2019 News

May 5, 2019


Admire Mars Beats Top Three-Year-Old Milers in NHK Mile Cup
NHK Mile Cup (G1)

NHK Mile Cup (G1)

Winner of the Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes, Admire Mars captured his second G1 title in this year’s NHK Mile Cup after being sent off second favorite. The 2018 Best Two-Year-Old Colt claimed four out of four at the mile last season, and was second in the Kyodo News Service Hai (G3, 1,800m) and fourth in his latest start, the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas, G1, 2,000m), this year. For trainer Yasuo Tomomichi, following his latest G1 triumph in the Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes with the colt, this becomes his 11th JRA-G1 victory and second NHK Mile Cup title—his first was in 2015 with Clarity Sky. Jockey Mirco Demuro now boasts 29th JRA-G1 wins—his latest was in the Hopeful Stakes with Saturnalia last December.

A touch late at the start breaking from a wide gate, Admire Mars traveled three to four-wide in mid division in the backstretch and swerved out to a farther position with nearly half of the field still to beat entering the straight. The Daiwa Major chestnut fought hard against a six to seven-horse rally down the long Tokyo straight under steady right-hand encouragement from Demuro and finally burst through 100 meters out while holding off a good challenge from Cadence Call and Catedral to claim the title.

“Our draw was wide, his start wasn’t so good and we had to race in a lower position than hoped, but he just hates to lose—once another runner came up next to him, he found his second wind. He’s truly an amazing miler,” said Mirco Demuro after the race.

Breaking smoothly from the widest stall and next to Admire Mars, Cadence Call was reserved in fourth to fifth from the rear. Still near the rear in upper-stretch, the Lord Kanaloa colt was switched to an outer path to avoid traffic and from there, unleashed the fastest stretch run to catch all but the winner a half-length behind in second.

Catedral sat in fourth to fifth close to Cadence Call earlier and as the eventual top two finishers took a wide path towards the finish line, the Heart’s Cry bay split horses 150 meters out while displaying the second fastest last three-furlong run but was a nose short at the wire for third.

Race favorite Gran Alegria was off a bit slow, sat in fourth and entered the lane behind a wall of horses in seventh to eighth. After bumping Danon Chaser while shifting out for a clear path two furlongs out, the Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) winner couldn’t find her best stride but dug in gamely to clear the wire in fourth, but was demoted to fifth because of interference to a rival.

Other Horses:
4th: (3) Danon Chaser—ran in 6th along rails, bumped by favorite 400m out, responded inside winner, finished 5th and promoted to 4th
6th: (8) Val d’Isere—sat in mid-pack, angled out at early stretch, passed tired rivals
7th: (14) Happy Hour—raced 3-wide 2nd from rear, showed belated charge, tied 2nd fastest over last 3 furlongs
8th: (16) Toya Rito Seito—traveled in front of winner, led briefly, overtaken by late chargers in last 100m
9th: (12) Wide Pharaoh—settled outside favorite, rallied for lead, outrun in last 100m
10th: (6) Groove It—took economic route inside winner, failed to find clear path after entering lane
11th: (5) Meiner Flap—hugged rails in mid-group, showed effort until 100m out
12th: (2) Pourville—chased leaders in 3rd, held well, weakened in last 100m
13th: (13) Fantasist—raced 3-wide in mid-division, even paced
14th: (1) Kurino Gaudi—tracked leader in 2nd, weakened in last 100m
15th: (15) Wittelsbach—saved ground 4th from rear, ran willingly along rails until 200m pole
16th: (4) Iberis—set pace, outrun in last 200m
17th: (9) Mikki Black—trailed in rear, unable to reach contention
18th: (11) Lord Gladio—sat 3rd from rear, never fired

3-year-old Colts & Fillies, 1,600 meters (about 8 furlongs), turf, left-handed
Sunday, May 5, 2019       Tokyo Racecourse         11th Race          Post Time: 15:40
Total prize money: ¥ 226,800,000 (about US$ 1,972,000 <US$1=¥115>)
3-y-o: 57 kg (about 126 lbs), 2 kg allowance for Fillies,
2 kg allowance for Southern Hemisphere-bred born in 2016
Safety factor: 18 runners

FP BK PP Horse Sex
1 8 17 Admire Mars
C3 57.0 Daiwa Major
Via Medici
M. Demuro
Y. Tomomichi
Riichi Kondo
Northern Farm
2 8 18 Cadence Call
C3 57.0 Lord Kanaloa
S. Ishibashi
T. Yasuda
Sunday Racing Co., td.
Northern Farm
3 5 10 Catedral
C3 57.0 Heart’s Cry
B. Avdulla
M. Ikezoe
U. Carrot Farm
Northern Racing
4 2 3 Danon Chaser
C3 57.0 Deep Impact
Y. Kawada
Y. Ikee
Danox Co., Ltd.
Northern Farm
5 4 7 Gran Alegria
F3 55.0 Deep Impact
C. Lemaire
K. Fujisawa
Sunday Racing Co., td.
Northern Farm
6 4 8 Val d’Isere
C3 57.0 Lord Kanaloa
Y. Kitamura
K. Watanabe
G1 Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Racing
7 7 14 Happy Hour
C3 57.0 Harbinger
Success Silhouette
H. Yoshida
K. Take
Sachiko Takashima
Key West Inc.
8 8 16 Toya Rito Seito
C3 57.0 Dream Journey
Jaja Machan
Y. Fukunaga
T. Matsushita
Takamitsu Murata
Shadai Farm
9 6 12 Wide Pharaoh
C3 57.0 Henny Hughes
Wide Sapphire
H. Uchida
K. Sumii
Masanobu Habata
Masanobu Habata
10 3 6 Groove It
C3 57.0 Lord Kanaloa
Special Groove
D. Lane
M. Matsunaga
U. Carrot Farm
Northern Racing
11 3 5 Meiner Flap
C3 57.0 Victoire Pisa
Meine Elena
M. Matsuoka
T. Umeda
K. Thoroughbred Club Ruffian
Big Red Farm
12 1 2 Pourville
F3 55.0 Le Havre
S. Akiyama
Y. Shono
Teruya Yoshida
Shadai Farm
13 7 13 Fantasist
C3 57.0 Lord Kanaloa
Deep in Ask
Y. Take
T. Umeda
Toshihiro Hirosaki
Toshihiro Hirosaki
14 1 1 Kurino Gaudi
C3 57.0 Screen Hero
Kurino Billionaire
Y. Fujioka
N. Fujisawa
Hiroharu Kurimoto
Hiroharu Kurimoto
15 7 15 Wittelsbach
C3 57.0 Rulership
Katies Gem
K. Tosaki
M. Ikegami
U. Carrot Farm
Northern Farm
16 2 4 Iberis
F3 55.0 Lord Kanaloa
S. Hamanaka
K. Tsunoda
Koji Maeda
Doi Bokujo
17 5 9 Mikki Black
C3 57.0 Black Tide
Y. Iwata
H. Otonashi
Mizuki Noda
Northern Farm
18 6 11 Lord Gladio
C3 57.0 King Kamehameha
Shimmei Fuji
T. Ono
K. Nishiura
Lord Horse Club
K. I. Farm
FP=Final Position / BK=Bracket Number / PP=Post Position / Wgt=Weight / L3F=Time of Last 3 Furlongs (600m)
DQ&P=Disqualified and Placed, or Demoted
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: ¥ 25,102,507,600 ATTENDANCE: 63,311

PAY-OFF (for ¥100)
WIN No.17 ¥ 430 BRACKET QUINELLA 8-8 ¥ 6,440 QUINELLA 17-18 ¥ 17,200
PLACE No.17 ¥ 210 QUINELLA PLACE 17-18 ¥ 3,480 EXACTA 17-18 ¥ 22,440
No.18 ¥ 1,270 10-17 ¥ 1,840 TRIO 10-17-18 ¥ 97,390
No.10 ¥ 750 10-18 ¥ 12,620 TRIFECTA 17-18-10 ¥ 410,680
  1. 1.Admire Mars (JPN), chestnut, colt, 3-year-old
    Daiwa Major / Via Medici (Medicean)
    Owner: Riichi Kondo Breeder: Northern Farm
    Trainer: Yasuo Tomomichi Jockey: Mirco Demuro
    7 Starts, 5 Wins
    Added money: ¥ 108,906,000 Career earnings: ¥ 273,525,000

  2. 2.Cadence Call (JPN), bay, colt, 3-year-old
    Lord Kanaloa / Inductee (Heart’s Cry)
    Owner: Sunday Racing Co., Ltd. Breeder: Northern Farm
    Trainer: Takayuki Yasuda Jockey: Shu Ishibashi

  3. 3.Catedral (JPN), bay, colt, 3-year-old
    Heart's Cry / Abyla (Rock of Gibraltar)
    Owner: U. Carrot Farm Breeder: Northern Racing
    Trainer: Manabu Ikezoe Jockey: Brenton Avdulla
Fractional time (sec./furlong): 12.0 - 10.4 - 11.5 - 11.9 - 12.0 - 11.3 - 11.3 - 12.0
Last 4 furlongs: 46.6         Last 3 furlongs: 34.6

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

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

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.
This year’s field included Wide Pharaoh, coming off his win in the New Zealand Trophy (G2, 1,600m; Apr.6), one of two official trials for the NHK Mile Cup, with Wittelsbach also earning the berth finishing third. In the other trial, the Arlington Cup (G3, 1,600m; Apr.13), the top three finishers Iberis, Catedral and Toya Rito Seito qualified to run in this G1 mile race while the Shinzan Kinen (G3, 1,600m) winner Val d’Isere was seen finishing eighth. Those that ran in the Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas, G1, 1,600m; Apr.7) 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 Gran Alegria (1st) and Pourville (6th). Also, those who ran the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas, G1, 2,000m) and headed to this race instead of the Tokyo Yushun were Admire Mars (4th), Fantasist (13th) and Kurino Gaudi (16th). Other key runners in the field were the Kisaragi Sho (G3, 1,800m; Feb.3) winner Danon Chaser, and the Falcon Stakes (G3, 1,400m; Mar.16) victor Happy Hour and runner-up Groove It.
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