Horse Racing
Yasuda Kinen – Form Comments

31/05/2018 17:39

G1 – 1600m – Turf

Aerolithe Victor of the G1 NHK Mile last year as a three-year-old. She came back in July with a smashing win in the 1800m G3 Queen Stakes, but a poor going in the G1 Shuka Sho (2000m) spoiled her shot at a second G1 as a three-year-old. She ran against older males in the 1800m G2 Nakayama Kinen this February but was caught in the final strides by Win Bright. Back to her best distance for the G1 Victoria Mile on 13 May and she ran into a close fourth place.
Black Moon A multiple stakes winner, the six-year-old graduated to G3 winner in January by capturing the Kyoto Kimpai (1600m). He has only raced once since then, finishing 9th in the G2 Milers Cup (1600m) in April. This race will be a significant level up for this son of Admire Moon.
Campbell Junior Coming off a pair of runner-up efforts this spring including the G3 Lord Derby Challenge Trophy (1600m), where he was caught at the wire by He’s In Love and the G2 Keio Hai Spring Cup (1400m) where Moonquake got his head in front. These two decent finishes come after a string of poor performances, but the six-year-old seems to be finding his stride again.
Dashing Blaze His sole graded stakes win took place in the 1800m G3 Epsom Cup at Tokyo Racecourse. Since that win however he had a nearly 8-month break after a few minor issues arose and has finished 4th, 5th, and 8th in his past three races this year. The first two finishes could have been written off as getting back into form but his 8th place finish in the G2 Milers Cup would lead to doubts on his abilities to take on G1 winners in his first run in a G1 race.
He’s In Love The winner of the G3 Lord Derby Challenge Trophy (1600m) was by narrow margins, but he closed well which should translate well on Tokyo Racecourse. It was his first try at the graded stakes level, but this five-year-old looks like he is starting to come into his own. He hasn’t been worse than third this year in four starts and closes very well each time. He will need to continue to improve this Sunday against a higher class field than he has raced against before.
Lys Gracieux This daughter of Heart’s Cry has come in second in four G1s and three of those have been over a mile. She has proven to be able to take on older males when she won the G3 Tokyo Shimbun Hai (1600m) in February. She closes like a rocket, so the long Tokyo stretch suits her perfectly.
Mozu Ascot He has worked his way up into the G1 level the honest way, climbing the condition ranks. While he has yet to get a graded stake victory, his past two outings at that grade gave one hope. He was 2nd by a neck trying to catch G3 winner Diana Halo in February and 2nd again in the G2 Milers Cup (1600m) after being overtaken by Sungrazer at the end.
Persian Knight Second in the G1 Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) and  won the G1 Mile Championship against older horses in the fall. After a break, extended to 1800m and despite posting blazing fractions in  the final furlongs he had to settle for 5th, less than two lengths behind the winner. He fared better in his next effort, the G1 Osaka Hai (2000m), where he ran 2nd to Suave Richard in April, again setting blazing closing fractions. Back to a mile for the first time since his G1 win last fall.
Real Steel First race after his third-place finish in the G1 Dubai Turf (1800m) this March. Last year he won the 1800m G2 Mainichi Okan at Tokyo. The six-year-old still has some fight in him, but his ability over a mile has yet to be proven as he ran 11th in this race in 2016.
Red Falx Ran third in this race last year. He is coming off three disappointing runs after winning the G1 Sprinters Stakes (1200m) in October. 8th in the G1 Mile Championship in November, 3rd in the G3 Hankyu Hai  (1400m) after getting stuck on the rail, 8th in the G1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen (1200m) after nearly trailing the field for the majority of the race before getting stuck in traffic down the stretch. The added distance could be beneficial to the seven-year-old this time out if he fails to get a good position after the break.
Reine Minoru Last year’s upset winner of the 1600m G1 Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Gunieas) has not made it back in the winner’s circle in over a year. Tried over longer and shorter distances but to no avail. Her latest outing was in the G1 Victoria Mile on 13 May where she finished a disappointing 10th.
Satono Ares The 2016 Champion two-year-old lost form badly in his three-year-old season. In 2018, he was a solidly beaten second to Lys Gracieux in the G3 Tokyo Shimbun Hai (1600m) in February but had the fastest closing fractions as they hit the wire. He ran again in mid-May in the 1400m G2 Keio Hai Spring Cup again closing fast and only missing the wire by a head to come in third to Moonquake and Campbell Junior. The son of Deep Impact could finally make his way back to the winner’s circle if he continues to improve this weekend.
Suave Richard 1800m is his shortest race distance to date, and he is coming into the Yasuda Kinen with a win in the 2000m G1 Osaka Hai. He seemed to be on a path to be a stayer after a runner-up effort in the 2400m G1 Japanese Derby and a win in the 2500m G2 Copa Republica Argentina last year. His talent is undeniable but can he channel that talent to a mile long race?
Sungrazer He ran 3rd in the G1 Mile Championship last fall by a little over half a length, and since April of last year, he hasn’t been worse than third. After missing the break in the 1400m G2 Hanshin Cup, he still managed to finish third last December so Tokyo’s long stretch should suit the colt well. He has made only one start this year, but it was a strong win in the G2 Milers Cup (1600m) at the end of April. He’ll be coming up against some quality horses this weekend, but this son of Deep Impact looks ready to do something spectacular this year.
Western Express He is coming out of solid runner-up effort in the G2 Chairman’s Trophy (1600m) and the G1 Champions Mile, two of Hong Kong’s best spring mile races. Also second in December’s G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile.
Win Gagnant A winner at the G3 level, this six-year-old son of Stay Gold has not held up well against solid competition in his past few starts. While his best performances have all been between 1400m and 1600m, he will have to run the race of his life to beat this field full of G1 winners and consistent runners at the G1 level.