2022 Hopeful Stakes Odds & Betting Prediction

On Wednesday, the two-year-olds take center stage in the last Grade 1 of the year in Japan. It is the aptly named 2022 Hopeful Stakes, where many of these will be hoping to stamp a claim towards next year’s classics. Although the race is open to colts and fillies, we have no entries from the girls here.

2022 Hopeful Stakes

Grade 1 – Purse $1,021,500 – 2000 metres – Turf – 2-Year-Olds

This will be the 39th running of the race but only the sixth time it has been run as a Grade 1. So let’s see if we can point you in the direction of the winner with a big field of 18 runners due to go to post at 3.25 pm local time at Nakayama racecourse.

Hearts Concerto finished third behind Gastrique in the Grade 2 Hai Nisai Stakes last time when beaten just over a length and came from far back to close strongly to the line and must have every chance to turn that form around.

Serendipity has run twice in maiden company and broke the maiden tag on the second start and is certainly progressing. He’ll need to step forward against much tougher foes, but could be one to include in exotics.

Gruner Green looks an interesting contender here having won two of his last three races, including the Grade 3 Radio Nikkei Kyoto Nisai Stakes from the fast-finishing Top Knife. The runner-up was still four lengths down with 200 meters (1 furlong) to run but closed strongly to be beaten just a head. He had a poor track position that day and must rate a big danger.

The one that looks interesting as a possible big price play on the exotics is Wurttemberg, who was third in the above race and suffered plenty of interference as they entered the home stretch. He is sure to be closing late.

One of the unbeaten and less exposed horses is Phantom Thief. It is a key statistic that horses that have made their debuts at Hanshin have won the last four renewals of the Hopeful Stakes.

He won on debut over 1600 meters (one mile) before improving on his second start to win the Nojigiku Stakes at Chukyo over today’s distance of 2,000 meters.

He came clear that day to win by 2 lengths, and although he is stepping up the class ladder, he already looks potentially very useful. It would be a memorable win for his jockey Yuichi Fukunaga who holds the record for the most Grade 1 two-year-old wins (7) and hangs up his boots in February.

2022 Hopeful Stakes Prediction

Lots of unexposed horses in this race with many having only run one or two times, but we have already seen some smart performances from this crop of youngsters, and one that looks sure to hit the board is Top Knife who was very unlucky not to win last time.

However, the best piece of form has surely come from the Grade 2 Hai Nisai Stakes and HEARTS CONCERTO may just be a bit of value on the boards to turn around the form with Gastrique.
Phantom Thief looks sure to run a big race and he and Serendipity could be others that make a bold bid to hit the board.

2022 Hopeful Stakes Odds

Phantom ThiefY.Fukunaga+270
Hearts ConcertoK.Matsuyama+980
Sea WizardS.Hamanaka+6710
Gruner GreenM.Demuro+2020
Born in GrandeA.Saito+8960
Top KnifeN.Yokoyama+3870
Seven MagicianC.Demuro+560
Dura EredeB.Murzabayev+2410
Monde PlumeK.Yokoyama+9900
J PalmsD.Egan+2120
King’s ReignC.Lemaire+1890
Ska ParadiseS.Imamura+9900
Jun TsubamegaeshiY.Ishikawa+9900
Mikki CappuccinoK.Tosaki+210

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