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This week Watch Race

Venue Race Odds
(Umanity)
No.of
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Sat,31 Oct
Kyoto11R
Finished
SWAN STAKES
G2
T1400m
1 Sound Chiara 2.0
16 Stelvio 4.4
2 Admire Mars 4.7
2322
Sat,31 Oct
Tokyo11R
Finished
ARTEMIS STAKES
G3
T1600m
14 Sodashi 2.9
13 Ten Happy Rose 4.7
6 Kukuna 5.9
2157
Sun,1 Nov
Tokyo11R
11h until start
TENNO SHO(AUTUMN)
G1
T2000m
9 Almond Eye 1.4
7 Chrono Genesis 4.9
4 Danon Kingly 15.9
1153

Races nearly post time

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Fukushima1R
5h until start
2yoMaiden
D1700m 
2 Tosen Patrick 2.5
10 Secret Gear 4.4
412
Kyoto1R
5h until start
2yoMaiden
D1200m 
2 Sablon Kazuma 2.2
8 Miyaji Osharaku 3.2
388
Tokyo1R
5h until start
2yoMaiden
D1600m 
6 Tosen Daniel 2.7
12 Shovelhead 3.2
425

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Racing News

The coronavirus pandemic continues to cause significant disruption around the world with horse racing in Japan being no exception. Since the end of February, both the JRA and regional racing have been operating behind closed doors by holding races without the usual crowded stands full of cheering race fans. To help prevent the spread of disease, travel between training centers and racecourses was restricted from the end of March through early April when the government declared a state of emergency.

Horse owners were initially allowed to attend meetings, but then the owners’ association agreed to a voluntarily refrain from attending races from the end of March. Since then, races have been held in front of empty stands. From the latter half of April, horses have been allowed to enter lower class races only at tracks near their training stables. Jockeys also have been prohibited from moving between racetracks on the same weekend, when races typically are held at three different locations. To avoid unsafe numbers of jockeys staying at jockeys’ quarters, where they normally are required to check in the day before racing, jockeys can request advance permission to go to their races directly from their homes or hotels.

The potential impact on business caused by banning spectators from tracks was a major concern. Wagering at tracks and off-track betting windows combined accounted for 29.6% of total sales in 2019, so a major downturn was predicted. Indeed, total sales in the first four weeks decreased 10%. The decline was especially notable for graded races that generate sales among non-regular wagers.

However, unlike many other sports that had to be canceled, horse racing came to be viewed as an exciting choice of entertainment among the many people forced to stay home and look for things to do, resulting in many new internet bettors. As a result, sales began to recover from late March and daily totals actually started showing year-over-year increases from mid-May. Symbolic of this trend was turnover for the Takarazuka Kinen race, which reached the ¥20 billion mark for the first time in three years. Annual sales were up as of August 8 and recorded an annual increase of 1.5% as of October 4. The increase rate slowed in the latter half of August but started trending upward again from the second week of September, which resulted in total sales of nearly ¥206.75 billion over 18 race days (nine racecards each at Nakayama and Chukyo)—up solidly by 7.3% from last year.

Meanwhile, the pandemic has impacted other sectors of the horse racing industry, including horse sales and racing activities abroad. Travel restrictions have forced many international races to be canceled. The Dubai World Cup Day in late March, for example, was called off just six days prior to the big day owing to the pandemic. Twenty Japanese horses from the JRA and NAR, including Almond Eye (JPN, M5, by Lord Kanaloa), who had already made the long trip to Dubai, had to be rushed back to Japan ahead of the scheduled closing of airports in Dubai.

With the prolonged spread of this unique disease, no Japanese horse was entered in another race abroad, not even in Hong Kong or France’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1, 2,400m), which had become regular destinations for aspiring globe trotters. The only exception was Deirdre (JPN, M6, by Harbinger), who had been stationed in Europe since April 2019, but the Harbinger mare was below form and failed to contend in either the Arc or the Nassau Stakes (G1, 1,980m), the latter of which she won last year. The Japanese government in October began to gradually ease its travel restrictions, but it is still unclear if horses will be able to travel to Hong Kong for the International Races in December.

Regular horse sales scheduled between April and May were called off or held online. JRA’s “Breeze Up Sales” were held solely online and the Hokkaido Training Sale organized by Hidaka Horse Breeders Association (HBA) in May was canceled altogether. Sales resumed in July, but entries have been limited to preregistered buyers. The two-day Select Sales held by the Japan Racing Horse Association on July 13 and 14 totaled ¥18.76 billion, down 8.6% from last year but still the second highest figure ever. Total sales of yearlings by the HBA in August and September exceeded ¥10 billion for the first time. Moreover, the fact that JRA and NAR business has remained sound has eliminated concerns over possible reductions in prize money and/or subsidies.

(contributed by Kenichi Nomoto, Nikkei)

JRA’s graded fall events leading to the Japan Autumn International Series kicked off on October 10 under a new guideline that allows a limited number of spectators selected by lottery to purchase reserved seats online. The Mainichi Okan (G2, 1,800m) held at Tokyo Racecourse on October 11 was won by 2019 Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes (G1, 1,600m) winner Salios (JPN, C3, by Heart’s Cry), who dominated a field of older horses by three-lengths. The Heart’s Cry colt will either head to the Mile Championship (G1, 1,600m) on November 22 or the Hong Kong Mile (G1, 1,600m) on December 13.

The Kyoto Daishoten (G2, 2,400m), held at Kyoto Racecourse on the same day as the Mainichi Okan, was a close match between 2019 Hong Kong Vase (G1, 2,400m) champion Glory Vase (JPN, H5, by Deep Impact) and 2017 Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger, G1, 3,000m) victor Kiseki (JPN, H6, by Rulership), with the former managing to hold off the latter by a 3/4 length. Glory Vase will aim for the Japan Cup (G1, 2,400m) on November 29. Kiseki will next run in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) (G1, 2,000m) on November 1.

The last leg of the three-year-old fillies Triple, the Shuka Sho (G1, 2,000m), was held on October 18 and saw Daring Tact (JPN, F3, by Epiphaneia) make history in becoming the first undefeated Triple Crown filly. She also is just the sixth filly to land a Triple, the last before her being Almond Eye in 2018. She will face older foes of the opposite sex for the first time in the coming Japan Cup.

A week later, in the Kikuka Sho on October 25, Contrail (JPN, C3, by Deep Impact) prevailed by a neck to also add his name to JRA history as the third undefeated Triple Crown winner, following Symboli Rudolf (JPN, by Partholon) in 1984 and Deep Impact (JPN, by Sunday Silence) in 2005. Expectations are high for the son of Deep Impact to challenge older G1 rivals in the coming Japan Cup. However, his connections do not wish to overwork their talented young colt, so the plan for the remaining season will depend on how he recovers from his strenuous race in the Kikuka Sho.

Possible Japan Cup starters, other than Glory Vase, Daring Tact, Contrail and those coming off the Tenno Sho (Autumn), include:
• World Premiere (JPN, C4, by Deep Impact) has been struggling with health issues and has not resumed racing since finishing third last year in the Arima Kinen (G1, 2,500m).
• Mozu Bello (JPN, H6, by Deep Brillante) and Saturnalia (JPN, C4, by Lord Kanaloa) finished third and fourth, respectively, in the Takarazuka Kinen (G1, 2,200m, June).
• Curren Bouquetd’or (JPN, F4, by Deep Impact) and Mikki Swallow (JPN, H6, by Tosen Homareboshi) were second and fifth, respectively, in the All Comers (G2, 2,200m, September).
• King of Koji (JPN, C4, by Lord Kanaloa), winner of the Meguro Kinen (G2, 2,500m) in May, and Perform a Promise (JPN, H8, by Stay Gold), victor in the Naruo Kinen (G3, 2,000m) in June, were third and sixth, respectively, in the Kyoto Daishoten.
• You Can Smile (JPN, H5, by King Kamehameha) and Meisho Tengen (JPN, C4, by Deep Impact) will enter the Copa Republica Argentina (G2, 2,500m) on November 8 as preps towards the Japan Cup.

The Fuchu Himba Stakes (G2, 1,800m), the trial race towards the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1, 2,200m) on November 15, was held on October 17. The winner was Salacia (JPN, M5, by Deep Impact), who marked her first grade-race victory, while Loves Only You (JPN, F4, by Deep Impact), race favorite and last year’s Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks, G1, 2,400m) victor, faded to fifth.

The Queen Elizabeth II Cup for top three-year-old and above fillies and mares will feature last year’s champion Lucky Lilac (JPN, M5, by Orfevre), looking to repeat after notching another G1 victory in this year’s Osaka Hai (G1, 2,000m). Other prominent runners will include Normcore (JPN, M5, by Harbinger), champion of both the 2019 Victoria Mile (G1, 1,600m) and this year’s Sapporo Kinen (G2, 2,000m), and Centelleo (JPN, M5, by Deep Impact), winner of the All Comers (G2, 2,200m) in September.

This year’s Mile Championship will feature Gran Alegria (JPN, F4, by Deep Impact), winner of both the Yasuda Kinen (G1, 1,600m) and the Sprinters Stakes (G1, 1,200m). Vin de Garde (JPN, C4, by Deep Impact) won his first grade-race title in the Fuji Stakes (G2, 1,600m), one of the Mile Championship trials, on October 24. Following in second, third and fourth, respectively, were this year’s NHK Mile Cup (G1, 1,600m) victor Lauda Sion (JPN, C3, by Real Impact), 2018 NHK Mile Cup champion Keiai Nautique (JPN, H5, by Deep Impact) and 2017 Mile Championship winner Persian Knight (JPN, H6, by Harbinger).

The Swan Stakes (G2, 1,400m), another trial being held on October 31, will be contested by 2019 Hong Kong Mile (G1, 1,600m) champion Admire Mars (JPN, C4, by Daiwa Major). Last year’s Mile Championship victor Indy Champ (JPN, H5, by Stay Gold), after finishing third in the Yasuda Kinen, will make his comeback with a return to this year’s Mile Championship.

Major dirt events this fall began with the Sirius Stakes (G3, dirt, 1,900m) on October 3, which was won by Cafe Pharoah (USA, C3, by American Pharoah). The U.S.-bred colt, after notching his first grade-race victory in the Unicorn Stakes (G3, dirt, 1,600m) in June, disappointed to seventh as the race favorite in the Japan Dirt Derby (dirt, 2,000m, July), but bounced back to form this fall to score his second grade-race title in the Sirius Stakes.

The Mile Championship Nambu Hai (dirt, 1,600m) on October 12 was won by Arctos (JPN, H5, by Admire Aura), who out-dueled February Stakes (G1, dirt, 1,600m) champion Mozu Ascot (USA, H6, by Frankel) by a neck to score a record-breaking victory, covering the mile distance in 1:32.7. Last year’s winner Sunrise Nova (JPN, H6, by Gold Allure) finished fourth while 2017 Best Dirt Horse Gold Dream (JPN, H7, by Gold Allure), this year’s Kashiwa Kinen (dirt, 1,600m) winner Wide Pharaoh (JPN, C4, by Henny Hughes) and last year’s February Stakes winner Inti (JPN, H6, by Came Home) came in sixth, seventh and ninth, respectively,

Horses starting in the JBC Classic (dirt, 2,000m) on November 3, the Miyako Stakes (G3, dirt, 1,800m) on November 8 and the Musashino Stakes (G3, dirt, 1,600m) on November 14 also are likely to aim for the Champions Cup (G1, dirt, 1,800m).

Tenno Sho (Autumn) (G1) - Preview28 Oct 10:55 am

This year, as if to make up for the havoc wreaked by COVID-19, racing in Japan has been nothing short of spectacular. The year has given rise to two Triple Crown champions, both unbeaten – Daring Tact for the fillies treble two weeks ago and Contrail last week, when he topped the Grade 1 Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) field. This week, without a breather, comes the Grade 1 Tenno Sho (Autumn).

Sunday, Nov. 1 marks the 162nd running of the “Emperor’s Cup,” which is held twice a year, at Kyoto in the spring and at Tokyo in the fall. For Sunday’s race, run over 2,000 meters of turf, 12 horses have been nominated including seven-time Grade 1 winner Almond Eye.

A total of seven Grade 1 winners will be participating, including double Tenno Sho (Spring) winner Fierement and Chrono Genesis, who crushed the competition in the Grade 1 Takarazuka Kinen at the end of June. Ages range from 4 to 6, with three females and one gelding competing against the boys for a share of the JPY325 million purse, with a top prize of JPY150 million.

Only two graded races are run over the Tokyo 2,000 meters and the course is considered to be one of the most difficult. The race starts in the pocket just past the grandstand, and there are only 130 meters until the first turn.

Weights are set, with 4 year olds & up carrying 58 kg, fillies and mares 56 kg. The Tenno Sho (Autumn) is the 11th race on the Sunday card of 12 at Tokyo. Post time is 3:40 p.m.

Here’s a look at the field’s standouts.

Almond Eye – A rundown of the feats of this 5-year-old daughter of Lord Kanaloa makes for quite a roll call. In 2018, Almond Eye captured the filly triple crown and then, the same year, triumphed in the Japan Cup in association with LONGINES, before flying off to Dubai to ace the Grade 1 Dubai Turf. Last year, she took first in this race, finishing three lengths ahead of runner-up Danon Premium. This year began with a trip to Dubai, but Almond Eye was forced to return unraced when the Meydan meet was canceled. Her first start of 2020 was the Victoria Mile on May 17, which she won with a blistering final three-furlong time of 32.9 seconds, then returned to Tokyo June 7 for the Yasuda Kinen. A bit late at the break, she traveled further back than usual and finished a not-so-close second. The going, slightly heavy, “was not to her liking,” says trainer Sakae Kunieda. The trainer says Almond Eye has since then had the same schedule she had last year. The summer was spent refreshing at Northern Farm Tenei in Fukushima and the mare returned to the training center on Oct. 2. “Last week she looked a bit heavy but her breathing wasn’t bad. Her movement was the usual,” said Kunieda. “With this field, I expect the pace to be slow, so I’m hoping she’ll leave the gate relatively well and have a smooth trip.” Almond Eye has made top three in all her seven starts at Tokyo and won five times, four of those in Grade 1s. Christophe Lemaire, who has ridden all but one of the mare’s 13 career outings, is pegged for the ride Sunday.

Chrono Genesis – If anyone has a fair chance of beating Almond Eye to the finish line, it can be the 4-year-old filly Chrono Genesis. A year after Almond Eye swept the filly triple crown, Chrono Genesis posted 3-3-1, capping the trio with a win of the 2,000 meters Shuka Sho, her first Grade 1 victory. Less than a month later, she went up against older females in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (2,200 meters, G1) and came in fifth only 0.3 seconds off the winner. She started 2020 off romping to a win of the Kyoto Kinen (2,200 meters, G2), lost by a neck next out in the Grade 1 Osaka Hai, and came back to claim the Takarazuka Kinen by six lengths. She returns after four months off but is three for three in her previous starts after layoffs and her record at Tokyo is also favorable with two wins out of three starts. Sunday, Almond Eye and Chrono Genesis are set to meet for the first time. The Bago-sired filly is highly consistent and she’s also well suited to the distance, with her last three wins over the past year all at 2,000-2,200 meters. Though Chrono Genesis has won over fast ground, she will prefer a bit of spring to the ground.

Danon Kingly – The 4-year-old Deep Impact colt Danon Kingly suffered his first finish out of the top three last out with a seventh-place performance in the Yasuda Kinen June 7. Second by a head in the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas), second by a neck in the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby), Danon Kingly has narrowly missed being crowned winner in his previous five Grade 1 bids. In the Osaka Hai this year he was but one-tenth of a second behind the winner and his Yasuda Kinen time was 0.8 seconds slower than the first-place Gran Alegria. The uncharacteristic loss is being attributed to the going and Danon Kingly’s first time over anything but a fast track. Trainer Kiyoshi Hagiwara says the nearly five months from the colt’s last start shouldn’t pose a problem. “He usually needs quite some time to recover from a race and, believing he can do well returning without a prep, I decided to go directly to the Tenno Sho (Autumn). I do have some concerns regarding the distance but think he can do well if he runs his own race.” Danon Kingly’s five wins so far have all come at the mile or 1,800 meters.

Fierement – The 5-year-old Fierement, sired by Deep Impact, is a two-time winner of the Tenno Sho (Spring), the longest JRA Grade 1 race on the flat. Nonetheless, Fierement was successful over 1,800 meters early in his career, when he notched 1-1-2 in his first three starts, including his debut at Tokyo, his only start at the venue. Fierement has, however, not raced in six months. He was slated to kick off his autumn campaign with the Sept. 27 Sankei Sho All Comers (2,200 meters, G2) at Nakayama, but the plans were scratched when he ran a fever. Trainer Takahisa Tezuka says, “He ran a fever the day before his final fast work, so not wanting him to overdo it, I gave him time off and changed my sights to here. I don’t think bringing him up to peak again has had any ill effect and he’s leaner now than he was before his last start.” Tezuka believes the wide-open Tokyo course will suit him, and that, unless the final-stage times are extraordinarily fast, Fierement will be able to do him proud. Yuichi Fukunaga is expected to be partnered with Fierement for the first time.

Kiseki – Not to be written off is Kiseki, who finished third here two years ago, then followed that up with a second to Almond Eye in the 2018 Japan Cup. After last year’s second in the Takarazuka Kinen, Kiseki traveled to France and didn’t race in Japan until the Arima Kinen (The Grand Prix), where he finished fifth. This year he has raced ranging from 2,200 to 3,200 meters and returned in the fall with the Kyoto Daishoten (2,400 meters, G2) on Oct. 11. Though often late at the break, Kiseki makes up the ground sharply. Yutaka Take, who has most wins of the combined Tenno Sho versions (eight in the spring, six in the fall), is expected to be partnered with Kiseki, whom he rode for his second and third starts this year.

Others to watch are Danon Premium, second to Almond Eye here last year, and Blast Onepiece, who won his first start this year, failed to fire in his next two, but may be ready to show something more characteristic this time out.

(Comments source: Keiba Book)

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Contrail Claims Kikuka Sho to Become Third Undefea26 Oct 11:35 am

Odds on favorite Contrail claimed this year’s Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) and added his name in JRA history as the third undefeated Triple Crown winner after Symboli Rudolf (1984) and his sire Deep Impact (2005) and the eighth colt to win all three titles—it is also the first time in history for a father and son to accomplish the feat. The Deep Impact colt extended his winning streak to seven while notching his fourth G1 title after the Hopeful Stakes last year, the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) and the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby). Trainer Yoshito Yahagi, who scored his 13th JRA-G1 title with the win, became the first trainer to claim four G1 titles for two consecutive seasons. Jockey Yuichi Fukunaga, now with 28 G1 wins, claimed his second Kikuka Sho title after his victory with Epiphaneia in 2013 and became the fourth jockey in JRA history with 10 Classic titles.

Contrail broke smoothly and settled nicely between horses in mid-field behind Chimera Verite who set a relaxed pace while being pressured by Aristoteles on his outside. Yuichi Fukunaga managed to keep the colt in hand as the son of Deep Impact appeared keen to go along the backstretch while gradually making headway through the last two corners and soon taking command entering the stretch. Stalked throughout the whole trip and still challenged by Aristoteles as Contrail attempted to pull away from the rest of the field, the undefeated three-year-old demonstrated terrific tenacity to prevail by a neck at the wire for a history making victory.

“I can’t say that I was successful in keeping him relaxed during the race with so much pressure from Aristoteles. It turned out to be a tough race for us with Aristoteles looking quite strong and persistent, and this race may not have been his best performance, but I kept my faith in Contrail and he certainly showed how strong he is to have maintained his position up to the end of the 3,000-meter trip,” commented Yuichi Fukunaga.

Aristoteles under Christophe Lemaire quickly assumed position outside Contrail and raced in tandem with the eventual winner in mid-division. The improving Epiphaneia colt accelerated impressively and remained strong as the two colts dueled to the wire but was unable to wear down the winner, finishing a neck behind in second.

Satono Flag, unhurried and traveling fourth from the rear, angled out approaching the third corner and made headway along the outside. Entering the stretch with Contrail and Aristoteles in view down the center lane, he exerted a strong turn of speed to make up ground and seize his place in third through the last strides while unable to threaten the top two finishers.
Other Horses:
4th: (8) Deep Bond—sat around 6th in front of winner, showed tenacity, weakened in final strides
5th: (15) Black Hole—raced around 11th, circled wide, accelerated at stretch, belatedly
6th: (13) Robertson Quay—positioned around 15th, switched to inside at early stretch, showed brief effort
7th: (6) Weltreisende—traveled around 9th behind winner, angled out, lacked needed kick
8th: (14) Valcos—saved ground around 11th, even paced
9th: (2) Galore Creek—sat in 4th, ran gamely until top of stretch, outrun thereafter
10th: (11) Babbitt—chased leader in 2nd, took command turning final corner, dropped back after 300m marker
11th: (4) Man of Spirit—was off slow, ran 3rd from rear, advanced in backstretch, even paced at stretch
12th: (5) Satono Impresa—raced around 9th, failed to respond at stretch
13th: (1) Diamant Minoru—settled around 11th, checked at early stretch, never a threat
14th: (16) Turkish Palace—traveled 2nd from rear, showed little at stretch
15th: (7) Danon Gloire—traveled around 5th, outrun after final corner
16th: (12) L’Excellence—tracked leaders in 3rd, fell back after 200m pole
17th: (18) Bitterender—broke poorly, trailed in rear, unable to reach contention
18th: (17) Chimera Verite—set pace from wide draw, faded after final corner

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Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) (G1) - Preview20 Oct 4:47 pm

It’s the final Classic of the year in Japan this coming Sunday (October 25), and there’s a real buzz in the air that there could be a Triple Crown winner just waiting to walk away with the title. Contrail is looking to become just the eighth Triple Crown winner in Japanese racing history, and the first since Orfevre in 2011.

The Grade 1 Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) was first run in 1938 and was given its current name in 1948. It’s run over 3,000 meters on the outer turf course at Kyoto Racecourse, and is open to 3-year-olds, with the exception of geldings. All the runners carry a set weight of 57kg. There’s certainly plenty of interest from connections wanting to have a crack at defeating Contrail, with 29 horses having been nominated for a maximum 18 runner field.

Step races leading to the 81st running of the Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) include the Grade 2 Asahi Hai St. Lite Kinen, run over 2,200 meters at Nakayama in September, and the Grade 2 Kobe Shimbun Hai, this year run at Chukyo over 2,200 meters, also in September. Both of these races are official trials for the final Classic of the year. Five first favorites have won the big race in the last ten years, with Kiseki the last one to do so in 2017. Record time for the race belongs to the fiery Toho Jackal, who won in 2014 in a time of 3 minutes 1.0 seconds. This year’s winner’s check is JPY120 million.

The race will be Race 11 on the Sunday card at Kyoto, with a post time of 15:40 here in Japan. The final line-up and barrier draw will be announced later in the week.

Here’s a look at some of the runners expected to take on the race:

Weltreisende - The Dream Journey colt has had to play second fiddle to Contrail a number of times already, including his last outing in the Grade 2 Kobe Shimbun Hai, where he finished second. He’s a half-brother to last year’s Kikuka Sho winner World Premiere, and is trained by Yasutoshi Ikee, a two-time winner of the race. The trainer is hoping for a big run after one or two setbacks with the horse. “He’d broken a bone in his foreleg after the Derby, and a while ago he had a fever, but he’s recovered from both without any problems. This has meant he’s taken some time to come back to himself, but now he’s making up for lost time and is showing good form in training,” said Ikee.

Galore Creek - The horse that finished sixth in the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) tuned up for this race with a third place finish in the Grade 2 Asahi Hai St. Lite Kinen at Nakayama last month. He’ll have to travel over from the Miho training center for what will be his first race at Kyoto. Trainer Hiroyuki Uehara commented: “He’s a horse that gets better with his races, and the jockey thinks so too. He was still a bit loose last time, but even so, he showed what he’s capable of doing, despite it being his first run in a while.”

Babbitt - Snapped up for just over JPY5 million at the 2019 Hokkaido Training Sale, the colt by Nakayama Festa has won his last four races, the latest being the Grade 2 Asahi Hai St. Lite Kinen over 2,200 meters last month. His front running displays have proved stamina is on his side, and while there’s an extra 800 meters to see out this time, trainer Tamio Hamada is impressed with the horse. “He’s able to get to the front in his races and run good times, as could be seen with some of his furlong times below 12 seconds in the St. Lite Kinen. Even though the ground was different, his overall time was 0.5 seconds faster than the All Comers. I like the fact he has speed and stamina,” said the trainer.

Satono Flag - The Northern Farm bred son of Deep Impact was slightly disappointing in the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) when he could finish only eleventh, but on his seventh start last time he managed to finish second to Babbitt in the Grade 2 Asahi Hai St. Lite Kinen. Trainer Sakae Kunieda feels the horse is improving. “I was surprised the winner managed to stay on last time in the St. Lite Kinen. Nevertheless, my horse kept going until the end as well and it seems he’s running better now than in the spring. Everything’s fine with him at the stable right now,” said Kunieda.

Deep Bond - Another runner for owner Shinji Maeda, the colt by Kizuna is another who ran in the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby), finishing fifth, and then finished fourth in his prep race most recently, the Grade 2 Kobe Shimbun Hai over 2,200 meters at Chukyo in September. Trainer Ryuji Okubo said, “As in the Derby, he got into a good position last time, but didn’t quite have enough at the end. If he can run like he did in the Kyoto Shimbun Hai earlier this year, just being a little more patient, he’s capable of winning races.”

Anticipate - Likely to be the ride of Yutaka Take, Anticipate has now strung together three straight wins, and his latest was over 2,600 meters in the Akanko Tokubetsu at Sapporo in August. “He had a break at Oiwake Farm in Hokkaido after his last race, and this has been the target for him. Last time he raced in second for a while before grabbing the lead and going on to win. I think it’s best if he races at the front,” said trainer Sakae Kunieda. The Rulership colt will be having his seventh start on Sunday.

Robertson Quay - Trained by Toru Hayashi at the Miho training center, Robertson Quay ran in his first Graded race last time and finished third in the Kobe Shimbun Hai at Chukyo in September, not that far behind Contrail. He’s only had four races, but the trainer thinks his best is yet to come. “It was a big run last time over the extended trip and he coped well with everything, thanks to the jockey. The horse is still young and inexperienced, so I think further improvement can be expected,” commented the trainer recently.

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Daring Tact Overwhelms Her Three-Year-Old Rivals i19 Oct 4:50 pm

Odds-on-favorite Daring Tact won this year’s Shuka Sho, the first G1 race to be held with limited number of racing fans after the COVID-19 pandemic, to claim all the fillies’ Triple Crown races including the Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) and the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) held in spring. She is the sixth filly to capture the fillies’ Triple Crown title following Mejiro Ramonu (1986), Still in Love (2003), Apapane (2010), Gentildonna (2012) and Almond Eye (2018) but the first in JRA history to do so undefeated. The Epiphaneia filly has accomplished this feat prior to Contrail, also an undefeated colt, who will be aiming to capture the Triple Crown title in the Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) next week. The Japan Cup (G1, 2,400m) on November 29 is listed as one of the possible races for her next start. Both trainer Haruki Sugiyama and jockey Kohei Matsuyama celebrated their fourth JRA-G1 victory—their most recent being the Yushun Himba with Daring Tact.

Daring Tact jumped out from the 13th stall and traveled wide toward the back, around 5-6th from the rear, while Maltese Diosa set a relatively slow pace. Gradually making headway in the backstretch, the Epiphaneia filly continued to take a wide route turning the last corners and, once entering the lane, swung into gear, overtook the front 200 meters out then exerted her powerful late charge to win the race with a comfortable 1-1/4-length margin.

“The filly seemed a bit nervous at the paddock but she broke well and we were able to race in good position and in good rhythm. There was some pressure as we were aiming for the first undefeated Triple Crown filly in JRA history but I’m delightful to be able to accomplish this remarkable feat. I want to thank the filly and offer her my congratulations. She has developed into a bold filly and I hope that she will remain undefeated,” commented Kohei Matsuyama.

Tenth-choice Magic Castle settled in midfield, and finding herself positioned behind Daring Tact when facing the homestretch, stalked behind the race favorite with impressive speed to cross the wire in second.
Ninth-pick Soft Fruit, although being forced to travel in the rear due to a slow break and turning the last two corners the widest, unleashed an explosive late charge, which marked the fastest last three furlongs of the field, and closed in on Magic Castle in the last 100 meters while dueling with Pallas Athena to finish 3/4 length behind the runner-up and a nose before the Rulership filly.

Other Horses:
4th: (16) Pallas Athena—sat around 15th behind winner, turned wide, showed impressive late kick, but belatedly
5th: (15) Miss New York—ran in 7-8th, found little room and outrun turning final corner, accelerated belatedly
6th: (14) Oh My Darling—settled in 17th, made headway in backstretch, ran gamely until 200m pole, even paced
7th: (3) Maltese Diosa—set pace, showed tenacity but weakened in last 100m
8th: (7) Musica—was off slow, traveled in 14th, circled wide, lacked needed kick
9th: (5) Win Mighty—ran around 11th along rails, angled out for stretch run, responded briefly
10th: (11) Fiori Chiari—raced in 6th, failed to respond at stretch
11th: (18) Ablaze—traveled 3-wide around 9th, met traffic at final corner, improved position
12th: (6) Dantsu Elise—settled around 15th, passed tired rivals at stretch
13th: (2) Ria Amelia—sat in 5th, showed brief response, outrun in last 200m
14th: (1) Miyamazakura—hugged rails around 3rd, gradually dropped back after 300m pole
15th: (17) Win Marilyn—advanced to stalked leaders from wide stall, weakened in stretch
16th: (9) Sanctuaire—took economic trip around 7th, showed little after final corner
17th: (10) Cravache d’Or—saved ground around 9th, ran willingly until 200m out, outrun thereafter
18th: (4) Ho O Peaceful—chased pace in 2nd, faded after 3rd corner

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  • 31 Oct
  • 1 Nov
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Rank Tipster No.of
Races
Return
Rate
Hit
Rate
Winnings
(JPY)
Payoff
Ave.
1 nige nige
6R 354% 33% 137,760 95,980
2 ButaminC ButaminC
17R 224% 18% 69,440 41,880
3 KOM KOM
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4 ireconderupasa ireconderupasa
14R 151% 21% 67,940 67,313
5 K.Souma K.Souma
23R 126% 48% 19,100 8,482

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Rank Tipster No.of
Races
Return
Rate
Hit
Rate
Winnings
(JPY)
Payoff
Ave.

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