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Despite there being nearly 30 horses and six Japan-based jockeys in Dubai for Saturday’s racing gala at Meydan, there’s big action to be seen back home as well.

On Sunday, March 26, Chukyo Racecourse hosts the Takamatsunomiya Kinen, Japan’s first turf Grade 1 of the year. The 53rd running of the Takamatsunomiya Kinen, a sprint over 1,200 meters at the left-handed venue, has attracted 20 nominees vying for 18 berths and a chance at the top prize of JPY170 million.
Open to 4-year-olds and up, those nominees’ range in age from 4 to 8, with seven fillies and mares in the mix.

Drawing the lion’s share of the attention are top earners Meikei Yell, Namura Clair, Win Marvel and Pixie Knight, who is back racing after a layoff of over a year. Also garnering favor are relative newcomers Aguri and Vento Voce, who earned their Grade 1 berths with wins in the Hankyu Hai and Ocean Stakes, respectively.

The Takamamatsunomiya Kinen is a difficult test worthy of its status. It starts in the Chukyo backstretch and once the field straightens for home, there remain 412 meters and a hill rising two meters over 100 meters. Power and stamina, not only speed, are crucial.

The Takamatsunomiya Kinen is Chukyo’s No. 11 race on the Sunday card of 12. Post time is 15:40 local time.

Here are some of the field’s likely favored choices.

Namura Clair: Four months after her fifth place in the Sprinters Stakes, Namura Clair returned to scoop the Grade 3 Silk Road Stakes. Run over the same conditions as the Takamatsunomiya Kinen, the Silk Road Stakes saw her carry an assigned weight heavier than many of the other participants and a half kilogram more than she’ll carry on Sunday. Considering a fleet final three-furlong time of 32.9 seconds in the Silk Road Stakes to her points, the 4-year-old Mikki Isle filly will most likely emerge the race favorite on Sunday. Winner of last year’s Summer Sprint Series, Namura Clair has won four of her six career 1,200-meter starts and has proven an extremely consistent performer. She has only figured out of the Top 3 twice in her 11-race career. With three Grade 3 wins to date, top prize this week looks well within reach.

Aguri: This Japan-born 4-year-old son of Caravaggio has climbed steadily through the ranks on a four-way winning streak that saw him clinch the Grade 3 Hankyu Stakes last out at the end of February. The win handed him a ticket to the big time. His five victories thus far have been notched in the 1,400-1,600 meters range and the Takamatsunomiya Kinen will be only his second time over six furlongs after finishing fourth over the distance last summer. Key, of course, will be how he handles less ground, but a shorter time between races in this 1,200-meter bid. Trainer Takayuki Yasuda, in his last year before retirement, is gunning for one last chance to add another Takamatsunomiya Kinen victory to his current record of three, the highest among current JRA trainers.

Meikei Yell: Another progeny of Mikki Isle is the 5-year-old mare Meikei Yell. Fifth place in last year’s Takamatsunomiya Kinen after being disadvantaged by an outside gate, Meikei Yell followed that up with two Grade 2 wins before a very disappointing and puzzling performance in the Sprinters Stakes. She then took on the Hong Kong Sprint in December, finished fifth of 14, and returns to the track for the first time since. The latter of her two Grade 2 wins last year (the Sankei Sho Centaur Stakes) is the more notable here, as it is run over the same conditions and she won it in record time. Proven with three wins over a left-handed track, and six graded-stakes victories to her name, Meikei Yell is most definitely in the running for her first Grade 1 victory.

Pixie Knight: Pixie Knight returns to the track for the first time in over a year following his run in the Hong Kong Sprint of 2021. The now 5-year-old son of Maurice had been on a roll heading into the Hong Kong Sprint, with a second in the Grade 3 CBC Sho, another in the Centaur Stakes, then a win in the Sprinters Stakes. Injured in the accident at Sha Tin, Pixie Knight escaped with his life, but a radial carpal fracture demanded time off. New partner Keita Tosaki is expected up on Sunday.

Naran Huleg: The now 7-year-old Gold Allure-sired Naran Huleg surprised (as eighth pick) when he captured last year’s Takamatsunomiya Kinen by a neck over heavy ground. In fact, the huge upset of 2022 saw none of the race top four choices on the board. Naran Huleg went on to finish third in the Sprinters Stakes in October, which indicated his success was no fluke. However, last year he’d figured in the top three in all his four starts prior to the Takamatsunomiya Kinen, including a second in the Ocean Stakes. This year, on the other hand, following the Sprinters Stakes, he was 10th in the Hong Kong Sprint and was ninth last out in the Ocean Stakes, and finished 0.7 seconds behind the winner. Regular rider Kyosuke Maruta will be in the saddle on Sunday.

Win Marvel: A 4-year-old son of I’ll Have Another, Win Marvel displayed consistency with last year. Returning this year after four months off, he only managed a seventh in the Silk Road Stakes, but a poor start and an assigned weight of 59kg (1kg more than this time) were surely strikes against him. With a smooth trip and improvement expected, his second Grade 1 bid could prove a winner.

Others to watch include:

The 6-year-old Vento Voce, disadvantaged by an outside trip, disappointed in his first Grade 1 bid last year (an 11th in the Sprinters Stakes). Early this month, however, he scored his second Grade 3 win in the Ocean Stakes. This will be his first time racing to the left on a track with turns. How he executes them will be key.
Not to be ignored is Lotus Land, a 6-year-old American-bred mare who grabbed second place in last year’s Takamatsunomiya Kinen only a neck behind Naran Huleg. This year, she finished 0.2 seconds off the winner in the Grade 3 Kyoto Himba Stakes in February and is improving.

Summary of thoroughbred sales in 202208 Mar 11:40 am

General overview of thoroughbred foal sales in 2022

◆ Northern Farm Mixed Sale debuts; total sales for two auctions exceeded 16.2 billion yen, and the average price, median price and sales vs. offered ratio all reached record highs
◆ The highest price was paid for a colt whose sire was Duramente and whose dam was Champagne Anyone (USA), purchased for 352,000,000 yen.

Thoroughbred foal sales in 2022 were held at two auctions. In addition to the annual Select Sale under the auspices of the Japan Racing Horse Association (JRHA), the Northern Farm Mixed Sale for foals was held on October 25. Out of 274 head (173 colts, 101 fillies) put up for auction, 263 head (164 colts, 99 fillies) were sold. This corresponded to a sales vs. offered ratio of 96.0%, which reflected a 3.4 point increase from the previous year and marked a record high. Total sales were 16,264,050,000 yen, a 35.4% increase from the previous year. The average price was 61,840,494 yen, a 9.6% increase from the previous year, and the median price was 46,200,000 yen, a sharp 27.3% increase from the previous year. Both the average and median prices reached record highs. Sales of racehorses were evidently robust, and the auctions benefitted from the largest generational change in sires on record and from diversity in the dam lines for the foals on offer. As a result, the quality of the foals on offer at both auctions was deemed to have improved further. Helped by an additional day of sales compared with the previous year, the number of foals sold for a price above 50 million yen but below 100 million yen rose sharply to 83 (from 39 in the previous year), accounting for 36.1% of the total sales. The median price, which is an important indicator for thoroughbred sales, rose by nearly 10 million yen from the previous year, reaching a record high.

The highest price was paid for a colt whose sire was Duramente and whose dam was Champagne Anyone (USA), purchased for 352,000,000 yen by Red Horse from Osaka Prefecture. Among fillies, the highest price was paid for a filly whose sire was Epiphaneia and whose dam was She’s a Tiger (USA), purchased for 308,000,000 yen by Nicks Co., Ltd. from Tokyo.
Reviewed by each sire, Epiphaneia was tops with 17 head sold at an average price of 116,373,529 yen, followed by Fierement in 2nd place (first generation; three head put up for auction, all sold), at 110,366,666 yen, and Duramente in 3rd place (last generation; 14 head sold), at 104,735,714 yen. Among sires that produced their first generation, Saturnalia occupied the 2nd place (16 head put up for auction, all sold), bringing in 95,700,000 yen (5th place overall).

General overview of thoroughbred yearling sales in 2022

◆ Total sales were 30,047,820,000 yen, up 11.9% from the previous year for a second consecutive year of double-digit growth. The outcome also marked the 14th consecutive year-on-year increase and the 13th consecutive record high.
◆ The highest price was paid for a colt whose sire was Maurice and whose dam was Mosheen (AUS), purchased for 495,000,000 yen.

Thoroughbred yearling sales in 2022 were held at seven auctions across the country for 15 days, from the Kyushu Yearling Sale held on June 21 to the Hokkaido Autumn Sale held on October 18. The Kyushu Yearling Sale, Hokkaido Sale, and Select Sale were conducted a hybrid auctions, while the Hachinohe Sale was held as a regular auction. In the overall yearling sales, a total of 2,801 yearlings (1,480 colts, 1,321 fillies) were put up for auction, and 2,223 head (1,228 colts, 995 fillies) were sold, renewing the sold head record for a 14th consecutive year. This corresponded to a sales vs. offered ratio of 79.4%, marking a 2.1 point increase from the previous year. Total sales were 30,047,820,000 (an 11.9% increase from the previous year). In addition to exceeding the 30.0 billion yen level for the first time, the outcome marked the 14th consecutive year-on-year increase and the 13th consecutive record high. The average price was 13,516,788 yen (a 9.3% increase from the previous year), remaining above the 10 million yen level for the seventh consecutive year and marking the eighth consecutive record high. The average price for a colt was 16,928,534 yen (an 8.1% increase from the previous year), and the average price for a filly was 9,306,110 yen (a 10.5% increase from the previous year). The median price was 5,940,000 yen, reflecting an 8.0% increase from the previous year.

As for the Select Sale by the JRHA, total sales were 14,157,000,000 yen, a 10.6% increase from the previous year. In the Hokkaido Sale under the auspices of the Hidaka Horse Breeders’ Association (HBA), out of 2,495 head put up for auction, 1,963 head were sold, corresponding to a sales vs. offered ratio of 78.7%. Total sales were 15,746,390,000 yen (a 13.4% increase from the previous year), and the average price was 8,021,594 yen, reflecting a 9.7% increase from the previous year and marking a record high. The Nikkei Stock Average, an economic indicator, started at 29,301.79 yen at the beginning of the year, and fell to 27,156.14 yen by October 18 (a 7.3% decline), the final day of the Yearling Sales, underscoring the strength of the thoroughbred sales.

The highest price in a transaction at the Select Sale was paid for a colt whose sire was Maurice and whose dam was Mosheen (AUS), purchased for 495,000,000 yen by Danox Co., Ltd. from Osaka Prefecture. Among fillies, the highest price in a transaction at the Select Sale was paid for a filly whose sire was Daiwa Major and whose dam was Coasted (USA), purchased for 231,000,000 yen by Susumu Fujita from Tokyo.
Reviewed by each sire, Frankel (GB) was tops with one head sold for 170,500,000 yen, followed by sire Heart’s Cry in 2nd place (last generation; six head put up for auction, all sold), at 117,516,666 yen. Among sires that produced their first generation, Rey de Oro was tops, with 25 head sold for 45,188,000 yen (7th place overall).

General overview of thoroughbred two-year-old sales in 2022

◆ Total sales were 1,662,760,000 yen, a decline of 23.7% from the previous year. The average price was 10,797,142 yen, down 33.1% from the previous year.
◆ The highest price was paid for a filly whose sire was Maurice and whose dam was Floral Curve, purchased for 64,240,000 yen at the Chiba Thoroughbred Sale.

Thoroughbred two-year-old sales in 2022 were held at two auctions over three days. For the two auctions, a total of 192 head (93 colts, 99 fillies) were put up for auction, and 154 head (83 colts, 71 fillies) were sold. The sales vs. offered ratio was 80.2%. As in 2021, the Chiba Thoroughbred Sale was held as an online auction, and the Hokkaido Training Sale was held as a hybrid auction.

Total sales were 1,662,760,000 yen, a 23.7% decline from the previous year. The highest price in 2021 exceeded 500 million yen, but this was an abnormally high figure. The average price was 10,797,142 yen, a 33.1% decline from the previous year, and the median price was 7,810,000 yen, a 5.3% decline from the previous year but still the second-highest amount on record. Although the figures seem to have declined notably from the previous year, it appears the general consensus was that they were broadly on par with the levels seen in normal years.

In the Hokkaido Training Sale, which was held for the seventh time at the Sapporo Racecourse, out of 134 head (60 colts, 74 fillies) put up for auction, 96 head (50 colts, 46 fillies) were sold, corresponding to a sales vs. offered ratio of 71.6%. Total sales were 769,340,000 yen, the average price was 8,013,958 yen, and the median price was 6,490,000 yen. Meanwhile, in the Chiba Thoroughbred Sale, out of 58 head (33 colts, 25 fillies) put up for auction, 58 head (33 colts, 25 fillies) were sold, corresponding to a sales vs. offered ratio of 100.0%. Total sales were 893,420,000 yen, the average price was 15,403,793 yen, and the median price was 9,680,000 yen.

The highest price was paid for a filly whose sire was Maurice and whose dam was Floral Curve, purchased for 64,240,000 yen at the Chiba Thoroughbred Sale by Susumu Fujita from Tokyo. Among colts, the highest price was paid for a colt whose sire was Lord Kanaloa and whose dam was Air Routine, purchased for 48,510,000 yen by Be Project Co.,Ltd. from Osaka Prefecture.
Reviewed by each sire, Lord Kanaloa was tops, with one head sold for 48,510,000 yen, followed by Runhappy (USA) in 2nd place, with one head sold for 46,200,000 yen. Among sires that produced their first generation, Talismanic (GB) was tops, with one head sold for 19,250,000 yen (9th place overall).

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Summary of sires results for 202208 Mar 11:40 am

Deep Impact the general ranking champion for the 11th consecutive year

General sires ranking

In the 2022 general ranking in Japan, Deep Impact (by Sunday Silence (USA)), who produced 13 generations over his career, and Lord Kanaloa (by King Kamehameha), who produced six generations over his career, were locked in a battle for top position throughout the year, but the former ultimately gained the edge in December, becoming the champion sire in this category for the 11th consecutive year. His three-year-old colt Ask Victor More won the Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) (G1), thereby securing an impressive 12th consecutive victory for the champion sire in the classic races for three-year-olds since 2011, when Deep Impact’s first generation started entering races. In addition, his five-year-old stallion Potager won the Osaka Hai (G1). As the last crop of Deep Impact born in Japan in 2020 was small (six foals), we now may have to look to Auguste Rodin (IRE), who triumphed in the Vertem Futurity Trophy (G1) in the UK, to continue the champion sire’s winning streak for a 13th year.

In second place for a third consecutive year was Lord Kanaloa, who also topped the ranking in several months since January, including in November, but ultimately gave up his lead. His three-year-old colt Danon Scorpion was victorious in the NHK Mile Cup (G1), and his five-year-old stallion Panthalassa won both the Nakayama Kinen (G2) and the Dubai Turf (G1), although the latter victory was not reflected in the rankings. Two third-crop sires also advanced considerably in the rankings for this category: Duramente (by King Kamehameha) and Maurice (by Screen Hero). Duramente’s four-year-old horse Titleholder secured victories in the Tenno Sho (Spring) (G1) and the Takarazuka Kinen (G1), while his three-year-old filly Stars on Earth triumphed in the Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) (G1) and the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) (G1). In addition, his two-year-old colt Dura Erede won the Hopeful Stakes (G1), while his two-year-old filly Liberty Island dominated the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies (G1). As a result of these performances, Duramente jumped from 11th place last year to fifth place. Meanwhile, Maurice’s four-year-old mare Geraldina was victorious in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1), pushing up his ranking from 16th place last year to 9th place.

General two-year-old sires ranking

The ranking for the two-year-old category saw a generational change as Duramente overtook Deep Impact in a final spurt from 5th place in November to secure the top spot for the first time, thereby denying the latter a seventh consecutive victory. This formidable achievement was attributable to Liberty Island’s win in the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies (G1) in December, and Dura Erede’s victory in the Hopeful Stakes (G1).

In second place was Epiphaneia, who appeared to be cruising in the top spot throughout the year. His colt Chance the Roses secured two victories, one of which in the Ivy Stakes (L), while his filly Moryana similarly triumphed in two races, one of which being the Cosmos Sho. Third place was held by rankings newcomer Rulership (by King Kamehameha). His undefeated colt Dolce More won three consecutive races, including the Saudi Arabia Royal Cup (G3) and the Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes (G1), while his colt King’s Reign achieved two victories and finished 3rd in the Hopeful Stakes (G1).

General first crop sires ranking

In the general first crop sires ranking in 2022, Best Warrior (USA) (by Majestic Warrior (USA)) led the pack when the races for two-year-olds kicked off thanks to victories by his progeny in NAR dirt races, but he was later overtaken by Mind Your Biscuits (USA) (by Posse (USA)), who held on to the top spot to ultimately become the champion. His 28 colts and fillies delivered 36 victories, including a win by his colt Derma Sotogake in the Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun in Kawasaki. Second place was held by Real Steel (by Deep Impact), whose 19 colts and fillies notched 21 wins. His colt All Parfait secured two victories, one of which in the Daily Hai Nisai Stakes (G2). Among sires that produced their first generation, the progeny of Real Steel and Greater London (by Deep Impact) both won JRA graded races. In third place was Shanghai Bobby (USA) (by Harlan’s Holiday (USA)), whose 21 colts and fillies notched 30 wins. His colt Mandarin Hero triumphed in the principal race Haiseiko Kinen in Oi. Fourth place, by a slim margin, went to Declaration of War (USA) (by War Front (USA)) on account of a decent track record overseas. His 18 colts and fillies secured 21 victories. His colt Top Knife notched two wins, one of which in the Hagi Stakes (L), and finished 2nd in the in the Hopeful Stakes (G1) after being edged out by a nose. In addition, his colt Doctor Dolittle triumphed in a newcomer race.

Sires newly introduced in 2023
・Caravaggio (USA): Win record of two G1 races: Commonwealth Cup and Phoenix Stakes
(foaled in 2014; by Scat Daddy (USA), JBBA Shizunai Stallion Station)
・Will Take Charge (USA): Win record of two G1 races: Travers Stakes and Clark Stakes
(foaled in 2010; by Unbridled’s Song (USA), Darley Japan Stallion Complex)
・Glory Vase: Win record of two G1 races: Hong Kong Vase (two wins)
(foaled in 2015; by Deep Impact, Breeders Stallion Station)
・Salios: Win record of one G1 race: Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes
(foaled in 2017; by Heart’s Cry, Shadai Stallion Station)
・Omega Perfume: Win record of five top level races: four consecutive victories in the Tokyo Daishoten and one win in the Teio Sho
(foaled in 2015; by Swept Overboard (USA), Lex Stud)

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

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Panthalassa lands Saudi Cup amid Japan hat-trick o01 Mar 10:12 am

On Saturday, Feb. 25, in what was a massive Japanese onslaught on King Abdulaziz Racecourse in Riyadh, Japan’s Panthalassa landed the jewel of Saudi Arabian racing, the USD20 million Saudi Cup.

It was the second-biggest attack ever launched overseas by Japanese horsemen, a Saudi record 20 Japan-based horses (eight more than last year), who were taking on five of the six races open to Thoroughbreds. After landing two races in earlier action in the day, Japan’s remaining six horses took on the world’s richest race.

In the three previous editions of the Saudi Cup, the best finish from a total of five runners from Japan was sixth place, but this year, with nearly half the field, Japan cleaned up with four finishers on the board in first, third, fourth, and fifth place.

It was trainer Yoshito Yahagi’s Panthalassa who reigned supreme in a wire-to-wire victory under Japanese rider Yutaka Yoshida, riding for his first time in Riyadh. A sweep of the top spots was stymied by the U.S.-based Country Grammer, who rallied up the outside under Frankie Dettori and nearly made it to the top.

The highly successful, globe-trotting trainer Yahagi was incredulous. “I can’t believe that something like this can happen in this world. I am so proud of the horse and the stable staff. The race was simple, take the lead. But I think his excellent break was a big factor in his win.”

“Yutaka Yoshida’s start was fabulous. It was perfect,” Yahagi added. “When we drew the No. 1 gate, I knew that Panthalassa was going to have the advantage and that’s how it turned out. I still can’t believe that we’ve gotten these results. Really, I am most grateful to the horse and staff.”

Yoshida also saw the start as a major factor in the win, but not the only one. “He doesn’t start well sometimes, but today he was concentrating and was well away,” he said of Panthalassa. “The horses behind him were not too close and the pace wasn’t that fast, which also helped. Of course, I knew they were coming up fast in the stretch, but I believed in his ability to reach down and find more. This is a day I will never forget.”

Though the 6-year-old son of sprint champion Lord Kanaloa has yet to land a big race back home, the Saudi Cup windfall more than avenged his loss in last year’s Grade 1 Tenno Sho (Autumn) at Tokyo and the Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin in December. Though not the most consistent runner, Panthalassa’s performance in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) was clearly indicative of the tenaciousness and strength he could bring to the table when at his best.

Panthalassa’s win of the Saudi Cup was his first victory since capturing last year’s Dubai Turf at Meydan six starts ago. Owned by Hiroo Race Co. Ltd., Panthalassa clocked 1 minute, 50.8 seconds over the 1,800 meters of fast dirt.

Also going home with a big bite of the Saudi Cup bounty was the Noriyuki Hori-trained Cafe Pharoah in third place under Joao Moreira, half a length behind Country Grammer. Christophe Lemaire piloted Geoglyph to a fourth-place finish a head later, followed by Crown Pride under Damian Lane in fifth place. Ryan Moore was on Jun Light Bolt in seventh and Vin de Garde was last of the Japanese runners in 11th place under Mickael Barzalona.

Cafe Pharoah, a U.S.-bred son of American Pharoah, is a two-time JRA Grade 1 winner, with successive wins of the February Stakes in 2021 and ’22, and was racing for the first time in nearly five months. “It was tight getting into position, but we were able to find a good path after that,” said Moreira. “He really gave it his all to the end and I think it was a very good run.”

Lemaire, who rode the 2022 Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) champion Geoglyph said that after an excellent start and getting into position he’d marked Panthalassa the whole way. “We both made our move at the same time and he really tried hard, but he did start to tire over the last 50 meters. It was his first time on dirt and he reached down for everything he had, which helped him get the good results he did.”

Also claiming victories for Japan were Bathrat Leon in the 1351 Turf Sprint, the No. 4 race on the Feb. 25 card, and Silver Sonic, who was the second Japan-based horse in a row to win the next race up, the Red Sea Turf Handicap.

Bathrat Leon, a 5-year-old by Kizuna, is also trained by Yohito Yahagi. A two-time Grade 2 winner Bathrat Leon reaped USD900,000 in bringing Japan a successive win of the 1351 Turf Sprint, a Grade 3 turf race run over the distance of its name.

He was ridden by Ryusei Sakai, less than a week off a win aboard Lemon Pop in the Grade 1 February Stakes back home. “I am so happy to have landed my first win in Saudi Arabia,” Sakai said. “He was moving with a very nice rhythm under way and I still had a lot of horse under me the whole way down the stretch.”

Of the total four runners from Japan in the 11-strong field, the Daiwa Major daughter Resistencia was next best with a fifth-place finish. Lauda Sion was ninth and the Kizuna-sired Songline managed only 10th under Christophe Lemaire, a far cry from the duo’s winning performance last year.

The fifth race of the day, the Red Sea Turf Handicap, a Grade 3 turf test over 3,000 meters worth USD1.5 million for winner, went to the 7-year-old Orfevre-sired Silver Sonic, who finished 2 1/2 lengths ahead of runner-up Enemy. Trained by Yasutoshi Ikee, Silver Sonic was ridden by Damian Lane, who had guided him to a win of the Grade 2 Stayers Stakes at Nakayama last out in early December. “The competition was very high today and he did a good job winning,” Lane said. “The Japanese horses are top quality and I’m glad we were able to show that.”

“He’s got Orfevre’s blood in him and I’m glad he was able to win overseas,” said Ikee, who had also trained the big chestnut champion. Orfevre won the 2011 Triple Crown and notched three more Grade 1s after that at home. He was victorious two years in a row in France’s Grade 2 Prix Foy and, more amazingly, was runner-up in the 2012 and 2013 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Silver Sonic’s time over the 3,000 meters of fast turf was 3 minutes, 6.46 seconds.
Japan’s other runner in the Red Sea Turf Handicap was the 6-year-old Rulership-sired Echt, who finished in seventh place under Yuga Kawada.

In the Grade 3 Riyadh Dirt Sprint, Remake finished third and topped the other Japan runners. Justin was fourth, followed by Dancing Prince in fifth and Ryuno Yukina in sixth. For the 46-year-old veteran jockey Yuichi Fukunaga, this was the last mount of his riding career. Derma Sotogake finished in third place in the Grade 3 Saudi Derby, with Continuar in fifth.

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Favorite Lemon Pop Claims Dirt G1 Title—February S20 Feb 10:01 am

Adding another victory to his already impressive record, race favorite Lemon Pop captured this year’s February Stakes title, extending his wins to eight out of 11 career starts in which he finished second best in the rest. The son of Lemon Drop Kid won both of his two races as a two-year-old and was runner-up in his one and only start the following season. He then kicked off his 2022 campaign with another second before claiming four consecutive wins and concluded the season with a runner-up effort in his first graded challenge, the Musashino Stakes (G3, dirt, 1,600m). The five-year-old is coming off his first grade-race victory in the Negishi Stakes (G3, dirt, 1,400m) on January 29 and is selected to run in the Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1, dirt, 1,200m) on March 25. For winning trainer Hiroyasu Tanaka, who opened his yard in 2018, this is his second graded and first G1 triumph while jockey Ryusei Sakai, who took the reins of Lemon Pop for the first time, now has three JRA-G1 wins—his latest was in last December’s Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes with Dolce More.

The race unfolded with Shonan Nadeshiko taking the lead, followed closely by Helios and Keiai Turquoise while Sakai settled Lemon Pop a couple of lengths behind in fifth to sixth and three-wide.

Gradually improving position, the race favorite came out of the last turn in fourth, unleashed an incredible stretch drive overhauling Helios 300 meters out to grab the lead and romped to the wire 1-1/2 lengths ahead of the fast-closing runner-up for the win.

“I’m grateful to have been given the chance to ride such a strong and favored horse and am happy we won. I rode him in workouts and found out he was laid-back and very easy to ride. Today we sat near the pace, just as planned. He responded well and pulled away strongly, all the way to the wire,” commented Ryusei Sakai.

Red le Zele, favored third, was reserved second from the rear after breaking from the second widest stall. After shifting out wide for a clear path, the sixth-place finisher in last year’s version stormed down the stretch with the fastest late speed but failed to catch the winner and was second.

Sent off fourth favorite, Meisho Hario stumbled a few strides after his break and chased the field in the far rear. Entering the lane last, the chestnut displayed the second fastest late drive and picked off his rivals one by one to dig in for third, 2-1/2 lengths from Red le Zele.

Foreign contender Shirl’s Speight broke well from stall number two, ran in mid-field on the rails, shifted a path out for his stretch run but struggled to find room and although showing effort, was unable to demonstrate his good late speed and finished ninth.

“From what the jockey was telling me, he wasn’t enjoying the kick-back that much but I think he ran an OK race. I just think he’s a superior turf horse, but we gave it a try,” commented trainer Roger Attfield.

“It’s a strong race and Shirl’s Speight wasn’t capable of handling the track over here which is extremely deeper than what he gets in North America. In the straight, even if he did get held up a little, he wasn’t really taking into the race indicating that he wasn’t going to be competitive,” jockey Joao Moreira said after the race.

Other Horses:
4th: (4) Dry Stout—sat around 4th, passed tiring front runners but no match for top finishers
5th: (8) Admire Lupus—settled wide around 8th, passed one by one at stretch
6th: (13) Speedy Kick—unhurried around 14th inside Red le Zele, showed effort but never threatened
7th: (14) Helios—tracked pace around 2nd, led briefly, weakened in last 200m
8th: (11) Soliste Thunder—raced 3-wide around 11th, passed tired rivals
10th: (3) Kenshinko—traveled in 13th, found little room, even paced
11th: (12) Sekifu—made headway to 4th, circled wide, failed to find another gear
12th: (5) Auvergne—saved ground around 11th, struggled to find clear path at stretch
13th: (16) Keiai Turquoise—advanced to 2nd from widest draw, remained in contention until 300m out
14th: (10) T M South Dan—sat outside winner, showed little at stretch
15th: (9) Shonan Nadeshiko—rallied to set pace, ran out of steam 400m out
16th: (1) Jasper Prince—prominent early around 4th, faded after final corner

[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 Priest Ranzan Priest Ranzan
18 Mar Hanshin4R
22,330 269,380
2 kiri kiri
19 Mar Hanshin4R
4,950 187,470
3 Y.Satoh Y.Satoh
18 Mar Hanshin4R
157,030 157,030
4 Y.Satoh Y.Satoh
18 Mar Chukyo11R
138,870 138,870
5 Ace No.2 Ace No.2
19 Mar Nakayama9R
13,860 124,060

>>See more

Rank Tipster No.of
63R 143% 42% 72,050 8,757
2 yamaguchi-yoshino yamaguchi-yoshino
18R 134% 27% 31,120 24,344
3 Z No.1 Z No.1
45R 117% 35% 77,250 31,759

>>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 204 finished! The high achievers are recognized! Next tournament will be held from 25 Mar!

Tournament 204 Award

Rank Tipster Level
Deviation Return
dessyo dessyo
84.5 887%
bottle2020 bottle2020
82.6 738%
matsubame matsubame
80.6 558%
79.4 428%
344727f604 344727f604
78.6 377%

>>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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