2016 News

March 27, 2016


Race Favorite Big Arthur Captures First Grade-race Title in the G1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen

Odds-on-favorite Big Arthur, who has been posted race favorite in ten out of 11 career starts, measured up to the expectation of the fans by claiming his first grade-race title in his first G1 challenge with record time. He has marked seven wins and two runner-up efforts in ten starts over 1,200 meters so far. Debuting in April of his three-year-old season, Big Arthur immediately marked a five-race winning streak then finished second in his first grade-race challenge, the Kitakyushu Kinen (G3, 1,200m) in August last year. He claimed another win then a second and a third in the following Keihan Hai (G3, 1,200m) and Hanshin Cup (G2, 1,400m), respectively, before concluding his four-year-old season. He was fifth in the Silk Road Stakes (G3, 1,200m), his only race this year coming into this race. Trainer Kenichi Fujioka claimed his first JRA-G1 title and ninth grade-race win since opening his stable in 2002. Yuichi Fukunaga, who partnered with Big Arthur for the first time, marked his 19th JRA-G1 win following his Tenno Sho (Autumn) victory with Just a Way in 2013 and his second Takamatsunomiya Kinen title, which he won with Sunningdale in 2004.

Five-year-old Big Arthur broke smoothly from stall four and settled fourth behind the fast pace set by Laurel Veloce with Hakusan Moon and Mikki Isle in close pursuit. Turning wide through the corners, the son of Sakura Bakushin O burst out behind Mikki Isle who nailed the front around the 200-meter pole, and continued to unleash a strong burst of speed to overtake the lead 100 meters out then further accelerated to cross the wire 3/4 length in front.

“With the fast-pace track condition, we were able to break well and travel smoothly in perfect position. The frontrunners were persistent but my mount managed to fend them off. The horse has the form of a great sprinter and can also maintain speed. He will definitely be leading the sprinters going forward,” commented Yuichi Fukunaga.

Second pick Mikki Isle settled in good position behind the two frontrunners and slipped out at the top of the homestretch to nail the front in revenge of his third-place finish last year, but weakened in the last 100 meters to finish second.

Third favorite Albiano traveled wide in mid-division and, although crowded in at the top of the stretch, Christophe Lemaire skillfully guided his mount through a narrow gap, under which the four-year-old filly exerted a powerful kick in the last furlong, chasing the two leaders and holding off the strong challenge by Active Minoru before the wire to finish third.

Other Horses:
4th: (10) Active Minoru—chased winner in 7th, switched to outside for clear path at early stretch, quickened
5th: (13) A Shin Bullseye—sat toward rear, responded well after 200m pole, finished strongly
6th: (9) Teehaff—saved ground in 2nd from rear, quickened along rails in last 200m
7th: (5) Snow Dragon—raced in mid-group, showed effort until 100m out
8th: (11) Let’s Go Donki—positioned toward rear, met traffic at furlong pole, then accelerated
9th: (12) Uliuli—traveled in mid-pack, quickened until 100m out, lacked needed kick
10th: (14) Earth Sonic—ran wide in mid division, improved position at straight
11th: (18) Hakusan Moon—pressed pace in 2nd, sustained bid until 200m out, weakened
12th: (17) Hiruno Devaro—traveled wide in mid-pack, passed tired rivals at straight
13th: (2) Ukiyono Kaze—trailed in rear, timed fastest over last 3 furlongs, was too late
14th: (1) Bravissimo—hugged rail in mid-division, found little room 200m out, lost momentum
15th: (16) Sugino Endeavour—ran 3rd from last, even paced at stretch
16th: (15) Laurel Veloce—set fast pace, sustained bid until 200m out, used up
17th: (3) Sakura Gospel—raced inside winner in 5th, met traffic 300m out, then outrun
18th: (7) Satono Lupin—stalked winner in 6th, dropped back after passing 200m marker


THE 46TH TAKAMATSUNOMIYA KINEN (G1) —the 3rd leg of Global Sprint Challenge—
4-year-old & up, 1,200 meters (about 6 furlongs), turf, left-handed
Sunday, March 27, 2016    Chukyo Racecourse      11th Race        Post time: 15:40
Total prize money: ¥ 212,280,000 (about US$ 1,769,000 <US$1=¥ 120>)
4-y-o & up: 57kg (about 126 lbs),
2kg allowance for Fillies & Mares, 1kg allowance for Southern Hemisphere-bred born in 2012
Safety factor: 18 runners

FP BK PP Horse Sex
1 2 4 Big Arthur
H5 57.0 Sakura Bakushin O
Y. Fukunaga
K. Fujioka
Akira Nakatsuji
Bamboo Stud
2 3 6 Mikki Isle
H5 57.0 Deep Impact
Star Isle
K. Matsuyama
H. Otonashi
Mizuki Noda
Northern Racing
3 4 8 Albiano
F4 55.0 Harlan’s Holiday
C. Lemaire
T. Kimura
Kazumi Yoshida
Helen Alexander & Helen Groves Rev Trust
4 5 10 Active Minoru
C4 57.0 Statue of Liberty
Piena Amazon
K. Fujioka
Y. Kitade
Minoru Yoshioka
Fujiwara Farm
5 7 13 A Shin Bullseye
H5 57.0 Belgravia
Miss Fear Factor
S. Ishibashi
K. Nonaka
Eishindo Co., Ltd.
Elijah Bailey
6 5 9 Teehaff
H6 57.0 Storming Home
K. Ikezoe
K. Nishiura
HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Darley Japan K. K
7 3 5 Snow Dragon
H8 57.0 Admire Cozzene
Meine Caprice
T. Ono
N. Takagi
Makio Okada
Meiwa Iwami Bokujo
8 6 11 Let’s Go Donki
F4 55.0 King Kamehameha
Y. Iwata
T. Umeda
Hirosaki Toshihiro HD Co., Ltd.
Shimizu Bokujo
9 6 12 Uliuli
M6 55.0 Deep Impact
K. Tosaki
H. Fujiwara
Kaneko Makoto Holdings Co., Ltd.
Kaneko Makoto Holdings Inc.
10 7 14 Earth Sonic
H7 57.0 Kurofune
Diamond Pierce
D. Vargiu
K. Nakatake
Koji Maeda
Niikappu Ito Bokujo
11 8 18 Hakusan Moon
H7 57.0 Admire Moon
M. Sakai
M. Nishizono
Goichi Kawasaki
Shirai Stud Farm
12 8 17
Hiruno Devaro
H5 57.0 Manhattan Cafe
K. Dazai
M. Kon
Hiruno Co., Ltd.
Kamii Stud
13 1 2 Ukiyono Kaze
M6 55.0 On Fire
Admire Dash
H. Shii
T. Kikuzawa
Jun Kokubu
Jun Kokubu
14 1 1
C4 57.0 Fastnet Rock
May Kiersey
N. Yokoyama
N. Sugai
Kaneko Makoto Holdings Co., Ltd.
Shadai Farm
15 8 16 Sugino Endeavour
H8 57.0 Sakura Bakushin O
Shining Pierce
K. Sameshima
H. Asami
Tadakuni Sugiyama
Mie Sugiyama
16 7 15 Laurel Veloce
H5 57.0 Sakura Bakushin O
Halo Fuji
Y. Nakai
Y. Iida
Laurel Racing Co,. Ltd.
Kyowa Farm Co., Ltd.
17 2 3 Sakura Gospel
H8 57.0 Sakura President
Sakura Blues
M. Katsuura
T. Ozeki
Sakura Commers
Sakura Commerce Co., Ltd.
18 4 7 Satono Lupin
H5 57.0 Deep Impact
Erimo Pixy
R. Wada
A. Murayama
Hajime Satomi
Excel Management

FP=Final Position / BK=Bracket Number / PP=Post Position / B=Blinker / Wgt=Weight / L3F=Time of Last 3 Furlongs (600m)

Note1: No Foreign Contenders
Note2: Figures quoted under Odds are Win Odds, which show the amount of money you get back per single unit (100yen), and Fav indicates the order of favorites.

WINNING TIME: 1:06.7 (course record) GOING: Firm WEATHER: Cloudy
TURNOVER FOR THE RACE ALONE: ¥12,483,442,300  
TURNOVER FOR THE DAY: ¥18,075,644,700 ATTENDANCE: 31,251

PAY-OFF (for ¥100)
WIN No.4 ¥390 BRACKET QUINELLA 2-3 ¥680 QUINELLA 4-6 ¥890
PLACE No.4 ¥150 QUINELLA PLACE 4-6 ¥370 EXACTA 4-6 ¥1,730
No.6 ¥150 4-8 ¥450 TRIO 4-6-8 ¥1,740
No.8 ¥170 6-8 ¥520 TRIFECTA 4-6-8 ¥6,690
  1. Big Arthur (JPN), bay, horse, 5-year-old
    Sakura Bakushin O / Siyabona (Kingmambo)
    Owner: Akira Nakatsuji Breeder: Bamboo Stud
    Trainer: Kenichi Fujioka Jockey: Yuichi Fukunaga
    11 Starts, 7 Wins
    Added money: ¥ 101,822,000 Career earnings: ¥ 239,887,000

  2. Mikki Isle (JPN), bay, horse, 5-year-old
    Deep Impact / Star Isle (Rock of Gibraltar)
    Owner :Mizuki Noda Breeder: Northern Racing
    Trainer: Hidetaka Otonashi Jockey: Kohei Matsuyama

  3. Albiano (USA), bay, filly, 4-year-old
    Harlan's Holiday / Antics (Unbridled)
    Owner: Kazumi Yoshida Breeder: Helen Alexander & Helen Groves Rev Trust
    Trainer: Tetsuya Kimura Jockey: Christophe Lemaire
Fractional Time (sec./furlong): 11.7 - 10.1 - 10.9 - 10.8 - 11.1 - 12.1
  Last 4 furlongs: 44.9 Last 3 furlongs: 34.0

Positions at each corner:  3rd corner 15,18-6-4(3,7,10)(1,5,8,12)(14,17)(11,13,16)9-2
  4th corner (*15,18)6-(3,7,4)(1,5,10)(8,12)(9,11,13,14,17)16-2

Note1: Underlined bold number indicates the winning horse.
Note2: Horse numbers are indicated in the order of their positions at each corner, with the first position listed first. Two or more horses inside the same parentheses indicate that they were positioned side by side. Hyphens between the horse numbers indicate that there is distance between the former and the latter. The asterisk indicates a slight lead.

* Takamatsunomiya Kinen (G1)
The Takamatsunomiya Kinen, one of two G1 championship events for sprinters held by the JRA, was formerly named Takamatsunomiya Cup in honor of Prince Takamatsunomiya who presented the trophy to the winner in 1971. In 1996, the race was shortened from 2,000 meters to 1,200 meters and granted a Japanese Grade 1 status, thus becoming one of JRA’s two prominent short-distance races together with the Sprinters Stakes (G1, 1,200m), which became an international event in 1994.
The Takamatsunomiya Kinen, which received its current name in 1998, was designated an international race in 2001, welcomed its first two foreign participants—Disturbingthepeace (13th) and Echo Eddie (17th)—from the U.S. in 2003 and became part of the Global Sprint Challenge, the international championship series for sprinters, in 2011. The first of 20 flat turf G1 events held annually, the Takamatsunomiya Kinen was temporarily shifted to Hanshin Racecourse in 2011 and was contested over the newly renovated track back at Chukyo in the following year with added challenges of an uphill stretch and a longer homestretch exceeding 400 meters.
Aerovelocity (NZ, by Pins), who had claimed last year’s race as the first foreign participant in 12 years, returned this year to defend his title but, unfortunately, withdrew from the race six days ago due to colic.
This year’s contestants coming off the Hankyu Hai (G3, 1,400m) in Feb. 28 were: winner Mikki Isle who was third in last year’s Takamatsunomiya Kinen; and sixth-place finisher and the 2015 Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas, G1, 1,600m) champion Let’s Go Donki. Those coming from the Ocean Stakes (G3, 1,200m) in Mar. 5 were: A Shin Bullseye who claimed his first grade-race title in the race; runner-up Hakusan Moon who was also second in last year’s Takamatsunomiya Kinen; third-place finisher and 2014 Best Sprinter or Miler Snow Dragon; and fifth-place Albiano who had claimed last year’s Swan Stakes (G2, 1,400m). Other participants were: last year’s Keihan Hai (G3, 1,200m) winner Satono Lupin; last year’s Sprinters Stakes runner-up Sakura Gospel; and Big Arthur with six wins and two runner-up efforts in nine starts over 1,200m under his belt.

Takamatsunomiya Kinen (G1) related contents

Global Sprint Challenge