2023 Satsuki Sho Odds, Field & Picks

Can Sol Oriens take the step up the class ladder and secure the first colts classic of the season the 2023 Satsuki Sho, or will the unbeaten Bellagio Opera make it four in a row?

The Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas)

Grade 1 – Purse $3,111,000 – 2000 meters (1 mile 2 furlongs) – Turf – 3-Year-Old Colts

Sol Oriens is the early chalk for the race and he is now two from two after winning the Grade 3 Keisei Hai in January. He sat midpack and then widened from the 300 meters (one and a half furlong) mark to win by an easy four lengths. He now takes a big step up the class ladder and will need to take a big step forward to justify favoritism.

There are a couple here that look to have already shown better form than the chalk and they are Phantom Thief and Bellagio Opera

Phantom Thief broke the maiden tag at the first time of asking and then went on to win a minor stakes race on his second start. He was then given a sharp step up the class ladder, where he contested the G1 Hopeful Stakes here at Nakayama in December on his last run as a two-year-old. He finished a strong fourth and has shown he has trained on, by easily winning the Grade 3 Tokinominoru Kinen where he stalked the pace and widened from the 200 meters (furlong pole) to win by a length.

Bellagio Opera is unbeaten in three starts and took the step up the class ladder last time to win the Fuji Tv Sho Spring Stakes here at Nakayama from another of today’s rivals Ho O Biscuits. That form should be confirmed and he is a big danger to all here.

The one horse that seems to be the forgotten one is Danon Touchdown who has not run this season but was very unlucky not to go unbeaten when finishing second in the G2 Daily Hai Nisai Stakes, before an even better effort in the G1 Asai Hai Futurity Stakes. He was a deep closer on both of those runs, losing by narrow margins each time and has top pilot Yuga Kawada on board. The stretch-out in distance gives plenty of upside and he could well cause a shock here.

Two other long shots that look interesting for exotics players are Shonan Bashito and Hrimfaxi. Hrimfaxi is the one with the better-looking chance after winning his last three races culminating in the Grade 3 Kisaragi Sho at Chukyo Racecourse

2023 Satsuki Sho Odds & Betting Pick

HorseJockeyOdds by Jazzsports
Sol OriensT.Yokoyama+760
One DirectY.Fujioka+5070
Gruner GreenY.Ishikawa+25700
Shonan BashittoM.Demuro+3130
Win OdinK.Miura+77300
Phantom ThiefC.Lemaire+240
Top KnifeN.Yokoyama+1370
Ho O BiscuitsK.Yokoyama+1750
Ras HammelS.Ishibashi+19200
Danon TouchdownY.Kawada+1890
TastieraK. Matsuyama+430
Bellagio OperaH.Tanabe+650
Touch WoodY.Take+1550
Metal SpeedA.Tsumura+25700
Meiner LauleaK.Tosaki+6950

Both Phantom Thief and Bellagio Opera look very smart Colts and they already have solid form on the card so it will be tough to keep them both off the board here. A slight preference is for the unbeaten Bellagio Opera and he should go very close to winning.

However, such has been the late closing speed of DANON TOUCHDOWN, that he gets the vote. He’ll need the gaps to open but can take advantage of what is sure to be a fast pace and gets a perfect race set up from his middle gate.

Hrimfaxi looks like another on the upgrade and he can be fighting for a slice underneath with the chalk Sol Oriens.

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