Japanese racing

Racing a Pursuit of Passion For Chan

Racehorse owner Marc Chan saw his silks in the spotlight not once, but twice last week at Glorious Goodwood when Angel Bleu (Fr) (Dark Angel {Ire}) and Kinross (GB) (Kingman {GB}) supplied a significant Tuesday double in the G2 Vintage S. and G2 Lennox S. And while the rise of Chan--an owner in Britain for just a year--to the pinnacle of the sport seems to have happened suddenly, it is in fact the apex of a lifelong passion that was sparked when Chan started going to the races with his...

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Shahryar Noses Out Efforia in Japanese Derby

Shahryar (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) denied heavy 3-5 favourite and G1 Japanese 2000 Guineas hero Efforia (Jpn) (Epiphaneia {Jpn}) by the narrowest of margins to take the G1 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) at Tokyo on Sunday. It was the record-setting seventh win in that Classic for a son of Deep Impact, whose earlier successes include Deep Brillante (Jpn) (2012), Kizuna (Jpn) (2013), Makahiki (Jpn) (2016), Wagnerian (Jpn) (2018), Roger Barows (Jpn) (2019) and Triple Crown victor Contrail (Jpn) last term. Sent off at 10-1, Shahryar was rank and tugging for...

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Heart's Cry Colt Pounces at Nakayama

The progressive Victipharus (Jpn) (Heart's Cry {Jpn}) narrowly secured a first group victory in the G2 Fuji TV Sho Spring S. at Nakayama on Sunday. Bearing the G1 Racing silks, the 6-1 third choice was floated very wide into the right-handed turn and ended up second last through the early stages. He steadily improved from there with a sustained run up into ninth midway on the second bend and was steered widest of all into the home straight by pilot Ryuji Okubo. Displaying a stellar set of gears with 200...

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Kingman's Elizabeth Tower Shares the Spoils in Tulip Sho

Saturday's G2 Tulip Sho, a prep for the upcoming G1 Japanese 1000 Guineas next month, resulted in a dead heat between Nagoya Keiba's Meikei Yell (Jpn) (Mikki Isle {Jpn}) and Shadai Race Horse's Elizabeth Tower (GB) (Kingman {GB}), with the latter the first black-type winner in Japan for her sire. Very headstrong through the early stages against the fence, Meikei Yell raced just inside a tugging Elizabeth Tower. Yutaka Take gave the signal and Meikei Yell burst through the field to decisively take command with a half-mile remaining and entered...

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Chrono Genesis on Time in Arima Kinen
Chrono Genesis on Time in Arima Kinen

The fans' selection proved spot on in Sunday's G1 Arima Kinen at Nakayama, with 3-2 favourite Chrono Genesis (Jpn) (Bago {Fr}) snapping up her third Group 1 by a neck. The field is selected by fan poll, and Sunday Racing's mare defeated Salacia (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}), with that foe a neck in front of Fierement (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}), second on the morning line. MG1SW Lucky Lilac (Jpn) (Orfevre {Jpn}) ran fourth, another 2 1/2 lengths back. Well back in midpack passing the winning post for the first time...

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Undefeated Sodashi Heads Hanshin Juvenile Fillies

Undefeated Sodashi (Jpn) (Kurofune) will try to extend her winning streak in Sunday's G1 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies and in the process, the likely favorite will also try to become the white-colored horse to win a Group 1 race in Japan. "The white really stands out on grass," said trainer Naosuke Sugai. "I think she's turning into a real star." The flashy filly triumphed in her career debut at Hakodate in July before scoring over 1,800-meters in the G3 Sapporo Nisai S. Sept. 5. In her latest start, she took the...

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Gran Alegria Imperious in Mile Championship

Although she left it until late, Gran Alegria (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) displayed a scintillating turn of foot once she found running room to rush by her rivals and claim the G1 Mile Championship at Hanshin on Sunday. It was the fourth Group 1 win for the daughter of Breeders' Cup heroine Tapitsfly and she is the eighth horse-after the runner-up Indy Champ (Jpn) (Stay Gold {Jpn})--to claim both mile events in Japan having earlier scored in the G1 Yasuda Kinen. The first filly or mare to claim the Mile...

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Fourth Group 1 Laurel for Lucky Lilac

Japanese Champion Juvenile Filly Lucky Lilac (Orfevre {Jpn}) became just the fourth filly or mare to win consecutive G1 Queen Elizabeth II Cups with a neck victory at Hanshin on Sunday. Favoured at 2-1, the 5-year-old was a tad sweated up over her withers before loading in the 18 post, but was able to secure a good position tucked back in 12th in the two path into the first turn. The grey Normcore (Jpn) (Harbinger {GB}), second choice in the wagering at 5-2, led the charge through splits of :23.70...

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Almond Eye Claims Eighth Group 1 Win in Tenno Sho

Almond Eye (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}) ephasised her status as one of the greats of the Japanese turf with a half-length score in the G1 Tenno Sho (Autumn) at Tokyo on Sunday. The first back-to-back winner since Symboli Kris S (Kris S.) in 2002/03, the bay mare is the sixth horse to salute in seven Japanese Group 1s and the first Japanese horse to win eight Group 1 races worldwide on turf. Two-time G1 Tenno Sho (Spring) victor Fierement (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) was second, with the G1 Takarazuka Kinen...

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Gleneagles Colt Strikes at Group Level in Japan

Second choice on the board at 3-1, Shock Action earned his first black-type badge in the G3 Niigata Nisai S. at Niigata on Sunday. Positioned in the center of the track in fifth for the backstretch run, he began to inch into contention on the bend despite still racing wide. In a contested third 600 metres out, he motored up toward the leaders inside the final quarter mile, seized command a furlong from home and won going away by 1 3/4 lengths. Blue Symphony closed to take second, a half-length better...

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Gran Alegria Springs Yasuda Kinen Surprise, Almond Eye Second

Sunday Racing's Gran Alegria (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) booked her ticket to the Breeders' Cup while defeating nine other Group 1 winners in the G1 Yasuda Kinen at Tokyo Racecourse on Sunday. The 1600-metre feature is a "Win and You're In" for the GI Breeders' Cup Mile at Keeneland in November. It was 2 1/2 lengths back to 2018 Japanese Horse of the Year and 1-5 favourite Almond Eye (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}), who was slowly away. 2019 victor Indy Champ (Jpn) (Stay Gold {Jpn}) was third. Made an 11-1...

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Undefeated Contrail takes Aim at Tokyo Yushun

Fresh off a G1 Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) victory Apr. 19, Contrail (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) will try to remain undefeated in the 2,400-meter G1 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) at Tokyo Racecourse Sunday. Victorious in last season's 1,800-meter G3 Hai Nisai S. over this course in November, he punctuated his juvenile campaign with a win in the G1 Hopeful S. Dec. 28. The likely race favorite will be reunited with Yuichi Fukunaga. "He had a break at the farm after his last race and came back to the stable...

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