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Sat,1 Oct
23m until start
2 Hayabusa Nandekun 2.2
8 Hapi 4.9
12 Badenweiler 7.6
Sun,2 Oct
1d until start
13 Meikei Yell 2.0
9 Namura Clair 3.2
15 Schnell Meister 10.1

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23m until start
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2 Hayabusa Nandekun 2.2
8 Hapi 4.9
33m until start
8 Ginestra 3.0
4 Asahi 3.9
58m until start
1 Lupinus Lead 1.4
12 Ange Mignon 7.3

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Racing News

Welcome back to our annual series of newsletters leading up to the 2022 Japan Cup (G1, 2,400m). The fall racing season is heading towards the Japan Autumn International Series, which will be held over a period of four weekends between November 13 and December 4 and which comprises four prestigious G1 races: the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1, 2,200m), Mile Championship (G1, 1,600m), Japan Cup, and Champions Cup (G1, dirt, 1,800m). Total prize money for the four G1 events will amount to JPY1.79 billion (USD16 million), with additional bonuses for winners of designated overseas G1 events who also finish within the Top 3 in any of the four races. Also, winners of designated overseas races who finish outside the Top 3 places in the Japan Cup will still be guaranteed an incentive of USD200,000.

New Quarantine Stable Completed at Tokyo Racecourse Available for Use from Fall
A new International Stable with quarantine facilities will open at Tokyo Racecourse this autumn to accommodate horses and their personnel from overseas. Arriving horses will be able to transfer directly from the airport to Tokyo Racecourse and stay there until the race without having to go through quarantine at the Horse Racing School in Shiroi (note: only those horses scheduled to run in races at Tokyo Racecourse can use the new International Stable). Each barn will have a dedicated grass paddock, air conditioning and remote monitoring system for the horses. This comfortable new stable and its facilities will enable overseas horses to settle into their temporary quarters quickly and smoothly. JRA’s skilled professional team, including veterinarians and farriers, also will be stationed on site to support overseas stable personnel during their stays.

Surrounded by a 300-meter dirt exercise track, the new International Stable features six barns that can house two horses each, accommodating up to 12 horses at the same time. There also is a grass-picking area, a monitoring system, a tack room, an area where stable personnel can relax and a club house where they can eat and drink. In addition to the new track encircling the International Stable, an existing dirt course as well as a turf course also can be used for training (depending on quarantine status and course availability). Exercise at the turf course and schooling on the racecourse (saddling enclosure, paddock, etc.) will be allowed after the import quarantine period has ended for foreign entrants.

Featured Runners in the Tenno Sho (Autumn), Japan Cup and Arima Kinen
Last year’s Japan Cup saw 2020 Triple Crown winner Contrail (JPN, by Deep Impact) conclude his racing career with a comfortable two-length victory. As the third unbeaten colt to sweep the Triple Crown—last accomplished by his sire Deep Impact 15 years ago—Contrail tasted defeat for the first time ever in the 2020 Japan Cup, beaten to second by legendary mare Almond Eye (JPN, by Lord Kanaloa) in a thrilling showcase featuring three Triple Crown winners. In the Osaka Hai the following season, Contrail made a strenuous trip over heavy going and ended in third. He struggled to recover from his first race as a four-year-old, so it was decided that he would skip the Takarazuka Kinen (G1, 2,200m) and aim for the Tenno Sho (Autumn) (G1, 2,000m), but this led to a surprising third consecutive setback, this time to three-year-old Efforia (JPN, C4, by Epiphaneia) by a length in second.

The colt’s only chance left to redeem his honor was the 2021 Japan Cup. Entered as the odds-on favorite, the colt broke sharply and excelled from mid-pack to easily overtake Authority (JPN, H5, by Orfevre) and Shahryar (JPN, C4, by Deep Impact) within a half stretch and then dominate the race by a strong two-length margin. Contrail stands at stud starting this year and is heavily sought after.

Authority, runner-up in last year’s Japan Cup, completed a stint in the Middle East earlier this year. He held off all competition in claiming Saudi Arabia’s Neom Turf Cup (G3, 2,100m) in February and then nabbed a third in the Dubai Sheema Classic (G1, 2,410m) the next month. The son of Orfevre was supposed to make his first run on Japanese turf this season in the Takarazuka Kinen but was scratched at the last minute, diagnosed with a fracture in his right foreleg later on.

After registering a third in the 2021 Japan Cup, last year’s Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby, G1, 2,400m) champion Shahryar made a stunning overseas debut by winning this year’s Dubai Sheema Classic with Cristian Demuro taking the reins. The four-year-old colt burst out from an ideal striking position and held off a strong challenge by 2021 Breeders’ Cup Turf victor Yibir to win by a neck. In June, the colt ran in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes (G1, 1,990m) at Royal Ascot but was fourth among five runners, a defeat which forced his connections to reconsider another planned overseas campaign this fall. His main target now is most likely the Japan Cup following his first autumn start in the Tenno Sho (Autumn).

2021 Japan Cup finishers such as Sanrei Pocket (JPN, H7, by Jungle Pocket) (4th) and Uberleben (JPN, F4, by Gold Ship) (6th) have struggled to maintain their form. Sanrei Pocket has made five grade-race starts so far this year and a third has been his best outcome. 2021 Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks, G1, 2,400m) winner Uberleben showed a good fifth-place effort in the Dubai Sheema Classic but still has not regained her strength; she never was a factor in her first start back on home soil, the Sapporo Kinen (G2, 2,000m) on August 21, finishing 11th. She will head for another Japan Cup endeavor this year following a bid in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) on October 30.

Key middle-distance runners, including those who did not run in the 2021 Japan Cup, have shifted in a major way this season. Efforia, after claiming the Tenno Sho (Autumn) and the Arima Kinen (The Grand Prix, G1, 2,500m) to be named 2021 Horse of the Year, struggled to live up to his reputation this past spring. Although heavily favored in the Osaka Hai, the colt’s trademark burst of speed was nowhere to be seen and was beaten to ninth. After a sixth in the following Takarazuka Kinen, he had trouble regaining his form, which led to a suspension of his initially announced plans to commence his fall campaign in the Tenno Sho (Autumn). His next probable target will be the Arima Kinen on December 25.

In the meantime, another four-year-old colt stole the spotlight. Titleholder (JPN, C4, by Duramente) scored a second in the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas, G1, 2,000m), a sixth in the Tokyo Yushun last season, and then a dramatic gate-to-wire victory in the Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger, G1, 3,000m) to capture his first G1 title by an incredible five-length margin. Titleholder ran out of steam in the final furlong and finished fifth to Efforia in the yearend Arima Kinen. This year, however, Titleholder kicked off the season by holding off all rivals in the Nikkei Sho (G2, 2,500m) and gave another strong stayer performance to conquer the Tenno Sho (Spring) (3,200m) by an impressive seven lengths over runner-up Deep Bond (JPN, H5, by Kizuna). Next, in the Takarazuka Kinen, despite surrendering the lead to pacesetter Panthalassa (JPN, H5, by Lord Kanaloa), the Duramente colt eventually prevailed with record-breaking speed for a two-length win and his third G1 title. Along with Deep Bond and Stay Foolish (JPN, H7, by Stay Gold), Titleholder will make a bid in this fall’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1, 2,400m), where he is highly rated.

Among the three-year-olds, Tokyo Yushun victor Do Deuce (JPN, C3, by Heart’s Cry) is the only contender expected to challenge the Arc. The colt prepped in the Prix Niel (G2, 2,400m) on September 11 and was fourth in of a field of seven. This year’s Satsuki Sho winner Geoglyph (JPN, C3, by Drefong) and Equinox (JPN, C3, by Kitasan Black), who secured second in both Classics, will head for the Tenno Sho (Autumn). With only four weeks to prepare, the Japan Cup seems an unlikely option for their next challenges.

Stars on Earth (JPN, F3, by Duramente) stood out amongst a competitive group of three-year-old fillies by notching the first two gems of the fillies’ Triple Crown—the Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas, G1, 1,600m) and the Yushun Himba. The filly is recovering from a minor fracture but is expected to run in the third leg, the Shuka Sho (G1, 2,000m), on October 16 with hopes of a clean sweep. In November, she may appear in the Japan Cup, where fillies/mares have turned in solid performances to better their male opponents in recent years.

Other prominent runners who are pointed towards the Tenno Sho (Autumn) and/or the Japan Cup include three runners from the Sapporo Kinen: winner Jack d’Or (JPN, C4, by Maurice), who claimed his second graded title in the race and hopes to register his first G1 win in the Tenno Sho (Autumn); runner-up Panthalassa, who passed up the Arc to aim for a second G1 title in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) following his Dubai Turf (1,800m) victory this spring; and sixth-place finisher and two-time Hong Kong Vase (G1, 2,400m) victor Glory Vase (JPN, H7, by Deep Impact), who will likely target either the Japan Cup or the Hong Kong Vase on December 11. This year’s Osaka Hai victor Potager (JPN, H5, by Deep Impact) will proceed to the Tenno Sho (Autumn) after his first autumn start, the Mainichi Okan (G2, 1,800m) on October 9.

Another candidate for the Japan Cup is T O Royal (JPN, C4, by Leontes), whose first G1 test came in the Tenno Sho (Spring), where he finished third eight lengths behind Titleholder. The four-year-old colt had come off a Diamond Stakes (G3, 3,400m) victory in February, the last of a four-race winning streak. After looking strong before tiring at the last furlong and finishing fifth in the Sankei Sho All Comers (G2, 2,200m) on September 25, his main targets are now the Japan Cup and then the Arima Kinen on December 25.

Sprint, Older Fillies & Mares, Mile, Dirt, and Steeplechasing
The opening G1 event of the 2022 JRA fall season, the Sprinters Stakes (1,200m), will be held on October 2 without defending champion Pixie Knight (JPN, C4, by Maurice), who is still recovering from a fractured knee in his left foreleg, which he sustained in a tragic accident involving four horses in last year’s Hong Kong Sprint (G1, 1,200m). He is hoped to resume racing next year. Resistencia (JPN, M5, by Daiwa Major), runner-up in the Sprinters Stakes last year, will also miss the race this year due to a fractured first phalanx in her left foreleg, discovered after her 11th-place finish in June in the Yasuda Kinen (G1, 1,600m) and taking her out of racing until November at the earliest.

The fall sprint G1 is now focused on last year’s NHK Mile Cup (1,600m) winner Schnell Meister (GER, C4, by Kingman) and this year’s Takamatsunomiya Kinen (1,200m) champion Naran Huleg (JPN, H6, by Gold Allure). Inaugural G1 title hopefuls will include Namura Clair (JPN, F3, by Mikki Isle) and Meikei Yell (JPN, F4, by Mikki Isle), respective winners of the Hakodate Sprint Stakes (G3, 1,200m, June 12) and the Centaur Stakes (G2, 1,200m, September 11). Also in the field will be T M Spada (JPN, F3, by Red Spada) and Vento Voce (JPN, H5, by Turtle Bowl), respective winners of the CBC Sho (G3, 1,200m, July 3) and the Keeneland Cup (G3, 1,200m, August 28).

This year’s Queen Elizabeth II Cup for three-year-old-and-up fillies/mares on November 13 will feature defending champion Akai Ito (JPN, M5, by Kizuna), even though the Kizuna mare was winless in three starts in spring, including third in the G2 Kinko Sho (2,000m, March 13). She will follow the same schedule as last year, kicking off her fall campaign with the Fuchu Himba Stakes (G2, 1,800m) on October 15 before aiming for a consecutive victory in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup. 2020 fillies’ Triple Crown winner Daring Tact (JPN, M5, by Epiphaneia) returned from a long break exceeding 12 months to finish sixth in the Victoria Mile (G1, 1,600m) in May, but she showed improved form in her following start, finishing third in the Takarazuka Kinen. The Epiphaneia mare was unable to perform on the hard surface and finished sixth again in her fall debut, the All Comers on September 25. The race was won by Geraldina (JPN, F4, by Maurice), creating a lane to the Queen Elizabeth II Cup for the filly, who is out of two-time Horse of the Year Gentildonna (JPN, by Deep Impact).

Win Marilyn (JPN, M5, by Screen Hero), three-time G2 winner and runner-up to Daring Tact in the Yushun Himba as a three-year-old, turned in an impressive performance against a mixed field in the Sapporo Kinen, finishing a close third. She appears to be in good form for an attempt to capture her first G1 title in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup. Other probable starters in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup include back-to-back Queen Stakes (G3, 1,800m) winner Terzetto (JPN, M5, by Deep Impact), Mermaid Stakes (G3, 2,000m) victor Win Mighty (JPN, M5, by Gold Ship), who will begin her fall campaign with the Kyoto Daishoten (G2, 2,400m) on October 10, and runners coming off the Fuchu Himba Stakes. The three-year-old filly hopefuls will be challenging seniors coming off the October 16 Shuka Sho (G1, 2,000m), the final leg of the Fillies’ Triple Crown.

The Mile Championship on November 20 will feature Sodashi (JPN, F4, by Kurofune), the pure white filly who marked her third G1 title this spring in the Victoria Mile but was unable to defend her title most recently in the Sapporo Kinen, where she finished fifth. Sodashi will concentrate on racing over a mile and make the Fuchu Himba Stakes as her step race. Other Mile Championship hopefuls include 2019 Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes champion Salios (JPN, H5, by Heart’s Cry) and 2020 Best Two-Year-Old Colt Danon the Kid (JPN, C4, by Just a Way), both of whom first will head to the Mainichi Okan, while this year’s NHK Mile Cup victor Danon Scorpion (JPN, C3, by Lord Kanaloa) has opted for the Fuji Stakes (G2, 1,600m) on October 22. Schnell Meister, who will start in the Sprinters Stakes, is also expected to join in the Mile Championship field.

Meanwhile, this year’s Yasuda Kinen champion Songline (JPN, F4, by Kizuna), who finished fifth in her first start at 1,200 meters in the Centaur Stakes this fall, will head to the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1, 1,600m) on November 5, her second overseas endeavor after winning the 1351 Turf Sprint (G3) in Saudi Arabia. 2020 Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes victor Grenadier Guards (JPN, C4, by Frankel), although unsuccessful in the Royal Ascot’s Platinum Jubilee Stakes (G1, 1,200m) this spring, finishing a disappointing 19th, will go overseas for the Hong Kong Mile (G1, 1,600m) on December 11 after commencing his fall campaign in the Swan Stakes (G2, 1,400m) on October 29.

2021 Best Dirt Horse and Champions Cup victor T O Keynes (JPN, H5, by Sinister Minister) began his 2022 campaign abroad in the Saudi Cup (G1, dirt, 1,800m) in February but was defeated to eighth. The son of Sinister Minister bounced back upon returning to Japan to win the Heian Stakes (G3, dirt, 1,900m, May) but was unable to defend his Teio Sho (dirt, 2,000m, June 29) title, finishing fourth. He is expected to make his comeback in either the JBC Classic (dirt, 2,000m) on November 3 or the Champions Cup on December 4.

2020 Champions Cup champion Chuwa Wizard (JPN, H7, by King Kamehameha) was runner-up last year, but lost soundly by six lengths to winner T O Keynes. The son of King Kamehameha remains in good form at seven, winning the Kawasaki Kinen (dirt, 2,100m), finishing third in his second Dubai World Cup (G1, dirt, 2,000m) challenge and just missing by a neck in second in his latest start, the Teio Sho. Chuwa Wizard is expected to start in the JBC Classic prior to the Champions Cup.

Hopes are high for Meisho Hario (JPN, H5, by Pyro) towards the Champions Cup this year, having beaten both T O Keynes and Chuwa Wizard in the Teio Sho. Although seventh in the dirt G1 last year, the son of Pyro has improved significantly this season, landing his second grade-race title in the March Stakes (G3, dirt, 1,800m) and claiming one of the most prestigious NAR titles in the Teio Sho after being sent to post fifth favorite. Meisho Hario will also likely start in the JBC Classic (dirt, 2,000m) before his second Champions Cup challenge.

The three-year-old hopefuls expected to challenge their seniors in the Champions Cup include UAE Derby (G2, dirt, 1,900m, March) winner Crown Pride (JPN, C3, by Reach the Crown), Japan Dirt Derby (dirt, 2,000m, July) winner Notturno (JPN, C3, by Heart's Cry) and the same race’s runner-up, Peisha Es (JPN, C3, by Espoir City). All three ran in the Nippon TV Hai (dirt, 1,800m) on September 28 in which Crown Pride finished second, Peisha Es followed in fourth and Notturno in seventh. Kafuji Octagon (JPN, C3, by Maurice), who won the Leopard Stakes (G3, dirt, 1,800m) in August, will be facing older rivals for the first time in the Hakusan Daishoten (dirt, 2,100m) on October 4.

The Nakayama Daishogai (J-G1, 4,100m) on December 24 is the second of two steeplechase events graded at J-G1 to determine the season’s best jumper. Legendary jumper Oju Chosan (JPN, H11, by Stay Gold), who claimed his sixth Nakayama Grand Jump title in April, will likely make his comeback start on October 16 in the Tokyo High-Jump (J-G2, 3,110m) before heading for the Nakayama Daishogai. Hokko Mevius (JPN, G6, by Daiwa Major), back-to-back winner of the Niigata Jump Stakes (J-G3, 3,250m) and the Hanshin Jump Stakes (J-G3, 3,300m), will also start in the Tokyo High-Jump. This year’s Nakayama Daishogai will also include Asakusa Genki (USA, G7, by Stormy Atlantic), winner of the Kokura Summer Jump (J-G3, 3,390m) on August 27.

Towards the final legs of filly and colt Triple Crowns
One of the three-year-old fillies to watch this year is Stars on Earth, who won the spring Classics, emulating Triple Crown fillies such as Almond Eye and Daring Tact. She will head directly to the Shuka Sho, the last leg of the Fillies’ Triple Crown, as will Namur (JPN, F3, by Harbinger) and Presage Lift (JPN, F3, by Harbinger), who finished third and fifth respectively in the Yushun Himba.

Two trial races were held towards the Shuka Sho. One, the Shion Stakes (G3, 2,000m) on September 10, was claimed by Yushun Himba runner-up Stunning Rose (JPN, F3, by King Kamehameha), who captured her second graded victory following the Flower Cup (G3, 1,800m) in March. Runner-up Sound Vivace (JPN, F3, by Duramente) and Fairy Stakes (G3, 1,600m) victor Lilac (JPN, F3, by Orfevre), who finished third, also earned berths in the Shuka Sho. 2021 Best Two-Year-Old Filly Circle of Life (JPN, F3, by Epiphaneia), who finished fourth, was diagnosed with a tendon injury in her right foreleg after the race and is expected to be sidelined for more than nine months.

The other trial race, the Rose Stakes (G2, 2,000m) on September 18, saw race favorite Art House (JPN, F3, by Screen Hero) capture her first graded victory, with Saliera (JPN, F3, by Deep Impact) half a length behind in second and Eglantyne (JPN, F3, by Kizuna) another neck behind in third.

Turning to the Kikuka Sho, the last leg of the Triple Crown for colts, Tokyo Yushun winner Do Deuce has traveled to France to challenge the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on October 2. Further, Satsuki Sho winner Geoglyph and two-time spring Classics runner-up Equinox also will pass up the Kikuka Sho on October 23 and head for the Tenno Sho (Autumn), meaning that this year’s Kikuka Sho will lack the Top 2 finishers in each of the two spring Classics.

Two trial races were held towards the Kikuka Sho. The Top 3 finishers of the St. Lite Kinen (G2, 2,200m) held on September 19—Gaia Force (JPN, C3, by Kitasan Black), Tokyo Yushun third-place finisher Ask Victor More (JPN, C3, by Deep Impact) and Rousham Park (JPN, C3, by Harbinger), in that order—earned berths in the Kikuka Sho.

In a separate trial race, the Kobe Shimbun Hai (G2, 2,200m) on September 25, last year’s Hopeful Stakes (G1, 2,000m) runner-up Justin Palace (JPN, C3, by Deep Impact) won with a comfortable 3-1/2-length margin to earn a berth in the Kikuka Sho along with runner-up Yamanin Zest (JPN, C3, by Symboli Kris S) and third-place finisher Boldog Hos (JPN, C3, by Screen Hero).

This year’s Kikuka Sho field will also include Feengrotten (JPN, C3, by Black Tide), who won the Radio Nikkei Sho (G3, 1,800m) in July and then finished third in his first attempt against older foes, the Niigata Kinen (G3, 2,000m), on September 4.

Sprinters Stakes (G1) - Preview28 Sep 12:50 pm

The much-anticipated return of Grade 1 action in Japan happens this coming Sunday (October 2), when the Sprinters Stakes kicks off the latter part of the year and the string of big races from now on. This Sunday’s race is the second of just two sprints during the year run at the highest level in JRA racing, the other being the Takamatsunomiya Kinen at Chukyo in March. The Grade 1 Sprinters Stakes will be run at its usual venue this time, Nakayama Racecourse, located in Chiba prefecture, just outside Tokyo. It is run over 1,200 meters on the outer turf course at the track, and is a race for 3-year-olds and up.

First run in 1967, the race has over the years attained higher status, beginning with its Grade 2 ranking in 1987. Shortly after, in 1990, it became a Grade 1, and in 1994 it was recognized as an international Grade 1 race, one of the first JRA races to be given the title.

There are 20 nominations for this Sunday’s big race, and that excludes the three early nominations from overseas runners that won’t be traveling to Japan for the race. Weights are set at 57kg for 4-year-olds and up, with a 2kg allowance for fillies and mares, and the same weight allowance is also given to 3-year-olds. Pixie Knight won for the 3-year-old generation last year, and became the first one to do so since 2007. First favorites have won five times in the past decade, with Gran Alegria the last one to win in 2020. Prize money to the winner this year is JPY170 million (in the region of USD1.5 million), and a total of JPY368 million in prize money is paid down to tenth place. Record time for the race is held by Lord Kanaloa, who won in a time of 1 minute, 6.7 seconds in 2012.

A couple of races leading up to this week’s big sprint have been the Grade 3 TV Nishinippon Corp. Sho Kitakyushu Kinen, run at Kokura in August, and the Grade 3 Keeneland Cup, run at Sapporo, also in August. The most recognized trial race is the Grade 2 Sankei Sho Centaur Stakes, which was at Chukyo over 1,200 meters in September. Tower of London was the last horse to follow up a win in the Centaur Stakes with a victory in the Sprinters Stakes in 2019.

The 56th running of the Sprinters Stakes will be Race 11 on this Sunday’s card at Nakayama, with a post time in Japan of 15:40. Final declarations and the barrier draw will be available later in the week.

Here is a look at some of the contenders for the race:

Meikei Yell: The 4-year-old filly by Mikki Isle has a bit of a mind of her own, and that can be seen from her seven wins from twelve starts, and five times unplaced in her other races. That was certainly not the case in her most recent run, where she set a record time of 1 minute, 6.2 seconds to win the Grade 2 Sankei Sho Centaur Stakes at Chukyo over 1,200 meters. Assistant trainer Kaname Ogino reports her to be fine after that race: “Everything went to plan in her last race, and the jockey got the best out of her. She has returned to training again and seems relaxed, which is a good thing. There doesn’t seem to be any change in her condition.” Meikei Yell finished fourth in last year’s Sprinters Stakes, and trainer Hidenori Take will be hoping she can better that and give him his first JRA Grade 1 victory.

Schnell Meister: The German-bred colt won the Grade 1 NHK Mile Cup last year as a 3-year-old, and his eighth-place finish in Dubai this year was the only time he’s finished outside the first three. The big key this time will be the distance, as it’s his first time to run over 1,200 meters. Trainer Takahisa Tezuka said: “His condition wasn’t so good after Dubai, even though he did manage to finish second in the Yasuda Kinen. After his usual summer break at Northern Farm Tenei, he returned to the stable early in September. He looks his usual self, if not a little bigger, but has moved well enough in recent work.”

Naran Huleg: Bidding to become the sixth horse in history to win both the Grade1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen and the Grade 1 Sprinters Stakes in the same year, 6-year-old Naran Huleg was last seen running in the Grade 1 Yasuda Kinen in June, when finishing ninth. Trainer Yoshitada Munakata commented: “He recently worked with stablemate Lagulf and was able to chase after him very well. He has improved these last couple of weeks, bearing in mind his last run was in the Yasuda Kinen, where the distance was too long for him. His weight remains around 510kg.” The 6-year-old’s astonishing run from the final corner in the big sprint in March is always worth another look.

Namura Clair: Forming part of the 3-year-old challenge, Namura Clair gets to run off the 53kg mark here, and has done very little wrong in her nine career races so far. She finished third in this year’s Grade 1 Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas), won the Grade 3 Hakodate Sprint in June, and finished third most recently in the Grade 3 Kitakyushu Kinen at Kokura in August. Trainer Kodai Hasegawa is pleased with her. “She has had a break at the farm with this race in mind. She has recovered well, and has been able to handle her training workload since. It has also been good to have had some time between races,” the trainer said recently.

Taisei Vision: The 5-year-old by Turtle Bowl was a wise purchase at the 2017 Select Sale, and has amassed more than ten times his selling price in prize money. He has taken on four Grade 1 races in his career, and his best finish was second in the 2019 Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes. More recently, he’s achieved three seconds in a row from his last three starts. Assistant trainer Yosuke Kinoshita said: “The jockey did well in getting a run up the inside last time, and the horse kept up the momentum until the finish. We sent him to the farm after that and he’s come back looking well. I think he’ll be better suited to the Nakayama track, as opposed to Kokura.”

Win Marvel: With a strong North American pedigree, the 3-year-old colt by I’ll Have Another won a Grade 3 sprint two starts ago at Chukyo, and finished second in his latest race, the Grade 3 Keeneland Cup over 1,200 meters at Sapporo in August. Trainer Masashi Fukayama said: “He has recovered from his last race in Sapporo, when he did lose some weight, but now his appetite's good and he’s regained his condition. In training, he’s not one to show so much, but we’re steadily building on his workouts before this next race.”

T M Spada: Mostly blessed with light weights in her races, the 3-year-old filly by Red Spada will only have to carry 53kg here, although that’s 5kg more than when she blew the opposition away in the Grade 3 CBC Sho over 1,200 meters at Kokura in July, winning in a record time of 1 minute, 5.8 seconds. She has since finished seventh in another Grade 3 sprint at Kokura in August. Assistant trainer Kazuma Tateyama commented on the filly: “Compared to her run in the CBC Sho, the ground and weight she had to carry were different last time. The draw also meant that she had to go forward, but she still did her best. After that race, she had a couple of weeks at the farm to refresh.” Trainer Tadao Igarashi won his only JRA Grade 1 race with T M Precure in the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies back in 2005, so he’ll be hoping his speedy filly can end the drought here.
Eighteen Girl: The 6-year-old mare has never won above Grade 3 level, and in her two runs in the Sprinters Stakes, she finished eleventh in 2020 and thirteenth in 2021. It is all about her getting a finish in, and it remains a bit of a mystery as to why sometimes she does finish well, but at other times she doesn’t. Trainer Yuji Iida explained why last time things didn’t go her way. “It was a slow opening three furlongs last time and it didn’t suit her, but she did run on well at the end. She seems a bit lighter on her feet than she was before that last race, so I hope she’ll show her strength more this time.”

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Do Deuce finishes fourth in Prix Niel; My Rhapsody14 Sep 10:25 am

Two Japan-based horses from the stable of Yasuo Tomomichi participated in two of the Arc Trials, events over the Longchamp 2,400 meters Sept. 11, as Japan continues its pursuit of the coveted Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Do Deuce, this year’s Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) winner and one of four runners nominated for the 2022 Arc, arrived in Chantilly on Sept. 2 with traveling mate My Rhapsody.

First up Sunday was My Rhapsody. The 5-year-old son of Heart’s Cry took on the Prix Foy, a Grade 2 worth EUR130,000 and Japan’s favorite Arc lead-up. The race has been contested by 15 others from Japan, three of whom have won, with Orfevre capturing the race twice.

Breaking from the outside gate just past 14:30 local time, My Rhapsody, with jockey Yutaka Take up, was racing for the first time in five months and on turf for his first time in nearly a year. He kept to the outside in the small field of six, and just past Longchamp’s “false straight” 800 meters out, was looking strong behind frontrunner Verry Elleegant and Bubble Gift.

Turning for home on the right-handed course, however, My Rhapsody was quickly overtaken and passed by all with 200 meters left to go. Eleven-time Australian Grade 1 winner Verry Elleegant held the top as she fought off a challenge by race favorite Bubble Gift, but race third pick Iresine was advancing up the rail, then moved sharply out at the 200 meters mark and battled his way past the two to reach the top with 50 meters to go. Bubble Gift caught and passed Verry Elleegant in the final strides.

Iresine, under female jockey Marie Velon, won by a length and a quarter over favorite Bubble Gift, piloted by Gerald Mosse. Verry Elleegant, the only mare in the field and paired with Christophe Soumillon, finished in third a head behind Bubble Gift. My Rhapsody crossed the line nearly 18 lengths behind the winner.

My Rhapsody was given the distance for only the second time in his now 15-start career, following a ninth-place finish in the 2020 Japanese Derby. “He looked good going into the stretch,” trainer Tomomichi said. “The jockey said he thought that, at his best, the horse could have held his ground, but 2,400 meters was tough. He also said the ground was better than he’d thought it would be.”

My Rhapsody will not take on the Arc, but has been nominated for three other races ­— the Grade 2 Daniel Wildenstein and Prix Dollar on Oct. 1, and the Grade 1 Prix de la Foret on Oct. 2.

Also by Heart’s Cry, Do Deuce took on the Prix Niel, a Grade 2 open to 3-year-olds. The day’s sixth race, it too carried a purse of EUR130,000, with EUR74,000 going to the winner. Seven colts participated, all under 58kg, and were off at 16:25 local time.

Do Deuce broke sharply from the far outside gate, but was held back by Yutaka Take and eased into the rail, where he took up position in the rear. Lassaut held the lead, closely followed by True Testament, with Simca Mille on the rail in third.

Take kept under cover until the final turn home and only then eased Do Deuce out to round neatly into the straight. The colt loomed up to the outside of Lassaut with 400 meters to go, but started to flatten. Take took to the whip at the 300-meter-mark, but received little response. Meanwhile, a battle for the top between True Testamant and Simca Mille saw the latter take the lead with 400 meters to go and hold on for the win.

French runners swept the top three spots. Jockey Gregory Benoist brought the Stephane Wattel-trained Simca Mille home in 2 minutes, 32.81 seconds, 3/4 length ahead of runnerup Lassaut from the stable of Jean-Claude Rouget under Cristian Demuro. Olivier Peslier followed a length later in third aboard the Andre Fabre-trained True Testament. Take and Do Deuce finished another 2 lengths back in fourth place.

Fourth was a blow for Do Deuce, who had never finished less than third in his previous six career starts. “We have been able to bring him along as planned, and Take said he was a bit bothered by the ground,” trainer Tomomichi commented. “He wasn’t able to win, but I do think it was valuable for him to have gained experience over the Arc course at Longchamp and he’ll likely have learned something.”

The Prix Niel has now seen five Japanese runners on five different occasions and two have won. "We won the Prix Niel with Makahiki (in 2016) and he was then tired for the Arc,” Tomomichi added. “So, hopefully we've learned from that."

“Today’s run was, in a broader sense, a schooling run for the main event,” jockey Yutaka Take commented after the race. “I don’t think he was at his best just yet, and he was feeling it in the finish. We are figuring backward from the main target and I think he’ll improve from here. Today’s results were in no way disappointing.”

Comments: JRA, Nikkan Sports

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Raptus finishes 2nd in Korea Sprint; Sekifu finish07 Sep 1:20 pm

On Sunday, Sept. 4, Seoul Raceourse once again hosted the Korea Sprint and Korea Cup, both international competitions over dirt boasting purses of KRW1 billion, with KRW550 million to each winner. The Korea Racing Association’s biggest event, the Grade 3 double returned following a pandemic-induced 2-year timeout.

Challengers from the U.K., Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan participated in the gala’s fifth edition, but this year both victories went to the home team, with victory denied the perennially unconquerable Japanese for their first time.

An approaching typhoon had turned the track heavy on raceday, but the skies held for both events. First up for Japan was the Masahiro Matsunaga-trained Raptus in the 1,200-meter Korea Sprint. Computer Patch, trained by Matthew Chadwick and runnerup in this year’s Grade 1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize, carried the flag for Hong Kong. Eight-time winner Celavi from the Michael Clements stable represented Singapore. The U.K. sent Michael Appleby’s Annaf, with the ride going to Jockey Kota Fujioka.

The Sprint, the seventh race on the card of 10, got under way at 15:35 local time over the wet ground. Raptus went off the favorite in the field of 12, with the 5-year-old Eoma Eoma close behind in the wagering.

Raptus, a 6-year-old gelding by Deep Brillante, made his way to the top under jockey Hideaki Miyuki. On the rail as the field turned out of the backstretch, Raptus was joined by Annaf, then by Eoma Eoma, who had quickly made his way up from the farthest gate under jockey Moon Se Young.

Still looking strong with 300 meters to go, Raptus held his lead against Eoma Eoma, but was eventually worn down a handful of strides out and beaten by half a length. Six lengths later, the 5-year-old mare Raon First followed in third, with another Korea native, the 4-year-old colt Daehan Jilju, in fourth. Computer Patch made the board a close fifth, with Annaf in seventh place.

“He was a bit worked up, as usual, but I thought it wasn’t too bad,” Jockey Miyuki, who has ridden all but three of Raptus’s 22 starts, said. “Heading into the homestretch, I thought we were going to win, but we weren’t able to pull away. In place, with just a little more, I do think we could have made it, but this time the others were strong.”

The 13-strong lineup for the 1,800-meter Korea Cup featured three overseas runners, one each from England (the Jane Chapple-Hyam-trained Intellogent), Hong Kong (Matthew Chadwick’s Kings Shield), and Japan.

Japan’s hope for its fourth win of the race was Sekifu, a 3-year-old son of Henny Hughes hailing from the Ritto stable of former jockey Koshiro Take. Already a seasoned traveler, Sekifu was runnerup in this year’s Grade 3 Saudi Derby and eighth in the Grade 2 UAE Derby. In June, he was a neck shy of winning the Grade 3 Unicorn Stakes over Tokyo dirt 1,600 meters.

The Japanese runner was once against the race favorite, with Raon the Fighter, at 10 for 12, and Korea Derby champ Winner’s Man filling the top three spots at the betting windows.

Off at 16:35 local time, Sekifu kept pace behind the front-running Raon the Fighter and looked strong until the turn for home. Winner’s Man, buffeted on both sides just out of the gate, had settled in toward the rear with three horses behind him and stayed there until beginning his drive turning out of the backstretch.

Gaining steadily up the outside under jockey Seo Seung Un, Winner’s Man was already within striking distance of the top as they straightened for home. Sekifu, who had a 2-kg advantage over the rest of the field, was unable to narrow the gap to Raon the Fighter, still out in first.

Winner’s Man continued to close and caught Sekifu at the 100-meter mark, then Raon the Fighter just three strides out to win by a length. Sekifu followed runnerup Raon the Fighter a length later in third.

“I could feel he was in good shape when I got on in the preparade ring,” Kota Fujioka, who partnered with Sekifu for the first time, said. “And, as I had imagined he would, he was able to get a smooth trip to the front from the gate. I had heard that his responses at the crucial moments were a bit slow and I could feel that, but he rallied and really gave it his all until the very end.”

The inaugural Korea Sprint in 2016 went to Hong Kong’s Super Jockey, with Japan-based horses winning in 2017 (Graceful Leap) and 2018 (Moanin). The first three editions of the Korea Cup were claimed by Japan runners, Chrysolite in 2016 and London Town in 2017 and 2018.

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Grand Prix de Deauville: Stay Foolish notches seco31 Aug 11:55 am

Stay Foolish, one of four Japan runners aimed at this year’s Prix de l' Arc de Triomphe, finished second a length and a quarter behind winner Botanik in his prep, the Grand Prix de Deauville on Sunday, Aug. 28.

It was the fourth start of the year for the 7-year-old son of Stay Gold, and his first in 2 months after a ninth-place finish in the Takarazuka Kinen (G1, 2,200, Hanshin). A Grade 2 winner at home, Stay Foolish notched two stakes wins overseas this year, the Red Sea Turf Handicap (G3, 3,000) in Riyadh at the end of February, followed by the Dubai Gold Cup (G2, 3,200) a month later. Stay Foolish flew in directly from Japan and arrived in France on Aug. 15. He is housed at the Chantilly stable of Hiroo Shimizu.

A Group 2 turf event over 2,500 meters for 3-year-olds and up, the field of the 2022 Lucien Barriere Grand Prix de Deauville featured only five runners. As the day’s fourth race of ten, it got under way at Deauville Racecourse at 3:55 p.m. local time (10:55 p.m. in Japan).

Cristian Demuro, who rode the winner last year, sent Stay Foolish to the front and gradually widened the gap between him and the others, then quickened with 500 meters to go. Stay Foolish held off a first challenge by Botanik, who had been running in second position under Mickael Barzalona, was then urged on but unable to throw off a persistent Botanik, who overtook the spent Japanese runner with less than 150 meters to go.

Two French runners followed him over the line, Fenelon a far third, and last year’s victor Glycon in fourth.

Botanik, an Irish-bred, 4-year-old gelding by Golden Horn, hails from the stables of Andre Fabre and is Godolphin owned and bred. He is now 7 for 12, with wins from four of his last five starts. Botanik, who ran under 59 kg (1 kg less than Stay Foolish), clocked 2 minutes 36.23 seconds over the 2,500 meters of turf rated “good.”

Cristian Demuro (younger brother to Mirco) was the 14th rider to be partnered with Stay Foolish, who has 4 wins and 13 other finishes in the money from a career 33 starts. Demuro, 30, said, “I could feel that he has a lot of stamina. He was able to run his own race and, even though he lost, this will have him used to the French style of racing.”

Yukihiko Araki, assistant to trainer Yoshito Yahagi, commented postrace. “We’re not very disappointed with the result as this was a prep for the Arc. And, we expect him to improve.”

Yahagi, who is the year’s current No. 2 JRA trainer for wins, watched the race from Japan and seemed a bit more surprised, though not particularly bothered by the loss. “I didn’t think he should lose to this competition, but he was returning from time off and I’d put him at around 70-80 percent.

“So, considering that, I don’t think it was a performance. I’ll do my best to see that he’s at his best for the main event.”

Christophe Lemaire, who rode both Stay Foolish’s wins this year, is expected to take the reins at Longchamp in the Oct. 2 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Stay Foolish is still chasing his first big win. A Grade 2 winner both in Japan and abroad, he has participated in seven Grade 1 races, with his best results a third in the Hopeful Stakes (2,000 meters, Nakayama) as a 2-year-old, and a fifth in the Hong Kong Vase (2,400 meters, Sha Tin) last year.

The other expected Arc runners from Japan are the Miho-based Titleholder, a 4-year-old, three-time G1 winner from the stable of Toru Kurita and two others from Ritto, the 5-year-old Deep Bond, and the 3-year-old Do Deuce.

Arc-experienced Deep Bond, fielded by Ryuji Okubo, finished second in the Tenno Sho (Spring) (G1, 3,200, Hanshin) this year. Last year, he won his Arc prep, the Grade 2 Prix Foy over the Arc distance of 2,400 meters, but finished 14th of 14 in the main event. Do Deuce is this year’s Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) winner and is trained by Yasuo Tomomichi.

Japan’s horsemen have been trying to win the Arc since 1969. There have been four runnerups, but no winners from a total 29 previous bids. Wagering on the 2022 Arc will be available in Japan.

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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.

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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.
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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!
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Tip Coliseum
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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!
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Pro tipster "MAX"
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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.


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Horseracing Diary
offline get-togethers

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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.


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Graded race Page
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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!
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Umanity POG

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[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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