2022 News

May 30, 2022


Yasuda Kinen (G1) - Data Analysis

Runners aspiring to be crowned the spring mile champion converge at Tokyo Racecourse
The Yasuda Kinen attracts a diverse pool of top talent, including runners that have done well in mile-long races, strong performers in the Takamatsunomiya Kinen, and runners that have enjoyed success in overseas G1 races. In recent years, numerous runners that have dominated this top-level race have gone on to secure another G1 title in the fall season, with examples including Lord Kanaloa in 2013, Maurice in 2015, Indy Champ in 2019, and Gran Alegria in 2020. Let’s now look for some trends in this race based on results over the last 10 years.

Strong performance by fillies and mares
We first turn our attention to performances by fillies and mares. Three such runners finished in the Top 3 of the Yasuda Kinen twice over the last 10 years. As mentioned above, Gran Alegria triumphed in 2020, but also finished 2nd in 2021. In addition, Aerolithe finished 2nd in 2018 and 2019, and Almond Eye 3rd in 2019 and 2nd in 2020. Fillies and mares also achieved a Top 3 ratio of 35.3%, well above the ratio for colts and geldings. The three aforementioned runners all had experience of winning a G1 race, and fillies and mares that had previously won a G1 race delivered performance of [1-4-1-2] and achieved extremely high success ratios (Top 3 ratio of 75.0%) over the last four years. This suggests we should focus on runners with such a profile. [Table 1]

[Table 1] Performance by gender (last 10 years)
Gender Performance
[1st-2nd-3rd-4th or lower]
Win ratio Top 2 ratio Top 3 ratio
Colts and geldings 9-6-9-119 6.3% 10.5% 16.8%
Mares and fillies 1-4-1-11 5.9% 29.4% 35.3%

Check performances at Tokyo Racecourse
Of the 30 Top 3 finishers over the last 10 years, 21 had experience of winning a graded race at Tokyo Racecourse. This trend has been particularly strong in recent years. Over the last five years, 14 of the 15 Top 3 finishers (excluding Mozu Ascot in 2018) had experience of triumphing in a graded race at Tokyo Racecourse. Even Mozu Ascot had secured an earlier victory at Tokyo Racecourse, albeit in a 2-win class race. In other words, we need to discount runners that have never enjoyed success at Tokyo Racecourse before. [Table 2]

[Table 2] Experience of winning graded race at Tokyo Racecourse (last 10 years)
Experience Performance
[1st-2nd-3rd-4th or lower]
Win ratio Top 2 ratio Top 3 ratio
Yes 6-9-6-68 6.7% 16.9% 23.6%
No 4-1-4-62 5.6% 7.0% 12.7%

Expect little from winners of the major prep races
Looking at performances by runners over the last 10 years in terms of their previous race, we find that runners coming from JRA G1 races achieved the highest Top 3 ratio. Within this group, runners that entered the Yasuda Kinen following a victory in a JRA G1 race delivered outstanding performance of [1-2-2-2] (Top 3 ratio of 71.4%). Runners that had won an overseas G1 race in their previous race similarly delivered strong performance of [1-1-1-3] (Top 3 ratio of 50.0%). This appears to suggest we can place our trust in runners that have notched a win in a big race last time out. Conversely, runners coming from a victory in the Yomiuri Milers Cup, a major prep race for the Yasuda Kinen, delivered lackluster performance of [0-0-1-8], and those coming from a victory in the Keio Hai Spring Cup, another prep race, struggled with performance of [0-0-1-7]. We should keep these statistics in mind. [Table 3]

[Table 3] Performance by previous race (last 10 years)
Previous race Performance
[1st-2nd-3rd-4th or lower]
Win ratio Top 2 ratio Top 3 ratio
JRA G1 3-5-2-30 7.5% 20.0% 25.0%
JRA G2 3-4-7-66 3.8% 8.8% 17.5%
JRA G3 2-0-0-13 13.3% 13.3% 13.3%
Open-class race 1-0-0-5 16.7% 16.7% 16.7%
NAR race 0-0-0-1 0% 0% 0%
Overseas race 1-1-1-15 5.6% 11.1% 16.7%

Focus on runners with excellent closing times
The ranking by estimated time over the final three furlongs in the previous race is also an important factor. Among the nine winners over the last 10 years that had contested their previous race in Japan, seven were ranked 2nd or higher in their estimated time over the final three furlongs in that race. Tokyo Racecourse’s long homestretch makes it conducive to victories achieved through a final sprint. Consequently, cases of runners occupying the middle or back of the field throughout the race and pulling off a victory through a final sprint are not uncommon. We should therefore focus on runners that were ranked highly in terms of their closing speed over the final three furlongs in their previous race. [Table 4]

[Table 4] Performance by ranking in terms of estimated time over final three furlongs last time out (last 10 years)
Ranking Performance
[1st-2nd-3rd-4th or lower]
Win ratio Top 2 ratio Top 3 ratio
2nd or higher 7-5-3-35 14.0% 24.0% 30.0%
3rd or lower 2-4-6-79 2.2% 6.6% 13.2%
Note: Excluding runners that had contested a NAR or overseas race in their previous race.

Seek out the winner!
Closely watch trends in favoritism
Looking at the track record of the five previous winners, we find that three had been backed as 3rd favorite or higher in all their previous races contested in Japan. The other two (2017 winner Satono Aladdin and 2021 winner Danon Kingly) had only once been backed as 4th favorite or lower in a previous G1 race. Meanwhile, Satono Aladdin and Danon Kingly were backed as 7th favorite and 8th favorite in the Yasuda Kinen respectively, but they defied their low favoritism to become the mile champion. Mozu Ascot similarly triumphed in the race in 2018 while backed as 9th favorite. This suggests it is worth considering runners with low favoritism in the Yasuda Kinen if they have been consistently backed by high favoritism in previous races. [Table 5]

[Table 5] Winners’ performance by favoritism in all previous domestic races (last five years)
Year Winner Total starts in
domestic races
Number of races contested
as Top 3 favorite
Races contested as 4th
favorite or lower
2017 Satono Aladdin 22 21 Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger),
2014 (9th favorite)
2018 Mozu Ascot 10 10 None
2019 Indy Champ 9 9 None
2020 Gran Alegria 7 7 None
2021 Danon Kingly 11 10 Yasuda Kinen,
2020 (5th favorite)


(Maya Takanami)

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