Titleholder Earns Ticket to Breeders' Cup with Takarazuka Kinen Win

The fan's pick Titleholder (Jpn) (Duramente {Jpn}) lived up to his star billing with a facile two-length victory in Sunday's G1 Takarazuka Kinen at Hanshin, a 'Win and You're In' event to the GI Breeders' Cup Turf later this fall. With the top 10 runners in the 2200-meter event selected by fan voting, the 4-year-old was installed the 3-1 second choice behind Efforia (Jpn) (Epiphaneia {Jpn}). Titleholder vied for the early lead with Panthalassa (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}) before settling in second. Inching closer to the pacesetter in the latter...

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Irish And Japanese Racing To Mark Platinum Jubilee

To mark The Queen's Platinum Jubilee, Leopardstown's King George V Cup has been reinstated and will be the feature race at the meeting of Thursday, June 2, which coincides the start of a four-day Jubilee bank holiday weekend in Britain.  The British Embassy in Ireland has worked in partnership with Leopardstown Racecourse, the British Irish Chamber of Commerce and Kmend to revive the race which was initially run in 1911 following the presentation of a specially commissioned trophy by King George V at Leopardstown during his visit to Ireland. The...

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2022 IFAR Speakers and Agenda Announced

The speakers and agenda were announced for the sixth annual International Forum for the Aftercare of Racehorses (IFAR) on Thursday. "Many Paths-One Goal" is the conference theme and IFAR will be divided into two virtual webinars on Apr. 5 and 19. Each webinar will begin at 12 p.m. BST (11 a.m. GMT), and lasting for approximately two hours. IFAR is partnering with the Japan Racing Association (Japanese Consultative Committee on Aftercare of Racehorses) to host this year's event. IFAR is free to view, but registration is required. Please click here...

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'Pharoah' Doubles Up in February S.

Café Pharoah (American Pharoah) returned to the winner's circle for the first time since landing the 2021 G1 February S. in the 2022 version, and became the second horse to win two editions after Copany Rickey (Jpn) (Gold Allure {Jpn}) in 2014/15. A "Win And You're In" for the GI Breeders' Cup Classic in November, the 1600-metre race saw the Noryuki Hori-trained runner draw off by 2 ½ lengths from T M South Dan (Jpn) (South Vigorous), with the popular white filly Sodashi (Jpn) (Kurofune) ran third, another half-length back....

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Undefeated 'Water' Looks for Group 1 Glory

In the hunt for a first Group 1 badge, a robust field of juveniles line up for the 73rd running of the G1 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies Sunday. The field includes a quartet of group scorers, headed by Water Navillera (Jpn) (Silver State), undefeated in three starts at three different racecourses, including her latest win in the Nov. 6 G3 Kyoto Sho Fantasy S. It was the first graded victory by the progeny of Silver State, whose short but successful career (four wins from five starts) ended early due to tendonitis....

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Efforia Earns Landmark Win in Tenno Sho Autumn

In what would become the battle of the favorites, Efforia (Jpn) (Epiphaneia {Jpn}) proved best on the day, winning Sunday's G1 Tenno Sho Autumn at Tokyo. With the victory in the 2000-meter test, the colt became the first 3-year-old to win the race since Symboli Kris S won the event in 2002. Sent off as the third betting choice, Efforia settled in a comfortable sixth early as longshot Kaiser Minoru (Jpn) led the way while second choice Gran Alegria (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) and an overly-eager Tosu Surya (Jpn) (Lohengrin)...

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Sodashi Game in G2 Sapporo Kinen Victory

Japan's Champion 2-Year-Old Filly and G1 Japanese 1000 Guineas heroine Sodashi (Jpn) (Kurofune) returned to the winner's circle with a game victory in the G2 Sapporo Kinen on Sunday. Second choice behind favoured 4-5 pick and 2019 Apr. 25 G1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup victress Loves Only You (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) at 5-2, Sodashi broke widest of all in the 13-horse field and stalked the pacesetter Taurus Gemini (Jpn) (King's Best) from second through splits of :23.40 for the quarter and :47.40 for the half. Despite the drizzle, the...

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Maurice Colts One-Two in Chukyo Contest

Pixie Knight (Jpn) (Maurice {Jpn}) caused an upset in the G3 Nikkan Sports Sho Shinzan Kinen at Chukyo on Sunday. He led home an exacta for his sire, former Japanese Horse of the Year Maurice (Jpn), 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Rooks Nest (Jpn), who was 3/4 to the good of Bathrat Leon (Jpn) (Kizuna {Jpn}). Favoured Kukuna (Jpn) (King Kamehameha {Jpn}) reported home fourth, another half-length back. The 12-1 shot surged immediately to the head of affairs and raced with ears pricked through splits of :23.40 for the quarter...

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Danon the Kid Posts Emphatic Hopeful Win

Undefeated in two prior starts, Danon the Kid (Jpn) (Just a Way {Jpn}) came from off the pace to record the first Group 1 victory for both himself and his champion sire, Just a Way (by Heart's Cry {Jpn}) in Saturday's 2,000-meter G1 Hopeful S. at Nakyama. Land of Liberty (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) went to the front soon after the start as Titleholder (Jpn) (Duramente [Jpn}), who was pursued by Orthoclase (Jpn) (Epiphaneia {Jpn}), prompted the issue through the first turn. Meanwhile, Danon the Kid advanced to third along...

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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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Spectators Banned From JRA Tracks Amid Coronavirus Fears

The Japan Racing Association (JRA) has announced that, though racing will continue to take place at its tracks, spectators will not be allowed access to racecourses from Saturday. Feb. 29 until further notice in an attempt to curb the spread of coronavirus. As of Thursday morning, there had been seven deaths from COVID-19 in Japan. The JRA's decision follows news on Wednesday that racing in Korea has been suspended from Feb. 28 to Mar. 9. A statement on the JRA website reads, "In measures to prevent the spread of the...

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The Pat Smullen Column: The Marvellous Mullins Family

We've had two really good festivals over the last week and the quality of racing at Goodwood was superb. Again John Gosden and Frankie Dettori took centre stage but I think the highlight was really Deirdre (Jpn) winning the Nassau Stakes. Japan is such a great racing nation and I think we'll see more and more Japanese horses coming in this direction to race and that's only good for the sport and for international racing. I hope that the connections of those Japanese horses racing in this part of the...

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