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Plenty Of Promise In The Yushun Himba

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Yushun Himba favourite Contra Check | JRA

With the G1 Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) winner Gran Alegria (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) having stuck to the mile route in the May 5 G1 NHK Mile Cup, where she was fifth, Sunday’s G1 Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) will go without the Oka Sho winner for the first time in three years and just the 12th time ever. The Yushun Himba is hardly lacking in quality, however, with the runner-up and third Shigeru Pink Dia (Jpn) (Daiwa Major {Jpn}) and Chrono Genesis (Jpn) (Bago {Fr}) back to do battle again and last year’s champion 2-year-old filly Danon Fantasy (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) looking to atone for a fourth-place finish as the favourite in the first Classic.

Shigeru Pink Dia is a filly to keep an eye on. She was starting for just the fourth time in the Oka Sho and has never been worse than third.

Chrono Gensis, who has won three of her five starts and was second by a half-length to Danon Fantasy in last year’s G1 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies, warrants respect off a less than smooth passage in the Oka Sho. “She got bumped in the backstretch twice in the Oka Sho and couldn’t get a good position,” said trainer Takashi Saito. “Then in the stretch she was forced to run on the outside and it made for a tough race. She’s an honest runner. I think the Tokyo 2400 [metres] will suit her. I’m hoping for a smooth run.”

Favoured on the morning line at 2-1 is Contra Check (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}), who is unbeaten in two starts this year but skipped the first Classic. She was last seen winning comfortably over 1800 metres in the G3 Flower Cup at Nakayama on Mar. 16. Loves Only You (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) jumps into pattern company for the first time, but she could be anything off three straight wins to begin her career, including a victory going 2000 metres at Hanshin on Apr. 7. Loves Only You is a full-sister to the G1 Dubai Turf winner Real Steel (Jpn), and her third dam is the champion racemare and producer Miesque.

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