2015 News

March 29, 2015


2015 Takamatsunomiya Kinen (G1) - Hong Kong Raider Aerovelocity Captures Japanese Sprint Champion Title
Takamatsunomiya Kinen (G1)

Takamatsunomiya Kinen (G1)

Fourth pick Aerovelocity from Hong Kong, the third foreign contender—first in 12 years—to challenge the Takamatsunomiya Kinen, collected his second G1 title following the Hong Kong Spring last December. The son of Pins became the fifth foreign contender to claim a JRA G1 race following Ultra Fantasy who won the Sprinters Stakes in 2010. Trainer Paul O’Sullivan had won the Japan Cup with Horlicks back in 1989 as assistant to his father Dave at the time,. This victory marks Zachary Purton’s first JRA G1 title in his third challenge—he was the overall champion in the 2012 World Super Jockeys Series.

Aerovelocity broke sharply and first out the gate, allowed Am Ball Bleiben who rushed to the lead to set the pace and stayed close behind in second position up to the fourth corner. As Hakusan Moon assumed command from his outside as the pacesetter tired and faded, Purton angled the Pins gelding a little wider for a better footing. Despite struggling briefly climbing the uphill stretch to just keep in pace behind the leader, Aerovelocity gave a terrific comeback as he found another gear to soldier on and pin down Hakusan Moon for a 1/2-length victory.

Sixth favorite Hakusan Moon made a good break from gate 15 and was well placed behind Am Ball Bleiben and Aerovelocity in third. The son of Admire Moon took the front while turning wide around the fourth corner and led the field with his strong turn of foot through the uphill climb until overtaken by the foreign raider in the last stride to finish second.

Third choice Mikki Isle settled fifth from the front, traveling behind Hakusan Moon on the outside. The Deep Impact colt rallied strongly with Aerovelocity in the last furlong and closed in on Hakusan Moon before the wire but was a nose short for a photo-finish third.

Odds-on-favorite Straight Girl traveled wide in mid-division, took the outermost route turning for home to make bid but the mare failed to respond and finished 13th.

Post race interview of winning connections:
“Zachary did a brilliant job. I don’t know how to express how I felt when he was struggling a little bit but when he came fighting back, we were like screaming—it was like from hell to heaven.”

“Japan is an extremely difficult place to win a race and every trainer around the world now respects the quality of horses in Japan. We certainly had the form to warrant coming, but to have been able to achieve this race is very very satisfying, but particular in the manner that he did it—I think we made it clear before that he’s a very courageous horse and you don’t see many that pick themselves up off the deck and do what he did. There’s a good push in Hong Kong to go to Dubai but it’s a long way to go to try and run on unknown surface while the Takamatsunomiya Kinen is closer and we know he goes well on grass, so that was our decision. (Regarding future plans) There’s a number of attractive opportunities for him over the next 12 to 18 months. I think we have to be pretty mindful of the Global Sprint trophy—it’s a great prize and possibly winnable—but I haven’t shed much light on that or given it much thought. So we’ll have to consider that and discuss our options depending of course on how he is and what’s best for him.”

“It was the plan knowing that there was a couple of horses in this race that were quick to take the front to let them lead because my horse is versatile. So I was riding him where I feel that he’s comfortable at the time. He handled the left-handed track very well—obviously, with the track being wet, a lot of the runners were happy to run three or four horses off the fence—he was allowed to have a lot of galloping room so he was very comfortable. As we entered the straight, he seemed to lose his footing, got a little bit off balance and lost a bit of his momentum—at that point I thought our race was run and over, but as he reached the rise and started to get his balance back, he gave us a bit of a fight.”

Other Horses:
4th: (6) Sudden Storm—raced in mid-pack, ran gamely behind Mikki Isle in stretch to finish 4th
5th: (17) Copano Richard—gradually improved position, turned wide but failed to quicken
6th: (13) Daiwa Maggiore—trailed after slow break, showed belated charge and timed fastest over last 3 furlongs
7th: (10) Afford—raced 2nd from last, good effort after turning wide
8th: (12) Sakura Gospel—rated in mid-field, unable to find room at top of stretch
9th: (14) Toho Amapola—traveled outside Sakura Gospel throughout race
10th: (11) Shonan Achieve—sat 3rd from last, lacked needed kick
11th: (5) Wakino Brave—traveled around 6th, even paced after 200m marker
12th: (2) Olivine—raced toward rear, unable to reach contention
14th: (9) Red Oval—ran in mid-pack, showed little in stretch
15th: (8) Am Ball Bleiben—set pace, used up at top of straight
16th: (1) Little Gerda—stalked Aerovelocity, weakened after last 200m
17th: (3) Robe Tissage—hugged rail in mid-division, ran on inner stretch but dropped back
18th: (7) Majin Prosper—positioned back in mid-pack, no factor


THE 45TH TAKAMATSUNOMIYA KINEN (G1) —the 3rd leg of Global Sprint Challenge—
4-year-old & up, 1,200 meters (about 6 furlongs), turf, left-handed
Sunday, March 29, 2015 Chukyo Racecourse 11th Race Post time: 15:40
Total prize money: ¥ 197,600,000 (about US$ 1,647,000 <US$1=¥120>)
4-y-o & up: 57kg (about 126 lbs),
2kg allowance for Fillies & Mares, 1kg allowance for Southern Hemisphere-bred born in 2011
Safety factor: 18 runners

FP BK PP Horse Sex
1 2 4
G7 57.0 Pins
Z. Purton
P. O’Sullivan
Ngai Daniel Yeung
N E Schick & S J Till
2 7 15 Hakusan Moon
H6 57.0 Admire Moon
M. Sakai
M. Nishizono
Goichi Kawasaki
Shirai Stud Farm
3 8 16 Mikki Isle
C4 57.0 Deep Impact
Star Isle
S. Hamanaka
H. Otonashi
Mizuki Noda
Northern Racing
4 3 6 Sudden Storm
H6 57.0 Storming Home
Y. Kokubun
K. Nishiura
HH Sheikh Mohammed
bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Darley Japan K.K
5 8 17 Copano Richard
H5 57.0 Daiwa Major
Higashi Lynx
Y. Take
T. Miya
Sachiaki Kobayashi
Yanagawa Bokujo
6 7 13 Daiwa Maggiore
H6 57.0 Daiwa Major
M. Demuro
Y. Yahagi
Keizo Oshiro
Shadai Farm
7 5 10 Afford
H7 57.0 Sakura Bakushin O
Pretty Maids
I. Murata
Y. Kitade
Koji Maeda
North Hills Management
8 6 12 Sakura Gospel
H7 57.0 Sakura President
Sakura Blues
K. Fujioka
T. Ozeki
Sakura Commers
Sakura Commerce Co., Ltd.
9 7 14 Toho Amapola
M6 55.0 Fuji Kiseki
Toho Gaia
Y. Fukunaga
R. Takahashi
Toho Bussan Co., Ltd.
Toho Bussan Co., Ltd.
10 6 11 Shonan Achieve
C4 57.0 Shonan Kampf
Shonan Peintre
H. Yoshida
S. Kunieda
Tetsuhide Kunimoto
Shadai Corporation Inc.
11 3 5 Wakino Brave
H5 57.0 Meiner Love
The Fates
M. Matsuoka
H. Shimizu
Yoshiyuki Wakiyama
Hirayama Bokujo
12 1 2 Olivine
H6 57.0 Daiwa Major
Y. Hishida
K. Hashiguchi
Teruya Yoshida
Shadai Farm
13 8 18 Straight Girl
M6 55.0 Fuji Kiseki
Never Period
Y. Iwata
H. Fujiwara
Toshihiro Hirosaki
TH Co., Ltd.
14 5 9
Red Oval
M5 55.0 Deep Impact
Caught Out
K. Tosaki
T. Yasuda
Shadai Farm
15 4 8 Am Ball Bleiben
M6 55.0 Rule of Law
Cherry Koman
K. Tanaka
N. Fukushima
Nobuyuki Ito
Fujiwara Farm
16 1 1 Little Gerda
M6 55.0 Closing Argument
Bijoux Miss
K. Maruta
I. Sameshima
Yoshiko Kuriyama
Dapple Bloodstock
17 2 3 Robe Tissage
M5 55.0 War Emblem
Petit Noire
K. Ikezoe
N. Sugai
Silk Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Racing
18 4 7 Majin Prosper
H8 57.0 Admire Cozzene
Hollywood Dream
Y. Kitamura
H. Nakao
Kazuhiro Sasaki
Hashimoto Farm

FP=Final Position / BK=Bracket Number / PP=Post Position / B=Blinker / Wgt=Weight / L3F=Time of Last 3 Furlongs (600m)

Note1: *Foreign Contender
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 RACE ALONE: ¥11,223,852,500  
TURNOVER FOR THE DAY: ¥16,624,038,900 ATTENDANCE: 29,249

PAY-OFF (for ¥100)
WIN No.4 ¥650 BRACKET QUINELLA 2-7 ¥1,010 QUINELLA 4-15 ¥7,480
PLACE No.4 ¥260 QUINELLA PLACE 4-15 ¥2,930 EXACTA 4-15 ¥10,770
No.15 ¥490 4-16 ¥1,040 TRIO 4-15-16 ¥14,000
No.16 ¥230 15-16 ¥1,980 TRIFECTA 4-15-16 ¥81,560
  1. Aerovelocity (NZ), bay, gelding, 7-year-old
    Pins / Exodus (Kaapstad)
    Breeder: N E Schick & S J Till Owner: Ngai Daniel Yeung
    Trainer: Paul O’Sullivan Jockey: Zachary Purton

    17 Starts, 9 Wins

    Added money: ¥98,780,000 Career earnings: approx. ¥402,280,000
    Principal Race Performances:
    '14 Hong Kong Sprint (G1, 1,200m) 1st

  2. Hakusan Moon (JPN), chestnut, horse, 6-year-old
    Admire Moon / Ciliege (Sakura Bakushin O)
    Breeder: Shirai Stud Farm Owner: Goichi Kawasaki
    Trainer: Masato Nishizono Jockey: Manabu Sakai

  3. Mikki Isle (JPN), bay, colt, 4-year-old
    Deep Impact / Star Isle (Rock of Gibraltar)
    Breeder: Northern Racing Owner: Mizuki Noda
    Trainer: Hidetaka Otonashi Jockey: Suguru Hamanaka
Fractional Time (sec./furlong): 11.9 - 10.7 - 11.4 - 11.6 - 11.3 - 11.6
Last 4 furlongs: 45.9 Last 3 furlongs: 34.5

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

* Takamatsunomiya Kinen (G1)
The Takamatsunomiya Kinen, one of two G1 championship events for sprinters held by the JRA, was formerly named Takamatsunomiya Cup in honor of Prince Takamatsunomiya who presented the trophy to the winner in 1971. In 1996, the race was shortened from 2,000 meters to 1,200 meters and granted a Japanese Grade 1 status, thus becoming one of JRA’s two prominent short-distance races together with the Sprinters Stakes (G1, 1,200m), which became an international event in 1994.
Takamatsunomiya Kinen, received its current name in 1998, was designated an international race in 2001 and welcomed its first two foreign participants—Disturbingthepeace (13th) and Echo Eddie (17th)—from the U.S. in 2003. The third leg of the Global Sprint Challenge, the international championship series for sprinters which has become a 10-race series in six different countries, enjoyed the participation of its first foreign entrée in 12 years, Aerovelocity, winner of the Hong Kong Sprint (G1, 1,200m) last December.
The first of 20 flat turf G1 events held annually, the Takamatsunomiya Kinen, which was temporarily shifted to Hanshin Racecourse in 2011, was contested over the newly renovated track back at Chukyo in the following year with added challenges of an uphill stretch and a longer homestretch exceeding 400 meters.
Snow Dragon, runner-up of the 2014 Takamatsunomiya Kinen who later won the fall sprint G1, the Sprinters Stakes, and chosen 2014 Best Sprinter or Miler, was unable to show up this year with a leg problem. The defending champion of this race, Copano Richard came off a sixth-place finish in his last start on March 1, the Hankyu Hai (G3, 1,400m), which was won by 2013 Mile Championship (G1, 1,600m) runner-up Daiwa Maggiore and 2014 NHK Mile Cup (G1, 1,600m) with Mikki Isle in second. Sakura Gospel came off a win in the Ocean Stakes (G3, 1,200m) on March 7 while Hakusan Moon, a winner of three grade-race titles, and 2014 Summer Sprint Series Champion Little Gerda came off a second and sixth, respectively, in the same race for their G1 sprint challenge. Straight Girl, who finished third to Aerovelocity in the Hong Kong Sprint, made her first start since and Am Ball Bleiben came into this race from her recent rise into this level with wins in the Keihan Hai (G3, 1,200m) and the Silk Road Stakes (G3, 1,200m) in November last year and last month, respectively.
Race Record, after the track renovation in 2012, was renewed by Lord Kanaloa (JPN, by King Kamehameha) who won the 2013 edition of this race in 1:08.1 and subsequently named the season’s Horse of The Year.

Takamatsunomiya Kinen (G1) related contents

Global Sprint Challenge