2018 News

May 6, 2018


Keiai Nautique Wins NHK Mile Cup with Impressive Late Kick
NHK Mile Cup (G1)

NHK Mile Cup (G1)

Keiai Nautique landed his first grade-race victory in this year’s NHK Mile Cup. Debuting in June of his two-year-old season, the Deep Impact colt finished third in the 2017 Daily Hai Nisai Stakes (G2) in November prior to the Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes (G1) in which he finished fourth. Raced at a mile throughout his career, he registered a win in his second start as a sophomore and had come off a runner-up effort in the New Zealand Trophy (G2) for the NHK Mile Cup. Trainer Osamu Hirata claimed his fourth JRA-G1 title with the win—the latest being the 2017 Champions Cup with Gold Dream—while the NHK Mile Cup title was his second after with Curren Black Hill in 2012. Jockey Yusuke Fujioka, who came into the race with 28 graded titles since his debut in 2004, captured his first career JRA-G1 title.

Keiai Nautique was unhurried after the break sitting well behind the race, second from last and still well behind while moving to the outside for a clear path entering the stretch. Despite having to cover much ground along the outermost route, the bay colt mowed down his rivals with great force and continued to increase his speed in the final strides to pin down Gibeon while holding off Red Veyron for a neck victory.

“He was a bit slow to pick up speed so we had to race from behind, but he more than made up with his speed and sheer determination. His potential is so great and I think he can handle longer distance,” commented Yusuke Fujioka.

Gibeon broke sharply and nicely covered between horses, settling in mid-division. As the field rounded the final corner, Gibeon responded instantly, split horses and pulled away with plenty of gas as some began to tire at the top of the stretch while just missing by a neck before the wire for second.

Red Veyron, while having to race wide for most of the way after breaking from stall 17, made steady headway along the outside and exerted a fine turn of speed to threaten the leaders in the final furlong but was just short of reaching the top two for a close third.

Race favorite Tower of London under Christophe Lemaire stumbled at the start and was rated a little further back in mid-field. Shifting to the inside along the rails rounding the third and final corners, the pair struggled to find a clear path which never materialized after entering the straight, and the two-time graded winner was pinched back behind a wall of horses in mid-stretch, lost momentum and faded to 12th.

Other Horses:
4th: (16) Mr Melody―advanced to 4th from wide draw, ran gamely for 2nd, outrun in final strides
5th: (5) Primo Scene―broke slowly, checked at 3rd corner, 15th entering lane, quickened and rallied
6th: (10) Pax Americana―ran wide around 10th, accelerated until 100m out, weakened in final strides
7th: (8) Danon Smash―pressed pace in 2nd, ran gamely until 150m out, weakened
8th: (1) Katsuji―was off slow, saved ground around 9th, struggled to find clear path
9th: (14) Delta Barows―trailed in rear, angled wide, passed tired rivals
10th: (15) Cassius―settled wide around 6th, ran gamely but met traffic passing 200m pole
11th: (6) Ryono Tesoro―raced around 11th, lacked needed kick at stretch
13th: (4) Frontier―sat near pace around 5th, met traffic 200m out, lost momentum
14th: (3) Tetradrachm―led field until 300m out, tired from early effort
15th: (2) Fast Approach―chased leader around 3rd along the rails, shuffled back by rivals and faded
16th: (13) Lucas―traveled 3rd from rear, showed little in stretch
17th: (12) Encore Plus―sat around 14th, unable to reach contention
18th: (18) Rock This Town―positioned wide around 8th, faded after 400m out

3-year-old Colts & Fillies, 1,600 meters (about 8 furlongs), turf, left-handed
Sunday, May 6, 2018       Tokyo Racecourse         11th Race          Post Time: 15:40
Total prize money: ¥ 226,800,000 (about US$ 2,062,000 <US$1=¥110>)
3-y-o: 57 kg (about 126 lbs), 2 kg allowance for Fillies,
2 kg allowance for Southern Hemisphere-bred born in 2015
Safety factor: 18 runners

FP BK PP Horse Sex
1 6 11 Keiai Nautique
C3 57.0 Deep Impact
Keiai Gerbera
Y. Fujioka
O. Hirata
Kazuhiro Kameda
Queens Ranch Ltd
2 5 9 Gibeon
C3 57.0 Deep Impact
M. Demuro
H. Fujiwara
Shadai Race Horse Co., Ltd.
Shadai Farm
3 8 17 Red Veyron
C3 57.0 King Kamehameha
Erimo Pixy
Y. Iwata
S. Ishizaka
TokyoHorseRacing Co., Ltd
Hidetoshi Yamamoto
4 8 16 Mr Melody
C3 57.0 Scat Daddy
Trusty Lady
Y. Fukunaga
H. Fujiwara
Green Fields Co., Ltd.
Bell Tower Thoroughbreds
5 3 5 Primo Scene
F3 55.0 Deep Impact
K. Tosaki
T. Kimura
Silk Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Racing
6 5 10 Pax Americana
C3 57.0 Kurofune
Global Peace
Y. Kawada
M. Nakauchida
Sanshisuimei Co., Ltd.
Chiyoda Farm Shizunai
7 4 8 Danon Smash
C3 57.0 Lord Kanaloa
Spinning Wildcat
Y. Kitamura
T. Yasuda
Danox Co., Ltd.
K. I. Farm
8 1 1 Katsuji
C3 57.0 Deep Impact
K. Matsuyama
K. Ikezoe
Kanayama Holdings Co., Ltd.
Okada Stud
9 7 14 Delta Barows
C3 57.0 Into Mischief
Sweet Seventeen
S. Ishibashi
N. Hori
Hirotsugu Inokuma
John C. Oxley
10 7 15 Cassius
C3 57.0 Kinshasa no Kiseki
Love Dylan
S. Hamanaka
H. Shimizu
Kanayama Holdings Co., Ltd.
Tanioka Stud
11 3 6 Ryono Tesoro
C3 57.0 Justin Phillip
Town Belle
H. Yoshida
R. Takei
Ryotokuji Kenji Holdings Co., Ltd.
Highland Yard LLC
12 4 7 Tower of London
C3 57.0 Raven’s Pass
Snow Pine
C. Lemaire
K. Fujisawa
Darley Japan K. K
13 2 4 Frontier
C3 57.0 Daiwa Major
Grace Land
H. Uchida
M. Nakauchida
Sunday Racing Co., Ltd.
Shadai Corporation Inc.
14 2 3 Tetradrachm
F3 55.0 Rulership
Living Proof
H. Tanabe
K. Konishi
Katsumi Yoshida
Northern Farm
15 1 2 Fast Approach
C3 57.0 Dawn Approach
Jolie Jioconde
M. Ebina
K. Fujisawa
Hidetoshi Yamamoto
Hidetoshi Yamamoto
16 7 13 Lucas
C3 57.0 Screen Hero
Mejiro Frances
H. Bowman
N. Hori
Silk Racing Co., Ltd.
Togawa Bokujo
17 6 12 Encore Plus
F3 55.0 Deep Impact
Oyster Ticket
K. Fujioka
Y. Tomomichi
Kaneko Makoto Holdings Co., Ltd.
Kaneko Makoto Holdings Inc.
18 8 18 Rock This Town
F3 55.0 Orfevre
Stray Cat
K. Ikezoe
K. Fujisawa
Sunday Racing Co., Ltd.
Shadai Corporation Inc.

FP=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: ¥ 23,316,607,900 ATTENDANCE: 49,628

PAY-OFF (for ¥100)
WIN No.11 ¥1,280 BRACKET QUINELLA 5-6 ¥1,890 QUINELLA 9-11 ¥3,140
PLACE No.11 ¥370 QUINELLA PLACE 9-11 ¥1,230 EXACTA 11-9 ¥7,470
No.9 ¥230 11-17 ¥3,360 TRIO 9-11-17 ¥21,840
No.17 ¥520 9-17 ¥2,180 TRIFECTA 11-9-17 ¥129,560


  1. 1.Keiai Nautique (JPN), bay, colt, 3-year-old
    Deep Impact / Keiai Gerbera (Smarty Jones)
    Owner: Kazuhiro Kameda Breeder: Queens Ranch Ltd  
    Trainer: Osamu Hirata Jockey: Yusuke Fujioka  
    7 Starts, 3 Wins    
    Added money: ¥ 108,822,000 Career earnings: ¥ 169,978,000  

  2. 2.Gibeon (JPN), bay, colt, 3-year-old
    Deep Impact / Contested (Ghostzapper)
    Owner: Shadai Race Horse Co., Ltd. Breeder: Shadai Farm
    Trainer: Hideaki Fujiwara Jockey: Mirco Demuro

  3. 3.Red Veyron (JPN), bay, colt, 3-year-old
    King Kamehameha / Erimo Pixy (Dancing Brave)
    Owner: TokyoHorseRacing Co., Ltd Breeder: Hidetoshi Yamamoto
    Trainer: Sei Ishizaka Jockey: Yasunari Iwata
Fractional time (sec./furlong): 12.1 - 11.1 - 11.2 - 11.9 - 11.7 - 11.3 - 11.5 - 12.0
Last 4 furlongs: 46.5          Last 3 furlongs: 34.8

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

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.


* NHK Mile Cup (G1)
While races in Japan for three-year-olds had been programmed mainly to facilitate those aiming towards the middle-long distance three-year-old Classics as typified by the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby, G1, 2,400m), the interest in speed races is growing both within and outside Japan, and earning much respect as the traditional Classics. In 1996, JRA reorganized its races in order to accommodate and promote the three-year-olds suited to short distances, and established the NHK Mile Cup which was named after its sponsor Nippon Hoso Kyokai (Japan Broadcasting Corporation)—Japan’s only public broadcaster. The race was designated as an international race in 2009.
Past NHK Mile Cup winners include subsequent derby winners King Kamehameha (JPN, by Kingmambo; ’04) and Deep Sky (JPN, by Agnes Tachyon; ’08) while El Condor Pasa (USA, by Kingmambo; ’98) and Kurofune (USA, by French Deputy; ’01) won the Japan Cup (G1, 2,400m) and the Japan Cup Dirt (G1, dirt, 2,100m), respectively.
Katsuji came off a victory in one of two official trials for the NHK Mile Cup, the New Zealand Trophy (G2, 1,600m; Apr.7). Keiai Nautique and Delta Barows followed in second and third, respectively in the same trial while Kokura Nisai Stakes (G3, 1,200m; Jul.23) victor Cassius finished seventh. The other trial, the Arlington Cup (G3, 1,600m; Apr.14) was won by Tower of London who finished third in the Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes (G1, 1,600m; Dec.17) following his first career grade-race victory as a two-year-old. Runner-up Pax Americana and third-place Red Veyron also earned their berth in the NHK Mile Cup. Those that ran in the Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas, G1, 1,600m; Apr.8) but decided not to step up in distance in the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks, G1, 2,400m) and opted to aim for a G1 title over a mile against the boys included Primo Scene (10th) and Encore Plus (11th). Other key runners in the field were Tetradrachm, winner of the Queen Cup (G3, 1,600m; Feb.12), the Falcon Stakes (G3, 1,400m; Mar.17) victor Mr Melody and Frontier who was third, also in the Falcon Stakes.
The race record is held by Danon Chantilly (JPN, by Fuji Kiseki) who covered the 1,600 meter distance in 1:31.4 in 2010.

NHK Mile Cup related contents