2023 February Stakes Odds, Field & Betting Picks

The highlight on this weekend’s in the Japanese racing calendar is the 2023 February Stakes, Lemon Pop, Dry Stout, Shirl’s Speight headline this amazing G1 at Tokyo Racecourse however all eyes will be on T M South Dan to see if he can go one better than last year in this $1.7 million event over a mile.

February Stakes

Grade 1 – Purse $1,735,000 – 1600 meters (1 mile) – Dirt – 4-Year-Olds & Upwards.

We have a very interesting runner here in the form of Shirl’s Speight and this Canadian shipper has to be respected after a fine second when last seen in the Breeders Cup Mile. The Roger Attfield trained star is a genuine Grade 1 performer and at morning line odds of 18/1. He looks well overpriced and will give the home team plenty to think about.

T M South Dan looks to go one better than last year. He has had four runs since then and has been placed in a couple of listed races which is form that would not be good enough to win this, but a weather watch is advised. His chances would be increased massively if we get a sloppy track, as this is the type of surface that has coincided with his best form.

The morning line chalk is the Godolphin-owned Lemon Pop and deservedly so. He has won seven of his ten starts and finished second in the other three, but it is important to note the step up the class ladder here. He is meeting some genuine Grade 1 performers and will need to take another step forward to continue his amazing record of never being outside the first two.

The four-time winner Dry Stout has won four of his six races and comes here defending a perfect two from two at Tokyo racecourse. He has already won at Listed level and showed his well-being with a runner-up finish last time. He’ll need to step forward against these foes but is one of the least exposed and could be one for exotics players.

One of the most consistent horses in this lineup is the six-year-old mare Shonan Nadeshiko, who has hit the board in eleven of her last twelve races. The only time she missed was last time in this spot when finishing sixth of the fourteen runners beaten around 5 lengths. She cuts back in distance today which gives plenty of upside.

Others that look of interest include Meisho Hario, Speedy Kick and the top-class Red Le Zele who has finished second in the last two renewals of the Dubai Golden Shaheen. Priced up at 12/1 on the morning line odds, this is another that looks well overpriced, and the sloppy track did not suit this one in last year’s race.

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2023 February Stakes Odd & Betting Picks

HorseJockeyOdds by Jazzsports
Jasper PrinceK.Tanaka+35600
Shirl’s SpeightJ.Moreira+3150
Dry StoutK.Tosaki+260
Meisho HarioS.Hamanaka+1140
Lemon PopR.Sakai-111
Admire LupusH.Uchida+5010
Shonan NadeshikoT.Yokoyama+4370
T M South DanC.Lemaire+7850
Soliste ThunderA.Sugawara+2070
Speedy KickN.Mikamoto+3880
Red le ZeleY.Kawada+760
Keiai TurquoiseK.Yokoyama+8840

A fantastic race in prospect and the Godolphin-owned Lemon Drop will be strongly fancied taking a first step into Grade 1 company. 2/1 looks short odds and although this one should hit the board, he is not our main pick here.

For win purposes, we have to side with SHIRL’S SPEIGHT whose second spot in the Breeders Cup Mile is probably the best piece of form on offer, and hall of fame trainer Roger Attfield is not bringing his stable star here just as a tourist.

The other proven class horse Red Le Zele and the consistent Shonan Nadeshiko should be right there at the end fighting for a slice underneath.

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