2022 NHK Mile Cup & Kyoto Shimbun Hai Recap

The past weekend at the Japanese tracks featured the G1 2022 NHK Mile Cup for three-year-olds, where Danon Scorpion secured his first victory among the elite when bagging the race in Tokyo on Sunday. Back then, Red Galant won the G3 Niigata Daishoten in Niigata and on Saturday, three-year-old Ask wild More denied his odds in the G2 Kyoto Shimbun Hai in Chukyo.

Kyoto Shimbun Hai

Twelve three-year-old colts lined up in this G2 turf race, offering the purse of 104,780,000 Yen. At the distance of a mile and three furlongs, the favourites didn’t have any luck as Ask Wild More (168-10) was the one scoring this feat under Mirai Iwata.

The Hideaki Fujiwara trained bay spent the race at the rear of the field, then successfully thronged among his rivals to fight very bravely to win with Verona City (136-10), bettering him finally by a half of a length. Crossing the wire in 2m 9.50s, he left Verona City behind in second with Boldog Hos (94-10) strongly closing on them in third. 

Although Ask Wild More wasn’t the leading chance here, we liked him before the race due to his results at the Graded scene. He wasn’t good enough as a two-year-old to impact the G1 Hopeful Stakes; still, he ran in second in the G3 Sapporo Nisai Stakes behind the fresh Classic winner Geoglyph. In 2022, he commenced the season with fourth place in the G3 competition, and as he has improved since that start, his performance on Saturday was really promising for the colt’s future.

Despite resting far from the front since the beginning, Ask Wild More managed to navigate through the field in time to catch up with leading Verona City, who also showed good speed in the closing stages but had to settle for a second place. Boldog Hos is another name to remember, given he galloped in the last place; however, he displayed such a turn of foot that he passed by almost all of his rivals to take third place.

Niigata Daishoten

This G3 handicap race welcomed the field of fifteen four-year-old and older horses who competed at the distance of a mile and two furlongs. On the turf surface, seven-year-old Red Galant (132-10) was the most successful one when vying for the purse of 82,600,000 Yen, securing his second victory at the Graded scene. Piloted by Yasunari Iwata, he galloped at the rear of the field to significantly improve his position on the opposite stretch, upon which he put up a great fight in the final stretch.

Bettering Kaiser Barrows (58-10) by a neck, Red Galant scored the race in 1m 57.70s, with third Yashamaru (79-10) running in third just a nose behind the second horse. 

The Takayuki Yasuda bound Red Galant has a great season so far as out of four outings, he bagged two G3 wins, and this time, he caught the eye when passing by a large part of the field in the middle of the race. It seemed almost effortless for him, and even though he had to put up a gutsy performance in the final stretch as both Kaiser Barrows and Yashamaru fought bravely, Red Galant’s triumph deserves a lot of respect also due to the fact he carried the biggest weight here.

2022 NHK Mile Cup

The G1 turf race for three-year-olds attracted eighteen of them who clashed at the distance of a mile. With the purse of 253,460,000 Yen up for grabs here, several exciting colts showed up, including bay Danon Scorpion (61-10), trained by Takayuki Yasuda.

Looking great, he galloped in the midfield to display a beautiful turn-of-foot in the final stretch, and under Yuga Kawada, he managed to bag his premiere G1 victory by a neck. Triumphing in 1m 32.30s, he bettered second Matenro Orion (58-10) by a neck, with Kawakita Reverie (230-1) being beaten by another neck in third.

Danon Scorpion has always seemed to be a champ in the making, and even though he gave some space for doubts when being underwhelming in his seasonal debut, he then secured a victory among the G3 rivals, looking apparently ready to take on the elite again and cementing his position as a brilliant three-year-old miler.

Matenro Orion once again showed an excellent finish from the last position but again came up short by a small margin, while outsider Kawakita Reverie ran a race of his life here. Favourite Serifos (29-10) finished fourth after getting a bit stiff in the final furlong, and thus he probably needed this one run to return to fitness. Industria (3-1) was fifth.

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Danon Scorpion claims narrow victory in the 2022 NHK Mile Cup #Horseracing #Horseracingtips #Horse #Horses #FYP #Sports

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Review the 2023 Shimbun Hai & NHK Mile Cup recap

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