2021 News

April 17, 2021


Meisho Dassai Extends Winning Streak to Four in This Year’s Nakayama Grand Jump
Nakayama Grand Jump (J-G1)

Nakayama Grand Jump (J-G1)

Race favorite Meisho Dassai claimed his fourth consecutive win in this year’s Nakayama Grand Jump to validate his 2020 JRA Award Best Steeplechase Horse title. After finishing second to Oju Chosan in last year’s edition, he registered three successive graded titles—in the Tokyo High-Jump (J-G2, 3,110m), the Nakayama Daishogai (J-G1, 4,100m) last year, and the Hanshin Spring Jump (J-G2, 3,900m) in March—coming into this race. Both trainer Yuji Iida and jockey Kazuma Mori cerebrates their second J-G1 victory following last year’s Nakayama Daishogai with this horse.

Breaking smoothly from stall six, eight-year-old Meisho Dassai eased back to mid-division, jumping the first obstacle (fence no.5) in fifth. As the field of eight stretched out into a long line led by Oju Chosan after the third jump (no. 2), the son of Suzuka Mambo gradually improved position and, when Oju Chosan conceded the lead to Tagano Espresso after the fifth jump (no.6), advanced to third to stalk the defending champion. Meisho Dassai closed in on the frontrunner in the last two jumps and made bid immediately after completing the last jump, taking the front 200 meters out and easily pulling away to a four-length victory.

“I let the horse race as he pleased, which resulted in racing near Oju Chosan. I was sure of his victory when we jumped the last obstacle. It wasn’t an easy race but I’m overwhelmed with joy that we were able to defeat Oju Chosan in a G1 race,” commented Kazuma Mori.

Fifth pick Ken Hovawart, settled in fifth after leading the field in the first jump (no.5) and maintained this position until the final corner, where the eight-year-old son of Marvelous Sunday made bid, advanced to third jumping the last obstacle (no.10) and stretched well behind the eventual winner, passing Tagano Espresso 100 meters out for a well-fought second.

Third choice Tagano Espresso pressed the pace in second in the early stage, took command after the fifth jump (no.6) and held on well in the stretch, though overtaken by the first two finishers, to finish 2-1/2 lengths behind the runner-up in third.

2016-2020 Nakayama Grand Jump champion Oju Chosan chased the leader in second or third after briefly leading the field at the early stage but as the rivals made their move approaching the 11th jump (no.9), he struggled to keep up with them and failed to launch his trademark late drive, finishing a distant fifth.

Other Horses:
4th: (7) Smart Apex—tracked leaders in 3rd or 4th, dueled with Tagano Espresso for lead after 7th jump (no.7), gradually fell back after 11th jump (no.9)
6th: (5) Meiner Prompt—settled in 6th, made headway after 10th jump (no.8) to follow frontrunners in good striking position, weakened after last jump (no.10)
7th: (1) Hiro Shige Seven—trailed in rear throughout most of trip, never a factor
8th: (8) Thinking Dancer—sat around 7th until 10th jump (no.4), no factor

4-year-olds & up, 4,250 meters (about 2 and 2/3 miles), turf
Saturday, April 17, 2021     Nakayama Racecourse      11th Race         Post time: 15:40
Total prize money: ¥ 142,660,000 (about US$ 1,359,000 <US$1=¥105>)
4-y-o: 62kg (about 137 lbs), 5-y-o & up: 63kg (about 139 lbs), 2kg allowance for Fillies & Mares
Course Record: 4:43.0       Race Record: 4:43.0 [Oju Chosan (JPN, by Stay Gold), 2018]
Safety factor: 16 runners     Going: Good to Firm           Weather: Cloudy

FP BK PP Horse
Margin Sire
(Dam’s Sire)
1 6 6 Meisho Dassai (JPN)
Kazuma Mori
4:50.1 Suzuka Mambo
Suzuka Bloom
(Scatter the Gold)
Yoshio Matsumoto
Grand Stud
Yuji Iida
2 2 2 Ken Hovawart (JPN)
Shigefumi Kumazawa
4 Marvelous Sunday
Eishin Pansy
(Tony Bin)
Hiroaki Nakanishi
Mario Stable
Hideyuki Mori
3 3 3 Tagano Espresso (JPN)
Takaya Ueno
2-1/2 Black Tide
Tagano Reventon
(King Kamehameha)
Ryoji Yagi
Niikappu Tagano Farm Ltd
Tadao Igarashi
4 7 7 Smart Apex (JPN)
Masayuki Nakamura
7 Heart's Cry
Smart Movie
(Sakura Bakushin O)
Toru Okawa
Smart Incorporated
Hidekazu Asami
5 4 4 Oju Chosan (JPN)
Shinichi Ishigami
1-1/4 Stay Gold
Shadow Silhouette
(Symboli Kris S)
Chosan Co., Ltd.
Naoyoshi Nagayama
Shoichiro Wada
6 5 5 Meiner Prompt (JPN)
Shinya Kitazawa
2-1/2 Matsurida Gogh
Cosmo Krabbe
(Meiner Love)
Takefumi Okada
Cosmo View Farm
Tomoyasu Sakaguchi
7 1 1 Hiro Shige Seven (JPN)
Jun Takada
DS Deep Brillante
Daiichi Botan
(Timber Country)
Takashi Yoshioka
Go Kitada
Yoshihito Kitade
8 8 8 Thinking Dancer (JPN)
Yusuke Igarashi
DS Conduit
Spring Board
Yuji Sato
Okada Stud
Yasuo Takeichi
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: ¥ 2,356,881,100       Turnover for the Day: ¥ 9,709,391,600       Attendance: 2,671

PAY-OFF (for ¥100)
Win No.6 ¥ 180 Bracket Quinella - - Quinella 2-6 ¥ 1,400
Place No.6 ¥ 110 Quinella Place 2-6 ¥ 350 Exacta 6-2 ¥ 1,560
No.2 ¥ 280 3-6 ¥ 230 Trio 2-3-6 ¥ 1,730
No.3 ¥ 200 2-3 ¥ 850 Trifecta 6-2-3 ¥ 4,810

Winner= 36 starts, 10 wins, 4 seconds, 3 thirds (17 starts, 9 wins, 4 seconds, 2 thirds *steeplechases only)
Added money: ¥ 66,280,000 / Career earnings: ¥ 384,946,000 (¥ 375,146,000 *steeplechases only)

Fractional time: Last 1 mile: 1:45.1 Last 4 furlongs: 51.8            Last 3 furlongs: 38.3

Positions at each corner (2nd lap): 1st corner (3,*7)-(4,6)-2-5=8,1
2nd corner (*3,7)-(4,6)2-5=1,8
3rd corner 3(7,6)(4,2,5)=1=8
4th corner 3,6(7,2,5)-4=1=8

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 Grand Jump (J-G1)

The Nakayama Grand Jump, the biggest steeplechase event in spring, span off from the biannual Nakayama Daishogai (J-G1, 4,100m) steeplechase races in 1999. The history of the Nakayama Daishogai dates back to 1934 when the two races, one each in spring and autumn, were created for the purpose of making them the most prestigious and attractive races in steeplechase racing, just like the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) in flat racing.
In 2000, a year after the Nakayama Grand Jump received its current name, the race became an international event. Seven foreign runners from five countries took part and Boca Boca (IRE, by Mandalus) from France finished second to Gokai (JPN, by Judge Angelucci) that year. During 2000 - 2010 when the Nakayama Grand Jump was an invitational event, St. Steven (NZ, by Hula Town) was the first foreign contingent to claim the title in 2002. He finished third the following year while Australian contender Karasi (IRE, by Kahyasi) became the first horse to win three consecutive titles between 2005 and 2007. In 2013, eighth favorite Irish raider Blackstairmountain (IRE, by Imperial Ballet) became the first European contender to claim the title.
The Nakayama Grand Jump features 12 jumps over the figure-of-eight-shaped course, which includes five up-and-downs over the banks and three hurdles set on the outside turf towards the final stretch. The 310-meter 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.
2016-18 Best Steeplechase Horse Oju Chosan, who registered his fifth back-to-back Nakayama Grand Jump victory last year, commenced his 10-year-old season with this race after finishing third in last year’s Kyoto Jump Stakes (J-G3, 3,140m, Nov.14), his first defeat in 14 jump starts. Meanwhile, 2020 Nakayama Daishogai winner and Best Steeplechase Horse Meisho Dassai came off an overwhelming seven-length victory in the Hanshin Spring Jump (J-G2, 3,900m, Mar.13), followed by Smart Apex in second and Thinking Dancer in third. The spring J-G1 field also included Ken Hovawart and Tagano Espresso who came off second and third, respectively, in the Nakayama Daishogai, Meiner Prompt, third-place finisher of the 2019 Nakayama Grand Jump, and Hiro Shige Seven who finished fourth in the Pegasus Jump Stakes (3,350m; Mar.20).

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