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Cheval Grand’s chase for overseas glory will continue after the 2017 Japan Cup winner finished eighth out of nine in the Juddmonte International Stakes on Wednesday.

In the day’s showpiece at York Racecourse, the 7-year-old veteran from Japan was never in the hotly contested, 2,050-meter race won by the Aidan O’Brien-trained 3-year-old Japan, ridden by Ryan Moore.

Cheval Grand’s trainer Yasuo Tomomichi pinned the loss down to the pace.

“He ran as well as he possibly could,” Tomomichi said of the first Japanese horse – and second all-time – to run in the Juddmonte International Stakes since Zenno Rob Roy in 2005. “He was in fine condition but the pace, at 2,000 meters, wasn’t really for him. He travelled a little further to the back than we had hoped so we needed a brisk pace, which we didn’t get.

“He didn’t have a chance to show his stamina down the stretch so it was unfortunate.”

Trainer Sir Michael Stoute’s Crystal Ocean, the betting favourite at odds of 5-to-1, was a narrow second to Japan, who crossed the finish line in 2 minutes, 7.7 seconds as the third overall choice. Taking third another length back was Elarqam.

With Japan’s stablemate Circus Maximus setting the pace, Cheval Grand, under Oisin Murphy, got off to a good start from the No. 5 stall and took position mid-pack – on the tail of Japan.

In his previous start, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes on July 27 at Ascot, Cheval Grand was set back by the soft going due to the downpour a day earlier, ending up in sixth.

The Heart’s Cry son could not catch a break again on Wednesday as this time he was hampered by a slow pace. While Japan and Crystal Ocean slugged it out on the punishing final straight for the winner’s check of 1 million pounds, Cheval Grand slid back, falling out of contention with each stride.

Originally, Cheval Grand – who was also runner-up in the Dubai Sheema Classic back in March – was set to call it a career after last season but owner and former Major League Baseball star Kazuhiro Sasaki decided to give him another year – on the global stage, however.

After the disappointment in the King George, the Cheval Grand camp had its hopes up with York being the flattest racetrack in Britain, conditions that would be ideal for its runner. Yet those dreams were dashed by the unfortunate pace and it remains to be seen when and where Cheval Grand will race next.

Cheval Grand, out of the Machiavellian dam Halwa Sweet, has seven wins from 30 starts with career earnings surpassing 1 billion yen.

“We had good weather, good turf as well and our expectations were very high,” Tomomichi said. “The result is not what we hoped for but we’ll keep at it. The challenge will continue for him.”

Added Murphy: “He had good speed out of the gate and during the trip we were right behind Japan, who went on to win the race. (Cheval Grand) ran his heart out but the pace wasn’t fast enough for him. It was tough on him. I know this wasn’t the result everyone had in mind but we’ll keep trying.”

O’Brien won the race for a record-tying sixth time with Japan, who was third in the Investec Derby. The colt caught Crystal Ocean, the narrow runner-up in the King George to Enable, in the final strides to overtake him by a head.

“From the start he has been good and I couldn’t be happier,” the famed Irish trainer was quoted as saying by the Qipco British Champions Series website. “We didn’t want to overdo it earlier in the year as we were thinking of the autumn. We rushed him to the Dante and every run since then has been a step up – he’s stepping up all the way.

“Horses progress and you’re never sure which is the best. We don’t look at them like that at home and let them progress from race to race.

“This horse would have no problem stepping back up in trip – he’s very comfortable at a mile and a half.”

Japan's Kawada helps boost Rest of the World to Sh12 Aug 3:30 pm

Ascot Racecourse on Saturday, Aug. 10 enjoyed one of its most colorful days of the year with the popular international jockey competition – the 19th Shergar Cup Challenge, currently sponsored by Dubai Duty Free. Representing Japan this year in not just one of the four teams, but two, were the Ritto-based Yuga Kawada on the Rest of the World team and Miho’s Nanako Fujita with the Girls.

Both teams did brilliantly, with the Rest of the World, consisting of Kawada, Hong Kong’s Vincent Ho Chak-Yiu and Australian Mark Zahra, bringing home 86 points for top spot and with it the Shergar trophy. With 63 points each, the Girls finished as joint runners-up with Europe, while Great Britain and Ireland came in last with 28.

Hayley Turner, who is known as the most successful female jockey in Britain to date, was the only jockey to win more than one race on Saturday. She was victorious in both the Stayers and the Classic and, with a whopping 40 points, took home the Silver Saddle individual award for a historic second year in a row.

The Shergar Cup is made up of six races on the flat – the Dash, Stayers, Challenge, Mile, Classic and Sprint – and this year the prize money on each was raised from 45,000 pounds sterling to 60,000. Each field numbered 10. The riders wear the colors of their teams, not the horses’ owners, and receive points for finishing in the first five places, starting with 15 points for a win and on down to three points for fifth place. Riders each receive event prize money of 20,000 pounds sterling in addition to their prize money percentages and they each ride five races. This year’s event was held on good going under cloudy skies with some rainfall and strong winds that forced the cancellation of the post-race concert. The races took place between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. local time.

The Shergar Cup was named after the ill-fated champion racehorse Shergar, who won the Epsom Derby, Irish Derby and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes all in 1981 before being retired as a 3-year-old. In 1983, he was stolen from stud with a ransom on his head and never found again. The international jockey event was first held at Goodwood Racecourse in 1999, but moved to Ascot the following year, where it has brightened the summer season every year except in 2005 when Ascot closed due to renovations.

It was the second time since 2016 that the Rest of the World team topped the competition. Three years ago, Kenichi Ikezoe helped boost his team to victory by riding back-to-back second-place finishes in the event’s first two races. This year, though Japan’s hopefuls were unable to notch a win, they were still able to contribute to their respective teams.

Kawada’s notched his first third (worth 7 points) aboard a 6-year-old named Zwayyan in the Mile when he finished only a neck behind the runnerup. His second third-place finish came in the Sprint 1 length behind the runnerup on the 3-year-old Woven. Adding to that a fourth-place in the Stayers, Kawada was able to finish with 19 points total. Fujita totaled 8 points for the day, with her best a fourth partnered with the 5-year-old Koeman in the Challenge, and a fifth-place finish with the 3-year-old Zuba in the Classic. Kawada did not ride in the Classic, Fujita had no horse in the Sprint.

Kawada, who currently tops Japan’s jockeys for wins, had been named captain of the Rest of the World team, the first captain from Japan since Yutaka Take in 2012, another year the Rest of the World team won. “I didn’t have a great day myself, but my other teammates were very successful and rode very well, each winning a race,” Kawada said. “I came here last year during a trip to England and it has been great to catch up with people. It’s been good to meet new people too and has been a fun day. There’s a great atmosphere, a great result, and I am thrilled to have been the captain. I hope I can come back next year.”

It was Kawada’s second time riding at Ascot, following his debut on July 14 last year. “I’m really happy that we as a team were able to win. The three of us were talking,” he said of his teammates, “and I said I really wanted to win the last race. None of us were on popular horses and I hadn’t won anything up to then. So, I think, with my third in the last race, I was finally able to contribute a bit.”

Nanako Fujita, who had just turned 22 years old the day before the event, was making her debut at racing’s hallowed ground. “It was a very good experience even though it was disappointing and frustrating that I wasn’t able to win a race. But, I was able to experience racing that’s different from what’s in Japan,” the Ibaraki native who currently ranks No. 30 among JRA riders said. “It was my first time and I was tense, so I can’t actually say that I had fun. I realize I’ve really got to really buckle down with my riding. I learned a lot from the Shergar Cup and I’m going to apply that to my riding when I return to Japan.”
This year’s Great Britain and Ireland team was made up of captain Tadhg O’Shea, Irish-born but a champion in the UAE, Scotsman Danny Tudhope and Jamie Spencer from Ireland. The Europe team consisted of Frenchman Gerald Mosse, ace of the Netherlands Adrie de Vries and German champion and team captain Filip Minarik.

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Deirdre glorious at Goodwood, stuns with historic 05 Aug 4:55 pm

August 1 proved to be a glorious day indeed for Japan as it pocketed yet another historic racing win on the international scene, this one coming in the country’s first representation at the Qatar Goodwood Festival at Goodwood Racecourse and ending a 19-year drought on Group 1 wins in Britain for Japan.

Deirdre, a 5-year-old mare from the Ritto stable of Mitsuru Hashida, stunned the crowd on the third day of the five-day racing festival known as Glorious Goodwood with a surprise win of the 1,980-meter Group 1 Nassau Stakes over turf. She went to the gate a 20-to-1 longshot and the eldest against eight fillies, but rallied under Oisin Murphy to finish strongly, relegating the 3-to-1 Mehdaayih and Lanfranco Dettori to second place, and the 6-to-1 Rawdaa under Daniel Tudhope to third. “This is a dream come true. A massive day for Japan,” said Murphy, who says Deirdre’s long odds had failed to rattle his confidence in the mare.“I kept looking at her price, but thinking she had a wonderful chance, and to go and win against a decent field was something else.”

It was only the second top-level win for the globe-trotting Deirdre, but her sixth race overseas, all of them Group 1 events. Some 5 1/2 months after winning the Grade 1 Shuka Sho at home in 2017, the Harbinger-sired Deirdre was raced in the Dubai Turf at Meydan, then the Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin, and finished third and second, respectively. This year, however, her three overseas excursions saw her finish out of the money. A fourth at Dubai in the Dubai Turf, a sixth at Sha Tin in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup and another sixth in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Ascot dampened expectations and saw odds creep higher, as memories faded of Deirdre’s last win, a Grade 2 at Tokyo last October.

In the Nassau Stakes on a beautiful bright Thursday in West Sussex, Deirdre carried 9 stone 7 pounds (60 kg) and broke from the No. 4 gate, in between Mehdaayih and the race favorite, Aidan O’Brien-trained double Guineas winner Hermosa. Dettori had been attempting to make it his fourth top-level win in a row in the U.K. and Mehdaayih (racing under 56.7 kg) looked good as they set a strong pace with Ryan Moore on Hermosa (also carrying 56.7 kg) following close behind.

When the latter, who had been sweating heavily before the race, dropped off quickly with 3 furlongs to go, Dettori looked set for the win. Deirdre, however, had been held up under Murphy, and still had something in the tank. Coming from far off the pace, Deirdre snuck up on the rail, and in a thrilling burst of speed caught and passed Mehdaayih in the final furlong to win by a length and a quarter. Hermosa finished last in the field of nine.

Post-race, Murphy, 23 years old and a native of Ireland, gushed praise. "You can see she is an absolute queen. She is a big, masculine type of a horse and I'm not surprised she was able to carry the 60 kilos which is more than what she is used to.”

Hashida was more reserved, although he had just become only the second Japanese trainer to win a Group 1 in Britain, after Hideyuki Mori and his win with Agnes World in the July Cup at Newmarket in 2000. “She was fresh and looking full of energy and I hope my other horses will be able to hold their own up against her,” the 66-year-old Hashida said. Fresh in his mind was Cheval Grand’s sixth-place finish in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes last week. Both Cheval Grand and Deirdre have been training at Jane Chapple-Hyam’s Abington Place Stables in Newmarket.

Racing manager Seiko Hashida said, “It was a very big challenge to come here. We have been in Britain for three months and we are so pleased that we kept believing in her,” she said of Deirdre. Connections have yet to decide on their next move, whether to return Deirdre to Japan or stay on, possibly in Europe.
Deirdre, now with 8 wins from 25 starts, was bred at Northern Farm in Hokkaido and is owned by Toji Morita. She is out of the Special Week mare Reizend. Her sire Harbinger was trained by Sir Michael Stoute (who trained the Nassau Stakes third-place finisher Rawdaa) and won the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot in 2010 by 11 lengths. Harbinger now stands at Shadai Stallion Station.

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Triple Crown legend Deep Impact dies at 1731 Jul 6:52 pm

Deep Impact, one of the most successful horses and stallions in the history of the JRA, died on Tuesday. He was 17.

By the legendary stallion, Sunday Silence, Deep Impact became just the second undefeated Triple Crown winner in 2005. He went on to win seven Grade 1 races in a 12-for-13 career record (not including the disqualification in the 2006 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe), earning over 1.4 billion yen. His only defeat in Japan came in the 2005 Arima Kinen (The Grand Prix), where he lost a heated battle to Heart’s Cry in the final stretch.

After an illustrious racing career, Deep Impact was stationed at Shadai Stallion Station and did not disappoint as a stallion, producing multiple Grade 1 winners and becoming the JRA leading sire for seven straight years from 2012-2018.

Following are comments from the connections of Deep Impact:

Shadai Stallion Station: “We had been treating Deep Impact's neck injury for some time and he underwent surgery on July 28. The operation was successful and was doing well after the operation. However, on the morning of July 29, he was unable to stand up and we had been giving him the maximum treatment possible. On the morning of July 30, we took an X-ray and found a fracture in his cervical spine. We decided that he did not have any chance of recovery. We are extremely shocked and in grief with the sudden turn of events.”

Kaneko Makoto Holdings Co. Ltd., CEO, Makoto Kaneko, owner: “It was shocking to witness how easily he won the Triple Crown, and I am thankful for what he showed us. The most emotional moments were winning the Japan Cup and the Arima Kinen consecutively, after his loss in the Arc. Not many horses become stallions after their 4-year-old season, but he was also extremely successful as a stud. He gave me two more Derby winners, Makahiki and Wagnerian. I am in tears hearing this sudden tragic news. May he rest in peace.”

Yasuo Ikee, trainer (retired): “I am in shock of the sudden news. I could not have asked for any more in the two years plus of his racing career. I just pray that he is resting in peace.”

Yutaka Take, jockey: “I knew he was not in good shape, but I am disappointed to hear of the news. He is a very special horse in my life. I am just appreciative for all that he gave me.”

Northern Farm (breeder) representative, Katsumi Yoshida: “He was, without a doubt, the finest racehorse that Northern Farm ever bred. It is just disappointing to see him go, as he was extremely successful as a stallion. I hope he is resting in peace.”

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Cheval Grand finishes 6th in King George VI and Qu29 Jul 4:17 pm

Cheval Grand finished an “unlucky” sixth place in what turned out to be an epic running of the 69th King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes at Royal Ascot on Saturday.

Cheval Grand, the 7-year-old challenger from Japan who went off at local odds of 33-to-1, ran his heart out on slightly yielding turf at the famed racecourse but crossed the finish line a distant sixth as Enable just held off Crystal Ocean, the highest rated racehorse per Longines World’s Best Horserace Rankings, for her 11th consecutive victory. Enable’s jockey Frankie Dettori won the race for an incredible sixth time.

Cheval Grand’s trainer Yasuo Tomomichi lamented the downpour the previous night that led to the softening of the track which did no favors for the son of Heart’s Cry, who came in third in the 2006 edition of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes.

“It’s a real shame about the rain from last night because he had been in excellent condition and would have preferred a good going,” Tomomichi said. “He was working so well in Newmarket until yesterday, coming along so well. Just leaves us thinking what if. He was in that kind of form.

“He seemed perfectly fine after the race, catching his wind right away. There should not be too much damage on him. We know the race was held late in the evening back in Japan and we really appreciate all the support for him.

“We will try to regroup as well as we can for our next start, the International Stakes,” he said, referring to the Juddmonte International Stakes at York on Aug. 22.

Cheval Grand traveled third from the rear and gingerly made his way toward the front amid the turf conditions but by the time the party of 11 reached the home straight, the race had become a showdown between Enable, champion in 2017, and Crystal Ocean, who ended runner-up for the second successive year.

Oisin Murphy, who was aboard Cheval Grand, said it just was not the day for the 2017 Japan Cup winner with the rain and two of racing’s biggest superstars in the mix.

“He got off to a good stat and was fine initially but tripped up a little on the backstretch,” Murphy said. “He didn’t look capable of handling the going after the rain last night. He was in very good form thanks to the team, but was unlucky this time around. Just very unfortunate (about the weather).”

Japanese fan favorite Dettori described the race as one for the ages after his 5-year-old mare, the 8-to-15 first choice, triumphed to a ninth consecutive top-level win by a neck over the 5-year-old Crystal Ocean, trained by Sir Michael Stoute. Third-place Waldgeist was another length and three-quarters behind.

"She's brilliant,” said the 48-year-old Dettori, no stranger to some of the finest moments in racing history with more than 3,000 career victories. “(Crystal Ocean) is a great horse, I knew he was the one to beat. We gave the public what they came to see, and they got a fantastic horse race.

“In all my career that’s probably the hardest-fought Group One I’ve ever had. Two great champions, the last two furlongs. It doesn’t come every day.”

The John Gosden-trained Enable will now attempt to capture an unprecedented third straight title at Europe’s richest race, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in October, which will be her swansong. Before that, Cheval Grand could get another crack at the living legend in the International Stakes.

“She is extraordinary and she really surprised me,” Dettori said. “She’s an amazing horse in every way – ability, courageous, uncomplicated.

“I love her, I ride her twice a week. She’s special, she gives me emotion that no other horse has given me in my life and she’s only with me for another three months, so I’m trying to enjoy every moment. You will probably only see her two more times, at York and the Arc, so let’s enjoy her. She’s a superstar.”

Murphy summed it up best: “Enable is the best since Frankel,” he said, referring to the legend who was retired in 2012 for a breeding career following 14 successive wins and was also owned by Khalid Abdullah.
Added Gosden, “Crystal Ocean showed all the courage in the world, and the first two are wonderful - they put up a great King George."

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1 aomaru aomaru
25 Aug Kokura6R
2,570 254,430
2 Ikkun Ikkun
24 Aug Niigata5R
19,640 196,400
3 N.Okamura N.Okamura
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4 aomaru aomaru
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72R 130% 33% 129,350 23,264
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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.

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 Tournament Info:Tournament 158 is currently being held!(10 Aug - 1 Sep)

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cda5d4bd70 cda5d4bd70
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