pace was slow, and I tried to look for a space in the inside but there was no room for us. The horse ran well but we were unlucky.”

Representing Germany, seventh favorite Tunnes was reluctant to load and after a delayed start, was off slow before settling in third to fourth from the rear beside the race favorite. As the field turned for home, the Grosser Preis von Bayern victor, still near the rear, was one of the few to find an untroubled way home, however, the three-year-old colt had too much ground to make up and was ninth.

Trainer Peter Schiergen:
“He was unable to keep up with the fast pace on the firm track and couldn't make up ground from running behind.”

Jockey Bauyrzhan Murzabayev:
“His had a poor break and the race didn't work out as we had liked. A softer ground would have been better for this colt.”

11th favorite Simca Mille saved ground near the pace in third after breaking from the innermost stall. This year’s Prix Niel winner remained a factor up to the top of the stretch hill but weakened 300 meters out and retreated to 15th.

Trainer Stephane Wattel:
“He broke extremely well but he wasn't able to show his real form throughout the race.”

Jockey Gregory Benoist:
“He ran comfortably behind the pacesetter, but he couldn't find his speed at the end.”

Other Horses:
4th: (8) Daring Tact—rated in mid-field between rivals, quickly advanced through opening along uphill stretch behind winner
5th: (14) Danon Beluga—raced wide, made headway along outside at backstretch, made ground uphill while shifting in, soon joined by winner, tired 100 meters out but held on well
8th: (11) Karate—traveled 3-wide in mid-field, followed winner uphill stretch, even paced thereafter
10th: (17) Uberleben—near rear early, headway along backstretch, widest around final turn, made effort to follow winner but outrun 200m out
11th: (10) Heart's Histoire—chased leader in second, inherited brief lead within 400m before running out of gas and faded
12th: (12) Shadow Diva—saved ground third or fourth from rear, unable to find speed after angling out early stretch
13th: (4) Trust Kenshin—hugged rails off the pace, never a factor
14th: (13) T O Royal—prominent early, outrun and faded before 400m pole
16th: (9) Unicorn Lion—made pace up to 400m pole, came up empty and faded
17th: (18) Boccherini—traveled wide in mid-division, lacked response when asked early stretch
18th: (16) Ridge Man—trailed throughout

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Japan Cup (G1) - Preview23 Nov 10:45 am

The top-level races keep on coming and this Sunday sees the international highlight of the year - the Grade 1 Japan Cup at Tokyo Racecourse. A young team from overseas will take on the expected14 runners from Japan in a bid to lay claim to the Tokyo 2,400-meter jewel. Three of the four horses that have flown in from Europe are 3-year-olds. Three hail from France, one from Germany, and all but one have already pocketed a top-level competition.

For years now, the Japan Cup bar has been out of reach to the visitors. Japan-based horses have dominated the winner’s circle for the past 16 years. However, the upsets rocking the stands in Grade 1 action the past 2 weeks may be indicative of a similar outcome in the Japan Cup. The 42nd running of the iconic race and its first-place prize of 300 million yen (matched only by the year-end Arima Kinen (Grand Prix)) may be snatched up by one of the foreign raiders.

A look at the visiting horses reveals one Japan Cup repeater - Grand Glory. The now 6-year-old, English-bred mare just made the board last year with her fifth-place finish under Cristian Demuro and, this year, has had two wins from five starts, including a graded-stakes victory. She posted a third, seventh, fifth in her three Grade 1 bids, the best result coming at Ascot in the Prince of Wales, where her third topped fourth-place Shahryar, who is one of Japan’s top players this week. Grand Glory, fielded by French trainer Gianluca Bietolini, is coming off of the Oct. 2 Prix de L’Arc Triomphe at Longchamp in early October, where she finished ahead of Japan’s four runners, none of whom are participating in the Japan Cup. Maxime Guyon, who last rode in Japan in 2014, is set for the ride on Sunday.

Of the four challengers from overseas, gaining perhaps the most attention heading into the race is the Irish-bred, France-based Onesto. The Frankel-sired colt, trained by the Chantilly-based Fabrice Chappet, shares the top spot in the ratings with Germany’s Tunnes, both with 123 points, three more than Japan’s top-rated Danon Beluga and Shahyrar, who each rate 120. Onesto has raced in four Grade 1s this year, with a win and a runnerup effort. After a fifth in the French Derby at Chantilly in June, Onesto went on to capture the Grand Prix de Paris, which was run over slightly heavy ground over the Longchamp 2,400 meters. That was followed by a second in the 2,000-meter Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown and his most recent start the Arc, where he posted a 10th over heavy ground. If the weather holds, the Japan Cup will be his first turf event on fast ground. Onesto is scheduled to be paired with one of Japan’s best - Frenchman Christophe Lemaire.

The Irish-bred Simca Mille, by Tamayuz, hails from the Deauville-based stable of Stephane Wattel. The colt has yet to win at the top level, but has come close. He took the lead in the Grand Prix de Paris and finished second to Onesto. Next out, Simca Mille nabbed his first Grade 2 in topping the Prix Niel field, which included fourth-place finisher Do Deuce from Japan. Rider Gregory Benoist, who rode the Prix Niel, is expected up on Sunday. Not new to Japan, Benoist has ridden in Japan on a short-term license and already has 21 wins of JRA races to his name.

Completing the roster is Tunnes. Partnered with Kazakhstan native Bauyrzhan Murzabayev, together they prove quite the accomplished pair. The Guiliani-sired colt was second in his debut and has gone on to sweep his next five starts, two wire-to-wire, including his first Grade 1 bid - the 2,400-meter Grosser Preis von Bayern - early this month in Munich. Murzabayev, who currently rides for the Cologne-based Peter Schiergen, has won the German flat racing jockey championship for the past three years. It is his first appearance in Japan.

The left-handed Tokyo Racecourse is known for its spaciousness, long homestretch, and the hill that starts soon after the field rounds the final bend usually separates the good from the better. The Japan Cup will be starting in front of the grandstand and will go around one lap, with horses carrying 57 kg and 3-year-olds and females given a 2-kg allowance. The race will have the usual Grade 1 post time of 15:40 local time, but will be the 12th and final race of the day.

Standouts amid Japan’s hopefuls are:

Shahyrar: The 4-year-old Shahyrar is a son of Deep Impact, who won the 2006 Japan Cup at the same age. Shahyrar, like his sire, won over the same Tokyo 2,400 meters last year in the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) and will be carrying much of Japan’s hopes to keep its winning streak going. But, in Shahyrar’s five starts since the Derby (four of them Grade 1s), he has captured only one race, the Dubai Sheema Classic in late March of this year. Third in last year’s Japan Cup under Yuga Kawada, he nonetheless has never been far off the mark. Fourth in the Prince of Wales at Ascot, he returned to Japan to take on the Tenno Sho (Autumn) and finished fifth. The extra distance and the guidance from Cristian Demuro, who is riding well thus far in his short-term license including a win of the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup two weeks ago, may help get him home a winner.

Danon Beluga: A 3-year-old son of Heart’s Cry, Danon Beluga has posted two fourths and a third in his last three outings, all Grade 1 competitions, and he beat Shahyrar to the line in the most recent, the Tenno Sho (Autumn). He is set to be partnered with Yuga Kawada, Japan’s current leading jockey, who has ridden the colt’s last three races. With only five starts behind him, if Danon Beluga can pull of the win, he will beat former legendary champions El Condor Pasa and Almond Eye in rewriting the record books for having captured the race with the shortest career ever. And, as he has yet to win a Grade 1 race, he would also become the first 3-year-old to win his first G1 with the Japan Cup since U.S. representative Half Iced in 1982.

Vela Azul: Vela Azul, a 5-year-son of Eishin Flash, is a name not often heard amid the lineups of Japan’s top races. The reason is Vela Azul is fresh off a win of only his first graded-stakes yet (the Grade 2 Kyoto Daishoten) in a career already 21 starts long. Most of that career, however, was on dirt and he was only switched to the turf five starts ago in March. Starting at the 2-win class, he rose quickly, claiming his third win on grass with the Kyoto Daishoten at Hanshin. All of his races have been over 2,400-2,600 meters and he has won over fast and slightly heavy going, which bodes well for Sunday, as rain is predicted for Tokyo on Wednesday, but not afterward. He has had four different jockeys since switching to turf, and will likely have a new one in Ryan Moore on Sunday. Moore began riding on his short-term license in Japan mid-November and, from 24 rides, has brought 12 horses home in the top three, six of them winners, three of them winning at Tokyo. Vela Azul’s sire took part in four Japan Cups, but never finished better than eighth place. Perhaps his son (whose name means “blue candle” in Spanish) can light a fire over the Tokyo homestretch and find his way home a winner.

Weltreisende: A 5-year-old son of Dream Journey, Weltreisende has proved highly consistent in 11 starts thus far, all but two at the graded-stakes level, and has finished out of the money only three times. In four tries at Grade 1 level, he has a runnerup in the Hopeful Stakes and a third in the Japanese Derby - both races won by the Triple Crown horse Contrail. In June, Weltreisende returned after six months off to claim the Grade 3 Naruo Kinen under Damian Lane, then took on the Sankei Sho All Comers nearly four months later over the Nakayama 2,200 meters, traveled wide and finished in seventh. However, with that as a sharpener, improvement is expected and likely partner Lane, just off a win of the Grade 1 Mile Championship, may be able to keep the momentum going.

Others to watch include:

2020 Triple Tiara champion Daring Tact won the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) over the Tokyo 2,400 and that same year finished third in the Japan Cup behind Almond Eye and Contrail, not your everyday competition. She sat out of the 2021 Japan Cup but has four starts this year and a not-too-shabby sixth last out in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup, which was a furlong shy of her favorite 12 furlongs. She will also have 1 kg less to carry this time. The 4-year-old filly Uberleben has a best fifth-place finish since her win of the 2021 Japanese Oaks. Last year’s Japan Cup brought a sixth-place finish but this year, heading in from an 8th in the Tenno Sho (Autumn), she is looking leaner and may be able to at least better her score. Stayer T O Royal was third in the 3,200-meter Tenno Sho (Spring) this year. He is sharpened and yet still fresh after a hampered run in the Copa Republica Argentina, where an accident caused interference for many, including Sakae Kunieda’s Heart’s Histoire, who had looked headed for a win before running into traffic problems at the top of the homestretch. Boccherini has been having a good year, with a win, two seconds and a third from four starts, all Grade 2s and over 2,000-2,500 meters. They include the Meguro Kinen this spring over the Tokyo 2,500 meters. It will be his first Grade 1, but wins in both his two previous Tokyo bids indicate he finds the venue to his liking. He is also a full brother to two-time Grade 1 winner Lovely Day, who finished third in the 2015 Japan Cup.

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Three-Year-Old Serifos Beats Favorites in Mile Cha21 Nov 10:45 am

Sixth favorite Serifos landed his first G1 victory in this year’s Mile Championship and has become the first three-year-old to win the race since Stelvio in 2018. Sired by Daiwa Major, who won the Mile Championship in 2006 and 2007, the chestnut colt marked three consecutive wins from his debut including the Niigata Nisai Stakes (G3, 1,600m) and the Daily Hai Nisai Stakes (G2, 1,600m) and capped off his first season with a runner-up effort in the G1 Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes (G1, 1,600m), half a length behind subsequent Derby winner Do Deuce. The colt then turned in a fourth in the NHK Mile Cup (G1, 1,600m) in May this year before his first challenge against older foes in the Yasuda Kinen (G1, 1,600m), in which he was fourth again. Serifos had just come off his Fuji Stakes (G2, 1,600m) win on October 22. Since the 2020 Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes victory with Grenadier Guards, trainer Mitsumasa Nakauchida pocketed his fourth JRA-G1 title while jockey Damian Lane, who is riding in Japan under a short-term license, also registered his fourth G1 victory and first since the 2019 Arima Kinen with Lys Gracieux.

Breaking from stall number 10, Serifos traveled fourth from the rear and three wide in the backstretch, was unhurried under Damian Lane in shifting out wide into the lane still near the rear and with the fastest closing speed in the 17-horse field, stormed down the stretch to grab the lead 50 meters out and win by a growing 1-1/4-lengths.

“I’m very happy, the horse was super today. He’s very consistent and I knew he would improve after watching his videos. I wanted to show how really competitive he is. The pace was good and he was a bit keen early but I was always confident,” commented Damian Lane after the race.

Eighth choice Danon the Kid settled around seventh early, slightly dropped position rounding the final corners, met traffic but squeezed through horses and just while digging in to grab the lead, was overtaken by the winner in the final strides for runner-up.

Second pick Sodashi sat in fourth to fifth in the early going, persistently showed effort to rally for the lead in the straight but failed to keep up with the top two finisher’s late speed, while holding off the fast-closing rivals by a nose for third place.

Race favorite Schnell Meister camped in mid-pack, struggled briefly for room in early stretch and found his best stride late, but dug in the last half furlong to finish fifth.

Other Horses:
4th: (11) Soul Rush—ran 4-wide around 9th, made headway after 3rd corner, quickened but needed more in last 50m
6th: (7) Justin Cafe—unhurried in 15th, showed 2nd fastest late kick while met traffic 200m out
7th: (13) Air Lolonois—traveled 4-wide around 11th, showed belated charge
8th: (8) Lotus Land—raced forwardly in 4th on rails, took command 200m out, outrun in last 100m
9th: (9) Piece of Eight—set pace early, entered lane in 2nd, weakened in last 100m
10th: (1) Matenro Orion—hugged rails in 11-12th, showed effort until 100m out, outrun thereafter
11th: (15) Danon Scorpion—ran 3-wide in 6th, failed to respond, fell back
12th: (2) Win Carnelian—restless in stall but broke sharply, eased back to 7th, was bumped 200m out
13th: (17) Falconia—advanced to take command before 3rd corner, showed tenacity until 200m pole
14th: (5) Salios—settled around 11th in front of winner, even paced at stretch
15th: (12) Ho O Amazon—tracked leaders in 3rd, was bumped 200m out, faded
16th: (16) Happy Hour—traveled 2nd from rear, unable to reach contention
17th: (14) Besten Dank—trailed in rear, no factor

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Last week Results

  • Highest Payout
  • Return Rate
Rank Tipster Race Payoff
1 Ikkun Ikkun
4 Dec Chukyo6R
60,350 603,500
2 Ace No.2 Ace No.2
4 Dec Nakayama11R
14,360 293,680
3 Ikkun Ikkun
3 Dec Chukyo12R
28,650 286,500
4 Ikkun Ikkun
3 Dec Nakayama1R
27,930 279,300
5 Ikkun Ikkun
3 Dec Nakayama12R
16,580 165,800

>>See more

Rank Tipster No.of
1 Ikkun Ikkun
72R 226% 9% 911,000 233,000
2 ButaminC ButaminC
30R 162% 23% 66,940 24,777
3 Shimoon Shimoon
72R 120% 9% 48,500 40,500
4 E.Yamazaki E.Yamazaki
14R 114% 35% 20,270 32,054
5 yamaguchi-yoshino yamaguchi-yoshino
20R 113% 40% 11,780 12,397
6 sanada osamu sanada osamu
15R 112% 33% 15,040 27,508
7 Seiryu No.1 Seiryu No.1
59R 102% 32% 15,560 31,308
8 Sugadai Sugadai
64R 101% 46% 3,270 7,525

>>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 201 is currently being held!(3 Dec - 28 Dec)

Tournament 201 Latest result

Rank Tipster Level
Deviation Return
b5aef99186 b5aef99186
87.5 726%
takapiko takapiko
80.0 300%
b55ce51699 b55ce51699
79.3 216%
b5199bef5a b5199bef5a
78.7 239%
myumalife myumalife
78.5 253%

>>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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