2020 News

December 26, 2020


Seven-Year-Old Meisho Dassai Captures First J-G1 Title in Nakayama Daishogai
Nakayama Daishogai (J-G1)

Odds-on-favorite Meisho Dassai registered his first J-G1 title in this year’s Nakayama Daishogai, revenging his third-place finish in this race last year and his runner-up effort in the J-G1 Nakayama Grand Jump in April this year. Debuting in September of his two-year-old season, the son of Suzuka Mambo marked one win out of 19 starts in flat races and was switched to steeplechase racing from his five-year-old season. Showing an aptitude for steeplechasing, he marked his first steeplechase win in his third start and has finished within the top three in all his races since. His graded wins include the J-G3 Kokura Summer Jump (3,390m) in 2019 and his previous start, the J-G2 Tokyo High-Jump (3,110m). Trainer Yuji Iida, who opened his yard in 2014, marked his fourth JRA graded title including flat races and his first G1 win in this race. Jockey Kazuma Mori, who debuted in 2011 and was named Best Steeplechase Jockey for two consecutive year this year, also captured his first G1 and his seventh graded win in this race.

Meisho Dassai broke smoothly and traveled wide in midfield, around 10th from the front. While continuing to race in a contained way, the son of Suzuka Mambo gradually improved his position, advancing to third by the seventh jump (no.7) and entering the final stretch in second. As jockey Kazuma Mori swung his mount to the outside to make bid, the seven-year-old dark bay responded willingly with a powerful kick and overtook Ken Hovawart in the last strides for a 1-3/4-length victory.

“I want to thank Meisho Dassai for doing a great job today. He did all the work and I was just riding on top of him. I was only thinking of how he can race comfortably. After the last jump, I was confident that we can overtake the front horse so I looked for good ground and took him to the outside in the final stretch,” commented Kazuma Mori.

Ninth favorite Ken Hovawart settled around 5-6th from the front and edged forward to second behind Thinking Dancer by the seventh obstacle (no.7). Assuming command at the final jump (no.5), the son of Marvelous Sunday held on well in the stretch and, although overtaken by Meisho Dassai before the goal, managed to fend off the strong challenge from behind by a neck margin.

Third pick Tagano Espresso traveled around seventh to eighth until the last stretch where the eight-year-old bay exerted an impressive late charge from the outside and closed in on the front two runners for third.

Other Horses:
4th: (12) Bright Quartz—pressed pace in early stages, gradually dropped to mid-pack from 4th jump (no.3), advanced to 4th by 10th jump (no.4), ran strongly to wire
5th: (2) Hirono Tairiku—sat in mid-pack, shifted to outside after 5th jump (no.6) in 4-5th from rear, made headway after last jump (no.5), mild response in stretch
6th: (8) Forward Cafe—traveled around 9th, advanced to 4th by 9th jump (no.3), lacked needed kick
7th: (5) Hiro Shige Seven—raced in 5-6th, fell back after 10th jump (no.4), passed tired rivals thereafter
8th: (1) Thinking Dancer—chased leaders around 3rd. led after 5th jump (no.6), outrun after last jump (no.5)
9th: (10) Cablegram—traveled around 11th, advanced after 8th jump (no.2), showed little after last jump (no.5)
10th: (9) Big Smoky—prominent early, gradually dropped position
11th: (16) Suzuka Devious—sat in mid-division, never a threat
12th: (13) Seagal Fountain—trailed in rear early, unable to reach contention
13th: (6) Straight Punch—set pace early, gradually fell back after 5th jump (no.6)
14th: (4) Azuma Takkun—settled 2nd from rear until 4th jump (no.3), trailed in far rear
Fail to Finish: (7) Shigeru Piman—raced in 13th, stumbled at final jump (no.5)
Fail to Finish: (15) Narino Reve d’Or—traveled around 12th, stumbled at final jump (no.5)

3-year-olds & up, 4,100 meters (about 2.56 miles), turf
Saturday, December 26, 2020      Nakayama Racecourse      10th Race       Post time: 14:40
Total prize money: ¥ 142,660,000 (about US$ 1,320,926 <US$1=¥108>)
3-y-o: 61kg (about 134-135 lbs), 4-y-o & up: 63kg (about 139 lbs), 2kg allowance for Fillies & Mares
Course Record: 4:36.1                Race Record: 4:36.1 [Oju Chosan (JPN, by Stay Gold), 2017]
Safety factor: 16 runners     Going: Firm           Weather: Fine

FP BK PP Horse
Margin Sire
(Dam’s Sire)
1 7 14 Meisho Dassai (JPN)
Kazuma Mori
4:40.7 Suzuka Mambo
Suzuka Bloom
(Scatter the Gold)
Yoshio Matsumoto
Grand Stud
Yuji Iida
2 2 3 Ken Hovawart (JPN)
Shigefumi Kumazawa
1-3/4 Marvelous Sunday
Eishin Pansy
(Tony Bin)
Hiroaki Nakanishi
Mario Stable
Hideyuki Mori
3 6 11 Tagano Espresso (JPN)
Kenji Hirasawa
Neck Black Tide
Tagano Reventon
(King Kamehameha)
Ryoji Yagi
Niikappu Tagano Farm Ltd
Tadao Igarashi
4 6 12 Bright Quartz (JPN)
Makoto Nishitani
1-1/2 Workforce
Lace Doll
Silk Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Farm
Yoshiyuki Arakawa
5 1 2 Hirono Tairiku (JPN)
Yoshiyasu Namba
3/4 Daiwa Major
Petit Princesse
(King Kamehameha)
Masahiro Takahara
Shimokobe Farm
Hiroshi Miyamoto
6 4 8 Forward Cafe (JPN)
Shinichi Ishigami
2-1/2 Manhattan Cafe
Best Boot
(Storm Boot)
Kyoko Nishikawa
Uemizu Bokujo
Yusuke Wada
7 3 5 Hiro Shige Seven (JPN)
Jun Takada
Nose Deep Brillante
Daiichi Botan
(Timber Country)
Takashi Yoshioka
Go Kitada
Yoshihito Kitade
8 1 1 Thinking Dancer (JPN)
Yusuke Igarashi
3/4 Conduit
Spring Board
Yuji Sato
Okada Stud
Yasuo Takeichi
9 5 10
Cablegram (JPN)
Yasunori Minoshima
9 Deep Impact
Ginger Punch
(Awesome Again)
U. Carrot Farm
Northern Farm
Fumimasa Takahashi
10 5 9 Big Smoky (JPN)
Takaya Ueno
1/2 King Kamehameha
Smok'n Frolic
(Smoke Glacken)
Shadai Race Horse Co., Ltd.
Shadai Farm
Hisashi Shimizu
11 8 16
Suzuka Devious (JPN)
Shinya Kitazawa
5 King Kamehameha
Suzuka Laurent
(Sunday Silence)
Keiji Nagai
Keiji Nagai
Mitsuru Hashida
12 7 13 Seagal Fountain (JPN)
Taro Kusano
10 Gokai
Gitana Fountain
(Paradise Creek)
Kosei Yoshihashi
Kei Yoshihashi
Yoshihiko Ishige
13 3 6 Straight Punch (JPN)
Keita Ban
DS Mejiro Daibosatsu
Suzu Orizuru
(Fusaichi Concorde)
Kei Morooka
Go Kitada
Masahiro Horii
14 2 4 Azuma Takkun (JPN)
Tadashi Kosaka
DS Black Tide
Nature Guide
(El Condor Pasa)
Tetsuji Azuma
Shimokobe Farm
Tadashi Kayo
  4 7 Shigeru Piman (JPN)
Kei Oehara
FF Samurai Heart
Focal Star
(White Muzzle)
Michihiro Kamigaki
Sachio Yukubo
  8 15 Narino Reve d'Or (JPN)
Yuta Onodera
FF Eishin Flash
Longing Ellie
(Zenno Rob Roy)
Kiyoshi Narizuka
Shadai Farm
Hiroyuki Uehara
FP: Final Position / BK: Bracket Number / PP: Post Position / S&A: Sex & Age / Wgt: Weight (kg) / DH: Dead Heat / L3F: Time of Last 3 Furlongs (600m)
Color: b.=bay / bl.=black / br.=brown / ch.=chestnut / d.b.=dark bay / d.ch.=dark chestnut / g.=gray / w.=white
Note1: No Foreign Contenders
Note2: Figures quoted under Odds are shown in form of decimal odds (single unit is ¥100), and Fav indicates the order of favorites.

Turnover for the Race alone: ¥ 2,058,784,100       Turnover for the Day: ¥ 18,678,541,100       Attendance: 3,019

PAY-OFF (for ¥100)
Win No.14 ¥ 170 Bracket Quinella 2-7 ¥ 3,900 Quinella 3-14 ¥ 5,350
Place No.14 ¥ 110 Quinella Place 3-14 ¥ 1,680 Exacta 14-3 ¥ 6,770
No.3 ¥ 650 11-14 ¥ 300 Trio 3-11-14 ¥ 6,440
No.11 ¥ 190 3-11 ¥ 2,960 Trifecta 14-3-11 ¥ 35,900

Winner= 34 starts, 8 wins, 4 seconds, 3 thirds (15 starts, 7 wins, 4 seconds, 2 thirds *steeplechases only)
Added money: ¥ 66,560,000 / Career earnings: ¥ 277,372,000 (¥ 267,572,000 *steeplechases only)

Fractional time : Last 1 mile: 1:46.7     Last 4 furlongs: 51.1     Last 3 furlongs: 38.4

Positions at each corner (2nd lap): 1st corner 1(14,3)8,5(11,9,12)-(16,10)2-(15,6)7,13=4
2nd corner (*1,3)14(8,12)(5,9)(11,10)(2,16)-15,7-(6,13)=4
3rd corner (*1,3)-14,12(8,9)(2,11,10)(5,7)16-15-13=6=4
4th corner 3-14(1,12)-8(2,9)11,5,10,16=13=6=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. The two jump races continue to be the only two J-G1-level obstacle races of equal standard with their results serving as decisive factors 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 is 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 Shingun Michael (JPN, by Shingun Opera) was euthanized after stumbling at the final obstacle in the Nakayama Grand Jump in April. Oju Chosan (JPN, H9, by Stay Gold), who registered his fifth consecutive Nakayama Grand Jump title, was third in the Kyoto Jump Stakes (J-G3, 3,140m, Nov.14), his first defeat in 14 steeplechase starts. He was forced to pass this race due to a minor leg problem but is scheduled to make a comeback next spring.
The Nakayama Grand Jump runner-up Meisho Dassai came off a win in the Tokyo High-Jump (J-G2, 3,110m, Oct.18), followed by Hiro Shige Seven in second who went on to win the Shuyo Jump Stakes (3,110m, Nov.21). Bright Quartz, who was second in last year’s Nakayama Daishogai and third in this year’s Nakayama Grand Jump, finished second in the Kyoto Jump Stakes where Tagano Espresso registered back-to-back graded titles following his Hanshin Jump Stakes (J-G3, 3,300m, Sep.19) win. The field also included Thinking Dancer who has marked a second and four fourths in J-G1 events, Forward Cafe and Cablegram, runner-up of the Tokyo Jump Stakes (J-G3, 3,110m) in June and the Hanshin Jump Stakes, respectively, and Suzuka Devious, a graded winner in flat racing who came off a fifth in the Illumination Jump Stakes (3,570m, Dec.5), his second start after switching to steeplechasing.

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