2019 News

December 21, 2019


Shingun Michael Claims First J-G1 Victory in Nakayama Daishogai
Nakayama Daishogai (J-G1)

Nakayama Daishogai (J-G1)

Five-year-old Shingun Michael captured his first J-G1 triumph while marking his third consecutive graded win. After debuting as a three-year-old, the Shingun Opera horse was winless in his first eight career starts in flat races and was switched to steeplechase racing at the end of the same season. The bay broke his maiden in his third start over fences which was followed by another two wins. This year, he scored his first graded win in June’s Tokyo Jump Stakes (J-G3, 3,110m) and collected another grade-race trophy in his most recent start, the Tokyo High-Jump (J-G2, 3,110m) in October. For trainer Keiji Takaichi, this is his first G1 and ninth graded title over both flat and jump races while jockey Mitsuki Kaneko celebrates his first G1 and fourth graded victory, all in jump races.

Shingun Michael broke well and was reserved under Kaneko in sixth to seventh while Delightful set the pace up to the final stages. The field began to make their bids coming out of the second to last dip with Shingun Michael also making headway and ascending to second right behind Bright Quartz immediately after clearing the 10th jump (fence no.4). After jumping the final fence (no.5) beside Bright Quartz, the five-year-old gelding shook off all challenge and maintained a good two-length margin from the top of the stretch to the finish line for his first J-G1 triumph.

“I’m thrilled to have won (a G1 title) at last—it’s a dream come true. Today I let my horse run in a comfortable rhythm while keeping an eye on the favorite (Thinking Dancer) and third-pick (Delightful). I frantically urged him in the stretch and he gave everything he had. I would like a chance to challenge the 2016-18 Best Steeplechase Horse Oju Chosan next,” commented jockey Mitsuki Kaneko.

Sixth favorite Bright Quartz was settled a couple of lengths behind Shingun Michael but caught up with the eventual winner by the sixth jump (no.5), crept up to fourth at the ninth obstacle (no.3) and inherited the lead at the 10th fence (no.4). Although caught by Shingun Michael at the last jump (no.5), the five-year-old bay ran well to the wire to secure second.

Sent off fourth pick Meisho Dassai sat on the heels of Thinking Dancer in third, was unhurried while the others made their bids near the ninth obstacle (no.3), cleared the last fence (no.5) in fifth and showed a good stretch drive to nose out the race favorite in the final strides for third money.

Race favorite Thinking Dancer made a clean break from the farthest stall and chased the pace saving ground a few lengths behind in second up to the second from last fence (no.4) but gave way to the eventual winner and runner-up entering the straight behind in third and held on well only to be caught by the fast closing Meisho Dassai to finish fourth.

Other Horses:
5th: (10) Le Pere Noel—chased leaders in 3rd or 4th, dropped position after 5th jump (fence no.6), showed effort after 10th jump (fence no.4)
6th: (13) Meadowlark—traveled in 5th, advanced to 3rd after 7th jump (fence no.7), weakened in last 200m
7th: (2) Yokagura—positioned 11th until final corner, improved position at stretch
8th: (6) Shigeru Roninaji—settled behind winner in 7th, lacked needed kick after 7th jump (fence no.7)
9th: (1) Toyo Peace—was off a bit slow, ran 2nd or 3rd from rear, passed tired rivals after 9th jump (fence no.3)
10th: (9) Delightful—set pace, maintained lead until 10th jump (fence no.4), faded
11th: (14) Seagal Fountain—sat in 8th, weakened after 9th jump (fence no.3)
12th: (8) Thracian Code—raced in 9th, failed to keep up with front runners after 5th jump (fence no.6)
13th: (3) South of Border—traveled in 11th, gradually fell back after 10th jump (fence no.4)
14th: (11) Shun Cruise—ran 3rd from rear, no factor
15th: (4) Three Cause Line—broke poorly, trailed in rear throughout

3-year-olds & up, 4,100 meters (about 2.56 miles), turf
Saturday, December 21, 2019   Nakayama Racecourse     10th Race      Post time: 14:45
Total prize money: ¥ 142,660,000 (about US$ 1,240,522 <US$1=¥115>)
3-y-o: 61kg (about 135 lbs), 4-y-o & up: 63kg (about 139 lbs), 2kg allowance for Fillies & Mares
Safety factor: 16 runners

FP BK PP Horse Sex
1 4 7 Shingun Michael
G5 63.0 Shingun Opera
M. Kaneko
K. Takaichi
Shigenori Isaka
Hikaru Bokujo
4:38.9 4.4
2 3 5 Bright Quartz
H5 63.0 Workforce
Lace Doll
S. Kumazawa
Y. Arakawa
Silk Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Farm
2 21.0
3 7 12 Meisho Dassai
H6 63.0 Suzuka Mambo
Suzuka Bloom
K. Mori
Y. Iida
Yoshio Matsumoto
Grand Stud
2-1/2 6.2
4 8 15 Thinking Dancer
H6 63.0 Conduit
Spring Board
S. Ishigami
Y. Takeichi
Yuji Sato
Okada Stud
Nose 2.4
5 6 10 Le Pere Noel
H9 63.0 Admire Moon
Santa Mama
J. Takada
H. Fujiwara
K. Hidaka Breeders Union
Daiten Farm
1-1/2 31.0
6 7 13 Meadowlark
H8 63.0 Tanino Gimlet
S. Kitazawa
M. Hashida
Katsumi Yoshida
Northern Racing
5 21.1
7 2 2 Yokagura
G6 63.0 Harbinger
Dance All Night
M. Nishitani
K. Nakatake
Shadai Race Horse Co., Ltd.
Shadai Farm
DS 13.3
8 4 6 Shigeru Roninaji
H6 63.0 Black Tide
Suzuka Darling
T. Ueno
S. Yukubo
S. Morinaka
Take Bokujo
3 208.9
9 1 1 Toyo Peace
H5 63.0 White Muzzle
Dragon Flower
T. Kusano
M. Tsuchida
Hiroshi Nakajima
Chiyoda Farm Shizunai
1/2 161.5
10 5 9 Delightful
G8 63.0 Fuji Kiseki
Rustic Flame
Y. Shirahama
R. Okubo
North Hills Co., Ltd.
Shadai Corporation Inc.
3/4 4.7
11 8 14 Seagal Fountain
H9 63.0 Gokai
Gitana Fountain
Y. Eda
Y. Ishige
Kosei Yoshihashi
Kei Yoshihashi
Neck 302.4
12 5 8 Thracian Code
G7 63.0 Manhattan Cafe
Red Rumba
Y. Igarashi
Y. Takeichi
Reiko Hara
Reiko Hara
1-1/4 62.7
13 2 3 South of Border
H6 63.0 Zenno Rob Roy
Pearl Shadow
K. Hirasawa
T. Igarashi
Masahiro Mita
Tomokazu Iizuka
DS 248.5
14 6 11 Shun Cruise
H7 63.0 Taiki Shuttle
Taiki Muse
K. Oehara
T. Tsukazaki
Shigeru Murata
Paca Paca Farm
DS 380.3
15 3 4 Three Cause Line
C3 61.0 Suzuka Causeway
Time to Run
T. Ito
T. Tsukazaki
Nagai Shoji
Grand Stud
2-1/2 159.6
FP=Final Position / BK=Bracket Number / PP=Post Position / Wgt=Weight / 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: ¥ 10,482,572,300 ATTENDANCE: 36,679

PAY-OFF (for ¥100)
WIN No.7 ¥ 440 BRACKET QUINELLA 3-4 ¥ 4,980 QUINELLA 5-7 ¥ 5,690
PLACE No.7 ¥ 170 QUINELLA PLACE 5-7 ¥ 1,320 EXACTA 7-5 ¥ 8,900
No.5 ¥ 390 7-12 ¥ 470 TRIO 5-7-12 ¥ 8,530
No.12 ¥ 200 5-12 ¥ 1,720 TRIFECTA 7-5-12 ¥ 55,020
  1. 1.Shingun Michael (JPN), bay, gelding, 5-year-olds
    Shingun Opera / Devena (Tokai Teio)
    Owner: Shigenori Isaka Breeder: Hikaru Bokujo
    Trainer: Keiji Takaichi Jockey: Mitsuki Kaneko
    22 Starts, 6 Wins (14 Starts, 6 Wins *steeplechases only)
    Added money: ¥ 66,525,000 Career earnings: ¥ 207,391,000 (¥ 200,241,000 *steeplechases only)

  2. 2.Bright Quartz (JPN), bay, horse, 5-year-olds
    Workforce / Lace Doll (Kurofune)
    Owner: Silk Racing Co., Ltd. Breeder: Northern Farm
    Trainer: Yoshiyuki Arakawa Jockey: higefumi Kumazawa

  3. 3.Meisho Dassai (JPN), dark bay or brown, horse, 6-year-olds
    Suzuka Mambo / Suzuka Bloom (Scatter the Gold)
    Owner: Yoshio Matsumoto Breeder: Grand Stud
    Trainer: Yuji Iida Jockey: Kazuma Mori
Fractional Time (sec./furlong): Last 1 mile: 1:47.2             Last 4 furlongs: 51.8          Last 3 furlongs: 39.0

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

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.

* Nakayama Daishogai (J-G1)
The history of the Nakayama Daishogai dates back to 1934 when the biggest jump race in Japan was established in the aim of providing equal excitement to the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby), which was the most popular race in flat racing. The highest level of steeplechase racing was originally held as a biannual event held in April and December until the spring version was renamed the Nakayama Grand Jump (J-G1, 4,250m) in 1999. Still, the two jump races continued to position itself as the only two obstacle races of J-G1 level of equal standard and its results serving as a decisive factor in the selection of the seasonal JRA Award for Best Steeplechase Horse. In addition to the Nakayama Grand Jump, which was designated an international race in 2000, the Nakayama Daishogai became an international steeplechase event open to foreign contenders in 2011.
The Nakayama Daishogai features 11 jumps over the figure-of-eight-shaped course which includes six up-and-downs over the banks. The first half resembles that of the Nakayama Grand Jump while the Nakayama Daishogai does not include the movable hurdles along the outside turf track and the total distance being 150 meters shorter. The uphill stretch before the wire also is quite a test for many of the runners especially after running at a solid pace throughout the race.
Last year’s victor Nihonpiro Baron (JPN, by Fusaichi Richard) retired from racing after finishing sixth in the Nakayama Grand Jump in April where legendary jumper Oju Chosan (JPN, by Stay Gold) claimed his fourth consecutive title. The Stay Gold horse went on to run three flat races and will kick off the next 2020 season in the Hanshin Spring Jump (J-G2, 3,900m; Mar.14) after given a four-month break.
This year’s line-up featured Tokyo Jump Stakes (J-G3, 3,110m; Jun.22) winner Shingun Michael who is coming off another and consecutive graded win in the Tokyo High-Jump (J-G2, 3,110m; Oct.13) where the Kokura Summer Jump (J-G3, 3,390m, Jul.27) victor Meisho Dassai was a neck second. Top three finishers of the Kyoto Jump Stakes (J-G3, 3,170m; Nov.9) were Delightful, who registered 4-0-1 out of five starts after switching to jump racing, two-time Nakayama Daishogai third-place finisher Le Pere Noel, and Thracian Code. This year’s Nakayama Grand Jump runner-up Thinking Dancer came off a win in the Shuyo Jump Stakes (3,110m; Nov.16). Key runners coming from the Illumination Jump Stakes (3,570m; Nov.30) were 2018 Kokura Summer Jump champion Yokagura (2nd) and the Hanshin Jump Stakes (J-G3, 3,140m; Sep.14) winner Meadowlark (5th).
Oju Chosan set the race record of 4:36.1 in 2017.

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