It cannot be said that many horses and their connections used the opportunity of the Japanese Road to the Kentucky Derby since its establishment; still, let’s take a look at the second leg of the series called the Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun. The race is held on Wednesday at the Kawasaki Racecourse, while the winner of this Listed event will be awarded 20 points for the Road to the Kentucky Derby, yet it’s hard to predict which of the colts should strike gold as most of them showed a spark, however, haven’t raced against each other.
Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun
As none of the participants of the first leg of the Japanese Road to the Kentucky Derby aims at this Listed dirt race held at the distance of a mile, all of the two-year-old colts are newcomers at the scene. With the purse of 71,400,000 Yen, the mile-long event attracted a field of 14 juniors; the first colt to mention is Sekifu (7-1) trained by Koshiro Take, who strives to score the fourth victory in a row. In his five starts, he bagged three of them not by a wide margin, yet he managed to catch the spectators’ eyes.
He is yet to cover the distance of a mile, but with Mirco Demuro aboard, he’s a hugely respected contestant. While Sekifu, and also Combustion (11-1), last-time-out losing to him by a neck, will hit such a distance for the first time, Ice Giant (14-1) has already raced even farther in his two only outings. The Mizuki Takayanagi bound junior scored his debut at Chukyo over a mile and a furlong, upon which he secured a sure victory at the same distance at Mombetsu, beating even significantly more skilled rival, Nudge (7-1). The Shoji Tanaka trained bay won four of his nine starts and ran well in the mentioned race; still, he doesn’t look like the one capable of remarkable progress.
The distance of a mile should play to Noblesse Noah’s (9-1) cards as the Satoshi Kokubo bound colt scored such a long Haiseko Kinen in November, while Nine Viper (20-1) is also one to consider thanks to the fact he handles the trip. Yet, he doesn’t seem as classy as some of his opponents. Cristiano Demuro is about to ride Kaikano Kiseki (3-1), who most notably finished second in a G3 race; however, his return after a pause resulted in a below-par fifth race; moreover, he hasn’t raced at a trip longer than six furlongs.
He can get it, but it could be a concern. Dry Stout (11-1) is also in the mix after a promising performance, yet it’s unclear how he’ll handle the distance. He should get it, though, as his fine victory at only a bit shorter trip suggested his abilities. The last to mention is Marine Sky (3-1), trained by Yuji Uchikoshi, who is unbeaten in four starts, and even though he’s raced only on the muddy/sloppy track at the Kochi Racecourse, he could strike gold also at Kawasaki, given his victories were simply impressive.
|Horse||Jockey||Racing Odds courtesy of JazzSports|
|Noblesse Noah(||Taito Mori||+900|
|Nine Viper(J||Norifumi Mikamoto||+2000|
|Kaikano Kiseki(JPN||Cristian Demuro||+300|
|Ice Giant(JPN)||Kosei Miura||+1400|
|Dry Stout(||Keita Tosaki||+1100|
|Marine Sky||Minoru Miyagawa||+300|
Our betting pick for the Zen-Nippon Nisai Yashun is Marine Sky who may maintain his unbeaten record and prove he’s good enough to score a Listed.
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