2018 News

April 1, 2018


Suave Richard Storms to Osaka Hai victory
Osaka Hai(G1)

Osaka Hai(G1)

Suave Richard, who emerged as first choice at the last minute, romped to a convincing victory in this year’s Osaka Hai, capturing his first G1 title. The four-year-old chestnut captured his first grade-race win in last year’s G3 Kyodo News Hai before turning in a sixth in the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) and went on to mark a 3/4-length second to Rey de Oro in the following Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby). After claiming the G2 Copa Republica Argentina last autumn, Suave Richard was fourth in the Arima Kinen and notched his third grade-race win in the G2 Kinko Sho which was his latest and only start of this season. Trainer Yasushi Shono celebrates his first JRA-G1 title and ninth grade-race victory since opening his yard in 2007, while jockey Mirco Demuro now boasts 25 wins at the highest level, his latest with Persian Knight in last year’s Mile Championship.

While Yamakatsu Raiden gunned to the front to set the pace by the initial turn, Suave Richard traveled near the rear after breaking from the second widest stall, but swiftly increased position making headway down the backstretch to find himself right outside the leader before the third turn. The four-year-old easily took over the lead from the tiring pacesetter before entering the stretch and went along on his untroubled way to victory, holding off the fast but late closure by Persian Knight for a 3/4-length win.

“Since the pace was very slow, I decided to make an early bid. He responded so well, I had absolutely no doubts in him and he stretched beautifully. He didn’t change leg in the (right-handed) Arima Kinen, but today he did which is a promising factor—something to look forward to from now on,” commented Mirco Demuro after the race.

Sixth favorite and last year’s G1 Mile Championship victor Persian Knight was keen to go but stuck in mid-field in the early stages however, edged out to find room at the top of the straight and while unleashing the fastest late drive in the 16-horse field, the dark bay furiously picked off all but one of his front runners for the runner-up seat.

Last year’s Satsuki Sho winner and second pick Al Ain sat off the pace in fifth to sixth, found a path behind the winner in the stretch and strived to reach contention but was caught by the fast-closing Persian Night in the final strides to cross the wire a half-length late in third.

Other Horses:
4th: (3) Yamakatsu Ace―took economic trip in mid-group, accelerated between horses, was too late
5th: (1) Mikki Swallow―settled near rear, entered lane turning wide, showed belated charge
6th: (14) Danburite―chased leader in 2nd, ran gamely, weakened in last 100m
7th: (2) Satono Diamond―saved ground in mid-division, angled wide for clear path, never a threat
8th: (9) Triomphe―traveled towards rear early, made headway at backstretch, sustained bid until 200m out
9th: (6) Smart Layer―hugged rails in 3rd, overtaken rounding final turns, improved position at stretch
10th: (16) Maitres d’Art―raced towards rear, turned wide, passed tired rivals
11th: (12) Yamakatsu Raiden―set slow pace, gradually fell back after entering lane
12th: (11) Win Bright―ran near pace in 4th, switched to outside at early stretch, never fired
13th: (4) Cheval Grand―sat wide in mid-pack, checked at early stretch, even paced
14th: (13) Masahaya Dream―trailed in rear, no factor
15th: (10) Satono Noblesse―traveled wide in mid-group, showed little at stretch
16th: (7) Gold Actor―positioned in mid-division, dropped back after 3rd corner, faded

4-year-old & up, 2,000 meters (about 10 furlongs), turf, right-handed
Sunday, April 1, 2018        Hanshin Racecourse      11th Race        Post time: 15:40
Total prize money: ¥ 259,200,000 (about US$ 2,357,000 <US$1=¥110>)
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 8 15 Suave Richard
C4 57.0 Heart’s Cry
M. Demuro
Y. Shono
NICKS Co., Ltd.
Northern Racing
1:58.2(34.1) 3.5
2 3 5 Persian Knight
C4 57.0 Harbinger
Orient Charm
Y. Fukunaga
Y. Ikee
G1 Racing Co., Ltd.
Oiwake Farm
3 4 8 Al Ain
C4 57.0 Deep Impact
Dubai Majesty
Y. Kawada
Y. Ikee
Sunday Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Farm
4 2 3 Yamakatsu Ace
H6 57.0 King Kamehameha
Yamakatsu Marilyn
Ke. Ikezoe
Ka. Ikezoe
Kazuo Yamada
Okada Bokujo
5 1 1 Mikki Swallow
C4 57.0 Tosen Homareboshi
Madre Bonita
N. Yokoyama
T. Kikuzawa
Mizuki Noda
Northern Farm
6 7 14 Danburite
C4 57.0 Rulership
S. Hamanaka
H. Otonashi
Sunday Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Farm
7 1 2 Satono Diamond
H5 57.0 Deep Impact
K. Tosaki
Y. Ikee
Satomi Horse Company Co., Ltd.
Northern Racing
8 5 9 Triomphe
G4 57.0 Turtle Bowl
Mejiro Tonkinese
H. Tanabe
N. Sugai
KT Racing Co., Ltd.
Lake Villa Farm
9 3 6 Smart Layer
M8 55.0 Deep Impact
Snow Style
H. Shii
R. Okubo
Toru Okawa
Okada Stud
10 8 16 Maitres d’Art
H5 57.0 Zenno Rob Roy
Exhibit One
K. Matsuyama
H. Toda
U. Carrot Farm
Northern Farm
11 6 12 Yamakatsu Raiden
H6 57.0 Symboli Kris S
Yamakatsu Orchid
M. Sakai
K. Ikezoe
H. Yamada
Hiroyasu Yamada
12 6 11 Win Bright
C4 57.0 Stay Gold
Summer Eternity
M. Matsuoka
Y. Hatakeyama
Win Co., Ltd.
Cosmo View Farm
13 2 4 Cheval Grand
H6 57.0 Heart’s Cry
Halwa Sweet
K. Miura
Y. Tomomichi
Kazuhiro Sasaki
Northern Racing
14 7 13 Masahaya Dream
H6 57.0 Meisho Samson
Y. Kitamura
T. Konno
Masao Nakamura
Shadai Farm
15 5 10 Satono Noblesse
H8 57.0 Deep Impact
Cry with Joy
H. Miyuki
Y. Ikee
Satomi Horse Company Co., Ltd.
Mejiro Stud
16 4 7 Gold Actor
H7 57.0 Screen Hero
Heilong Xing
H. Yoshida
T. Nakagawa
Hisayo Ishiro
Hokusho Farm

FFP=Final Position / BK=Bracket Number / PP=Post Position / Wgt=Weight / L3F=Time of Last 3 Furlongs (600m) / DS=Distance

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.

TURNOVER FOR THE DAY: ¥ 24,094,056,800 ATTENDANCE: 39,887

PAY-OFF (for ¥100)
WIN No.15 ¥350 BRACKET QUINELLA 3-8 ¥2,410 QUINELLA 5-15 ¥2,930
PLACE No.15 ¥150 QUINELLA PLACE 5-15 ¥1,020 EXACTA 15-5 ¥3,750
No.5 ¥310 8-15 ¥300 TRIO 5-8-15 ¥2,780
No.8 ¥140 5-8 ¥640 TRIFECTA 15-5-8 ¥17,450


  1. 1.Suave Richard (JPN), chestnut, colt, 4-year-old
    Heart’s Cry / Pirramimma (Unbridled’s Song)
    Owner: NICKS Co., Ltd. Breeder: Northern Racing  
    Trainer: Yasushi Shono Jockey: Mirco Demuro  
    10 Starts, 5 Wins    
    Added money: ¥ 123,402,000 Career earnings: ¥ 436,536,000  
    Principal race performances: ’18 Kinko Sho (G2, 2,000m) 1st
      ’17 Copa Republica Argentina (G2, 2,500m) 1st
      ’17 Kyodo News Hai (G3, 1,800m) 1st
      ’17 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby, G1, 2,400m) 2nd

  2. 2.Persian Knight (JPN), dark bay or brown, colt, 4-year-old
    Harbinger / Orient Charm (Sunday Silence)
    Owner: G1 Racing Co., Ltd. Breeder: Oiwake Farm
    Trainer: Yasutoshi Ikee Jockey: Yuichi Fukunaga

  3. 3.Al Ain (JPN), bay, colt, 4-year-old
    Deep Impact / Dubai Majesty (Essence of Dubai)
    Owner: Sunday Racing Co., Ltd. Breeder: Northern Farm
    Trainer: Yasutoshi Ikee Jockey: Yuga Kawada
Fractional time (sec./furlong): 12.8 - 11.3 - 12.4 - 12.4 - 12.2 - 11.8 - 11.2 - 11.1 - 11.4 - 11.6
Last 4 furlongs: 45.3          Last 3 furlongs: 34.1

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

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.


* Osaka Hai (G1)
The Osaka Hai, renewing its name this year from the familiarly known Sankei Osaka Hai, was established in 1957 as a handicap race open to runners of four years of age and upwards run over 1,800m at Hanshin Racecourse in March. After the distance was extended to 2,000m in 1972, the date was moved to one week earlier to the Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) in 1981. The race was given G2 status in conjunction with the new grading system in 1984, opened its doors to foreign competitors in 2003 and was upgraded to G1 last year. The winner of the race will automatically earn a starting position in the Irish Champion Stakes (G1, 2,000m) held in September.
Attracting strong contenders by serving as a prep race for G1 spring races for older horses such as the Tenno Sho (Spring) (G1, 3,200m) and the Takarazuka Kinen (G1, 2,200m), many Osaka Hai champions have gone on to achieve G1 successes; Meisho Samson (JPN, by Opera House) in 2007, Hiruno d’Amour (JPN, by Manhattan Cafe),who set the race record of 1:57.8 in 2011, two-time Horse of the Year Kitasan Black (JPN, by Black Tide) in 2017, all went on to capture the Tenno Sho (Spring) that followed; and Dream Journey (JPN, by Stay Gold) in 2009 landed his Takarazuka Kinen victory two starts later. Winners who also showed extraordinary accomplishments include 2008 champion Daiwa Scarlet (JPN, by Agnes Tachyon), legendary 2013 winner Orfevre (JPN, by Stay Gold) and 2014 victor Kizuna (JPN, by Deep Impact).
This year’s line-up included last year’s Japan Cup (G1, 2,400m) champion Cheval Grand who kicked off the 2018 season with this race, and 2017 Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas, G1, 2,000m) winner Al Ain who came off a runner-up effort in the Kyoto Kinen (G2, 2,200m; Feb.11). 2017 Mile Championship (G1, 1,600m) victor Persian Knight finished fifth in his first outing of the season, the Nakayama Kinen (G2, 1,800m; Feb.25) which was won by Win Bright. 2016 Best Three-Year-Old Colt Satono Diamond came off a third in his first start of his five-year-old campaign, the Kinko Sho (G2, 2,000m; Mar.11), which was claimed by 2017 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby, G1, 2,400m) runner-up Suave Richard and in fourth was last year’s Osaka Hai third-place finisher Yamakatsu Ace. Other notable contenders were Danburite and Mikki Swallow, winner and runner-up of the American Jockey Club Cup (G2, 2,200m; Jan 21), respectively, and Triomphe, victor of the Kokura Daishoten (G3, 1,800m; Feb.18).

Osaka Hai related contents