The mile-long 2022 Oka Sho headlines Sunday’s card at the Hanshin racecourse.
The G1 event is the very first Classic race of the season, being perceived as the equivalent of the 1000 Guineas. It’s not that common for a victress of the main trial, the Tulip Sho, to score also the Oka Sho, so Namur needs to go not only against dangerous rivals like Circle of Life but also against the statistics.
The 2022 Oka Sho Preview
The G1 turf race is open only to three-year-old fillies vying for the purse of 287,420,000 Yen at the distance of a mile. The first Classic race of the Japanese season attracted a field of eighteen participants, among which Namur (3-1) is the leading chance.
The Tomokazu Takano-bound daughter of Harbinger has four outings under her belt. After scoring the first two, she failed to maintain her unbeaten record in the G1 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies in December, where she managed only fourth place. However, with the beginning of the new season, she returned to the winning way with a bang in the G2 Tulip Sho.
The most prestigious Classic trial does not automatically generate the winner of the 1000 Guineas at all; still, Namur’s performance was likable, and the filly seems classy and gutsy enough to deliver on Sunday.
Her most dangerous rivals come from the field Namur left behind in the Tulip Sho, but it is necessary to declare that Circle of Life (33-5) bettered Namur in the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies.
Back then, the Sakae Kunieda trained filly stormed home on the outside, and even though she was only third in the Tulip Sho, she might turn the tables on the favorite once again.
Water Navillera (33-5) then finished third in the mentioned G1 and came home in fifth in the Tulip Sho. Although she got beaten on both occasions, she’s proved she is a classy filly, and her fighting abilities shouldn’t be discarded.
The G1 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies also saw Lovely Your Eyes (33-2) finishing second. Even though she hasn’t hit the track since December, her chances are quite good also due to the fact Sodashi scored the Classic race in 2021 without a start in the next season as well.
Lovely Your Eyes could be well-rested and may surprise her more preferred rivals here, given she’s shown a hint of class and the distance of a mile suits her well. Presage Lift (57-5) is the last to mention, with only two outings under her belt.
The Tetsuya Kimura bound filly broke her maiden in October, upon which she returned to the tracks only in February when she scored the G3 Daily Hai Queen Cup by a neck. Her finish was just beautiful, and if she delivers something similar on Sunday, she should be a big player here.
2022 Oka Sho Odds
|Horse||Jockey||Horse Racing Odds courtesy of JazzSports|
|Stars on Earth||Y.Kawada||+1500|
|Lovely Your Eyes||R.Sakai||+1300|
|Circle of Life||M.Demuro||+700|
Our 2022 Oka Sho Betting Prediction
Our pick for the Oka Sho is Namur, who has matured enough to score this despite whatever struggles she might face throughout the race. Presage Lift could be an interesting place contender as she is talented but may be disadvantaged due to her lack of experience.
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