Oka Sho Goes Through the Comebacking Sodashi

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Sodashi | JRA photo

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Japanese Classics season gets underway Sunday at Hanshin Racecourse with the running of the G1 Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) for which the popular Sodashi (Jpn) (Kurofune) figures to go favoured in her first start of the year.

A registered white out of the cult hero Buchiko (Jpn) (King Kamehameha {Jpn}), the homebred filly enters the Oka Sho with an unblemished record from four racetrack appearances, including a 1 3/4-length defeat of Kukuna (Jpn) (King Kamehameha {Jpn}) in the G3 Artemis S. last October before just getting the better of Satono Reinas (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) when locking up a championship in the G1 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies in December (see below).

“Last week and the week before, we pushed Sodashi hard and I can't even begin to describe how well she has come along,” said trainer Naosuke Sugai. “When she first got back, she was a bit nervous, but she has matured over these two months and I see a marked difference.”

Christophe Lemaire looks to have had a decision to make and the Frenchman sides with Satono Reinas. The full-sister to GSW and Classic-placed colt Satono Flag (Jpn) cost an even ¥100 million (US$902,000) at the 2019 JRHA Select Yearling Sale and won her first two tries in the lower grades before ending up on the losing end of the bobber in the Juvenile Fillies in her most recent run. However, Lemaire will have to work out a trip from the widest alley in the field of 18.

Meikei Yell (Jpn) (Mikki Isle {Jpn}) has had eventful trips in each of her last two starts. She raced very wide from a high draw in the Juvenile Fillies, yet remained in the thick of it deep into the final 200 metres, eventually settling for a close fourth. Drawn the inside for her seasonal debut in the G2 Tulip Sho (1600m) at Hanshin Mar. 6, she pulled furiously, forcing Yutaka Take to send her to the front fully a half-mile from home. She kept on bravely in the stretch and was joined on the line by Elizabeth Tower (GB) (Kingman {GB}) to share the spoils. Meikei Yell drew the middle of the gate in eight for the Oka Sho.

Fine Rouge (Jpn) (Kizuna {Jpn}) dropped her sprint debut in August, but has since won two straight, including a handy defeat of Ho O Ixelles (Jpn) (Rulership {Jpn}) in the G3 Flower Cup Jan. 11. The form of the race was flattered when the latter returned to down Enthusiasm (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) in the G3 Flower Cup Mar. 20.

 

WATCH: Sodashi locks up a championship in the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies

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