2016 News

May 27, 2016


The 66th Yasuda Kinen - Handicapper's Report on the Japanese Contenders

This year’s Yasuda Kinen is joined by Contentment (AUS, G6, by Hussonet; 119M) from Hong Kong. The Hussonet gelding became a G1 winner in the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (G1, 1,400m) in February this year and bested the Hong Kong locals in his last start, the Champions Mile (G1, 1,600m), finishing second behind Maurice. While having to handle the transport to Japan for the first time, the improving six-year-old has every chance to be among the top finishers in the coming mile G1.

The Japanese mile category has been closely contested between several quality runners in recent years but, this year, focus is on one outstanding talent who has already proved himself both within and outside Japan. Meanwhile, the field also includes a number of runners that are well qualified for the challenge against the star miler and can make a change in the outcome of the Yasuda Kinen race.

Mile Championship (G1)

Since January last year, Maurice (JPN, H5, by Screen Hero) has stretched his winning streak to seven among which the last four victories are at G1 level—two in Japan and two in Hong Kong. He comes off an extremely impressive performance in the Champions Mile where he was already under no threat once taking the front with 200 meter to go and demonstrated his strength to win by a comfortable two-length margin. Interim results of the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings places the son of Screen Hero behind Australia’s Winx (126lb) with 124lb under the M category and tied for third among all categories combined. He is also shortlisted for this year’s Champion Miler together with the likes of US-trained mare Tepin who also stands high in the rankings with 121lb.

Real Steel
Real Steel

While Maurice will be considerably hard to beat, Real Steel (JPN, C4, by Deep Impact), who is currently rated 119M having captured the UAE Dubai Turf (G1, 1,800m), is a horse to look out for in his comeback start in Japan. While already showing talent from the beginning of his career, he was second, fourth and second in the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas, G1, 2,000m), the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby, G1, 2,400m) and the Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger, G1, 3,000m), respectively, as a three-year-old. The Deep Impact colt kicked off his four-year-old campaign with a third in the Nakayama Kinen (G2, 1,800m) before leaving for Dubai where he captured his first G1 title. Having won the grade-race title in the 2015 Kyodo News Service Hai (G3, 1,800m) over the same distance, it is safe to say that this is probably his best distance.


Fiero (JPN, H7, by Deep Impact) also has high hopes of finishing close up in the coming G1. Fourth in the 2015 edition of the Yasuda Kinen, he followed up with a runner-up effort in the Mile Championship (G1, 1,600m) in the fall, stamping himself as a reliable miler at the highest level. His fourth-place performance in the Milers Cup (G2, 1,600m) last start was also impressive, considering he was the only one among the top finishers that had much more ground to cover going wide while the rest had the advantage of taking a shorter trip over fresh turf on the first week of the 12-week-end meet. It will also be interesting to see whether Mirco Demuro, booked to ride him this year, can bring out the best of the seven-year-old and perhaps give him his first G1 title. He is rated 116M as of his runner-up effort in the Mile Championship.

Isla Bonita
Isla Bonita

Isla Bonita (JPN, H5, by Fuji Kiseki), third in the 2015 Mile Championship, was far from having an ideal trip in the race, having missed his break and unable to secure his best spot up front during the early stages, but he did show his outstanding power which enabled him to roll past his rivals from behind and cross the line just a neck short of the runner-up. He has not been up to form in his two starts this year but hopes to bounce back in the Yasuda Kinen. His rating, 116M,I is as of his third-place finishes in both the Tenno Sho (Autumn) and the Mile Championship.

Keio Hai Spring Cup (G2)
Satono Aladdin

Satono Aladdin (JPN, H5, by Deep Impact), fourth in the Mile Championship last fall, is another talented runner who had always proved competitive but was short of claiming a grade-race victory until May this year in the Keio Hai Spring Cup (G2, 1,400m), a Yasuda Kinen trial, where he closed in impressively from the outside to capture his first grade-race title. The improving son of Deep Impact is rated 115M as of his fourth-place finish in the Mile Championship.

Yasuda Kinen (G1) related contents
Breeders' Cup Challenge Race