Deuce's Wild In The Arima Kinen

Do Deuce | JRA photo


The second betting choice to–finally–build on a championship season in 2021 and a Classic-winning campaign last season, Do Deuce (Jpn) (Heart's Cry {Jpn}) was produced wide into the Nakayama straight by the ageless Yutaka Take and outbattled the positively ridden 4-year-old filly Stars on Earth (Jpn) (Duramente {Jpn}) to take out Sunday's G1 Arima Kinen, the fan-voted 'Grand Prix' of Japan. Titleholder (Jpn) (Duramente {Jpn}) made the majority of the running, but where he weakened out to finish down the field 12 months ago, held courageously for third in his final career start.

Outfooted and relegated to the tail of the field, with 5-2 pick Justin Palace (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn})–runner-up to Equinox (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}) in the G1 Tenno Sho (Autumn)– bringing up the rear, the 2022 G1 Tokyo Yushun hero traveled strongly for Take, as Titleholder opened a long lead through the middle stages as was widely expected. Keeping his mount out wide and out of harm's way, Take slipped Do Deuce some rein as they took the rise with 800 metres to race, but Titleholder wasn't coming back to the field just yet and carried a healthy advantage into the final 600 metres.

But the swoopers began to chime in, as Do Deuce got underway at the midpoint on the turn and was four deep, but gaining on the front-runner nearing the entrance to the straight as Stars On Earth plugged on at the fence. Titleholder was brave on the lead and stuck on well into the final furlong, but he just couldn't quite see it out, as Do Deuce rolled home to outfinish the 2022 G1 Yushun Himba heroine, giving Take an 81st elite-level success on the JRA. Next in was Justin Palace  followed by 2021 Derby winner Shahryar (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}), while reigning Derby winner Tastiera (Jpn) (Satono Crown {Jpn}) was sixth.

Last but one in last year's G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, Do Deuce resumed with a cracking victory in the G2 Kyoto Kinen Feb. 12, an effort that propelled him in most circles to favourite's status for the G1 Dubai Turf. Forced to withdraw from the contest in the days leading up to it, the bay was somewhat disappointing when a first-up seventh to Equinox in the Tenno Sho and was a latest fourth to the now-retired Horse of the Year in the G1 Japan Cup Nov. 26. The two most recent efforts came with Keita Tosaki on his back, but it was Take renewing acquaintances Sunday, having recently returned from an injury-enforced absence.

“It's great to comeback with Do Deuce to win this race against some really strong opponents,” said Take, winning his fourth Arima Kinen, three of which have occurred on Christmas Eve. “He was in good shape coming into this race and although the colt was a bit keen, I had to keep him in hand and maintain a good rhythm and not let him rush and gave him the go from about 700 metres out. His response was very good rounding the last corner and gave a terrific late charge to the wire. We did have our struggles after winning the Kyoto Kinen early this year, but I was determined to show his true strength and prove what he was really made of in this big race.”

Pedigree Notes:

Two-time graded-stakes winner Dust and Diamonds, also runner-up to Groupie Doll in the 2012 GI Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint for Padua Stables and Richard Santulli, changed hands for $900,000 at that year's Fasig-Tipton November Sale and won the GIII Sugar Swirl S. in a single racetrack appearance for Borges Torrealba Holdings and Three Chimneys Farm. The mare foaled MGSP Much Better (Pioneerof the Nile) for that operation before being purchased by Katsumi Yoshida for an even $1 million in foal to Pioneerof the Nile at the 2016 Keeneland November Sale.

Carrying the distinctive Shadai black-and-yellow stripes, Heart's Cry was runner-up to King Kamehameha (Jpn) in the 2004 Tokyo Yushun and ninth in this event behind Zenno Rob Roy. He ran with credit, albeit without winning, early on at four in 2005, but blossomed really and truly at the back end of the season, missing by a nose to the Luca Cumani-conditioned Alkaased in the G1 Japan Cup before famously handing Deep Impact (Jpn) his only domestic defeat in that year's Arima Kinen. Heart's Cry became the second Japanese-based winner of the G1 Dubai Sheema Classic in 2006 and was third to Hurricane Run (Ire) and Electrocutionist in the G1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond S. at Ascot, but was well held behind Deep Impact in that year's Japan Cup.

Do Deuce is one of a dozen top-level scorers for his sire, whose daughter Lys Gracieux (Jpn) was brilliant in winning the 2019 Arima Kinen. Heart's Cry passed away this past March aged 22, but was represented posthumously by Continuous (Jpn), victorious in this year's G1 St Leger. Heart's Cry's recently repatriated American dual-surface Grade I winner Yoshida (Jpn) is out of the Grade I-winning Hilda's Passion, whose sire Canadian Frontier was a son of Gone West and Borodislew (Seattle Slew).

Kieffers purchased the Real Steel (Jpn) half-brother to Do Deuce for a sales-topping ¥94.6 million (approximately $664,000) at the 2022 Northern Farm Foal Sale and Dust and Diamonds foaled a filly by Silver State (Jpn) this past Mar. 20 before visiting Triple Crown winner and Horse of the Year Contrail (Jpn).

Sunday, Nakayama, Japan
ARIMA KINEN-G1, ¥959,860,000, Nakayama, 12-24, 3yo/up, 2500mT, 2:30.90, gd/fm.
1–DO DEUCE (JPN), 128, c, 4, by Heart's Cry (Jpn)
1st Dam: Dust and Diamonds (MGSW & GISP-US, $496,260), by Vindication
2nd Dam: Majestically, by Gone West
3rd Dam: Darling Dame, by Lyphard
O-Kieffers Co Ltd; B-Northern Farm; T-Yasuo Tomomichi; J-Yutaka Take; ¥503,420,000. Lifetime Record: Ch. 2yo Colt-Jpn, 12-6-1-1, $7,671,573. *1/2 to Much Better (Pioneerof the Nile), MGSP, $332,204. Click for the free catalogue-style pedigree. Werk Nick Rating: C+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Stars on Earth (Jpn), 123, f, 4, Duramente (Jpn)–Southern Stars (GB), by Smart Strike. O-Shadai Race Horse; B-Shadai Farm; T-Mizuki Takayanagi; J-Christophe Lemaire; ¥200,972,000.
3–Titleholder (Jpn), 128, h, 5, Duramente (Jpn)–Mowen (GB), by Motivator (GB). (¥20,000,000 Wlg '18 JRHAJUL). O-Hiroshi Yamada; B-Okada Stud; T-Toru Kurita; J-Kazuo Yokoyama; ¥130,486,000.
Margins: HF, 1, HD. Odds: 4.20, 7.60, 7.30.
Also Ran: Justin Palace (Jpn), Shahryar (Jpn), Tastiera (Jpn), Win Marilyn (Jpn), Sol Oriens (Jpn), Harper (Jpn), Ho O Emmy's (Jpn), Iron Barows (Jpn), Through Seven Seas (Jpn), Lilac (Jpn), Pradaria (Jpn), Deep Bond (Jpn), Heat on Beat (Jpn). Click for the JRA chart & video.

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