2022 Japanese Derby & Meguro Kinen Recap

Sunday’s card at the Japanese central track in Tokyo saw the 2022 Japanese Derby, where Do Deuce delivered a stellar performance, winning from the rear by a neck in front of Equinox. The 2000 Guineas victor, Geoglyph, had to settle for seventh place. Among four-year-old and older horses, Boccherini defied the biggest carried weight and scored the G2 Meguro Kinen, while preferred Paradise Reef (7-2) managed only sixth place.

The Tokyo Yushun (2022 Japanese Derby)

The G1 race known as the Japanese Derby saw a victory of Do Deuce, piloted by Yutaka Take. On the turf surface and the distance of a mile and a half, the Yasuo Tomomichi bound bay belonged among the top chances in this 418,540,000 Yen event, which he proved to be correct when flying home in the final stretch.

This time, Do Deuce didn’t gallop at the utter rear of the field of three-year-olds; still, he had to show a remarkable turn of foot to get near Ask Victor More (237-10), leading the pack in the closing stages, and he did so. The son of Heart’s Cry outran the mentioned rival to earn the Classic glory in 2m 21.90s, closely followed home by another hugely talented colt, Equinox (14-5).

Do Deuce was perceived as one of the best colts in 2021 as he scored the G1 Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes thanks to a brilliant finish from the rear. He commenced the new season with a second place in a Classic trial behind smart Ask Victor More, upon which he gave another outstanding effort in the 2000 Guineas, taking third place behind Geoglyph and Equinox when finishing from behind.

The tactic was usually the main thing to blame when Do Deuce didn’t strike gold as he simply didn’t close on the front in time, which wasn’t the Tokyo Yushun’s case. Equinox didn’t disappoint as well, yet his run was marked by a bad start. He galloped in third last place and had to wait in the final stretch for Do Deuce to accelerate, in other words, to open a spot for him. Subsequently, Equinox quickened up sweetly and didn’t catch the winner just by a neck, securing second place in a Classic race once again.

Ask Victor More also drew on his fine performance in the 2000 Guineas, where he was fifth, and this time, he ran close to the front, took command in the final turn, and then held on to third place before finishing Danon Beluga (5-2) who repeated fourth place from the 2000 Guineas. The winner of the main trial, Pradaria (197-10), was fifth, while Geoglyph (49-10), the winner of the 2000 Guineas known as Satsuki Sho, couldn’t get past the seventh spot.  

Meguro Kinen

The G2 turf race welcomed a large field of four-year-old and older horses who clashed at the distance of a mile and four and a half furlongs. In this handicap race with the purse of 110,120,000 Yen, reliable Boccherini (39-10) carried the biggest weight; still, he managed to score his premiere G2 triumph. Under Suguru Hamanaka, the six-year-old horse galloped in fourth place at the fence, used the opened gap in the final stretch, and then quickly took command.

The Yasutoshi Ikee bound bay recorded a smooth success by ¾ of a length in 2m 32.10s before finishing Meiner Virtus (10-1). Last year’s winner, Win Kiitos (179-10), put on a bold front-running performance and held on to the third place. 

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