The focal point of the whole weekend in terms of Japanese horse racing is the 2022 Satsuki Sho for three-year-olds; in other words, the Japanese 2000 Guineas held at a mile and a quarter.
At the Nakayama Racecourse, we will witness a mouth-watering clash among some outstanding colts, including unbeaten Danon Beluga and Equinox; however, Do Deuce could play a significant role on Sunday, too.
The Hanshin track then offers the G3 Arlington Cup for three-year-olds on Saturday, while on Sunday, older horses will clash in the G3 Antares Stakes.
2022 Arlington Cup
The mile-long G3 race is open to three-year-olds who are about to compete for the purse of 76,900,000 Yen. On the turf surface, eighteen participants line up, including the G2 Keio Hai Nisan Stakes winner, King Hermes (10-1). The Yoshito Yahagi bound colt commenced his career with a Newcomer victory, upon which he failed to deliver in a Stakes race; however, his performance in the mentioned Graded was a great one. Still, he achieved success in November, and he might need a start before returning to his best as some of his rivals have recorded interesting results already in 2022.
For example, Jun Blossom (3-1), trained by Yasuo Tomomichi, was quite close to scoring a Stakes race in March when running second in the Armeria Sho behind front-running Piece of Eight. Prior to that effort, Jun Blossom finished fourth in the G3 competition. Dugat (5-1) and Dio (5-1) could snatch places here as they’ve shown enough talent but need to find more to strike gold.
The last to mention here is Danon Scorpion (5-1) because the Takayuki Yasuda bagged his debut in a Newcomer race in June, in October he drew on that effort in a Stakes race, and subsequently, he delivered a fine performance in the G1 Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes where he took third place behind Do Deuce and Serifos. Because he ran a great race back then, he was perceived as one of the leading chances for February Tokinominoru Kinen held at the distance of a mile and a furlong. However, his finish wasn’t enough in the G3 event, and Danon Scorpion had to settle for a very underwhelming seventh place. Still, the result seemed to be caused by how the race unfolded, not solely by the possibility that Danon Scorpion lacked the class to impact it.
2022 Arlington Cup Odds & Prediction
Our pick for the Arlington Cup is Danon Scorpion, who faces some interesting colts here and has to make amends for his previous run, but we believe he’s simply good enough to score this.
|Horse||Jockey||Odds by JazzSports|
|Tudo de Bom||Y.Fukunaga||+900|
2022 Antares Stakes
On the dirt surface, a field of sixteen four-year-old and older horses will fight for the purse of 72,820,000 Yen at the distance of a mile and a furlong. There are two previous winners of this G3 event, while it’s a small wonder that the more preferred one could be ten-year-old Westerlund () who has been an amazing servant to the connections as even after bagging the Antares Stakes in 2020, the gelding went on to place at the same stage and also collected two third places in the G1 Tokyo Daishoten at the track of Oi.
Eight-year-old Another Truth bagged the race in 2019 and finished second in 2020, and even though he failed to repeat such performances last year, his third place in the G1 Champions Cup in December suggests he shouldn’t be utterly discarded here. Still, seven-year-old Omega Perfume () could be the leading chance as he won the mentioned Tokyo Diashoten three times in a row, including when last time out, scoring it in December 2021. Throughout his career, the grey failed to finish among the first three only on four occasions in 23 outings.
The last three we want to discuss have shown their form in 2022 is quite solid, and therefore, they could have a say in Sunday’s race even though they don’t have much experience with Graded events. Keiai Purple () has recorded a Listed win in February, and last time out, he finished second, while four-year-olds Badenweiler () and Gloria Mundi () are still young and have plenty of room for improvement from scoring Stakes races to become useful Graded contestants.
2022 Antares Stakes Odds & Prediction
Our pick for the Antares Stakes is Omega Perfume due to his great results at the Oi track.
|Horse||Jockey||Odds by JazzSports|
2022 Satsuki Sho
This turf G1 race for three-year-old colts is perceived as the Japanese 2000 Guineas held at a distance of a mile and a quarter. The high-quality field of eighteen participants vie for the purse of 320,750,000 Yen, and even though we see quite a remarkable number of contestants who could impact the race, we narrowed the number to six.
The couple we see as the most probable winners have just two outings under their belts but displayed such talent, such ability that they need to be the leading chances here. We’re talking especially about Equinox (5-2), trained by Tetsuya Kimura, who scored the Newcomer race in August, upon which he returned to the tracks in November to bag the G2 Tokyo Sports Hai Nisai Stakes. Under Christophe Lemaire, this beautiful dark bay looks ready to start off his three-year-old campaign with a bang; however, his rivals are fierce and highly promising, as Danon Beluga (18-5) showed in the G3 Tokinominoru Kinen in February.
The utterly green colt broke his maiden in November, but when showing up among the Graded company, he overcame any difficulties and scored the race in a grand fashion. Both colts are unbeaten, and only one of them can maintain the record after Sunday; still, it looks like both have a bright future in front of them.
Do Deuce (8-1) has hit the track four times as he climbed up from a Newcomer victory to a Stakes one and the G1 win in the Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes. Thanks to his lethal finish, he recorded his premiere Graded success back then, and despite the fact he came second in the G2 Deep Impact Kinen in March, he is considered here once again. Geoglyph (9-1) is another contestant with a brilliant finish, but he’s prone to finishing too late, so we slightly like also the first and second from the G1 Hopeful Stakes as in December, Killer Ability (8-1) looked the real deal when bettering Justin Palace (15-1) at the distance of a mile and quarter.
2022 Satsuki Sho Odds & Prediction
Our pick for the Satsuki Sho is Killer Ability who scored the G1 Hopeful Stakes as its winner have a solid record in the Japanese 2000 Guineas.
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