Unbeaten Efforia Claims Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) Title

Efforia wins this year’s Satsuki Sho at Nakayama.

EFFORIA winning the Satsuki Sho at Nakayama in Japan.
EFFORIA winning the Satsuki Sho at Nakayama in Japan. Picture: Japan Racing Association

Second favorite Efforia captured the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) undefeated since his debut and extending his winning streak to four for his first G1 title—he becomes the 19th undefeated Satsuki Sho winner following Saturnalia and Contrail in 2019 and 2020, respectively. Winning his debut start over 2,000 meters at Sapporo in August last year, the Epiphaneia colt followed with a win in the Hyakunichiso Tokubetsu (Tokyo, 1 Win Class, 2,000m) in November and a graded victory in the Kyodo News Hai (Tokyo, G3, 1,800m) in February this year. Trainer Yuichi Shikato won his second JRA-G1 title after the 2008 Japan Cup with Screen Hero. It was the fifth graded title and first G1 victory for jockey Takeshi Yokoyama who is in his fifth season as a jockey. He is the son of currently active jockey Norihiro Yokoyama who has won the same race with Seiun Sky back in 1998, the year when Takeshi was born. Takeshi's victory makes him the third second generation Satsuki Sho winner after Yutaka (father/Kunihiko) Take and Yuichi (father/Yoichi) Fukunaga.

Efforia broke smoothly and immediately secured a nice position behind the early leaders and inside Danon the Kid around third or fourth. While overtaken by a couple of rivals along the backstretch, Efforia moved up approaching the final corner and towards the inside rounding for home. Despite being pinched back briefly, Takeshi Yokoyama did not miss a beat in giving the green light as soon as an opening presented itself as the front runners spread out for the stretch run and the bay colt immediately assumed command and effortlessly increased his speed while many struggled to find another gear over the soft turf, pulling away with each stride to a comfortable three-length victory.

"It's such a great feeling," commented Takeshi Yokoyama with a big smile which could easily be seen even with the facemask on. "I was fortunate to have been able to ride this colt since his debut and although I knew the colt, coming here undefeated, would be heavily backed and the pressure would be great, I believed that if I put my concentration on using whatever skills I had as a rider and bring out the best performance from my horse, that we would have a great chance of winning. The pace wasn't that fast, so we were able to cruise along in a good position but we were a little tight going into the stretch and I could be sure of my win until the end."

Eighth choice Titleholder jumped out from an outside draw, disputed the lead with World Revival and eventually settled in second position. Joined by Red Belle Aube in chasing the leader for the last half of the trip, the two horses ran in tandem with World Revival with Titleholder having a slight advantage up to the early stretch. While already taken over by the eventual winner in the early stretch, the Duramente colt showed tremendous effort in staying well to finish second best while unable to reach the winner.

Sixth favorite Stella Veloce was unhurried and saved ground well off the pace in mid-field. The Bago colt closed up with the rest of the field approaching the fourth corner while patiently waiting for an opening near the inside behind the eventual winner, then turned in an impressive turn of speed matching the winner in the last three furlongs, passing the tired early pacesetter in the last furlong and closing in rapidly to reach within a neck of Titleholder for third.

Race favorite Danon the Kid jumped energetically out of the gate but eventually in hand under Yuga Kawada while chasing the leaders outside the eventual winner in third or fourth and then overtaken by Red Belle Aube and Asamano Itazura who made an early move along the outside soon after entering the backstretch. The son of Just a Way angled out for the stretch run but ran out of steam from his effort over the soft going and faded quickly before reaching the final 200m pole.

Other Horses:

4th:   (1)  Admire Hadar - hugged rails around 6th, switched to outside turning last corners, sustained bid
5th:   (6)  Yoho Lake - settled around 10th, driven after 3rd corner, showed fastest late kick but belatedly
6th:   (15) Gratias - ran 3-wide around 6th, responded after disadvantage at early stretch
7th:   (11)  Deep Monster - traveled around 14th, circled wide, passed tired rivals
8th:   (16) Red Belle Aube - sat 4-wide around 6th, gradually made headway to 2nd, weakened in last 200m
9th:   (5)  Victipharus - positioned around 10th, checked at early stretch, showed brief effort
10th:  (4)  Elusive Panther - saved ground around 14th, never fired at stretch
11th:  (10) Chevalier Rose - raced 3-wide around 10th, angled out for stretch run, showed little
12th:  (12) World Revival - set pace, gradually fell back after top of stretch
13th:  (9)  Lagom - settled 3-wide around 7th, outrun after turning final corner
14th:  (2)  Lupus Tesoro - trailed in rear, advanced briefly, no factor
16th:  (14) Asamano Itazura - traveled 3-wide in 5th, bumped at final corner, faded


Japan Racing Association



Nakayama

Sunday, 18th April 2021

11
15:40
(local)

SATSUKI SHO(JAPANESE 2000 GUINEAS) (G1)

Age: 3yo Type: OPEN
JPY ¥247,760,000
2000m TURF GOOD
11
15:40
(local)
JPY ¥247,760,000
2000m GOOD

SATSUKI SHO(JAPANESE 2000 GUINEAS) (G1)

Age: 3yo Type: OPEN
FP Silk Horse, Age & Sex
Sire & Dam
Jockey
Trainer
SP
WT
1st 7. EFFORIA (JPN) 3yo C
EPIPHANEIA (JPN) - KATIES HEART (JPN)
TAKESHI YOKOYAMA
Y SHIKATO
$3.70
57.0kg
U.Carrot Farm
2nd 13. TITLEHOLDER (JPN) 3yo C
DURAMENTE (JPN) - MOWEN (GB)
HIRONOBU TANABE
TORU KURITA
$17.00
57.0kg
Hiroshi Yamada
3rd 3. STELLA VELOCE (JPN) 3yo C
BAGO (FR) - OH MY BABY (JPN)
HAYATO YOSHIDA
N SUGAI
$14.30
57.0kg
Tsuyoshi Ono
4th 1. ADMIRE HADAR (JPN) 3yo C
LORD KANALOA (JPN) - SWEAR TOSHO (JPN)
C P LEMAIRE
R OKUBO
$8.80
57.0kg
5th 6. YOHO LAKE (JPN) 3yo C
DEEP IMPACT (JPN) - CROW CANYON (JPN)
MIRAI IWATA
Y TOMOMICHI
$21.50
57.0kg
6th 15. GRATIAS (JPN) 3yo C
HEART'S CRY (JPN) - MALACOSTUMBRADA (ARG)
M DEMURO
Y KATO
$15.70
57.0kg
7th 11. DEEP MONSTER (JPN) 3yo C
DEEP IMPACT (JPN) - SISTERLY LOVE (USA)
K TOSAKI
Y IKEE
$19.60
57.0kg
8th 16. RED BELLE AUBE (JPN) 3yo C
DEEP IMPACT (JPN) - RED FANTASIA (USA)
Y FUKUNAGA
H FUJIWARA
$18.80
57.0kg
9th 5. VICTIPHARUS (JPN) 3yo C
HEART'S CRY (JPN) - VIRGINIA (JPN)
K IKEZOE
Manabu Ikezoe
$10.10
57.0kg
10th 4. ELUSIVE PANTHER (JPN) 3yo C
HEART'S CRY (JPN) - ELUSIVE CAT (JPN)
TAKUYA ONO
T KUBOTA
$179.90
57.0kg
11th 10. CHEVALIER ROSE (JPN) 3yo C
DEEP IMPACT (JPN) - VIANE ROSE (FR)
KOSEI MIURA
HIROO SHIMIZU
$109.10
57.0kg
12th 12. WORLD REVIVAL (JPN) 3yo C
EPIPHANEIA (JPN) - CECILIA (JPN)
YUJI HISHIDA
KAZUYA MAKITA
$158.00
57.0kg
13th 9. LAGOM (JPN) 3yo C
ORFEVRE (JPN) - SUGAR SHOCK (USA)
YUICHI KITAMURA
TAKASHI SAITO
$13.80
57.0kg
14th 2. LUPUS TESORO (JPN) 3yo C
GOLD SHIP (JPN) - HAPPINESS FOR YOU (USA)
TAKUYA KOWATA
SHIZUYA KATO
$194.70
57.0kg
15th 8. DANON THE KID (JPN) 3yo C
JUST A WAY (JPN) - EPIC LOVE (IRE)
Y KAWADA
TAKAYUKI YASUDA
$3.30
57.0kg
16th 14. ASAMANO ITAZURA (JPN) 3yo C
VICTOIRE PISA (JPN) - HIGH TOUCH QUEEN (JPN)
JUNJI SHIMADA
T TEZUKA
$32.70
57.0kg