2023 News

December 23, 2023


Race favorite Meiner Grand Dominates Nakayama Daishogai
Nakayama Daishogai (J-G1)

Nakayama Daishogai (J-G1)

Heavily favored Meiner Grand claimed this year’s Nakayama Daishogai by an emphatic ten-length margin, stretching his winning streak to four. The son of Gold Ship was winless in all 11 flat-race starts from his debut in September as a two-year-old and was then switched to steeplechase races in December of his three-year-old campaign. His first win came in his third steeplechase start, his second win was notched in March this year and, after adding another win the following month, Meiner Grand, who was sent off eighth pick, claimed his first graded victory in the Tokyo High-Jump (J-G2, 3,110m) on October 15. The five-year-old gave his trainer Takafumi Aoki his second grade-race title, his first J-G1, while jockey Shinichi Ishigami pocketed his 11th J-G1 trophy and fifth Nakayama Daishogai title—2016, 2017 and 2021 with Oju Chosan, and 2018 with Nihonpiro Baron.

The field of 12 broke with June Velocity taking a brief lead soon to be overtaken by Village Eagle by the second fence (water jump, no.1) while Meiner Grand saved ground in mid-pack. As Village Eagle and Nishino Daisy rallied for the lead five to six lengths up front, the son of Gold Ship advanced to third on the rails after the fifth fence (grand brush fence, no.6), made headway in the backstretch to catch Village Eagle at the 10th obstacle (no.4), and easily pinned the leader Nishino Daisy before the last dip. Showing no signs of fatigue, Meiner Grand entered the straight three to four lengths up front and easily stretched his lead to notch a ten-length victory.

“I had a lot of confidence in my horse—he proved his true strength today. Making bid in the backstretch might have been a bit early but the horse was so eager to go, he even had a lot left in him in the stretch. He is still a five-year-old and has so much potential—I hope his incredible stamina and explosive power he takes after his sire keeps him in the spotlight next year,” commented jockey Shinichi Ishigami after the race.

Third pick Nishino Daisy took a wide trip from a mid-pack position to come out of the first dip a few lengths from the pace in second, advanced to rally with Village Eagle while clearing the sixth obstacle (no.5) and took command before the seventh jump (grand hedge, no.7). Soon after the tenth obstacle (no.4), the defending champion was caught by the eventual winner and although unable to threaten from there, showed tenacity to draw away for second.

Fourth choice Ecoro Duel settled in around fifth early, briefly dropped position to seventh but steadily advanced to fourth by the tenth obstacle (no.4) and overtook the tiring Village Eagle in the final furlong but had too much ground to make up and finished 16 lengths from the winner and six lengths from the runner-up in third.

Other Horses:
4th: (2) Village Eagle—broke poorly, took command before 2nd jump (no.1), joined by eventual winner at 5th jump (no.6) and surrendered lead, passed by winner at 10th jump (no.4), failed to secure 3rd place in last 200m
5th: (4) June Velocity—led early, eased back to 3rd, overtaken by winner after 5th jump (no.6) then by third-place finisher before 10th jump (no.4)
6th: (5) Daishin Clover—traveled around 8th, passed rivals after 9th jump (no.3), failed to keep up with frontrunners
7th: (11) Meiner Leone—sat in 10-11th, gradually improved position while never threaten
8th: (7) Neviim—ran around 8th, unable to reach contention
9th: (6) Giga Bakken—positioned around 7th, weakened after 10th jump (no.4)
10th: (8) Yep Yep Yep—raced in 10th, showed little
11th: (12) Heart’s Symphony—trailed in rear throughout trip, no factor
12th: (10) Meiner Wasser—traveled around 9th, advanced to 6th after 6th jump (no.5), faded at stretch

3-year-olds & up, 4,100 meters (about 2.56 miles), turf
Saturday, December 23, 2023      Nakayama Racecourse      10th Race       Post time: 15:05
Total prize money: ¥ 142,660,000 (about US$ 1,089,008 <US$1=¥131>)
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: Good to Firm         Weather: Fine

FP BK PP Horse
Margin Sire
(Dam’s Sire)
1 3 3 Meiner Grand (JPN)
Shinichi Ishigami
4:37.9 Gold Ship
Meine Nouvelle
(Brian's Time)
Thoroughbred Club Ruffian Co., Ltd.
Big Red Farm
Takafumi Aoki
2 7 9 Nishino Daisy (JPN)
Yusuke Igarashi
10 Harbinger
Nishino Hinagiku
(Agnes Tachyon)
Shigeyuki Nishiyama
Nishiyama Stud
Noboru Takagi
3 1 1 Ecoro Duel (JPN)
Taro Kusano
6 Kitasan Black
(Giant's Causeway)
Masatoshi Haramura
Shimokobe Farm
Takaki Iwato
4 2 2 Village Eagle (JPN)
Kei Oehara
5 Behkabad
Tokino Nastia
(New England)
Teruo Murayama
Kawashima Bokujo
Masahiro Takeuchi
5 4 4 June Velocity (JPN)
Makoto Nishitani
3 Lord Kanaloa
Admire Sabrina
(Symboli Kris S)
Jun Yoshikawa
Yoshikawa Holdings
Hidenori Take
6 5 5 Daishin Clover (JPN)
Jun Takada
2-1/2 Kinshasa no Kiseki
Hishi Diva
(Fusaichi Pegasus)
Nobuyuki Oyagi
Kamii Stud
Takayuki Yasuda
7 8 11 Meiner Leone (JPN)
Kenji Hirasawa
2-1/2 Stay Gold
(Soccer Boy)
Thoroughbred Club Ruffian Co., Ltd.
Takashi Watanabe
Hisashi Shimizu
8 6 7 Neviim (JPN)
Kayata Komaki
1-1/2 Kizuna
Velvet Queen
Koki Maeda
Hidenori Kimura
Shozo Sasaki
9 5 6
Giga Bakken (JPN)
Sho Ueno
6 I'll Have Another
Windy Hill
(Manhattan Cafe)
Normandy Thoroughbred Racing Co., Ltd.
Okada Stud
Takaki Iwato
10 6 8 Yep Yep Yep (JPN)
Yusuke Eda
4 King Kamehameha
Mejiro Marian
(Mejiro Bailey)
Hiroyuki Sonobe
Lake Villa Farm
Yoshitada Munakata
11 8 12
Heart's Symphony (JPN)
Yasunori Minoshima
3-1/2 Heart's Cry
(Giant's Causeway)
DMM Dream Club Co., Ltd.
Shimokobe Farm
Tetsuhide Tsuji
12 7 10 Meiner Wasser (JPN)
Yuta Onodera
3-1/2 Stay Gold
Cosmo Splash
(Mejiro Bright)
Thoroughbred Club Ruffian Co., Ltd.
Big Red Farm
Minoru Tsuchida
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: ¥ 2,005,062,300       Turnover for the Day: ¥ 12,109,458,700       Attendance: 26,569

PAY-OFF (for ¥100)
Win No.3 ¥ 200 Bracket Quinella 3-7 ¥ 790 Quinella 3-9 ¥ 780
Place No.3 ¥ 120 Quinella Place 3-9 ¥ 370 Exacta 3-9 ¥ 1,090
No.9 ¥ 200 1-3 ¥ 390 Trio 1-3-9 ¥ 2,160
No.1 ¥ 230 1-9 ¥ 970 Trifecta 3-9-1 ¥ 5,590

Winner= 21 starts: 5 wins, 6 seconds & 2 thirds (10 starts: 5 wins, 2 seconds & 1 third *steeplechases only)
Added & stakes money: ¥ 66,427,000 / Career earnings: ¥ 168,071,000 (¥ 157,231,000 *steeplechases only)

Fractional time: Last 1 mile: 1:48.0 Last 4 furlongs: 53.1            Last 3 furlongs: 39.8

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

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.
Defending champion Nishino Daisy began his autumn campaign with an 11th in the Tokyo High-Jump (J-G2, 3,110m, Oct.15) held on yielding going, in which Meiner Grand extended his winning streak to three by marking his first graded title, and was followed by the Tokyo Jump Stakes (J-G3, 3,110m, Jun.24) and the Hanshin Jump Stakes (J-G3, 3,140m, Sep.16) victor June Velocity in fourth. Ecoro Duel won his first jump graded title in the Kyoto Jump Stakes (J-G3, 3,170m, Nov.11) where Daishin Clover, winner of the Kyoto High-Jump (J-G2, 3,930m, May.13), and Meiner Leone, last year’s third-place finisher, finished fourth and sixth, respectively. The field also included Village Eagle, back-to-back winner of the Pegasus Jump Stakes (Open Class, 3,350m).

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