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Second favorite Killer Ability romped to a convincing victory in record breaking time to capture his second win in this year’s Hopeful Stakes, stamping his name on the list of most prominent candidates for next season’s Triple Crown classics. After turning in a fifth in his debut start (1,800m) in June, the Deep Impact colt displayed a strong seven-length win in his following start (2,000m) in August. In his latest Hagi Stakes (Listed, 1,800m) start, Killer Ability was a neck short in second to subsequent Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes third-place finisher Danon Scorpion. Following his latest G1 win with Chrono Genesis in the Takarazuka Kinen in June, trainer Takashi Saito has now six overall JRA-G1 titles under his belt while jockey Takeshi Yokoyama collected his fifth JRA-G1 title, his most recent being in the Arima Kinen with Efforia just two days before.

The race got underway with Grand Line setting the pace, Born This Way sitting a few lengths behind in second and Killer Ability on the rails another length behind that in third. As the field made their bids entering the straight, Killer Ability had switched to an outer path avoiding the frontrunners turning the last corner. As the pacesetter weakening near the rails, the brown colt stole the lead from Born This Way after the furlong marker with a second gear and crossed the line a 1-1/2-length winner.

“Sitting in the saddle in his workouts two weeks in a row convinced me that he was going to run and run fast. We sat in a good position and when the colt was able to relax in the backstretch, I had all the confidence I needed that he was going to win. I’m sure he will go on to improve further and become stronger. Personally, my goal for this season was to capture a G1 title and land 100 seasonal wins—winning five G1 titles is just unbelievable and I cannot thank all the connections and the horses enough for such a wonderful season,” commented jockey Takeshi Yokoyama after the race.

Fourth pick Justin Palace was settled in around fifth, three to four lengths behind the eventual winner. After making steady headway after the third corner, the colt picked off the runners in front one by one up to the last half furlong but proved no match to the winner while holding off the rest of the field by 1-1/4 lengths.

Eighth choice Lagulf sat behind the winner along the rails in fourth and after struggling for room in early stretch, made an inside bid alongside the runner-up but was unable to keep up while snatching third place from Born This Way in the final strides.

Race favorite and this year’s Saudi Arabia Royal Cup winner Command Line was reserved on the rails in lower mid-pack and switched to an outer path entering the straight but failed to fire, never reaching contention to finish 12th.

Other Horses:

4th: (13) Fidele—traveled in 12th, improved position with 2nd fastest late speed, belatedly
5th: (9) Born This Way—tracked leader in 2nd, inherited lead at early stretch, weakened in last 200m
6th: (10) Matenro Leo—settled around 10th, angled out, passed tired rivals
7th: (2) Achernar Star—sat 2nd from rear, showed fastest late charge, failed to threaten
8th: (1) Shelby's Eye—hugged rails around 9th, even paced
9th: (4) Grand Line—set pace, surrendered lead at early stretch, showed tenacity until 100m out
10th: (15) Ask Wild More—unhurried in 13th, unable to reach contention
11th: (12) Onyankopon—ran outside winner around 4th, outrun after final corner
13th: (7) Satono Helios—raced around 8th, driven after 3rd corner, circled wide, showed little
14th: (11) Crowned Magic—trailed in far rear, no factor
15th: (14) Tyler Tesoro—traveled 3-wide around 5th, faded after 3rd corner

Three-Year-Old Efforia Beats Stellar Field in Gran27 Dec 10:22 am

Race favorite Efforia prevailed in this year’s Arima Kinen, registering his third G1 victory following his Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) and Tenno Sho (Autumn) triumphs. Defeated only once in his seven career starts, the Epiphaneia colt now reigns at the pinnacle of his foes as he tops the list of the most money earned in the 2021 season. As a three-year-old, his earnings of 719,347,000 yen stands in second behind Orfevre’s record (805,524,000 yen) in 2011. Both trainer Yuichi Shikato and jockey Takeshi Yokoyama claimed their fourth JRA-G1 win following their Tenno Sho (Autumn) victory with the colt in October. Takeshi’s father is active jockey Norihiro Yokoyama who also won the Arima Kinen in 1996 and makes them the second father and son to win the title following Kunihiko and Yutaka Take.

The field broke evenly with Panthalassa gunning for the lead followed by Win Kiitos and Titleholder while Efforia was relaxed on the heels of biggest rival Chrono Genesis in mid-pack. As the pace setter’s five-length lead began to fizzle rounding the final turns, Efforia slowly made headway from the outside, hit the top of the lane in front of Chrono Genesis fourth from the frontrunner, took over the lead after the furlong marker and shook off Deep Bond, who showed a stubborn challenge beside him, in the final strides for a 3/4-length victory.

“He wasn’t in the same perfect condition today as in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) in which he was 120%, but his potential proved he still could give a remarkable performance even with the added distance—2,500 meters was the longest he’s ever run. Unlike in the Derby, he was relaxed and positioned well and was able to show his true strength,” commented jockey Takeshi Yokoyama after the race before bowing deeply in front of the fans.

Fifth pick Deep Bond, after sitting in sixth and three lengths ahead of Efforia, moved up with the field after the third corner and was driven to enter the lane in third. Skillfully guided by jockey Ryuji Wada to the outside, the Kizuna colt ran strongly dueling with the eventual winner in the last furlong but failed to keep up while holding off the rest of the field by 1/2 length for second.

Defending champion and second choice Chrono Genesis was settled in around seventh behind Deep Bond and right in front of Efforia, chased the winner into the straight and showed effort battling Stella Veloce on her outside, but was unable to threaten the top two finishers and capped off an extraordinary racing career in third.

Other Horses:
4th: (9) Stella Veloce—sat behind winner in 10-11th, showed tied fastest late kick, belatedly
5th: (16) Titleholder—tracked leader in 2nd, inherited lead at final corner, weakened in last 100m
6th: (11) Aristoteles—raced 2nd from rear, gradually made headway, showed effort until 100m out
7th: (13) Akai Ito—traveled 3-wide in 12th, circled wide, lacked needed kick
8th: (3) Mozu Bello—was off slow, ran in 13th, switched to outside at early stretch, never threatened
9th: (8) You Can Smile—settled 3rd from rear along rails, angled out, passed tired rivals
10th: (15) Kiseki—sat 3-wide around 7th, advanced to 3rd up to final corner, outrun in stretch
11th: (6) Win Kiitos—took economic trip around 3rd, fell back at stretch
12th: (12) Shadow Diva—prominent early around 3rd, faded after final corner
13th: (2) Panthalassa—set pace, opened gap over five lengths at one point, outrun in last 300m
14th: (1) Persian Knight—saved ground around 5th, faded after 200m pole
15th: (4) Melody Lane—hugged rails around 10th inside winner, never fired
16th: (14) Asamano Itazura—trailed in far rear, no factor

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Arima Kinen (The Grand Prix) (G1) - Preview21 Dec 2:10 pm

Final nominations for the Grade 1 Arima Kinen (The Grand Prix) number 17 for the full gate of 16. The yearend tradition, arguably Japan’s most beloved and one that carries a winner’s prize of JPY 300 million (over USD 2.8 million), falls this year on the day after Christmas and will be followed by the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes two days later. Ages range from 3 to 7, with a very strong representation by 3-year-olds. Five females are also in the mix.

Despite the many popular horses that traveled to Hong Kong for the International Races earlier this month, the fans will not be disappointed with this year’s Arima Kinen lineup, which includes six Grade 1 winners and the top three ballot winners - Efforia, Chrono Genesis, and Titleholder. All three fan favorites won upwards of 200,000 votes each and Efforia’s 260,742 votes set a new record, topping Chrono Genesis’s record from last year by 46,000 votes. Chrono Genesis this year received a personal best of 240,165 votes.

The Arima Kinen was begun in 1956 as the brainchild of Yoriyasu Arima, the Japan Racing association’s second president. Arima wanted a race to rival the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) and the event began as the Nakayama Grand Prix. At the time, it was the only race to solicit fans’ votes for the horses they most wanted to see run. Arima got to see his race’s inaugural run on Dec. 23, 1956, but fell ill and passed away less than three weeks later. The race name was changed in memoriam later that year.

The Arima Kinen, shortened half a furlong from 1966, is currently run over 2,500 meters of turf. The race record, set by Zenno Rob Roy in 2004, stands at 2 minutes 29.5 seconds. The race has been staged from its beginning every year at Nakayama.

Run over the Nakayama inner course, the Arima Kinen starts at the far bend on part of the outer course, passes before the grandstand and circles again. A slope in the homestretch begins 200 meters before the finish line and rises two meters in less than 150 meters.

The Arima Kinen will be the 11th race on the Sunday, Dec. 26 at Nakayama and its post time is 3:25 p.m. 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.

The expected top picks are:

Chrono Genesis: The Arima Kinen will be the final race for the 5-year-old daughter of Bago. Looking to secure her fifth Grade 1 victory, Chrono Genesis returns directly from her seventh-place run at Longchamp, where the gray encountered ground like none she’d known before and her forward position made for even a harder race. Following her win of last year’s Arima Kinen, Chrono Genesis started the year off with a second in the Dubai Sheema Classic, and next up back home captured her second successive win of the Takarazuka Kinen, both Grade 1 events. Jockey Christophe Lemaire took the reins in the Takarazuka Kinen after regular rider Yuichi Kitamura was seriously injured in a fall in May, and Lemaire is expected up on Sunday.

Efforia: The Epiphaneia-sired Efforia, this year’s Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) and Tenno Sho (Autumn) winner, has made dreams come true for jockey Takeshi Yokoyama, whose 100 wins this year have brought him to No. 5 in the jockey standings in only his fourth-year riding. Efforia returns from his Oct. 31 Tenno Sho run and the course is familiar from the Satsuki Sho, and only 100 meters longer than Efforia’s longest trip so far. Last week, the bay colt breezed under the jockey in a trio on the woodchip course over six furlongs for a time of 84.1-38.2-11.8. Trainer Yuichi Shikato expressed his satisfaction with the work. “It was fine for a week out. He’ll get two more workouts before the race. He came back from the farm looking happy and healthy and training has gone well.”

Titleholder: The Duramante colt Titleholder was 2-6-1 in the Classic races, with a win of the Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) by five lengths. He’s experienced at Nakayama with a record of 1-4-1-2-13, and the last of those (the Asahi Hai St. Lite Kinen) saw him stuck helplessly in traffic and was not representative. Though jockey Takeshi Yokoyama rode the Kikuka Sho, this time his older brother Kazuo Yokoyama is expected to be partnered with the colt for the first time. Like, Efforia and Chrono Genesis, Titleholder will also be racing under only 55 kg. It should be noted that over the last 10 runnings of the Arima Kinen, four winners have come straight from the Kikuka Sho. Three had won the classic and one had finished fourth.

Stella Veloce: Fourth-place finisher in the Kikuka Sho this year was Stella Veloce, also by Bago and, despite the name, a colt. The name translates from the Italian as “fast star” and he was 3-3-4 in the classics, as well as second in the 2-year-old Grade 1 Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes last year. Stella Veloce also pocketed the Grade 2 Kobe Shimbun Hai at Chukyo, before heading in to the Kikuka Sho. He’s good over any ground and versatile in his running style. The Arima ride, however, is not going to Hayato Yoshida, who rode the colt’s last four starts, but most likely to new partner jockey Mirco Demuro, who captured the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies two weeks ago, his second Grade 1 win of the year.

Akai Ito: Akai Ito, a 4-year-old filly by Kizuna, won her first Grade 1 on her first bid last out in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Hanshin. And she did it as the race 10th pick. Helping her win was jockey Hideaki Miyuki, who is to have the ride Sunday as well, for the first Arima Kinen victory of his 27-year career. Akai Ito has only competed in two other graded-stakes races, also females only, and finished seventh in both. Not only will it be her first graded race against males, it will be her first time over a distance longer than 2,200 meters. She does have previous experience at Nakayama though with a 4-5 over 1,800 and 2,000 meters, respectively.

Deep Bond: Another progeny of Kizuna, Deep Bond raced in the 2020 Classics alongside Contrail for a score of 10-5-4. Like Chrono Genesis, the colt returns from the Arc, and he too, even more than the mare, was done in by the ground and finished last. Just a little over two weeks before that, he had captured the Grade 2 Prix Foy at the same venue, Longchamp. Being one of the best stayers in the generation, the more distance seems better for him and he may even find the 2,500 meters a bit short. He was three from the last in the Grade 3 Nakayama Kimpai (2,000 meters), aced the Hanshin Daishoten (3,000 meters), followed by a second in the Tenno Sho (Spring) (3,200 meters) before leaving for Europe.

Kiseki: Deserving mention is veteran Kiseki, who’ll be capping a career of 33 outings that includes four bids overseas. It’s been four years since his win of the 2017 Kikuka Sho, his only Grade 1 victory and the last time he made the winner’s circle. Though Kiseki has only notched four wins in his career, he has made the top three 16 times. This will be his fourth Arima Kinen and his previous 5-5-12 results aren’t promising, but his rotation heading in is his least arduous yet. His sire Rulership posted 6-4-3 in his three Arima runs.



Others of interest include:

Also by Epiphaneia, Aristoteles finished only a neck behind Contrail in the Kikuka Sho last year. Being sent to the front last out in the Japan Cup, he finished in ninth place. Preceding that, however, he showed a more relaxed run and finished second in the Grade 2 Kyoto Daishoten two races back. Though this will be only his second run at Nakayama, he scooped the Grade 2 American Jockey Club Cup in January and the venue looks suit him.
The 5-year-old Heart’s Cry mare Shadow Diva won the Grade 2 Ireland Trophy Fuchu Himba Stakes before scoring a seventh-place finish in the Japan Cup. This time will be her first time over anything longer than 2,400 meters, and she has posted 4-1-5 from three previous Nakayama runs, all over 1,800 meters.
Also, we can’t overlook trainer Yoshito Yahagi’s colt Panthalassa, as he’s on a two-race winning streak, a wire-to-wire victory in the October Stakes followed by a four-length win of the Grade 3 Fukushima Kinen.

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Do Deuce Puts Away Favorite in Asahi Hai Futurity 20 Dec 12:30 pm

Third favorite Do Deuce claimed this year’s Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes and has become an undefeated champion two-year-old miler—the colt won his debut start (1,800m) in September and his next Ivy Stakes (Listed, 1,800m) start in October. For trainer Yasuo Tomomichi, this is his second Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes victory following the 2018 version with Admire Mars, and his 14th overall JRA-G1 win—his latest was with World Premiere in this year’s Tenno Sho (Spring). Jockey Yutaka Take celebrates his first Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes title in his 22nd challenge, and his 78th JRA-G1 win—his latest was with World Premiere in the 2019 Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger). Among the 24 flat JRA-G1 races, Take is just one title short, the year-end Hopeful Stakes that was upgraded to G1 status in 2017.

Do Deuce traveled wide and in mid-pack after breaking from stall nine, ran down the middle of the straight with the tied fastest late speed tagging Serifos after the furlong marker and battled stride for stride finally shaking off the stubborn favorite in the final strides to win by half a length.

“Do Deuce is an honest colt. We were able to run in a good position and in good rhythm while observing the others. He responded well going into the straight and although the favorite was stubborn and hard to beat, he dug in remarkably all the way to the line. He’s getting stronger by every race—we can look forward to the spring classics next year. (Asked about his long-awaited first Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes title) I’m so happy—at last! It’s been a while since my last G1 victory which makes the win even sweeter. I hope I can make the (flat-G1 race) sweep next week in the Hopeful Stakes,” commented Yutaka Take.

Race favorite Serifos broke well and was keen to press the pace but was held back, settling in fifth to sixth before the final turns. With a good turn of foot, the Daiwa Major colt ran strongly in the center of the lane, took over the lead after a brief duel with Toshin Macau but surrendered after putting up a good fight against the eventual winner for second place.

Fourth pick Danon Scorpion broke sharply, eased back to eighth and after angling out at the top of the stretch, launched a late drive chasing Do Deuce and Serifos but failed to threaten, finishing third while putting a good 1-3/4-length margin between himself and the rest of the field.

Other Horses:
4th: (3) Al Naseem—was off slow, saved ground around 12th, showed effort until overtaken by top finishers
5th: (13) Geoglyph—unhurried in 14th, angled out, showed belated charge
6th: (12) Toshin Macau—chased leaders around 3rd, took a brief lead before 200m pole, outrun
7th: (11) Dobune—ran 4-wide around 12th, passed tired rivals at stretch
8th: (8) Purpur Ray—tracked leader around 3rd, rallied for lead, weakened in last 200m
9th: (14) Tudo de Bom—stalked leader in 2nd, remained in contention up to 200m pole
10th: (10) Sprit the Sea—traveled 3-wide around 10th, even paced
11th: (5) Via Dolorosa—settled around 10th behind eventual winner, unable to reach contention
12th: (6) Otaru Ever—sat around 5th, circled wide, showed little at stretch
13th: (2) Sekkachi Cane—took economic trip around 5th, outrun in stretch
14th: (1) Kaju Faith—set pace, faded after passing 300m marker
15th: (15) Sin Limites—far rear throughout trip, no factor

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Loves Only You, Glory Vase triumph in 2021 HKIR15 Dec 11:00 am

Japan sent its second-biggest team to Hong Kong this year to compete in the Hong Kong International Races, four Grade 1 turf competitions held at Sha Tin Racecourse on Sunday, Dec. 12. Twelve Japan-based horses joined competitors from around the world in a “racing bubble” that allowed connections and horses to travel and compete safely amid the ongoing pandemic. True to form, this year’s bounty was substantial, with Japan returning home with two of the trophies and finishers in the top three in all four events.

The international gala got off to a glorious start for Japan, with the first of the big four, the HKD 20 million Hong Kong Vase (2,400 meters), going to race favorite Glory Vase. The 6-year-old paired with jockey Joao Moreira for a repeat of the team’s win in 2019.

The son of Deep Impact went off the race favorite at 2 p.m. in the day’s No. 4 race and, confidence embodied, traveled only one off the rear in the field of eight. As second pick Pyledriver stepped into the lead at the bend, Glory Vase was still biding his time from his backseat. Moreira then made his move, taking his mount wide for a stupendous final drive that took him past all but Pyledriver with 200 meters to go, and caught him with but 50 remaining.

They don’t call Moreira “Magic Man” for nothing and trainer Tomohito Ozeki had given Moreira free rein. “I was confident that if I could turn for home 3-5 lengths off the leaders and be passing others with 500-600 meters to go,” Moreira said, “I was going to be able to run them down because he is a very strong finisher.”

Glory Vase won by a length and clocked 2 minutes, 27.07 seconds. Pyledriver, winner of this year’s Grade 1 Coronation Cup at Epsom and ridden by British rider Martin Dwyer, finished second. The 4-year-old filly Ebaiyra, piloted by jockey Christophe Soumillon and running under 2 kg less than the rest of the field, finished in third place.

Glory Vase was racing for only his fourth time this year, with the Vase his first start in two and a half months following a third-place finish in the Grade 2 Sankei Sho All Comers at Nakayama in September.

Ozeki, who is based at Miho, said, “Two years ago, it was his first trip to Hong Kong and he had lost some weight, but this time, in his third race here, he didn’t lose weight and he was able to relax and give it his best.

“Like two years ago, I had Moreira ride him again, and he was both clever and bold. It was a fantastic ride and I think he showed the horse the way to victory.”

“Of course, I was confident, but that doesn’t take away from the pressure,” Moreira said. “I was riding the favorite and I had to make sure I gave my horse a good ride. I had to be very faithful and trustful and work closely with the connections.”

Japan’s other entrant in the Vase was the Yoshito Yahagi-trained Stay Foolish, whose best this year from six starts was a second in the Grade 2 Kyoto Kinen. He made his Vase bid from second position and had gone head to head with frontrunner Reliable Team from halfway down the backstretch and stepped into the lead heading for home. Soon overtaken, the 6-year-old son of 2001 Vase winner Stay Gold held his ground doggedly under jockey Vincent Ho and managed to stay on the board in fifth place. “He can be a one-speed horse and so I gave instructions to give him an assertive ride,” Yahagi said. “We did what we could and I think he did well for his first trip overseas.”

Forty minutes later, however, the celebratory mood at Sha Tin was about to end, as tragedy struck the Hong Kong Sprint. Japan fielded three horses and the only two Japan-based riders who had made the trip the Hong Kong - Yuichi Fukunaga and Yuga Kawada - were both up, the former on the 3-year-old colt Pixie Knight and Kawada on last year’s Sprint winner Danon Smash. The other runner Resistencia was being ridden by Soumillon.

All looked well until the home turn, where Amazing Star, with jockey Lyle Hewitson up, fell, causing a pileup behind. Naboo Attack, ridden by Karis Teetan, Lucky Patch and Zac Purton and Pixie Knight were all caught in the collision.

Those still standing, in what had been a 12-strong field, carried on, with Hong Kong’s Courier Wonder out in front with 100 meters to go, but Sky Field closing fast, managed to catch him before the wire and stave off a drive by Japan’s Resistencia that took her past Courier Wonder in the final strides for a second place, 3/4 lengths behind the winner. Sky Field’s finishing time was 1 minute, 8.66 seconds. Pixie Knight, this year’s Grade 1 Sprinters Stakes champion, continued riderless to the finish line but was later found to have suffered a fracture and other injuries. Danon Smash, who had been affected by the crash, finished a distant eighth.

Sky Field’s victory was for many, including a visibly shaken Blake Shinn, a “real bittersweet win.”

“It’s a lot of mixed emotions for winning this race today,” the Australian native said before details of the condition of those involved in the accident were in. “Obviously, the first emotion is my feelings towards the fallen jockeys out there and the horses. It’s gut-wrenching to see any rider or horse go down.”

Trainer Takeshi Matsushita, debuting at Sha Tin with runnerup Resistencia, said, “In the gate, the horse next to her was acting up and that affected her break. The jockey took her neatly inside and she did get second place. This filly always runs her heart out and I really have to take my hat off to her.”

“She ran well,” Soumillon said. “Unfortunately, we had to shift away from the fallen horses in the turn and the winner then pushed me out in the straight. She gave me a very good effort.”

Although delays had been expected for the next race, the Hong Kong Mile got under way punctually just before 4 p.m. local time. With a purse of HKD 26 million, the second-largest of the Grade 1s on International Day, the Mile’s field of 11 featured four runners from Japan, three of them Grade 1 winners - this year’s Yasuda Kinen champ Danon Kingly, 2019 Asahi Futurity Stakes winner Salios, this year’s Dubai Turf runnerup Vin de Garde and Hong Kong Mile repeater Indy Champ.

The star of the race, win or lose, was last year’s winner Golden Sixty, Hong Kong’s Horse of the Year and winningest horse in Hong Kong history.

Golden Sixty was going to the gate on a 15-race winning streak and, with a dash from the 300-meter mark the son of Medaglia d’Oro won by 1 3/4 lengths under Vincent Ho in a time of 1 minute, 33.86 seconds. Golden Sixty not only extended his winning streak, he set yet a new record of 19 career wins.

Salios, racing under Damian Lane, finished third by a neck behind local runnerup More Than This. “It was an honor for me to have ridden this horse,” said the 27-year-old Lane. “It was his first trip abroad and he ran well. He gave it everything he had. He’ll have learned with this experience and I think he’ll be even better next time.”

Mitsuo Tsuchiaki, assistant to trainer Noriyuki Hori, also praised the 4-year-old colt by Heart’s Cry. “It was his first overseas excursion but he quickly acclimatized to the new surroundings. I think he gave it his all today. With the inside draw the instructions were to give him an assertive ride but with the ground torn up in the stretch on the inside, he was taken wide in the final stage. I think both jockey and horse did a good job.”

Indy Champ, partnered with Soumillon, capped his career with a close fifth followed by Vin de Garde, piloted by Teetan. Indy Champ’s trainer Hidetaka Otonashi admitted, “I had expected him to finish a little bit closer to the top, but he was able to do his best and run without mishap. He’s a double Grade 1 winner and a fantastic horse and I want to thank him for his constant efforts over the years.”

Trainer Hideaki Fujiwara, expressed his satisfaction with the effort of his 5-year-old Vin de Garde. The son of Deep Impact was coming off a 12th-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Mile just a little more than a month ago.

“It was a perfect race, an ideal race, but in the end, the difference between him and the others on an international stage was apparent,” Fujiwara said. “The jockey did a good job and I think both the horse and rider put in an excellent race.”

Yuga Kawada brought Danon Kingly home in eighth place, only 3 1/4 lengths behind the winner. “It’s unfortunate he lost,” trainer Kiyoshi Hagiwara said. “I don’t know what were the reasons behind the loss, but I plan to analyze the situation to learn more.”

Last up was the highlight race of the day, the Hong Kong Cup with its HKD 30 million in prize money, and three representatives from Japan - Loves Only You, Hishi Iguazu and Lei Papale.

Loves Only You, a winner with the crowds both home and abroad, went to the gate the favorite in what would be the last race of her career. The 5-year-old mare had flown in direct from her historic win at Del Mar for an encore performance at Sha Tin and, true to form, she brought the house down.

Once again the daughter of Deep Impact displayed incredible courage, tenacity and competitiveness, this time in a three-way stretch battle with eventual third-place finisher Russian Emperor and runnerup Hishi Iguazu.

With two wins at Sha Tin this year and the Breeders’ Cup victory, Loves Only You became the first Japan-based horse to win three top-level overseas competitions in a single year. But Yahagi revealed afterwards that there had been concerns going in to the race.

“She flew to Hong Kong via the United States and, for a while there, she was not herself,” Yahagi said. “To be honest, I was worried. But she was able to recover. I have nothing but respect for her and the staff.

“She’ll retire and it’s going to be lonely, but I am also greatly looking forward to seeing her foals. I am so grateful to have been able to know such a fantastic horse and I thank the many people who supported us.”

For Kawada, the win was also personal. “It has huge meaning for me. Loves Only You has presented me with two great awards of great distinction.

“Without a doubt she ranks up with the best. She is the best female horse that I have ever ridden. And, most importantly, I hope that she will have healthy foals and be a good mother.”

The Heart’s Cry 5-year-old Hishi Iguazu, trained by Hori and ridden by Moreira, missed claiming his first Grade 1 by a short head.

“Mr. Hori had told me the horse was in good shape, so I was very much looking forward to the race,” Moreira said. “He showed great persistence and his response from the 600-meter mark was excellent.

“He did lug in a bit over the final 300 meters, which was unfortunate, but he proved that he is very capable of landing a top-level victory.”

“It was his first trip abroad and it did take him a bit of time to get used to the new surroundings,” Tsuchiaki said. “But, despite that, I think he really did well to have come that close to winning.”

Lei Papale finished in sixth place. Soumillon said, “It was a good race, but, unfortunately, she encountered some interference at the turn.”

Trainer Tomokazu Takano expressed a bit more concern with the trip but praised the 4-year-old filly, a daughter of Deep Impact and winner of this year’s Grade 1 Osaka Hai.

“I think she put in a great effort. She was a bit slow getting into position and ended up racing amid the pack,” Takano said. “It was different from her usual style and though it wasn’t quite enough to be concerned about, she was barely maintaining her cool. The ground was rough and she wasn’t able to show her late speed. But she didn’t give up and did run solidly to the end. “

*The results of the Japanese horses are as follows:

* LONGINES HONG KONG CUP (2,000m, HKD 30 million, 16:30)
- LOVES ONLY YOU: 1st
- HISHI IGUAZU: 2nd
- LEI PAPALE: 6th

* LONGINES HONG KONG MILE (1,600m, HKD 26 million, 15:50)
- SALIOS: 3rd
- INDY CHAMP: 5th
- VIN DE GARDE: 6th
- DANON KINGLY: 8th

* LONGINES HONG KONG SPRINT (1,200m, HKD 24 million, 14:40)
- RESISTENCIA: 2nd
- DANON SMASH: 8th
- PIXIE KNIGHT: -

* LONGINES HONG KONG VASE (2,400m, HKD 20 million, 14:00)
- GLORY VASE: 1st
- STAY FOOLISH: 5th

# ( ) after race name notes distance, total prize money, post time (local time)

Please visit the Hong Kong Jockey Club website for the latest news and further information.

[See more]

⇒See more

Pro Tipster MAX - provides racing tips in the competitive horseracing world, with completely transparent wins/losses -

Pro Tipster MAX is a service that allows you to buy the racing tips of elite Umanity professional tipsters--starting at just 100 yen/race. The racing tips of Umanity-approved professional tipsters aren't just symbols that indicate the outcome, but a proper racing tip that indicates the betting combination and how to allocate funds--racing tips whose wins/losses are completely transparent in this head-to-head world. That's a clear distinction from the racing tips of other sites, which do not publish their wins/losses.

Simply registering as a member (free) allows you to buy the racing tips of professional tipsters.

Last week Results

  • Highest Payout
  • Return Rate
  •  
Rank Tipster Race Payoff
(JPY)
Payout
(JPY)
Tip
1 Kiiro Kiiro
22 Jan Chukyo9R
ENSHUNADA STAKES
500 354,200
8,480
2 Ace No.2 Ace No.2
22 Jan Chukyo9R
ENSHUNADA STAKES
9,440 216,450
53,270
3 Kiiro Kiiro
23 Jan Chukyo6R
3yoNewcomer
2,120 212,000
4 Sugouma Katsuko Sugouma Katsuko
23 Jan Chukyo9R
NISHIO TOKUBETSU
9,890 190,380
32,760
5 Ace No.1 Ace No.1
22 Jan Chukyo9R
ENSHUNADA STAKES
8,480 165,260
3,230
9,440

>>See more

Rank Tipster No.of
Races
Return
Rate
Hit
Rate
Winnings
(JPY)
Payoff
Ave.
1 kiri kiri
72R 151% 16% 185,850 45,487
2 Ace No.1 Ace No.1
60R 132% 43% 189,410 29,496
3 Ace No.2 Ace No.2
60R 116% 21% 94,650 51,896
4 997bb56210 997bb56210
2R 115% 50% 1,110 8,410
5 Akki Akki
23R 111% 65% 2,160 1,397
6 Kiiro Kiiro
72R 110% 19% 78,500 56,607
7 Sugadai Sugadai
58R 109% 41% 19,220 9,634
8 N.Okamura N.Okamura
72R 101% 23% 10,400 32,258

>>See more

Tip Coliseum --Japan's Biggest Racing Tips Arena! Are you Going to Compete? Or just Watch?

Over the course of a year, some 5 million racing tips are registered in the Tip Coliseum, Japan's largest and highest-level racing tip event. Different people use it in different ways--from participating in the tournament and competing for rankings, to watching the tips of top rankers.

Just registering as a member (free) allows you to use the functions of the Tip Coliseum for free.

 Tournament Info:Tournament 189 is currently being held!(5 Jan - 23 Jan)

Tournament 189 Latest result

Rank Tipster Level
Class
Deviation Return
Rate
Winnings
(JPY)
1
burebata1999 burebata1999
Lv.76
82.9 676%
44%
366,630
2
devid553 devid553
Lv.68
79.5 377%
21%
3,012,250
3
Abbey  Road Abbey Road
Lv.82
78.9 995%
27%
394,180
4
DUKE BROWN DUKE BROWN
Lv.50
78.7 400%
37%
94,680
5
a23459f60c a23459f60c
Lv.90
78.6 387%
46%
1,407,950

>>See more

To Beginners
--Smart Ways to Use Umanity--from Racing Tips to Horse Racing Romance--

Umanity offers all kinds of services to meet the different needs of racing fans, but on the other hand, some people feel "there are so many services, I don't know where to begin." For that reason, we introduce ways to use Umanity according to the type of user. We know you'll find a way that fits you perfectly♪

Data Cruncher

You are the type who assembles information useful for making tips, especially on high-stakes races, such as GI races, and refer to them as you make your own racing tips.
Suitable service

Graded race Page
U index

Recommend using!

[High Stakes Strategies] is packed with useful information for making racing tips, such as the latest information, like pre-race training times on the horses scheduled to run in high stakes races, the expected odds in the racing card, the columns of professional tipster, results from the past 10 years, etc. Then there is Umanity's proprietary racehorse performance index, the U-index, which many people pay to use for its accuracy; members can use it free, but just for high-stakes races, so using it in conjunction with the High Stakes Strategies makes for a perfect combo.

Racing Tip
Addict

Likes racing tips better than 3 squares a day! You're the type who makes tips on lots of races per day, not just the main ones!
Suitable service

Tip Coliseum
Race Info

Recommend using!

First off, try registering your tips in the [Tip Coliseum]. Of course there's the fun of competing for rankings and the racing tips bragging rights for all of Japan--but with our auto-tallying tools you can keep track of your results and bump up your racing prediction prowess through objective self-analysis. What's more, Umanity's [Racing Card (for VIP Club members)] is full of tools for increasing the accuracy of your tips, such as our proprietary speed index, the U-index, as well as “Stable Comments” and “Training Evaluation” and so on provided by Horseracing 8.

Horseracing
Investor

You see the horses as a vehicle for investing and you don't hold the your purse strings tight when it comes to high-quality information--you're looking for a high return!
Suitable service

Pro tipster "MAX"
Sugouma Robot

Recommend using!

With Pro Tipster MAX over 20 well-known professional tipsters provide their racing tips for a fee (from 100 yen/race). And their tips aren't just symbols that indicate the outcome, but proper racing tips that indicate the betting combination and how to allocate funds--racing tips whose wins/losses are completely transparent in this head-to-head world--a totally different critter from other horseracing tip sites, which only post their wins, but not the balance of wins/losses. The racing tips software [Sugouma Robot] is equipped with expected value theory for automatically buying only betting tickets with high expected yields.

Horseracing
Socialite

You love the fun of horseracing with all your friends! You're the type who wants friends to go to the track with!
Suitable service

Horseracing Diary
offline get-togethers

Recommend using!

It's surprising how many people have nothing to say about horseracing on SNS, such as on Facebook. Umanity is a community just for horseracing fans, so don't hold back in talking about horseracing, such as in your Horseracing Diary. What's more, Umanity rents guest rooms at the Tokyo Race Course and holds horseracing offline get-togethers in both Spring and Fall. As these get-togethers are of like-minded horseracing fans, you're sure to make friends. Come along and have fun.

Horseracing
Novice

You're the type who wants to get into horseracing but you don't know where to start!
Suitable service

Graded race Page
Tip Coliseum

Recommend using!

First of all, you should try focusing on high-stakes races because you can get lots of information. [High Stakes Strategies] is packed with useful information for making racing tips, such as the latest information on the horses scheduled to run, the racing card, columns and results from the past 10 years. Next, try registering your tips in the [Tip Coliseum]. Simply registering a tip on a race will double the fun of watching them run. And up to this point it won't even cost you a single penny. You have nothing to lose as it's all free and you can take part in horseracing without betting any money.

Horseracing
Romantic

More than for picking races or investing, you like horseracing because the horses are so beautiful! You're the type who wants to start as a partial owner!
Suitable service

Umanity POG

Recommend using!

[POG] stands for Paper Owner Game. Even though it's a virtual game, the horses are all real--several thousand JRA registered thoroughbreds. You select from among them and if your bid wins the auction, it's registered as your POG horse. You can keep up to 20 POG horses in your stable and the game is in competing for prize money with those horses. Apart from the game, pictures of about 400 race horses have been posted, and appreciating their beautiful bodies is one more pleasure.

FAQ

Q1:
Does it cost anything to use Umanity?
A1:

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.

Q2:
What do I have to do to register as a member?
A2:

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.

Q3:
Do I have to register to use the site?
A3:

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

Q4:
Can I see racing tips for free?
A4:

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.

Q5:
What is the U-index?
A5:

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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