Stars on Earth

Seven Days: Bring on the Classic Trials 

I love Paris in the springtime, sang Ella Fitzgerald, and I'm pretty sure it was a thinly-veiled reference to her secret passion for heavy ground three-year-old maidens at Saint-Cloud. What Classic clues may we glean there? Well, maybe none. But I liked the look of Narkez (Fr), who gave his rivals a six-length walloping in the Prix Comrade last Tuesday, picking up where he left off after winning at Clairefontaine last October. Bred by Nurlan Bizakov under his Sumbe banner, the colt represents that magic Siyouni (Fr)-Galileo (Ire) cross, though...

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Japan's Big Guns Take To the Meydan Turf

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES -- In the form of Do Deuce (Jpn) (Heart's Cry {Jpn}) and Liberty Island (Jpn) (Duramente {Jpn}), Japan is liable to field the favourites for the distance turf races at Saturday's Dubai World Cup meeting and those two gallopers, as well as several of their compatriots, did fast work over the Meydan course Wednesday morning. Do Deuce would likely have been at the top of the markets for last year's G1 Dubai Turf, but was withdrawn in the days leading up to the race, helping pave...

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Deuce's Wild In The Arima Kinen

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...

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Arima Kinen An Early Christmas Feast

With the recent retirement of the world's top-rated racehorse Equinox (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}) and with Triple Tiara heroine Liberty Island (Jpn) (Duramente {Jpn}) spelling with destinations unknown for 2024, Sunday's G1 Arima Kinen is missing its top two votegetters. But the 2500-metre event, which easily attracts the largest single-race betting in the world on an annual basis, is certainly not lacking for quality. While Equinox is not back to defend his title, a good deal of how to solve the contest from a pari-mutuel perspective goes through him. Do...

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'Something Very Special': Equinox Rolls In the Japan Cup

For the third time in the last six years, the colours of Silk Racing Co. Ltd. were carried to victory in the G1 Japan Cup, this time by the world's top-rated racehorse Equinox (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}) following the dual success of Almond Eye (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}) as a 3-year-old in 2018 and again two years later. It was a sixth Group 1 tally on the trot for the beautifully conformed son of the 2016 Japan Cup hero and Group 3 winner Chateau Blanche (Jpn) (King Halo {Jpn}), just...

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All Eyes On Equinox In the Japan Cup

Having given the race a pass in 2022 after taking a thrilling renewal of the G1 Tenno Sho (Autumn), Silk Racing Co. Ltd.'s world's top-rated racehorse Equinox (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}) looks to complete that particular double--most recently accomplished by the syndicate's two-time Horse of the Year Almond Eye (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}) in 2020--as the warm favourite in Sunday's G1 Japan Cup at Tokyo Racecourse. It has been a meticulously managed preparation for the 4-year-old colt with the broad blaze, as his abilities were on display for all to...

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Fan-Favourite Sodashi Lands Horror Draw For Victoria Mile

Sodashi (Jpn) (Kurofune), the world's most recognisable not to mention most talented registered white horse, has drawn the widest barrier in a field of 18 while making her 5-year-old reappearance in defence of her title in Sunday's G1 Victoria Mile at Tokyo, a 'Win and You're In' qualifier for this year's GI Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita Park in California. A two-length winner of this event last season, Sodashi was only fifth as the favourite in last August's G2 Sapporo Kinen (2000m) behind Jack d'Or (Jpn)...

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Ageless Take Shuts 'D'Or' On Osaka Hai Rivals

Having celebrated his 54th birthday less than three weeks ago, Yutaka Take became the oldest jockey in the history of the Japanese turf to win at Group 1 level after putting a well-rationed ride aboard second favourite Jack d'Or (Jpn) (Maurice {Jpn}) in Sunday's G1 Osaka Hai (2000m) at Hanshin Racecourse. Reigning champion 3-year-old filly Stars on Earth (Jpn) (Duramente {Jpn}) found no luck in running for a second straight race and fell just short, while Danon the Kid (Jpn) (Just a Way {Jpn}) checked in a close third. The...

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Stars on Earth Resumes In Osaka Hai

A good many of Japan's best middle-distance gallopers not named Equinox (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}) are among a 16-strong field that was drawn Friday for the G1 Osaka Hai at Hanshin Racecourse. And while the reigning Horse of the Year and towering G1 Longines Dubai Sheema Classic winner is recovering from his trip to the Middle East, a few of those that have form through him from last season seem poised to do a fair bit of damage over the metric 10 furlongs Sunday afternoon. Last year's champion 3-year-old filly...

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Seven Days: A Haggas Masterclass

It hasn't been a bad week for William Haggas. The Somerville Lodge stable cat has recently gone AWOL for fear that he might be entered up at Catterick and would have to live up to the extraordinarily rich vein of form currently being exhibited by the larger quadrupeds whose fetlocks he rubs up against during evening stables. Over the last fortnight 41 horses have been sent out by the trainer and 17 of them have returned home with a trophy to add to the cabinet. Most impressively, 10 of those...

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Circle of Life Can Turn The Tables in Yushun Himba

Masatake Iida homebred Circle of Life (Jpn) (Epiphaneia {Jpn}) was perfect in three starts last term to secure champion juvenile filly honours, but will be looking for her first victory as a 3-year-old in a well-matched renewal of the G1 Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) Sunday at Tokyo Racecourse. Winner of the 1600-metre G3 Artemis S. at headquarters last October, the bay--whose sire has accounted for 2020 Oaks heroine Daring Tact (Jpn) and reigning Horse of the Year Efforia (Jpn)--came from worse than midfield to post a half-length success in the...

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'Stars' Out in Oka Sho

Stars on Earth (Jpn) (Duramente {Jpn) closed from off the pace to get her nose down in front of Water Navillera (Jpn) (Silver State) in Sunday's G1 Oka Sho at Hanshin, the first leg in the Japanese Triple Crown for fillies. The victory marked the first black-type score for the Shadai homebred. The filly settled in midpack as Kafuji Tetragon (Jpn) (Kizuna {Jpn}) showed the way with Water Navillera in close pursuit. As the field constricted turning for home, Water Navillera gained control passing the furlong pole as Stars on...

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