2022 Champions Cup at Japan Odds & Betting Prediction

The dirt specialists will face off in the G1 Champions Cup, including T O Keynes, who shone brightly in Chukyo in 2021. Here our full 2022 Champions Cup at Japan Preview & Betting Prediction

Champions Cup

This G1 race offering a purse of 232,920,000 Yen represents one of the peaks of the season meant for dirt specialists. It lured in a field of sixteen three-year-old and older horses, including the last year’s winner T O Keynes, who has a strong chance to repeat the victory over the distance of a mile and a quarter.

The Daisuke Takayanagi trained chestnut has always been pointed on dirt surface on which he achieved his premiere Graded success in 2021 when bagging the G3 Antares Stakes. Subsequently, T O Keynes scored a Listed and then belonged among the preferred runners of the G1 Champions Cup that he won dominantly. His performance suggested he might even be good enough to play an impactful role in the Saudi Cup 2022; however, he didn’t travel well in Riyadh and finished only eighth.

Upon his return to Japan, the five-year-old horse triumphed at the G3 scene, then took fourth place in a Listed, and last time out, he won the Listed JBC Classic over a mile and a quarter, hinting he is in good form before his bid for a second Champions Cup victory.

Regarding the rest of the field, only Crown Pride got close to what T O Keynes has achieved. The three-year-old colt triumphed at the Listed scene in 2021, and even though he failed to add another victory to his record in the Hyacinth Stakes, he earned his berth in the Kentucky Derby thanks to a surprising win in the G2 UAE Derby.

The son of Reach the Crown has always looked like a smart colt; therefore, he really traveled to the US to compete in the Kentucky Derby, where he finished thirteenth. It was disappointing for the connections for sure, yet the impression he left there wasn’t at all bad. Upon his return to Japan, Crown Pride collected two second places in Listed, including one in the JBC Classic behind T O Keynes.

He should be capable of taking the same spot once again. Four-year-old Shamal is another place contender here as he’s a progressive, consistent colt gaining experience at smaller, less prominent tracks like Urawa or Saga. The Takeshi Matsushita trained bay has shown up eighth times throughout 2022, winning four times and placing three times.

Another four-year-old to mention is Gloria Mundi, who is about to be piloted by Ryan Moore. The colt scored in Stakes races over middle and stayers distances and even took second place in the G3 Antares Stakes in April. He has hit the track just once since then, finishing 12th in the G1 Takarazuka Kinen; however, that race is a turf one.

After a hiatus, he needs to bring up the best in him to have a say on Sunday, which also applies to Jun Light Bolt. The five-year-old horse is in fine form, given he won his most recent couple of races, but has never run at the G1 stage. So far, he scored at the G3 level and might find something more to be a viable player on Sunday.

2022 Champions Cup Odds & Betting Pick

Must be T O Keynes, the most accomplished runner in the field who should add a second G1 victory to his resume.

Gloria MundiR.Moore+890
Sunrise HopeH.Miyuki+5300
Smashing HeartsK.Sameshima+10700
Jun Light BoltY.Ishikawa+500
Red GalantA.Saito+5300
Sunrise NovaF.Matsuwaka+10700
Crown PrideY.Fukunaga+980
T O KeynesK.Matsuyama-143

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