2017 News

April 16, 2017


Ninth Pick Al Ain by Deep Impact Scores Upset Victory in This Year's Satsuki Sho
Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) (G1)

Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) (G1)

Al Ain defeated a strong field of three-year-olds that included 11 graded winners—largest number in the history of the race—in the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas), the first leg of the three-year-old Triple Crown, while renewing the race record set by Dee Majesty (JPN, by Deep Impact) last year by 0.1 second. The son of Deep Impact won his two starts over a mile as a two-year-old and although beaten to sixth in his kickoff start this year in the Shinzan Kinen (G3, 1,600m) due to a disadvantage, Al Ain claimed his first graded victory in the Mainichi Hai (G3, 1,800m) just three weeks ago. Trainer Yasutoshi Ikee, who dominated the top two positions in this race, registered his 17th JRA-G1 victory—his first since winning the year-end Arima Kinen with Satono Diamond last year—and second Satsuki Sho title since winning the race with Orfevre in 2011. Jockey Kohei Matsuyama, who debuted in 2009, captured his first JRA-G1 and classic title and his seventh graded JRA victory.

Breaking from stall eleven, Al Ain rushed out to rally for the lead and eventually settled around fifth while eyeing race favorite Fan Dii Na on the inside. The son of Deep Impact was caught between horses as the field crowded in entering the homestretch, but once Kohei Matsuyama guided him through a narrow space for a clear path around the 200-meter pole, the bay unleashed a powerful drive and caught up with Persian Knight 100 meters out for a strong duel, which he won by a neck margin.

“I can't believe we won! I was runner-up in two G1 races last year so it feels just great to be a winner. He ran a strong race last time so I was quite confident today. He wasn't responding well in the last two corners but stretched really well in the straight. He's easy to ride so I think he'll have no problem with the extra distance in the Derby,” commented Kohei Matsuyama

Fourth choice Persian Knight traveled toward the rear, fourth from last, but gradually advanced forward along the rails through the backstretch. Entering the homestretch toward the front, the son of Harbinger also threaded through the crowded horses and took command 200 meters out but was unable to hold off the strong charge by Al Ain in the last 100 meters.

Rated around sixth from the front, 12th favorite Danburite stalked Fan Dii Na through most of the trip but overtook the race favorite 100 meters out and accelerated powerfully to close in on the dueling front runners to cross the wire 3/4 length behind in third. Meanwhile, Fan Dii Na took the lead briefly at early stretch but weakened in the uphill and finished seventh, about 3-1/4 lengths behind winner.

Other Horses:
4th: (16) Clincher―stalked leaders in 3rd, rallied for lead at early stretch, sustained bid, weakened in last 100m
5th: (5) Rey de Oro―sat near rear, responded well on inner stretch, failed to threaten top finishers
6th: (2) Suave Richard―traveled 3-wide in mid-pack, quickened in last 200m, was too late
8th: (17) Win Bright―broke poorly, made headway to mid-field on outer route, never a threat
9th: (4) Cadenas―raced near rear early, advanced along rails at backstretch, lacked needed kick
10th: (9) Platina Voice―ran behind eventual winner, met traffic 300m out, lost momentum
11th: (13) Satono Ares―trailed in rear, showed belated charge, timed fastest over last 3 furlongs
12th: (6) Outliers―settled toward rear, angled wide, passed tired rivals at stretch
13th: (18) Trust―pressed pace from widest draw, led briefly around final corner, weakened in last 200m
14th: (3) Komano Impulse―traveled in mid-group, found little room between 3rd and 4th corner, even paced
15th: (14) King's Rush―sat 3-wide toward rear, unable to reach contention
16th: (1) My Style—hugged rails in mid-division, outrun by rivals after 3rd corner
17th: (15) Adam Barows―set solid pace, led until 3rd corner, faded thereafter
18th: (12) America's Cup―raced 4-wide in mid-group early, dropped back before 3rd corner

3-year-old Colts & Fillies, 2,000 meters (about 10 furlongs), turf, right-handed
Sunday, April 16, 2017 Nakayama Racecourse 11th Race Post time: 15:40
Total prize money: ¥ 216,000,000 (about US$ 1,878,000 <US$1=¥115>)
3-y-o: 57kg (about 126 lbs), 2kg allowance for Fillies, 2kg allowance for Southern Hemisphere-bred born in 2014
Safety factor: 18 runners

FP BK PP Horse Sex
1 6 11 Al Ain
C3 57.0 Deep Impact
Dubai Majesty
K. Matsuyama
Y. Ikee
Sunday Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Farm
2 4 7 Persian Knight
C3 57.0 Harbinger
Orient Charm
M. Demuro
Y. Ikee
G1 Racing Co., Ltd.
Oiwake Farm
3 5 10 Danburite
C3 57.0 Rulership
Y. Take
H. Otonashi
Sunday Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Farm
4 8 16 Clincher
C3 57.0 Deep Sky
The Fates
Y. Fujioka
H. Miyamoto
Koji Maeda
Hirayama Bokujo
5 3 5 Rey de Oro
C3 57.0 King Kamehameha
La Dorada
C. Lemaire
K. Fujisawa
U. Carrot Farm
Northern Racing
6 1 2 Suave Richard
C3 57.0 Heart's Cry
H. Shii
Y. Shono
NICKS Co., Ltd.
Northern Racing
7 4 8 Fan Dii Na
F3 55.0 Deep Impact
Dream of Genie
Y. Iwata
T. Takano
Turf Sport
Tanikawa Stud
8 8 17 Win Bright
C3 57.0 Stay Gold
Summer Eternity
M. Matsuoka
Y. Hatakeyama
Win Co., Ltd.
Cosmo View Farm
9 2 4 Cadenas
C3 57.0 Deep Impact
French Riviera
Y. Fukunaga
K. Nakatake
Koji Maeda
Grand Stud
10 5 9
Platina Voice
C3 57.0 Empire Maker
Pleasant Breeze
R. Wada
I. Sameshima
Shigeru Homma
Yano Bokujo
11 7 13 Satono Ares
C3 57.0 Deep Impact
Satono Amazones
K. Tosaki
K. Fujisawa
Hajime Satomi
Hajime Satomi
12 3 6 Outliers
C3 57.0 Victoire Pisa
H. Tanabe
S. Kojima
Tan Maruyama
Northern Racing
13 8 18 Trust
C3 57.0 Screen Hero
Glory Sandy
D. Shibata
H. Nakamura
Shigeyuki Okada
Nakamoto Bokujo
14 2 3 Komano Impulse
C3 57.0 Bago
Komano Akula
T. Eda
M. Kikukawa
Yoshinobu Hasegawa
Yoshinobu Hasegawa
15 7 14 King's Rush
C3 57.0 Rulership
Y. Shibata
T. Kubota
Yukihiro Moroe
Yukihiro Moroe
16 1 1 My Style
C3 57.0 Heart's Cry
First Niner
N. Yokoyama
M. Kon
Chiyono Terada
Inoke Bokujo
17 7 15 Adam Barows
C3 57.0 Heart's Cry
K. Ikezoe
K. Tsunoda
Hirotsugu Inokuma
Kentaro Hattori
18 6 12 America's Cup
C3 57.0 Manhattan Cafe
Vegas Night
F. Matsuwaka
H. Otonashi
Tatsuo Tanikake
Shadai Farm

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: 1:57.8 (race record) GOING: Firm WEATHER: Fine
TURNOVER FOR THE DAY: ¥ 27,326,426,800 ATTENDANCE: 56,067

PAY-OFF (for ¥100)
WIN No.11 ¥2,240 BRACKET QUINELLA 4-6 ¥2,380 QUINELLA 7-11 ¥8,710
PLACE No.11 ¥650 QUINELLA PLACE 7-11 ¥2,250 EXACTA 11-7 ¥20,720
No.7 ¥320 10-11 ¥16,960 TRIO 7-10-11 ¥176,030
No.10 ¥1,340 7-10 ¥6,770 TRIFECTA 11-7-10 ¥1,064,360
  1. 1.Al Ain (JPN), bay, colt, 3-year-old
    Deep Impact / Dubai Majesty (Essence of Dubai)
    Owner: Sunday Racing Co., Ltd. Breeder: Northern Farm
    Trainer: Yasutoshi Ikee Jockey: Kohei Matsuyama
    5 Starts, 4 Wins  
    Added money: ¥ 127,083,000 Career earnings: ¥ 182,734,000

  2. 2.Persian Knight (JPN), dark bay or brown, colt, 3-year-old
    Harbinger / Orient Charm (Sunday Silence)
    Owner: G1 Racing Co., Ltd. Breeder: Oiwake Farm
    Trainer: Yasutoshi Ikee Jockey: Mirco Demuro

  3. 3.Danburite (JPN), dark bay or brown, colt, 3-year-old
    Rulership / Tanzanite (Sunday Silence)
    Owner: Sunday Racing Co., Ltd. Breeder: Northern Farm
    Trainer: Hidetaka Otonashi Jockey: Yutaka take
Fractional time (sec./furlong): 12.1 - 10.8 - 12.2 - 11.7 - 12.2 - 12.4 - 11.9 - 11.4 - 11.4 - 11.7
Last 4 furlongs: 46.4 Last 3 furlongs: 34.5

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

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.


* Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) (G1)

The Satsuki Sho, which is the first of the three legs of JRA's Triple Crown Classics for three-year-olds including the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby, G1, 2,400m) and the Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger, G1, 3,000m), is comparable to British Two Thousand Guineas. The “Yokohama Norinsho Shoten Yonsai Yobiuma”, the precursor of the Satsuki Sho, was first run over 1,850 meters at Yokohama Racecourse in 1939 then moved its venue to Tokyo Racecourse four years later before given its current name and shifted again to Nakayama Racecourse in 1949—the distance was also altered to 2,000 meters in the following year.
Seven of the past Satsuki Sho champions since 2005 subsequently received the JRA Best Three-Year-Old Colt Award, in recognition of their outstanding performances throughout the year—Deep Impact (JPN, Sunday Silence) in 2005, Meisho Samson (JPN, by Opera House) in 2006, Victoire Pisa (JPN, by Neo Universe) in 2010, Orfevre (JPN, by Stay Gold) in 2011, Gold Ship (JPN, by Stay Gold) in 2012, Isla Bonita (JPN, by Fuji Kiseki) in 2014 and Duramente (JPN, by King Kamehameha) in 2015. Triple Crown winners Deep Impact and Orfevre were also named the Horse of the Year.
This year's runners that came off three trial races were: Yayoi Sho (G2, 2,000m; Mar.5): winner Cadenas who marked his second consecutive graded victory following his win in the Kyoto Nisai Stakes (G3, 2,000m; Nov.26); runner-up My Style; third-place finisher Danburite; and Keisei Hai (G3, 2,000m; Jan.15) champion Komano Impulse who was sixth. Wakaba Stakes (2,000m; Mar.18): winner Adam Barows. Spring Stakes (G2, 1,800m; Mar.19): top three finishers—Win Bright followed by Outliers then Platina Voice—and 2016 Best Two-Year-Old Colt Satono Ares who finished fourth.
Runners coming off other races were: Rey de Oro, America's Cup, Suave Richard, Persian Knight and Al Ain, winners of the Hopeful Stakes (G2, 2,000m; Dec.25), the Kisaragi Sho (G3, 1,800m; Feb.5), the Kyodo News Service Hai (G3, 1,800m; Feb.12), the Arlington Cup (G3, 1,600m; Feb.25) and the Mainichi Hai (G3, 1,800m; Mar.25), respectively. The Flower Cup (G3, 1,800m; Mar.20) victor Fan Dii Na was the first filly in three years to challenge in the classics for colts.

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