Breeders Cup Lure For Japanese Stars

An all-expenses paid berth in the Breeders Cup Turf could be the reward for the winner of the 60th running of the Takarazuka Kinen at Hanshin on Sunday.

Rey De Oro wins at Hanshin
Rey De Oro wins at Hanshin Picture: Japan Racing Association

Run over 2200m, the $US2.8 million event is the last G1 of the Japanese season before the next G1 in at the end of September.

Although no winner of the race has ever competed at the Breeders' Cup the Takarazuka Kinen's roll of honour features such equine luminaries as TM Opera O and Deep Impact.

This year's field of 12 features features six G1 winers including several classic winners. It is one of the two 'All-Star' races on the Japanese calendar alongside the Arima Kinen in December where the majority of the field is composed of horses voted for by public ballot.

Champion mare Almond Eye is an absentee after a narrow defeat in the Yasuda Kinen but Rey De Oro, Kiseki and Al Ain are all present in an open-looking contest.

Last year's Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) victor Rey De Oro (Kazuo Fujisawa/Christophe Lemaire) is on a recovery mission after another disappointing effort in Dubai where he was well adrift of Old Persian in the Sheema Classic.

He had several rivals behind him in last year's Tenno Sho (Autumn) and can be expected to give a truer impression of his abilities back on home turf.

Old rival Suave Richard (Yasushi Shono/Mirco Demuro), second to Rey De Oro in the 2017 Japanese Derby was well in front of that opponent when third in the Shema Classic in Dubai.

Al Ain (Yasutoshi Ikee/Yuichi Kitamura) is also likely to have his supporters after a surprise success in the G1 Osaka Hai over 2000m at Hanshin on March 31.

That was his first win since the G1 Satsuki Sho (2000 Guineas) in 2017 with Kiseki (Katsuhiko Sumii/Yuga Kawada) finishing a neck second.

Kiseki won the G1 Kikuka Sho (St Leger) as a 3YO but has yet to repeat that success while usually hitting the money including his second to Almond Eye in the G1 Japan Cup.

Others to consider include Lys Gracieux, the only female in the line-up.

She was second in the G1 Hong Kong Vase after landing the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup over this distance in Tokyo and has Australian rider Damian Lane in the saddle.

Injury has compromised Makahiki's career since his victory three years ago in the Tokyo Yushun while Etario has form to suggest he can be a force in this grade.


Racing Post



Hanshin

Sunday, 23rd June 2019

11
15:40
(local)

THE TAKARAZUKA KINEN (G1)

Age: 3yo and up Type: OPEN
JPY ¥289,660,000
2200m TURF FIRM
11
15:40
(local)
JPY ¥289,660,000
2200m FIRM

THE TAKARAZUKA KINEN (G1)

Age: 3yo and up Type: OPEN
FP Silk Horse, Age & Sex
Sire & Dam
Jockey
Trainer
SP
WT
1st 12. LYS GRACIEUX (JPN) 5yo M
HEART'S CRY (JPN) - LILISIDE (FR)
DAMIAN LANE
Y YAHAGI
$5.40
56.0kg
U.Carrot Farm
2nd 1. KISEKI (JPN) 5yo H
RULERSHIP (JPN) - BLITZ FINALE (JPN)
Y KAWADA
KATSUHIKO SUMII
$3.60
58.0kg
Tatsue Ishikawa
3rd 11. SUAVE RICHARD (JPN) 5yo H
HEART'S CRY (JPN) - PIRRAMIMMA (USA)
M DEMURO
Y SHONO
$8.80
58.0kg
NICKS Co. Ltd.
4th 4. AL AIN (JPN) 5yo H
DEEP IMPACT (JPN) - DUBAI MAJESTY (USA)
YUICHI KITAMURA
Y IKEE
$8.40
58.0kg
5th 2. REY DE ORO (JPN) 5yo H
KING KAMEHAMEHA (JPN) - LA DORADA (JPN)
C P LEMAIRE
K FUJISAWA
$3.90
58.0kg
6th 10. NOBLE MARS (JPN) 6yo H
JUNGLE POCKET (JPN) - I AND YOU (USA)
R TAKAKURA
H MIYAMOTO
$79.50
58.0kg
7th 6. STIFFELIO (JPN) 5yo H
STAY GOLD (JPN) - SERIOUS ATTITUDE (IRE)
GENKI MARUYAMA
H OTONASHI
$26.80
58.0kg
8th 9. CLINCHER (JPN) 5yo H
DEEP SKY (JPN) - THE FATES (JPN)
KOSEI MIURA
H MIYAMOTO
$34.00
58.0kg
9th 3. ETARIO (JPN) 4yo H
STAY GOLD (JPN) - HOT CHA CHA (USA)
N YOKOYAMA
Y TOMOMICHI
$7.80
58.0kg
10th 8. SHONAN BACH (JPN) 8yo H
STAY GOLD (JPN) - SUGAR HEART (JPN)
Y YOSHIDA
H UEHARA
$92.10
58.0kg
11th 7. MAKAHIKI (JPN) 6yo H
DEEP IMPACT (JPN) - WIKIWIKI (JPN)
Y IWATA
Y TOMOMICHI
$11.80
58.0kg
12th 5. TATSU GOGEKI (JPN) 7yo H
MARVELOUS SUNDAY (JPN) - NISHINO PLUMERIA (JPN)
S AKIYAMA
I SAMESHIMA
$140.60
58.0kg