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March 17, 2017

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Takamatsunomiya Kinen (G1) - Data Analysis

A fiery mixture of speed and power to decide the spring sprint king
The Takamatsunomiya Kinen is the race that decides the spring sprint champion. All of the last 10 winners had been among the Top 4 favorites; in 2015, the race was won by Aerovelocity from Hong Kong. This year, again, the big question is whether one of the fancied runners will live up to expectations, or whether a dark horse will take us all by surprise and snatch the spoils. Let’s now look into some trends in this race based on results over the last 10 years.

Check races entered in December
First, let’s aggregate the performances of runners over the last five years since the Chukyo Racecourse was reopened in 2012, based on races entered in the previous December. The result is that all five winners had contested the “Hanshin Cup” or the “Hong Kong Sprint” in that month, while three of the five runners-up had also featured in one of those two races. So the first point to bear in mind is that horses appearing in the Hanshin Cup or the Hong Kong Sprint at the end of the previous year tend to do well in the Takamatsunomiya Kinen. [Table 1]

[Table 1] Performance by races entered in the previous December (last 5 years)
Races entered Performance
[1st-2nd-3rd-4th or lower]
Win ratio Top 2 ratio Top 3 ratio
Hanshin Cup 2-2-1-15 10.0% 20.0% 25.0%
Hong Kong Sprint 3-1-0-3 42.9% 57.1% 57.1%
Capella Stakes 0-1-0-2 0% 33.3% 33.3%
Other races 0-0-1-19 0% 0% 5.0%
No race entered 0-1-3-35 0% 2.6% 10.3%

Look for 1,400m+ turf races contested within the last two outings
Next, let’s aggregate performances over the last 10 years in terms of the number of 1,400m-plus turf races entered within the runners’ last two outings. Here, the best Top 2 and Top 3 ratios belong to horses that contested such races in both of their previous two outings; those with “1” such outing have notched four wins and enjoy the highest Win ratio. Meanwhile, 10 horses with “0” 1,400m-plus turf races within the last two outings have finished in the Top 3, but their success ratios are somewhat poorer than those of the aforementioned two groups. So it might be worth remembering that runners with recent experience of contesting turf races over distances of 1,400m or more tend to perform well in the Takamatsunomiya Kinen, a turf race run over 1,200m. [Table 2]

[Table 2] Performance by number of 1,400m+ turf races entered within the last two outings (last 10 years)
Races entered Performance
[1st-2nd-3rd-4th or lower]
Win ratio Top 2 ratio Top 3 ratio
2 3-4-4-31 7.1% 16.7% 26.2%
1 4-3-2-39 8.3% 14.6% 18.8%
Total of 1 and 2 7-7-6-70 7.8% 15.6% 22.2%
0 3-3-4-77 3.4% 6.9% 11.5%

Strong showing from Top 3 favorites last time out
Viewing the performance of runners over the last 10 years by favoritism in the previous outing (excluding five runners most recently competing in overseas races; one of these was the 2015 winner Aerovelocity), all nine of those winners had been backed as “1st-3rd favorite” in their previous race; in fact, success ratios tend to be higher as the favoritism to win the previous race rises. Meanwhile, 25 of the 29 Top 3 finishers had been backed as “1st-4th favorite” last time out, underlining the tendency for horses with higher favoritism in the previous race to produce better performances in this one. [Table 3]

[Table 3] Performance by favoritism in the previous race (last 10 years)
Favoritism in previous race Performance
[1st-2nd-3rd-4th or lower]
Win ratio Top 2 ratio Top 3 ratio
1st favorite 3-5-3-15 11.5% 30.8% 42.3%
2nd favorite 4-2-2-14 18.2% 27.3% 36.4%
3rd favorite 2-0-2-13 11.8% 11.8% 23.5%
4th favorite 0-1-1-11 0% 7.7% 15.4%
5th favorite 0-0-0-17 0% 0% 0%
6th-9th favorite 0-0-1-39 0% 0% 2.5%
10th favorite or lower 0-2-1-34 0% 5.4% 8.1%
Note: Except when the previous race was overseas

Dominance of runners with recent Top 2 success in graded turf races
On investigating the highest finish in graded turf races within the last three outings by runners over the last 10 years, 28 of the 30 Top 3 finishers (including the 10 winners) had achieved finishes of “1st” or “2nd” in such races. In fact, all 24 Top 3 finishers over the last eight years since 2009 were in either the “1st” or the “2nd” group, suggesting that it might be wise to focus attention on runners with Top 2 finishes in recent graded turf races this year as well. [Table 4]

[Table 4] Performance by highest finish in graded turf races within the last 3 outings (last 10 years)
Highest finish Performance
[1st-2nd-3rd-4th or lower]
Win ratio Top 2 ratio Top 3 ratio
1st 8-5-7-35 14.5% 23.6% 36.4%
2nd 2-3-3-26 5.9% 14.7% 23.5%
3rd 0-0-0-16 0% 0% 0%
4th 0-0-0-6 0% 0% 0%
5th 0-1-0-8 0% 11.1% 11.1%
6th-9th 0-0-0-26 0% 0% 0%
10th or lower 0-1-0-18 0% 5.3% 5.3%
No such race entered 0-0-0-12 0% 0% 0%

Seek out the winner!
Check the record over the last four races
A look at the recent race record of the last seven winners since 2010 shows that they had all had multiple experience of a Top 2 finish in open-class turf races (including overseas races) within their previous four outings. What’s more, all seven had finished 1st in such a race at least once. If any of this year’s runners comes with a recent record answering to the above description, they should be included among the leading contenders to win. [Table 5]

[Table 5] Record of Top 2 finishes in open-class turf races by winners within their last four outings (last 7 years)
Year Winning horse Top 2 record
2010 Kinshasa no Kiseki Yukan Fuji Sho Ocean Stakes 1st, Hanshin Cup 1st, Mainichi Broadcast. Swan Stakes 1st
2011 Kinshasa no Kiseki Yukan Fuji Sho Ocean Stakes 2nd, Hanshin Cup 1st, Sprinters Stakes 2nd
2012 Curren Chan Sprinters Stakes 1st, Keeneland Cup 1st
2013 Lord Kanaloa Hankyu Hai 1st, Hong Kong Sprint 1st, Sprinters Stakes 1st, Centaur Stakes 2nd
2014 Copano Richard Hankyu Hai 1st, Mainichi Broadcast. Swan Stakes 1st
2015 Aerovelocity  Chairman's Sprint Prize 2nd, Hong Kong Sprint 1st, Premier Bowl 1st
2016 Big Arthur Keihan Hai 2nd, Yukan Fuji Hai Opal Stakes 1st
Note: Includes overseas races

 

 

(Michio Kono)

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