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Equinox was a class above in this year’s Japan cup, easily beating a stellar field which included eight G1 champions from Japan and abroad. Billed as a showdown between the brown colt and this year’s Triple Tiara victor Liberty Island, the highest rated horse in the world prevailed while extending his G1 winning streak to six, becoming the third horse in JRA history to do so following T. M. Opera O (2000 ~ 2001) and Lord Kanaola (2012 ~ 2013). Following the footsteps of his sire Kitasan Black who won the Japan Cup in 2016, Equinox has marked a milestone with this victory in becoming the first horse ever to exceed 2 billion yen in earnings (JPY 2,215,446,100). The colt has given his trainer Tetsuya Kimura his seventh JRA-G1 title—his latest being with the colt in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) last month—while jockey Christophe Lemaire, who notched the Queen Elizabeth II Cup with Brede Weg two weeks earlier, scored his 49th overall JRA-G1 win and is now tied with Yutaka Take in landing four Japan Cup titles (Vodka in 2009, Almond Eye in 2018 and 2020), more than any other jockey so far.

The full field of 18 started in front of the packed stands and, as expected, Panthalassa rushed to the front, setting a rapid pace that timed 57.6 seconds in the first 1,000 meters, widening an unmeasurable lead in the backstretch while three-time G1 winner Titleholder followed in second and Equinox a length behind in third. By the last corner, Panthalassa had gradually squandered his huge lead but was still about 100 meters ahead of the others in early stretch when the hot favorite unleashed his signature stretch drive. The top-rated horse in the world easily caught Titleholder 400 meters out and then inherited the lead from the used-up pacesetter just before the 200-meter marker to cruise to an incredible four-length victory.

Trainer Tetsuya Kimura:
“Equinox was able to come into the race in good condition. He was aggressive from the start and was relaxed during the race despite the fast pace of the frontrunner. With Equinox extending his G1 winning streak for over a year, the pressure was so great before the Japan Cup that I felt relieved when he won the race. He is a very well-balanced horse—shape of his hooves, bone structure and firm muscle—everything is perfectly balanced. It’s a miraculous combination. So, we try to maintain this balance when we train him.”

Jockey Christophe Lemaire:
“I felt happy and relieved. Many emotions came to my mind because it was an unbelievable race. Horseracing fans and lovers were able to see something very special. He is a top horse and can adapt to any kind of race or surface. When we came back in front of the huge happy crowd who witnessed the race, I became very emotional. As a professional jockey for many years, I work hard to ride to perfection, so today was very special. Equinox is easy to ride—he knows his job very well and he doesn’t use too much energy—so riding a horse like him is a pleasure and I felt very privileged to be in the saddle of such a fantastic horse.”

Three-year-old Triple Crown filly Liberty Island took a ground-saving trip behind the eventual winner in fourth. Although unable to match the speed of the winner, the second pick did not disappoint, displaying her good turn of foot and pinned Titleholder 250 meters out then Panthalassa 150 meters to the wire for second place.

Fifth choice and 2022 Best Three-Year-Old Filly Stars on Earth was settled behind Equinox and right next to Liberty Island most of the way. After entering the stretch side by side, the two fillies rallied briefly in early stretch but while unable to keep up with the eventual runner-up, Stars on Earth closed tenaciously for third while holding off a late charge by Do Deuce.

French raider and tenth pick Iresine was a touch late out of the gate, traveled on the rails in mid-pack and showed effort in the stretch but lacked the needed kick, unable to reach contention, to finish ninth.

Trainer Jean-Pierre Gauvin after the race:
“I think Iresine ran a good race. The gate was different from France, so he couldn’t get a good start, and he was unable to run in his usual style because the pace was too fast. However, Marie and I are satisfied with his performance. I have no regrets about racing him in the Japan Cup, and I’m happy that he was able to finish the race without any problem.”

Jockey Marie Velon:
“I’m very happy with Iresine. He gave his best. The race did not develop in his favor but he tried hard to keep up with the fast pace and strived in the straight. Tokyo Racecourse is a wonderful racecourse. Equinox was just spectacular.”

Other Horses:
4th: (5) Do Deuce—hugged rails around 6th, swung wide entering lane for clear path, chased leaders with 2nd fastest closing speed.
5th: (3) Titleholder—led the field in 2nd, outdistanced from frontrunner, ran persistently in stretch but overtaken by rivals in last 400m.
6th: (10) Danon Beluga—reserved in 11th by rails, angled out at top stretch to make bid, passed rivals with tied 3rd fastest final kick.
7th: (9) Vela Azul—ran 2-wide around 13th, switched to inside at lane, good effort with tied 3rd fastest late drive.
8th: (4) Studley—eased back to 8th after good start, met brief traffic at top stretch, unable to improve position.
10th: (14) Deep Bond—settled 2-wide in 6th, turned final corners wide, even paced at stretch.
11th: (15) Shonan Bashitto—traveled 3-wide in around 8th, never reached contention.
12th: (8) Panthalassa—surged out to take command as expected, widened gap, ran gamely until 200m pole.
13th: (16) Impress—slow break, traveled 2nd from rear, passed tired rivals at stretch.
14th: (6) Forward Again—broke smoothly, settled toward rear, never fired.
15th: (18) Win Erfolg—trailed in rear, advanced after final corner.
16th: (11) Trust Kenshin—ran 3rd from rear after poor break, angled out to make bid but no factor.
17th: (12) Chestnut Coat—rated 3rd-4th from rear, never a threat.
18th: (13) Kurino Megami Ace—traveled 2-wide in 11th, weakened after final turn.

Japan Cup (G1) - Preview22 Nov 3:00 pm

The Japan Cup is upon us, with Sunday, Nov. 26, marking the 43rd running of a race that now carries Japan’s biggest prize - JPY500 million to the winner.

The 2,400-meter Grade 1 over turf at Tokyo Racecourse was established in 1981, largely with the objective of bringing the world’s best horses to Japan, and with them and their teams invaluable learning experiences for Japan’s horsemen. It also made for an exciting international gala for the fans.

This year, of the two foreign raiders who did intend to join, only one remains - the G1 winner Iresine, a France-based 6-year-old gelding trained by Jean-Pierre Gauvin. Iresine is set to be ridden by Marie Velon. Indeed, in the saddles, the 2023 Japan Cup still looks very international, with six non-Japanese jockeys expected to ride.

This year, the race sees seven G1 champions among the lineup - including Equinox, a 4-year-old colt who has topped the world’s rankings since this spring and is currently on a five-race winning streak, this year’s Fillies’ Triple Crown winner Liberty Island, three-time G1 winner Titleholder, 2022 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) champ Do Deuce, Stars on Earth, who won two of last year’s fillies’ Classics, 2022 Japan Cup winner Vela Azul, and Panthalassa, with two G1 trophies from the Middle East.

Races are run to the left at Tokyo Racecourse, a venue known for its spaciousness, long homestretch, and the upward slope beginning soon after the final bend. The race starts in front of the grandstand and completes one lap around. 4-year-olds and up will carry 58kg, but 3-year-old colts and 4-year-old fillies will carry 2kg less, and three-year-old fillies will carry 54kg.

It should be noted that the Japan Cup will have the usual Grade 1 post time of 15:40 locally., but will be the 12th and final race on the Sunday card at Tokyo.

Here’s a look at the expected top picks.

Equinox: It was no surprise when Equinox added the Tenno Sho (Autumn) to his tally of G1 victories. He was, after all, the world’s top horse, having earned 129 points in the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings announced by IFHA (International Federation of Horseracing Authorities) in April. Equinox was barreling into the Tenno Sho (Autumn) with four G1 wins behind him, and had ample momentum to crush the field for his second win of the race. While marking his seventh win out of his nine career starts brilliantly, his record time of 1 minute, 55.2 seconds further surprised many. He is a son of seven-time G1 champion Kitasan Black, who landed the 2016 Japan Cup (and was third the following year). In 2017, Kitasan Black was also 4 years old. He too had been coming off winning the Tenno Sho (Autumn) and, though he’d failed to win his second JC, he still did make the Top 3 and went on to cap his career to win the yearend Grade 1 Arima Kinen (The Grand Prix). Christophe Lemaire, now out in front by 151 wins in the JRA Jockey Rankings, has ridden all of the colt’s races and is expected up on Sunday.

Liberty Island: This Duramente daughter pocketed her debut over 1,600 meters at Niigata and leapt to the graded level. She missed winning the 2-year-old fillies’ Grade 3 Artemis Stakes by a mere neck before she started her four-race G1 winning streak to the Japan Cup. Those wins began with the 2-year-old filly pinnacle, the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies over 1,600 meters at Hanshin, followed by the 3-year-old Classics - the Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) over 1,600 meters at Hanshin again, the 2,400-meter Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) at Tokyo and, most recently, the 2,000-meter Shuka Sho at Kyoto on Oct. 15. Liberty Island now returns for her fifth top-level test, but the stakes are much higher, as the Japan Cup will be her first time to compete alongside older horses. If Liberty Island land the victory this time, she’ll become only the sixth Japan-based horse to win the Japan Cup as 3-year-old, and join company with such legends as El Condor Pasa (in 1999) and Almond Eye (in 2018).

Do Deuce: Last year, the son of Heart’s Cry (runner-up in the 2005 Japan Cup) had been doing just fine, never out of the Top 3 from his debut in 2021 to a win of the Japanese Derby in spring 2022 five starts later. From there, however, his results have been poor, except for a G2 win this spring. An Arc bid that saw him floundering in the heavy going and a scratch at Meydan have made success back home all the harder. He returned after seven months for a seventh-place finish in the Tenno Sho (Autumn), and looks ready for success in his second time over the Tokyo 2,400 meters. He was racing under Keita Tosaki for his first time, as regular rider Yutaka Take was sidelined due to an injury. Though Take was expected back for the Japan Cup at first, it was announced that he needs more time to fully recover and Tosaki is set to be up once again. Trainer Yasuo Tomomichi has fielded 16 Japan Cup runners so far and won the race in 2017 with Cheval Grand.

Titleholder: Titleholder, a 5-year-old by Duramente, had landed three G1s by mid 2022, but passed on last year’s Japan Cup since he was returning from the Arc. He was then aimed for the Arima Kinen, only to do poorly there as well. This year, it looked like he was back on his feet, starting off with win of the Grade 2 Nikkei Sho over 2,500 meters at Nakayama in late March and headed to the Tenno Sho (Spring). He was looking lucky in the race until he suddenly went lame and was pulled up. Returning at the end of September, Titleholder scored a second in the Grade 2 Sankei Sho All Comers over 2,200 meters at Nakayama and is looking fit for Sunday, with new partner William Buick expected up.

Stars on Earth: Another Japan Cup hopeful by Duramente is the 4-year-old filly Stars on Earth. She has never finished out of the Top 3 in any of her 10 career starts thus far. Stars on Earth scored two wins and one third in the fillies’ Classics last year, and the second win in those was in the Japanese Oaks over the Tokyo 2,400 meters. Her second in this year’s Grade 1 Osaka Hai over 2,000 meters at Hanshin shows she is amply competitive against male horses as well. Targeted for the Tenno Sho (Autumn), she was forced to withdraw due to a problem on her right front hoof. She hasn’t raced since May, but she’s had regular work and is ready to take on the Tokyo 2,400 meters once again.

Danon Beluga: A 4-year-old by Heart’s Cry, Danon Beluga hasn’t found the winner’s circle since his second career start, in February 2022. He was fifth here last year under Yuga Kawada, 0.6 seconds behind the winner, and has been close to the mark in his three starts since, all under Joao Moreira, who should have the ride on Sunday. He scored a second in the Grade 1 Dubai Turf over 1,800 meters at Meydan, then returned in August for a fourth in the Grade 2 Sapporo Kinen over 2,000 meters, and is now just off a fourth-place finish in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) last month.

Others to watch are:

Deep Bond, a 6-year-old by Kizuna, is still chasing his first Grade 1 win. He likes a long trip and finished second in the Tenno Sho (Spring) over 3,200 meters at Kyoto this spring. A fifth in the Takarazuka Kinen followed, then a summer rest before he returned with a third in the Kyoto Daishoten, over 2,400 meters.
The 6-year-old Vela Azul, a black beauty by Eishin Flash, was last year’s Japan Cup winner, but his four starts since (three Grade 1s) have brought him lackluster results. He has prepped with a run in the Kyoto Daishoten in early October, but it’s a high bar he’ll need to rise above to become only the second horse after Gentildonna in 2013 to notch successive wins of the Japan Cup.
The 6-year-old Lord Kanaloa-sired Panthalassa picked up another Grade 1 overseas this spring. He loves to go to the front directly from the gate, but may find it hard to find the winner’s circle over 2,400 meters. He was second in last year’s Tenno Sho (Autumn) and does seem to like the venue, but hasn’t raced since the end of March due to an injury.

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Mile Championship (G1) - Preview16 Nov 4:13 pm

Japan Racing Association top-level action remains at Kyoto Racecourse this weekend with the autumn’s big mile event, the Mile Championship, featuring 16 nominees ranging in age from 3 to 5.

A turf contest over 1,600 meters, the Mile Championship sports a first prize of JPY180 million and a total purse of over JPY388 million. Like last week’s Queen Elizabeth II Cup, the Mile Championship is returning to its usual venue for the first time in three years.

Six names repeat from last year’s 17 runners and six of those were among the top seven finishers from 2022, including winner Serifos. Though a week ahead of the international gala Japan Cup, this year’s Mile Championship will have its own international air about it, with Ryan Moore and Joao Moreira on short-term licenses expected to join year-round Japan regulars Mirco Demuro and Christophe Lemaire.

French native Lemaire cruises to the Mile Championship after an amazing sweep of the Kikuka Sho, the Tenno Sho (Autumn) and the Queen Elizabeth Cup gate and eyes his sixth Grade 1 victory this year. Lemaire has captured the Mile Championship twice, and is expected to be partnered with Schnell Meister, one of the top contenders. Lemaire has won all but one (the Yasuda Kinen) of the other three big mile events, the NHK Mile Cup twice, the Victoria Mile three times and the Mile Championship twice.

The Mile Championship is run to the right over the Kyoto outer course. Gate positions are not a major concern as the mile turf starts at a lead-in to the backstretch and has a long initial run of some 500 meters before the first, fairly relaxed first turn. Here, as the course drops and speed picks up, the inside tends to open up, facilitating successful attacks down the inside. The race tends to favor those with late speed who can travel close to the front or in midfield.

Four-year-olds and up will carry 58kg. 3-year-olds shoulder 1kg less, fillies and mares are allowed 2kg. The Mile Championship is the 11th race on the Sunday card of 12 at Kyoto. Post time is 15:40 locally.

Here’s a look at the expected top choices:

Schnell Meister: The 5-year-old Kingman-sired Schnell Meister heads into his third Mile Championship. From his previous runs, he finished second in 2021 and fifth in 2022. Highly consistent in his six top-level bids in Japan, he has made the Top 3 in all but one. In the spring he captured the Grade 2 Yomiuri Milers Cup (run over the same course and distance as the Mile Championship), then scored a very close third in the Yasuda Kinen in June. Returning after four months, he recorded an even closer third in the Grade 2 Mainichi Okan over 1,800 meters at Tokyo in October. Trainer Takahisa Tezuka attributes the loss in the Mainichi Okan to a poor break and traffic in the finish. “He should have been able to land it as he’s in much better condition than he was last fall.” As he did before the Yomiuri Milers Cup, the Miho-based trainer shipped the horse west a week early for final preparations and said, “It’ll depend on the trip, but if he’s able to access his powerful turn of foot in the final stage, he definitely has a chance.”

Serifos: A 4-year-old by Daiwa Major, Serifos surprised here last year when he sprang from a win of the Grade 2 Fuji Stakes over 1,600 meters at Tokyo to a win of the Mile Championship. He finished fourth in the two spring Grade 1 mile events - the NHK Mile Cup for 3-year-olds and the Yasuda Kinen (only a month apart) - had taken the spotlight off him heading into the Mile Championship despite his prep win, but he was nonetheless primed and ready for victory. A mile specialist, he has been given 1,600 meters for all but one of his 10 starts and has won five. This year his schedule has been somewhat more relaxed with a fifth in the Grade 1 Dubai Turf, followed by the Yasuda Kinen. In the latter, he was no match for Songline, but did score second and beat Schnell Meister to the wire by a head. With Songline out of the picture, Serifos has ample chance of landing his second Mile Championship. Key will be whether he can do so without a sharpener this year. Damian Lane had the ride last year, but this year Yuga Kawada is expected up. Kawada, who has yet to win the Mile Championship, rode first two career starts of Serifos, and scored wins in both.

Elton Barows: Only one of two 3-year-olds in the Mile Championship lineup, the Deep Brillante-sired Elton Barows takes on his first big test. Debuting late in his 2-year-old year, it took five starts before he landed his first win (though he had come close with three seconds). From there he caught a high wave and now surfs into the Mile Championship on a four-race winning streak that includes the Grade 3 Nikkei Sho over 1,800 meters at Fukushima, and the Grade 2 Mainichi Okan. He has proven at Kyoto with a win over the mile at the 1-win class race in May. Displaying a tendency to hang out racing to the left, Elton Barows should find both the switch to a righthanded track and the return to the mile pluses.

Soul Rush: Soul Rush, a 5-year-old by Rulership, finished fourth here last year. He was given time off until April of this year and has raced three times since, all over 1,600 meters. His third in the Grade 2 Yomiuri Milers Cup at Kyoto (only 0.1 seconds behind winner Schnell Meister) was followed by the Yasuda Kinen and the second time he experienced interference in that race, which factored in his poor results (ninth). Soul Rush returned in early September and, despite carrying the top weight of 59kg, captured the Grade 3 Autumn Handicap at Nakayama. It has been two months since that start, but he is looking fabulous in morning work. In addition, he’s also expected to have an ace in the hand with new partner Joao Moreira in the saddle. Moreira has been successful at Kyoto, having won two of his seven graded-stakes rides there, with an additional second and third each.

Namur: The Harbinger filly Namur experienced interference in both her spring Grade 1 bids, with a seventh in the Victoria Mile followed by a finish only two off the rear in the Yasuda Kinen. She returned on Oct. 21 to land the Grade 2 Fuji Stakes under Joao Moreira. Her sharp final three-furlong time of 33.8 seconds indicates she is up to snuff and amply competitive here. It will, however, be her first time in a while racing to the right and she has been known to lug out in that direction, though veteran Ryan Moore, her new expected partner, may be able to help her ace those turns and clinch her first big win in her eighth bid. The only filly in the lineup, Namur will carry 56kg this time which is 1kg more than she had in the Fuji Stakes, but still a 2-kg advantage overall but the two 3-year-old colts.

Others of interest are:

Grade 3 winner So Valiant comes off a third in the Fuji Stakes, which was his first run over the mile. It was, however, his third-place showing prior to that in the Grade 2 Sapporo Kinen, where he held his own amid top-level competition and indicated this Orfevre son has what it takes to prevail in his first bid at the top.
Sixth here last year, Justin Cafe has recorded a second and a win in Grade 3 company from his four starts since. He returned in the Mainichi Okan after a four-month spell. Slow away, he raced from the far rear, but finished seventh only half a second behind the winner following a blistering final spurt that took him over the final three furlongs in 33.2 seconds.
Returning after four months, the 4-year-old colt Red Mon Reve carried the top weight in the Fuji Stakes last out but finished in second a length and a quarter behind Namur, who ran under 3kg less. Improvement is expected and Red Mon Reve may just realize former jockey Masayoshi Ebina’s dream of winning his first Grade 1 as trainer.

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Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1) - Preview08 Nov 10:31 am

The big race this coming Sunday (November 10) is the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup, which will return to its traditional venue at Kyoto Racecourse this year, after being run at Hanshin for the last three years. It is the first leg of the Japan Autumn International Series of races, which includes the Grade 1 Japan Cup at the end of the month.

The Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup was first run in 1976 to commemorate the late Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Japan in 1975. It was originally for 3-year-old fillies and run over 2,400 meters before the Grade 1 Shuka Sho was established in 1996, thus opening up the QEII to older fillies and mares. It is now run over 2,200 meters on the outer turf course at Kyoto and became an international Grade 1 race in 1999. Last year, Magical Lagoon was the first runner from overseas in eleven years, after looking back to the great winning performances of Irish-bred, English-trained, Snow Fairy, a filly that performed so well at Kyoto in 2010 and 2011.

There will be no foreign horses this year, and the field might be just a little smaller than usual this time, with fifteen fillies and mares nominated for the 48th running of the race. Three-year-old fillies, of which three have been nominated, carry 54kg, while 4-year-olds and up have a set weight of 56kg. Prize money to this year’s winner is JPY130 million (not far off USD1 million). Record time for the race at Kyoto is held by To the Victory, who won in a time of 2 minutes 11.2 seconds back in 2001. A number of this year’s entries are coming off runs in the Grade 2 Ireland Trophy Fuchu Himba Stakes, which was run over 1,800 meters at Tokyo in October.

Interesting statistics from the last 10 years of the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup include just one winning favorite (Lucky Lilac in 2020), and seven winners have been 4-year-old fillies. Nine of the last 10 winners have been trained at the Ritto Training Center in the west of Japan, while six foreign jockeys have been victorious in that same time period. Look out for a number of foreign jockeys from this weekend, when they fly in to take part in the big autumn races in Japan.

The Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup will be Race 11 on the Sunday card at Kyoto, and the final declarations and the barrier draw will be available later in the week.
Here’s a look at some of the fillies and mares set to take on this year’s race:

Geraldina: Winner of the race last year, the 5-year-old mare by Maurice is looking to become the fifth horse in the history of the race to win in consecutive years. She was last seen finishing sixth in the Grade 2 Sankei Sho All Comers over 2,200 meters at Nakayama in September, and before that she finished fourth to Equinox in the Grade 1 Takarazuka Kinen in June, a performance that would give her a good chance here. Trainer Takashi Saito commented: “She ran a little wide in the All Comers last time, but kept running on at the end, so it wasn’t a bad race for her. Her run in the Takarazuka Kinen also showed that she’s getting back to near her best. It’ll be the same rotation as last year, and she’s now back at the stable and on the training track, where she’s been moving as usual.” Ryan Moore takes the ride on Geraldina this time.

Harper: Trainer Yasuo Tomomichi is likely to have two runners in the race, as he bids for an 18th JRA Grade 1 win, and for a change, the 3-year-old by Heart’s Cry won’t have to deal with Liberty Island this time. Harper has only been unplaced once in six starts, and always seems to give her best in a race. The trainer stated: “She drew inside in the Shuka Sho, and it meant that when she wanted to make a move, she couldn’t. As a filly with a nice big stride, it became a bit difficult and muddling for her. She recovered quickly from that race and was soon back in work, and everything’s been fine with her up to now.”

Brede Weg: Another 3-year-old rising through the ranks, the daughter of Lord Kanaloa recently finished second to Masked Diva in the Grade 2 Kansai TV Corp. Sho Rose Stakes at Hanshin over 1,800 meters in September. The winner that day won in record time, and the form of the race is working out well. Trainer Keisuke Miyata said: “She ran a good race last time, but the winner is very strong, as we saw when she also ran well in the Shuka Sho after that win. Brede Weg has had a break at Northern Farm Tenei, and on her return to the stable, she looks better in her coat than she did before, when the days were hot. She seems to be in good condition overall.” Christophe Lemaire will ride Brede Weg in a bid for a hat-trick of JRA Grade 1 wins this autumn.

Divina: Another runner for trainer Yasuo Tomomichi, Divina scored her first win in a while last month, when making all the running to land the Grade 2 Ireland Trophy Fuchu Himba Stakes over 1,800 meters at Tokyo. “She did well last time to go off in front and win the Fuchu Himba Stakes, and by leading all the way, it was a different kind of race for her. She can be patient before the race, and the jockey has found a good way to ride her,” Tomomichi said of the 5-year-old mare. Mirco Demuro looks set to ride Divina again, and will be doing his best to see out the extra 400 meters in the race this time.

Art House: The 4-year-old filly by Screen Hero will be having her first run since the Grade 3 Nakayama Himba Stakes in March. Returning from injury, she might need the race, but her previous form as a 3-year-old in the Grade 1 Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) and the Grade 1 Shuka Sho puts her in with a definite chance here. Assistant trainer Taku Fukunaga said: “The plan was to run her in the Victoria Mile this spring, but because she was injured, we had to pass on that. She returned to the stable from Champion Hills Farm on October 4 and things have been as expected with her since. She’s moving well, and she should be fine over the 2,200 meters of this next race.” Jockey Ryusei Sakai will ride Art House for the first time, with Yuga Kawada set to ride Harper.

Rouge Eveil: Running in the colors of the Tokyo Horseracing Co. Ltd., the daughter of Just a Way has had mixed results since finishing sixth in the Grade 1 Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) in 2022. She has finished second in her last two races, however, the latest being the Grade 2 Ireland Trophy Fuchu Himba Stakes at Tokyo in October. Recent comments from trainer Yoichi Kuroiwa were: “She didn’t start so well last time, and it became difficult for her to get into the flow of the race, but she showed a good turn of foot at the finish. She came out of the race well, and it’s good for her to have had her first run of the autumn without any setbacks. The longer distance of the race this time shouldn’t be a problem.”

Other runners include the 4-year-old Saliera, a half-sister to Salios, and she’s only been unplaced once from six starts, which have seen her win three times. Jockey Tom Marquand arrives in Japan this week for what will be just his second time on a short-term license, and he gets to ride Saliera. Returning from riding at the Breeders’ Cup, Kosei Miura will ride 5-year-old mare Maria Elena, and both horse and jockey are looking for their first Grade 1 win. Suguru Hamanaka deputizes for the injured Yutaka Take aboard Kukuna, as Take will miss the race, but is hoping to return for the weekend of the Mile Championship.

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Derma Sotogake, Shahryar top Japan team of eight t08 Nov 10:30 am

Eight horses from Japan participated in this year’s Breeders’ Cup, a two-day gala at Santa Anita Park held on Friday, Nov. 3 and Saturday, Nov. 4 (local time). Though unable to bring home the top prize in any of the events, two runners figured in the money and, regardless of the results, fans back home threw themselves behind them in support, with Breeders’ Cup wagering available in Japan for the first time in 2 years.

Four Breeders’ Cup races were open to betting in Japan -- the Filly and Mare Turf, the Mile, the Turf and the Classic -- the fourth, sixth, eighth and ninth races of the day, respectively. Turnover surpassed 2.86 billion yen, with over 1 billion yen bet on the BC Classic alone.

# # #

Japan’s best results came late in the day when Christophe Lemaire brought Derma Sotogake home a close second in the $6-million BC Classic. In the previous race the BC Turf, 2021 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) winner Shahryar made the money in third under Cristian Demuro.

The globe-trotting Derma Sotogake, a Hokkaido-bred 3-year-old colt, started this year with a third in the Grade 3 Saudi Derby in Riyadh, then nabbed the Grade 2 UAE Derby in Dubai. He was returning to the track for the first time since his sixth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby.

In the BC Classic, he rallied to finish within a length of winner White Abarrio, an American runner who clocked 2 minutes 2.87 seconds over a fast 2,000 meters. 2023 Dubai World Cup champion Ushba Tesoro finished in fifth place in the field of 12.

Lemaire, partnered with Derma Sotogake for the third time, said, “His start was good and I was able to get in about third or fourth position behind the popular runners.

“Things got a bit busy in the backstretch and the pace picked up, but he didn’t stop once he was in the stretch but just kept giving it all he had. The winner was tiring but this one couldn’t catch him. It was his first race in 6 months and I was happy that he was in good shape and able to perform, thanks to his team having done a fantastic job.”

Trainer Hidetaka Otonashi said, “I’d been worried about him returning from a spell, but he was in good condition. Santa Anita is similar to Dubai so I thought the track would suit him.

“If we’re able to, I’d like to take on the Saudi Cup and the Dubai World Cup. The Kentucky Derby results this year were unfortunate, but I think that, given his results here, he deserves a reassessment and continued support.”

The Orfevre-sired 6-year-old Ushba Tesoro, who had picked up a principal race win at Funabashi in his Breeders’ Cup prep following his return from Dubai. finished some 3 lengths behind the winner in the Classic.

“He’d felt good in the preliminaries, both physically and mentally, and he was able to run his own race,” said Yuga Kawada, who has ridden Ushba Tesoro’s last three starts, including the Dubai World Cup. “He gave it his all to the end and I’d like to express my thanks to him for such an all-out effort on the world stage.”

Trainer Noboru Takagi said, “The horse was in good condition and I think he was able to give it his best. It was a difficult surface for him and the results were unfortunate, but I’d like to express my appreciation for all who supported him.”

# # #

In the BC Turf, the race prior to the Classic, the Deep Impact 5-year-old Shahryar brought Japan its second-best 2023 Breeders’ Cup result with a third-place finish. The 2,400-meter event was won by Irish runner Auguste Rodin, with America’s Up to The Mark in second. Shahryar’s rider Cristian Demuro said, “He started well and felt good under way and felt much like he had when he won at Dubai (2022 Grade 1 Sheema Classic).

“He’d had an operation on his throat for his roaring and it was good to see, with these results, that that he has physically recovered and is able to race to the best of his ability. I’m looking forward to his next race.”

“It was a perfect race and a perfect ride,” said trainer Hideaki Fujiwara. “The winner was also by Deep Impact and one of Europe’s top horses. I think it was a very strong race. I’d like to thank all those at Northern Farm who’d done their utmost to help with Shahryar’s throat operation and I’d also like to thank my staff who went all out to prepare him. I am so moved to have been able to finish in the top spots of the Breeders’ Cup, something horsemen the world over aspire to.

# # #

Earlier in the day, Japan’s Win Marilyn (a 6-year-old by Screen Hero and winner of the 2022 Hong Kong Vase) took on the 25th running of the $2 million Filly and Mare Turf Sprint. She finished fourth amid an international sweep of the top spots, led by the U.K.’s Inspiral, a Frankel 4-year-old racing under Lanfranco Dettori. In second was Ireland’s Warm Heart, who finished 1 length ahead of the Canada-based Moira, only a nose ahead of Win Marilyn.

Trainer Takahisa Tezuka said, “She really gave it her all and it was a fantastic race. I had thought the tactics were to be from a little bit more forward position but she did get squeezed from both sides at the start.

“From there though she was able to move nicely balanced and in a good rhythm. In the final stage she matched the winner in footwork. The winner was strong but this one needed just a little bit more.

“From long before I became a trainer I had always wanted to race not only in the Breeders’ Cup, but just in the United States. So, to have participated in this is an incredible experience for me as well as for my stable.

“Win Marilyn has a lot of fans and I’m so glad she was able to give a good performance here today and I thank everyone for their support.”

Piloting Win Marilyn was Cristian Demuro, who said, “She left the gate smartly, but was sandwiched in amid the fight for position and wound up toward the rear.

“Her balance was very good and in the straight she got a good run up the inside behind Warm Heart.

“She showed some excellent acceleration and was on a par with the others in the final stage. She really gave it her everything all the way to the end,” Demuro said, adding that hat her effort in the final furlong had been especially praiseworthy.

# # #

Next up was another distaff event, the Filly and Mare Sprint, a 1,400-meter dirt race featuring Japan’s Meikei Yell, a 5-year-old daughter of Mikki Isle and the only foreign raider in the nine-strong field of American dirt specialists.

Last year’s champion Goodnight Olive made it two in a row, clocking 1 minute 22.97 seconds over the 1,400 meters of dirt. She was partnered both years with Irad Ortiz Jr.

Battling for the early lead were Society and Eda, who held their ground until the top of the stretch, where they were caught by Goodnight Olive and had to settle for second and third, respectively.

Meikei Yell, a six-time graded stakes winner in Japan, was unable to land her first top-level prize. Taking on not only her first challenge in the United States, she was being tested on dirt for the first time. Despite a solid running, she was unable to rise to the competition and finished last in ninth place.

Trainer Hidenori Take said, “Just out of the gate, those on her outside moved in, and she wasn’t able to get up to speed quickly. Things went smoothly until they turned out of the backstretch and though I thought she was suited to the surface it did seem to be otherwise.

“She was calm and relaxed and in the warmup she had looked promising. Her result was unfortunate but I’m grateful for all the experiences she has given me. I don’t know how much long she will continue racing but I ask for your continued support in wishing her good racing.”

Rider Kenichi Ikezoe said, “She got pushed in but the horse next to her at the start, but after that she wasn’t difficult and I was able to get a position about midfield. Going into the turn she started to fall behind and just didn’t have enough in the finish.

“In the pre-race warmup she’d been calm and patient and went to the gate nicely. She was in good condition for the race and I rode to win, but unfortunately, we didn’t get that result.”

# # #

Japan fielded two runners in the BC Mile (the sixth race of the day), the three-time G1 winner Songline and Win Carnelian. Songline, the favorite both in Japan and the U.S., fell short of expectations, but did make the board in fifth place only a little more than a length behind U.K. winner Master of The Seas, a 5-year-old gelding racing under William Buick. In second was the U.K.’s Mawj and Casa Creed, a U.S. runner, finished third.

A 5-year-old daughter of Kizuna, Songline had followed her Grade 1 Victoria Mile victory this spring with a back-to-back win of the Yasuda Kinen (G1, 1,600, Tokyo). Returning in the fall, she had finished second in her BC prep, the Mainichi Okan (G2, 1,800, Tokyo) in early October.

Though no newcomer to overseas travel, Songline was unable to score in her first U.S. test. Traveling midfield, she was forced wide heading in to the straight and was unable to gain ground. Rider Keita Tosaki said, “She started very well and I was able to more or less get the position I’d wanted. Her balance was good, with her running in a nice rhythm. But, turning into the straight, I’d have to say honestly that I didn’t have as much horse as I usually did.

“All along, she’s had races with only one turn in them, and this time she seemed a bit confused to encounter more. Her condition was in no way lacking and I am grateful to have been given this opportunity,” Tosaki said.

Trainer Toru Hayashi said, “Tosaki gave her a great ride and my staff had her very well-prepared,” he said. “I take responsibility for her results this time and express my apologies to all her connections and to all those her supported her.”

Grade 3 winner Win Carnelian, a Screen Hero 6-year-old horse, had gone to the front from the gate but, at race end, was followed by only two horses in the field of 13. He was piloted by Kosei Miura, who said, “He started very nicely and I’d thought he was doing very well. I’ve been with him for a long time, through good and bad and I’m so proud to be here with him on this stage. The results weren’t convincing but I want to thank all those in Japan who got up early in the morning to lend us their support.”

Trainer Yuichi Shikato said, “He was a difficult trip, one he hasn’t had in a while. I’d thought he’d be able to access his power better by taking the lead and I’m glad he was able to run his own race. I’m most grateful to all those, above all the owner, who supported me in coming here.

“I studied in the United States some 23 years ago and it was wonderful and nostalgic to be here again. Of course, given the competitive nature of the sport, the results were unfortunate. But, the horse finished the race without mishap and I’ll do my best in his next challenge.”

# # #

The 4-year-old Jasper Krone finished last of 12 under Yuga Kawada in the 5-furlong BC Turf Sprint, won by American runner Nobals, with Gerardo Corrales up. “He started off well and was covering ground quite nicely,” said Kawada. “But, at the bend things started to get a bit difficult for him.” Trainer Hideaki Mori said Jasper Krone hadn’t been able to execute the turn well. “I’d like to give him another try after he gains more experience.”

[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 kyosukejrdb kyosukejrdb
25 Nov Tokyo1R
158,570 757,780
2 Ace No.2 Ace No.2
25 Nov Kyoto7R
27,720 240,350
3 Ikkun Ikkun
26 Nov Kyoto5R
23,070 230,700
4 Curry1996 Curry1996
26 Nov Kyoto11R
8,360 167,200
5 MacaroniStandards MacaroniStandards
26 Nov Kyoto11R
1,660 166,000

>>See more

Rank Tipster No.of
1 kyosukejrdb kyosukejrdb
27R 309% 48% 559,620 63,609
2 nige nige
9R 187% 33% 79,120 56,373
3 syouri no megami syouri no megami
48R 151% 18% 92,250 30,061
4 yamaguchi-yoshino yamaguchi-yoshino
16R 145% 37% 38,730 20,605
42R 138% 52% 62,070 10,094
6 MacaroniStandards MacaroniStandards
48R 126% 27% 115,000 42,307
7 Kiiro Kiiro
48R 126% 39% 112,800 28,573
8 N.Okamura N.Okamura
48R 121% 27% 73,800 32,292
9 Ace No.2 Ace No.2
37R 109% 13% 34,530 80,506
10 Takuma Taguchi Takuma Taguchi
48R 103% 25% 15,550 41,295
11 K.Nishino K.Nishino
46R 101% 13% 6,220 57,020

>>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 213 finished! The high achievers are recognized! Next tournament will be held from 2 Dec!

Tournament 213 Award

Rank Tipster Level
Deviation Return
yamane.jr yamane.jr
84.0 956%
Invicta Invicta
80.5 551%
Room of S-E-M Room of S-E-M
80.1 194%
T.Noda T.Noda
78.9 490%
858388781a 858388781a
77.7 338%

>>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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