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Venue Race Odds
Sun,20 Jan
3h until start
4 Inti 1.6
3 Chuwa Wizard 4.9
7 Ange Desir 5.6
Sun,20 Jan
3h until start
4 Fierement 2.2
1 Generale Uno 2.8
5 Danburite 6.9

Races nearly post time

Venue Race Odds
17m until start
16 Cool Water 2.8
8 Monument King 3.8
27m until start
15 Marumo Neo Force 2.9
5 No One 3.1
37m until start
13 Satono Ailes d'Or 2.7
15 Leone d'Oro 4.2

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Racing News

On Jan. 8, Almond Eye was announced as a double winner for the JRA Awards for 2018. Almond Eye won both the Japan Racing Association's Horse of the Year for 2018 and Best Three-Year-Old Filly award. In the voting for the Horse of the Year award, Almond Eye received all 276 votes.

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

The JRA Awards ceremony will be held on January 28.

Saturnalia Continues Undefeated with G1 Hopeful St29 Dec 10:28 am

Heavy favorite Saturnalia won his first G1 title while undefeated in three career starts since debuting in June and coming off his latest victory in the Hagi Stakes in October. The son of legendary sprinter Lord Kanaloa is out of Cesario, winner of the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks)-American Oaks double in 2005, who has also produced two previous G1 winners, Epiphaneia [2013 Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger), 2014 Japan Cup] and Leontes [2015 Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes]. Trainer Kazuya Nakatake claimed his second career JRA-G1 title after saddling Jo Cappuccino to victory in the 2009 NHK Mile Cup. Jockey Mirco Demuro landed his fourth G1 victory of the season and 28th overall—his latest being the Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes with Admire Mars.

Saturnalia broke sharply to secure a good position among the front group, allowed Cosmo Calendula to set a considerably slow pace while settling well a length behind in second position early. Still unhurried as the field began to close in before the final turn, the Lord Kanaloa colt found another gear passing the furlong pole, instantly dislodged Admire Justa 100 meters out and drew away easily to a 1-1/2-length victory to conclude his two-year-old debut season with three wins in as many starts.

“I feel great. I knew I was riding the strongest two-year-old of the season but it was his first time over 2,000 meters so I was a little worried. He really showed his strength though squeezing his way through the narrow opening. I am really looking forward to his three-year-old season,” commented Mirco Demuro.

Admire Justa broke smoothly and was positioned smartly outside the eventual winner in third, moved up to close in on the leader rounding the third corner, sprinted out to take command in the early stretch but was unable to sustain his bid as the winner flew past his outside while holding well for second.

Nishino Daisy took advantage of an inside draw and saved ground inside at the heel of the eventual winner as the three top favorites formed the front group chasing Cosmo Calendula. The Harbinger colt dropped back briefly as the runners outside began to make headway approaching the last corner but showed impressive turn of speed to come out from between horses and track the winner once again, just short of pinning Admire Justa.

Other Horses:
4th: (13) Cosmo Calendula—set slow pace, showed tenacity until 100m pole, weakened in final strides
5th: (2) Breaking Dawn—raced in 6th behind winner, in contention with leaders at top of stretch, weakened in last 200m
6th: (11) Vin de Garde—sat 2nd from rear, checked at early stretch, met traffic 200m out, quickened thereafter
7th: (4) Hiruno Dakar—ran 3-wide in 7th, turned to straight in good striking position, failed to respond
8th: (3) King Listeia—was off slow, trailed in rear, advanced on outer route, passed tired rivals
9th: (7) Mikki Black—settled in 10th, made headway after 3rd corner, found little room at early stretch, even paced
10th: (10) Madre Voice—traveled in 11th, lacked needed kick
11th: (9) Just a Gigolo—raced 4-wide in 9th, checked at final corner, lost momentum
12th: (6) Hakusan Taiyo—hugged rails in 8th, outrun after 3rd corner
13th: (12) Tanino Drama—sat 4-wide in 5th, faded after 3rd corner

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Hopeful Stakes (G1) - Preview26 Dec 12:23 pm

There’s one last piece of Grade 1 action in Japan on Friday, Dec. 28, to round out 2018, when the Hopeful Stakes will be run at Nakayama Racecourse. The race is for 2-year-olds and is run over 2,000 meters on the inner turf course. Nominations for the final Grade 1 of the year are 17 in total, and it looks to be a strong looking field of colts, bidding to prove themselves worthy of a tilt at next year’s Classic races, the first of which for the colts is also held at Nakayama – the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas). Connections will have this in mind when they take on this Friday’s race.

This year sees the 35th running of the race, which has had a varied history so far. Formerly run at the Hanshin track over 1,600 meters, the distance was changed to 2,000 meters in 1991. The race was run at Hanshin up until 2013, after which it was moved to Nakayama, and got its current name after the switch in venues. It was formerly known as the Radio Nikkei Hai Nisai Stakes. It received the ultimate accolade just last year when it was promoted to Grade 1 status.

Some famous horses have started their careers by marking victories in the Hopeful Stakes – Agnes Tachyon (2000), Victoire Pisa (2009), One and Only (2013), and Rey de Oro (2016), to name a few. The latter also holds the race record since it has been run at Nakayama, when he won in a time of 2 minutes, 1.3 seconds. A couple of favorites have scored since the race moved to Nakayama, the latest being Time Flyer last year. All runners are set to carry 55kg.

Lead-up races to this year’s Hopeful Stakes have included the Open Class Hagi Stakes, run over 1,800 meters at Kyoto in October, as well as the Grade 3 Tokyo Sports Hai Nisai Stakes, run over 1,800 meters, and the Grade 3 Radio Nikkei Hai Kyoto Nisai Stakes, run over 2,000 meters, both those races being run in November. There are JPY70 million up for grabs for the winner, and the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes will be Race 11 on Friday’s card at Nakayama, with a post time of 15:30 local time.

Here’s a look at some of the runners expected to catch the eye:

Saturnalia: A half brother to Epiphaneia (2012 race winner and 2014 Japan Cup winner), Saturnalia has started his career with two wins from two starts, the latest being the Hagi Stakes over 1,800 meters at Kyoto in October. He also notched a good win on his debut over a mile at Hanshin in June. The Lord Kanaloa colt is highly regarded at the stable of trainer Kazuya Nakatake. “He came back to the stable at the beginning of this month from Northern Farm Shigaraki. He’s just a 2-year-old, so a little playful. In recent work, the woodchip course was a little heavy, but it didn’t matter at all, and he ran very well. He gets his power from his hindquarters and seems different to other horses,” said assistant trainer Yasuyuki Tsujino.

Nishino Daisy: The Harbinger colt has already won two Grade 3 races, including his latest race, the Tokyo Sports Hai Nisai Stakes over 1,800 meters in November. He started eighth in the betting that day, taking a few people by surprise. His trainer, Noboru Takagi, said, “There wasn’t a horse that really wanted to go on in that race, but he bided his time and didn’t get irritated. Overall it was a good win with some strong horses in the race.” Trained at Miho Training Center, Nishino Daisy clocked a five furlong time of 67.9 seconds on the woodchip course on Dec. 20, with a final furlong time of 12.7 seconds. “His movement is good and he’s in great shape. He’s run in Sapporo, and I think he’ll be suited to Nakayama,” the trainer said.

Admire Justa: An expensive purchase at the 2016 Select Sale, Admire Justa has already proved his price tag might not be that high. A two-time winner from three starts (he finished second in his other race on his debut in June), the powerful colt weighs in at around 500kg, and is coming off a win in the Shigiku Sho last time, over 2,000 meters at Kyoto in October. The Just a Way colt was bred at Northern Farm and is trained by Naosuke Sugai. Jockey Christophe Lemaire has partnered the horse twice already and is expected to take the ride on Friday.

Breaking Dawn: Trainer Kazuya Nakatake has another possible runner in the well-bred colt, Breaking Dawn. The trainer is currently in second spot in the trainers’ table, and amazingly he only has one Grade 1 victory to his name, that being Jo Cappuccino in the NHK Mile Cup back in 2009. Breaking Dawn is by Victoire Pisa, and has just had the two starts, winning on his debut at Hanshin over 1,800 meters in June, and then finishing second in the Grade 3 Radio Nikkei Hai Kyoto Nisai Stakes over 2,000 meters in November. The colt is expected to be ridden by this year’s Derby winning jockey, Yuichi Fukunaga.

Mikki Black: The Black Tide colt is two wins from three starts, and one of his wins came over the course and distance of the Hopeful Stakes, when he won the Open Class Fuyo Stakes two starts ago in September. He finished fourth most recently over 2,000 meters in the Grade 3 Radio Nikkei Hai Kyoto Nisai Stakes. Visiting jockey Oisin Murphy, who notched a double at Nakayama last Saturday, is lined up for the ride.
Vin de Garde: Racing in the Shadai Race Horse Co. Ltd. colors, the Deep Impact colt made his debut just in September, when he won at Hanshin over 1,600 meters. In his only other race, he finished third to Nishino Daisy in the Grade 3 Tokyo Sports Hai Nisai Stakes over 1,800 meters in November. He might not be the biggest of horses, but he packs a punch. He’s trained by leading trainer, Hideaki Fujiwara, and Cristian Demuro is expected to ride him again this time.

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Three-Year-Old Blast Onepiece Captures First G1 Ti24 Dec 10:57 am

Third pick Blast Onepiece, the only three-year-old in the field, beat his senior G1 rivals in this year’s Arima Kinen to claim his first G1 title before a cheering crowd of over 100,000 fans. Breaking his maiden in his debut start in November last year, the Harbinger colt marked a three-race winning streak when winning the Mainichi Hai (G3) in March this year but finished fifth in the following Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby, G1) where he was posted second favorite. The three-year-old bay kicked off his fall season with a win in the Niigata Kinen (G3) and was posted race favorite in the Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger, G1) but finished fourth. This win marked trainer Masahiro Otake’s first G1 title and tenth JRA grade-race win since opening his stable in 2009. This win also marked jockey Kenichi Ikezoe’s 24th JRA-G1 title following his Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) win with Reine Minoru last year and a record-high fourth Arima Kinen title following his win with Dream Journey in 2009 and Orfevre in 2011 and 2013.

Third pick Blast Onepiece, making a clean break from stall eight, traveled wide in mid-division, 6th or 7th from frontrunner Kiseki. The son of Harbinger made an early bid from around 600 meters out, secured a clear path turning the last two corners wide and produced a blasting charge in the last uphill stretch, overtaking Kiseki less than 100 meters out and holding off the strong efforts by the race favorite, for his first G1 title.

“As I had drawn a middle gate (8), I was a bit worried of being caught between horses so I settled him toward the outside. He ran well and though we were closed in by the race favorite at the end, he held on really well. I’ve been telling everyone that he is a G1 horse and I’m happy that I was able to prove it,” commented Kenichi Ikezoe.

Race favorite Rey de Oro traveled wide, around ninth from the front, behind Blast Onepiece and threatened the eventual winner in the last stretch with a powerful late charge that timed the fastest last three furlongs of the field but was a neck short at the wire to finish second.
Ninth choice Cheval Grand eased back towards the rear after breaking smoothly from stall 15 and eventually settled around 11th from the front, eyeing Rey de Oro on the left. The son of Heart’s Cry ran persistently behind the race favorite after entering the lane, passing tiring rivals along the way, to secure third place.

Other Horses:
4th: (11) Mikki Rocket—tracked leader in 2nd or 3rd, showed tenacity, failed to hold off late chargers and top finishers
5th: (14) Kiseki—set pace, extended lead up to 5 lengths at backstretch, led until passing 100m pole, weakened
6th: (6) Satono Diamond—traveled in mid-group, ran on economic route, failed to threaten
7th: (16) Sakura Empereur—sat 2nd from rear, angled out and showed good effort, belatedly
8th: (3) Mozu Katchan—settled around 6th, ran gamely until 100m out, weakened
9th: (1) Oju Chosan—chased leader in 2nd or 3rd, held well until 100m pole, outrun thereafter
10th: (4) Makahiki—took economic trip in mid-group, even paced
11th: (10) Mikki Swallow—broke poorly, trailed in rear, circled wide, showed belated charge
12th: (9) Ridge Man—traveled 3rd from rear, lacked needed kick at stretch
13th: (13) Smart Layer—saved ground towards rear, unable to reach contention
14th: (5) Perform a Promise—raced inside race favorite, driven after 3rd corner, failed to respond
15th: (2) Clincher—hugged rails in 4th, weakened after 3rd corner (2nd lap)
16th: (7) Sounds of Earth—sat 3-wide in 5th, gradually fell back, faded

3-year-old & up, 2,500 meters (about 12.5 furlongs), turf, right-handed
Sunday, December 23, 2018 Nakayama Racecourse 11th Race Post time: 15:25
Total prize money: ¥ 648,000,000 (about US$ 5,891,000 )
3-y-o: 55kg (about 121 lbs), 4-y-o & up: 57kg (about 126 lbs),
2kg allowance for Fillies & Mares, 2kg allowance for Southern Hemisphere-bred born in 2015
Safety factor: 16 runners

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Arima Kinen (The Grand Prix) (G1) - Preview20 Dec 10:24 am

This Sunday, Dec. 23, showcases the last Grade 1 of the year for older horses - the Arima Kinen (The Grand Prix) -- and it’s a doozy, with Japan’s top three money earners in the lineup – Cheval Grand, Satono Diamond, and Rey de Oro (who was also the fans’ top pick). This year, just two days before Christmas, the Arima falls on the last official celebration of the birthday of the current emperor, and the 63rd running of this racing icon will also be the last of the Heisei Era.

The full gate of 18 is set to include eight Grade 1 (including jump G1) champions and six of the 10 horses Japan’s racing fans most want to see. One that particularly stands out is Oju Chosan, the third most popular horse from a total of over 100,000 votes placed by fans.

Though not likely to be among the trackmen’s top choices, Oju Chosan has captured hearts, not only because he’s on an 11-race winning streak that includes nine jump graded-stakes wins, five of them jump G1, but also because, after only two low-level starts on the flat, he and Yutaka Take are aiming for the pinnacle, the Arima winner’s circle. Getting there and bagging the race’s first-place prize of 300 million yen is the stuff of dreams, something the Arima has always been about.

Nakayama Racecourse in Chiba Prefecture east of Tokyo is host to the 2,500-meter turf event, set to get under way at 3:25 p.m. Races at Nakayama are run to the right and the Arima, as well as the Grade 2 Nikkei Sho are the only races run at the venue’s 2,500-meter course. The inner “A” course measures nearly 1,700 meters around and the race starts just off the third turn on part of what is the outer course. The runners turn into the home stretch and pass once before the grandstand, then circle around again. The stretch has an upward slope beginning about 200 meters before the finish line, from where it rises 2 meters in less than 150 meters, a slope that the runners have to surmount twice.

The Arima Kinen is the 11th race on the Sunday Nakayama card of 12. It’s open to 3-year-olds and up and horses carry 57 kg, with a 2-kg allowance given females and 3-year-old colts.

Zenno Rob Roy set the current race record of 2 minutes 29.5 seconds in 2004.

Here’s a look at the expected top picks.

Rey de Oro – Likely race favorite and paired with regular rider Christophe Lemaire, Rey de Oro returns from winning the Tenno Sho (Autumn) and will be taking on his first race over a distance of 2,500 meters. He’s won twice at 2,400, including the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) and the Kobe Shimbun Hai (G2), so the extra half a furlong shouldn’t be a concern. He’s also won over the 2,200 meter course at Nakayama. It’ll be the King Kamehameha-sired 4-year-old’s first Arima Kinen, as he called it a year after running second in the 2017 Japan Cup. This year, Rey de Oro is being given five starts, as compared to only four in 2017, and his four so far have included a trip to Dubai, where he ran fourth in the Dubai Sheema Classic (G1, 2,410 meters). It’s been a tough year with some difficult race and close calls, but he edged Sungrazer for the win of the Tenno Sho (Autumn) and has had ample time to recover. After some R&R, Rey de Oro returned to Miho Training Center on Nov. 28 and is said to be refreshed and moving well. His trainer Kazuo Fujisawa has three wins of the Arima Kinen thus far. Another would tie the record currently held by Yasutoshi Ikee.

Kiseki – Kiseki, a 4-year-old son of Rulership, won the Grade 1 Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) last year but has missed the winner’s circle in his six starts hence. He showed improvement after returning in the fall, finishing third in both the Mainichi Okan (G2, 1,800 meters) and the Tenno Sho (Autumn) (G1, 2,000 meters). He came closest last out in the Japan Cup, with a strong race that saw him finish second a length and three quarters behind Almond Eye (running under 4 kg less) and nearly 4 lengths ahead of Cheval Grand. This will be only his second time over 2,500 meters and his second time at Nakayama. He finished in ninth place the first time in the Nikkei Sho this past March, his first start after returning from Hong Kong 4 1/2 months earlier. His last three runs, all under Yuga Kawada (pegged for the Arima ride as well), have seen him adhere to a more-forward running style, one which may help him hold on for a share of the big money.

Cheval Grand – Cheval Grand, a 6-year-old son of Heart’s Cry, finished sixth in his first Arima Kinen in 2016 after running third in the Japan Cup, and last year he missed second by a nose after winning the JC. This year, Cheval Grand was fourth in the Japan Cup, which going by the numbers may not bode well for the Arima. But, considering his gallant effort in the final stages of the JC that brought him within a neck of third and his second in the 3,200-meter Tenno Sho (Spring), it would also indicate that he’s not to be written off just yet. Hugh Bowman, who rode the 2017 JC, but was unable to ride this year due to a suspension, is expected to be in the saddle on Sunday. Trainer Yasuo Tomomichi says of Cheval Grand, “I can’t say he’s suited to the tighter turns of Nakayama, but he’s a dependable horse. I think he has a chance.”

Blast Onepiece – The Harbinger colt Blast Onepiece is one of only two 3-year-olds among the 19 Arima Kinen nominees and the one attracting the most attention. With four wins in six starts, including two wins of Grade 3 races (one amid older company) and a fifth and a fourth in the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) and the Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger), respectively. He’s been doing well enough, but the Arima may be just what he needs to blast into the headlines. He has excellent speed and can run from any position. Though it’ll be his first time at Nakayama, Blast Onepiece has proven himself over a right-handed track, as well as over softer ground. Based at Miho and trained by Masahiro Otake, he’ll have the home advantage as well as the weight advantage carrying only 55 kg.

Satono Diamond – Though his recent performances have paled in comparison to his triumphant 3-year-old year, the now 5-year-old Satono Diamond may still be able to shine in what will be his last run. Winner of the 2016 Arima Kinen, the Deep Impact-sired Satono Diamond last year took the rest of the year off after returning from France and this year has managed only one win from five starts. Last out, he ran sixth under Joao Moreira in the Japan Cup a full 1.3 seconds behind the winner. Still, top Arima-winning trainer Yasutoshi Ikee has hope and says the Nakayama 2,500 is more forgiving than the Tokyo 2,400. “I’m hoping his experience and technique will help give him an edge.” Expected to have the ride is Australian jockey Brenton Avdulla, who will be riding in the Arima for his first time.

Mikki Rocket – The 5-year-old Mikki Rocket, winner of this year’s Grade 1 Takarazuka Kinen, is somewhat surprisingly taking on his very first Arima Kinen. Returning after 4 months off for the Tenno Sho (Autumn) he managed a very respectable fifth, just 0.4 seconds off the winner. Mikki Rocket will be back at Nakayama for his first time since his Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) run, where he flubbed the start and finished 13th of 18. With one race under his belt and much better at the break, improvement is likely.

# # #

Not quite ready to be written off is Makahiki, on whom the odds are likely to be attractive, having failed to win since France in September 2016 and having failed to meet expectations in six of his eight starts since, including in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) last out. Perhaps the rather flamboyant style of Yasunari Iwata, scheduled to ride Sunday for the first time, will give Makahiki the motivation he needs.

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Today's in-form tipsters

  • 19 Jan
  • 20 Jan
Rank Tipster No.of
1 Umashigura Umashigura
1R 331% 100% 5,090 7,290
2 mayuka mayuka
29R 179% 69% 21,580 2,444
3 Ace No.2 Ace No.2
29R 170% 17% 193,740 93,968
4 Ace No.1 Ace No.1
29R 150% 45% 138,280 32,006
5 Mandegan Mandegan
16R 121% 25% 33,900 48,475

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Rank Tipster No.of
1 kyosukejrdb kyosukejrdb
4R 311% 25% 71,360 105,160
5R 290% 40% 86,320 65,860
3 MacaroniStandards MacaroniStandards
12R 268% 33% 51,950 20,738
4 Joie Joie
12R 259% 83% 19,110 3,111
5 Royce Royce
10R 236% 40% 25,790 11,198

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Highest Payout

Rank Tipster Race Payoff
1 nakachan nakachan
81,350 4,067,500
2 Raven Raven
197,700 1,977,000
3 4ffff25c5e 4ffff25c5e
320 1,629,370
4 f63c84d8d0 f63c84d8d0
63,400 1,585,000
5 Specialll Specialll
28,140 1,407,000

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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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