2017 News

October 1, 2017


Red Falx Defends his Title in Sprinters Stakes
Sprinters Stakes(G1)

Sprinters Stakes(G1)

Top favorite Red Falx demonstrated an extraordinary closing kick and successfully defended his Sprinters Stakes title, becoming the third horse in history since Sakura Bakushin O (1992-93) and Lord Kanaloa (2012-13) to do so. After claiming the title last year, the Swept Overboard horse made his first overseas challenge in the Hong Kong Sprint where he was 12th, and was sent off as race favorite in his first seasonal start, the Takamatsunomiya Kinen, in which he finished third. Testing his strength over longer distances proved fruitful as he immediately claimed the 1,400m G2 Keio Hai Spring Cup and turned in a good third in the G1 mile race, the Yasuda Kinen. For trainer Tomohito Ozeki, this is his second JRA-G1 title following last year’s victory, while jockey Mirco Demuro, who has guided Red Falx in his last seven starts, celebrates his 21st title, his latest on board Satono Crown in this year’s Takarazuka Kinen.

The field broke with Once in a Moon taking the lead and Diana Halo in second while Red Falx was unhurried sitting way off the pace in mid-division outside Let’s Go Donki making the initial turn. With still a significant amount of ground to cover at the top of the straight, the defending champion squeezed through a gap between Fine Needle and Nero at the furlong pole, unleashed a monstrous stretch drive down the middle of the lane, sweeping past his rivals before finally pinning Let’s Go Donki just before the wire for a neck win.

Five-year-old mare Let’s Go Donki took an economic route, sitting in mid-field before gaining ground while climbing the stretch hill on the rails, finally tagging Once in a Moon 50 meters out to briefly notch the lead, but was immediately caught by the fast-closing winner to finish second.

Seventh favorite Once in a Moon sprinted well to take the front early, maintaining a two-length lead all the way to the furlong marker but grudgingly gave way in the final 50 meters first to Let’s Go Donki and then Red Falx in the final strides for third.

Blizzard was pinched back soon after the break, regained his balance, advanced to mid-division between horses and back into rhythm approaching the last turn. He was unable to keep with the pace of the winner passing on his outside but held well for fifth.

“The horse jumped a little bit slow, and straight away I got pressured so I needed to check. I gave him a chance to make sure he finds his balance and once I put him back in the race I had a lovely run. Traveling well between horses in the first half, really picked up well but then as the others really quickened at the last corner, I had to give him pressure to be there, then he picked up,” commented Gerald Mosse.

“He stayed on strongly but the winner was too good—there was no way we could beat him today. He’s a horse that always tries his best to please you and give a good run,” said trainer Poon-fai Yiu.

Other Horses:
4th: (1) Snow Dragon―saved ground in mid-pack, quickened in last 200m, 2nd fastest over last 3 furlongs
6th: (10) Big Arthur―made headway to 3rd or 4th, raced gamely, weakened in final strides
7th: (9) Melagrana―positioned towards rear, switched to outside at early stretch, showed belated effort
8th: (16) Dance Director―sat outside eventual winner, passed tired rivals in last 200m
9th: (4) Fiducia―stalked leaders in 3rd, ran willingly, weakened in last 100m
10th: (15) Shuji―trailed in far rear, timed fastest over 3 furlongs, was too late
11th: (3) Seiun Kosei―traveled in mid-group, showed effort until 100m out, outrun thereafter
12th: (13) Fine Needle―advanced to around 6th, raced 4-wide, lacked needed kick at straight
13th: (5) Rhein Meteor―was off slow, unable to reach contention
14th: (11) Monde Can Know―ran 3-wide in mid-division, showed little in stretch
15th: (7) Diana Halo―pressed pace in 2nd, nothing left in run for home
16th: (14) Nero―settled in 6-7th, faded after entering straight

THE 51ST SPRINTERS STAKES (G1) -the 8th leg of the Global Sprint Challenge-
3-year-old & up, 1,200 meters (about 6 furlongs), turf, right-handed
Sunday, October 1, 2017 Nakayama Racecourse 11th Race Post time: 15:40
Total prize money: ¥ 212,280,000 (about US$ 1,845,913 <US$1=¥115>)
3-y-o: 55kg (about 121 lbs), 4-y-o & up: 57kg (about 126 lbs),
2kg allowance for Fillies & Mares, 1kg allowance for Southern Hemisphere-bred born in 2014
Safety factor: 16 runners

FP BK PP Horse Sex
1 4 8 Red Falx
H6 57.0 Swept Overboard
M. Demuro
T. Ozeki
TokyoHorseRacing Co., Ltd
Shadai Farm
2 1 2 Let’s Go Donki
M5 55.0 King Kamehameha
Y. Iwata
T. Umeda
Hirosaki Toshihiro HD Co., Ltd.
Shimizu Bokujo
3 3 6 Once in a Moon
F4 55.0 Admire Moon
Two Days Notice
S. Ishibashi
M. Saito
Itohan Holdings Co., Ltd.
Okada Stud
4 1 1 Snow Dragon
H9 57.0 Admire Cozzene
Meine Caprice
T. Ono
N. Takagi
Makio Okada
Meiwa Iwami Bokujo
5 6 12 Blizzard*
G6 57.0 Starcraft
Stormy Choice
G. Mosse
P. Yiu
Infinitude Syndicate
G S A Bloodstock Pty Ltd
6 5 10 Big Arthur
H6 57.0 Sakura Bakushin O
Y. Fukunaga
K. Fujioka
Akira Nakatsuji
Bamboo Stud
7 5 9 Melagrana
M5 55.0 Fastnet Rock
K. Tosaki
M. Ikezoe
Kazumi Yoshida
Emirates Park Pty Ltd
8 8 16 Dance Director
H7 57.0 Aldebaran
Mother Leaf
S. Hamanaka
K. Sasada
Suzuko Ota
Fujiwara Breeding Stud
9 2 4 Fiducia
M5 55.0 Medaglia d'Oro
K. Miura
S. Matsumoto
Koji Maeda
North Hills Co., LTD.
10 8 15 Shuji
C4 57.0 Kinshasa no Kiseki
N. Yokoyama
N. Sugai
Koji Yasuhara
Hamamoto Bokujo
11 2 3 Seiun Kosei
C4 57.0 Admire Moon
H. Miyuki
H. Uehara
Shigeyuki Nishiyama
Sakurai Bokujo
12 7 13 Fine Needle
C4 57.0 Admire Moon
H. Uchida
Y. Takahashi
HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Darley Japan K. K
13 3 5 Rhein Meteor
H7 57.0 Meisho Bowler
Aramasa Fairy
Y. Nishida
T. Mizuno
Shigemasa Osawa
Araki Farm
14 6 11 Monde Can Know
C3 55.0 Kinshasa no Kiseki
Raise and Call
K. Ikezoe
T. Yasuda
Your Story
Northern Farm
15 4 7 Diana Halo
F4 55.0 King Halo
Yamakatsu Seiren
Y. Take
N. Fukushima
Onishi Farm
16 7 14 Nero
H6 57.0 Johannesburg
Nishino Takarazuka
M. Katsuura
H. Mori
Shigeyuki Nishiyama
Nishiyama Stud
FP=Final Position / BK=Bracket Number / PP=Post Position / Wgt=Weight / L3F=Time of Last 3 Furlongs (600m)
Note1: *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.

TURNOVER FOR THE DAY: ¥ 21,306,431,600 ATTENDANCE: 37,371

PAY-OFF (for ¥100)
WIN No.8 ¥320 BRACKET QUINELLA 1-4 ¥1,470 QUINELLA 2-8 ¥1,760
PLACE No.8 ¥140 QUINELLA PLACE 2-8 ¥630 EXACTA 8-2 ¥2,890
No.2 ¥300 6-8 ¥860 TRIO 2-6-8 ¥7,650
No.6 ¥350 2-6 ¥2,100 TRIFECTA 8-2-6 ¥31,850

  1. 1. Red Falx (JPN), gray, horse, 6-year-old
    Swept Overboard / Vermouth (Sunday Silence)
    Owner: TokyoHorseRacing Co., Ltd Breeder: Shadai Farm  
    Trainer: Tomohito Ozeki Jockey: Mirco Demuro  
    23 Starts, 10 Wins    
    Added money: ¥ 101,402,000 Career earnings: ¥ 459,150,000  
    Principal Race Performances: ’16 Sprinters Stakes (G1, 1,200m) 1st
    ’17 Keio Hai Spring Cup (G2, 1,400m) 1st
    ’16 CBC Sho (G3, 1,200m) 1st
    ’17 Yasuda Kinen (G1, 1,600m) 3st
    ’17 Takamatsunomiya Kinen (G1, 1,200m) 3st

  2. 2. Let's Go Donki (JPN), chestnut, mare, 5-year-old
    King Kamehameha / Marutoku (Marvelous Sunday)
    Owner: Hirosaki Toshihiro HD Co., Ltd. Breeder: Shimizu Bokujo
    Trainer: Tomoyuki Umeda Jockey: Yasunari Iwata

  3. 3. Once in a Moon (JPN), bay, filly, 4-year-old
    Admire Moon / Two Days Notice (Hector Protector)
    Owner: Itohan Holdings Co., Ltd. Breeder: Okada Stud
    Trainer: Makoto Saito Jockey: Syu Ishibashi
Fractional Time (sec./furlong): 11.9 - 10.8 - 11.2 - 10.9 - 11.1 - 11.7
Last 4 furlongs: 44.9          Last 3 furlongs: 33.7

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

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.

Post race interview of winning connections:
[Trainer: Tomohito Ozeki]
“I’m extremely happy to have been able to prove with this consecutive win, that Red Falx is the true sprint champion. Positioned a little further back than when he won last year, I was a little worried—I thought that it was perhaps because we had used him over 1,400 and 1,600 meters—and coming into the straight I honestly thought that he may not make it. But he’s exceeded my expectations and is an incredible horse. He’s improved even further since his first G1 victory in this race last year and his experience against top caliber through the year has certainly benefitted him. Our immediate goal for him would be to make him the season’s JRA Award winner—we missed the title last season—and another goal (for me personally) would be to claim the Takamatsunomiya Kinen next year—a race which we wanted very much to win but didn’t. Because we’ve been so focused in winning the race today, our plan between now and the Takamatsunomiya Kinen next year is still not determined and will have to decide upon discussions with the owner what would be best, including a possibility for another trip overseas, to ensure his JRA Award title.”

[Jockey: Mirco Demuro]
“I know this horse really well and seeing his movement in his gallop before this race, I was confident that we were well equipped to win a second time. Starting from stall eight was an icing on the cake—the draw last year was further out and we still won—and added to my confidence. The trainer and stable staff really conditioned him to his best and he was relaxed in the post parade and felt really good. His break is fine but he’s a little slow in getting into the flow, so he was a little further behind between the first and second corner. But I felt a great amount of power under me throughout and I knew that once we can enter the straight smoothly, we would definitely make it. Just as I’d hoped, he changed legs and gave his usual strong finish to the end—I already knew we had won in mid-stretch before taking over the leader. He’s such a hard worker and has so much determination—his turn of speed is so good over various distances between this up to 1,600 meters—a true G1 winner. Unfortunately in Hong Kong last year, his condition wasn’t so good and the grass was a little long, and a number of other factors contributed to his defeat. He was still not 100 percent in his comeback start in the Takamatsunomiya Kinen where the going was heavy but he still finished third. I’m sure in the condition he is now, we would have a good chance in any race including Hong Kong, but Mr. Ozeki knows the horse best so he will be the one to decide his next move.”

Other Races Ridden by Gerald Mosse:
3rd race: Three-Year-Olds (Maiden), dirt, 1,800m, 16 runners
―6th on San Rafael (JPN, C3), 2nd favorite
8th race: Three-Year-Olds & Up (Allowance), dirt, 1,200m, 16 runners
―3rd on Aster Swing (USA, C3), 5th favorite

* Sprinters Stakes(G1)
The Sprinters Stakes, initially established in 1967 as a major 1,200-meter sprint race for three-year-old and up, was designated as a spring G3 event in conjunction with the new grading system implemented in 1984. It was then upgraded to G2 in 1987 before becoming a G1 sprint race in 1990 with the date of fixture also shifted to the latter part of the season. The race now positions itself as the highest mark for sprinters together with the Takamatsunomiya Kinen (G1, 1,200m) held in spring. As one of the first few races to open its doors to foreign entries, the race became part of the Global Sprint Challenge in 2005 and joined the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series last year, enabling its winners to earn automatic starting position and other benefits in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1, 1,000m).
Silent Witness (AUS, by El Moxie) from Hong Kong played the starring role in its inaugural year in 2005 while Australia’s Takeover Target (AUS, by Celtic Swing) won the 2006 Sprinters Stakes and ultimately earned the Global Sprint Challenge Champion title. While foreign contenders have not been seen in the winner’s circle since Hong Kong’s Ultra Fantasy (AUS, by Encosta de Lago) claimed the title in 2010, the race has continued to enjoy the company of some of the top sprinters from overseas in recent years.
This year’s only foreign runner was Blizzard, trained by Poon-fai Yiu, who won this race in 2010 with Ultra Fantasy. The son of Starcraft registered third-place finishes as a four-year-old in both the Hong Kong Classic Mile (1,600m) and Hong Kong Classic Cup (1,800m) before landing his first grade-race victory in the Challenge Cup (G3, 1,400m) last January.
Meanwhile, the Japanese lineup included six G1 winners; defending champion Red Falx, who had continued to prove competitive at this level finishing third in both the Takamatsunomiya Kinen in March and the Yasuda Kinen (G1, 1,600m) in June; Seiun Kosei, winner of the Takamatsunomiya Kinen this spring; 2015 Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas, G1, 1,600m) victor Let’s Go Donki, who was runner-up to Seiun Kosei in the Takamatsunomiya Kinen, came off an 11th in the Victoria Mile (G1, 1,600m) in May; 2016 Takamatsunomiya Kinen champion Big Arthur made his first start in over nine months after sustaining a muscle contusion in his upper right foreleg and a hoof injury; and Snow Dragon who aimed to claim his first win since the 2014 edition of the Sprinters Stakes.
Other notable contenders were; the Summer Sprint Series champion Rhein Meteor who scored a victory in the Ibis Summer Dash (G3, 1,000m; Jul.30) and a runner-up effort in the following Centaur Stakes (G2, 1,200m; Sep.10); Diana Halo and Fine Needle who came off their victories in the Kitakyushu Kinen (G3, 1,200m; Aug.20) and the Centaur Stakes, respectively; Melagrana, fourth in the Centaur Stakes and with a record of three wins out of three starts over the Nakayama course; the 2016 Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes (G1, 1,600m) runner-up Monde Can Know and two-time graded winner Shuji who had finished sixth and 13th, respectively, in the their previous start, the Keeneland Cup (G3, 1,200m; Aug.27).
The race record of 1:06.7 was set by Lord Kanaloa (JPN, by King Kamehameha) in the first of his consecutive victories in this race in 2012 and 2013.


Sprinters Stakes (G1) related contents
Global Sprint Challenge
Breeders' Cup Challenge Race