All Parfait looks to go all out to secure a second Grade 2 success in the 2023 Spring Stakes at Nakayama, and see off the progressive Sea Wizard and unbeaten pair Bellagio Opera and Ho O Biscuits.
Grade 2 – Purse $789,000 – 1800 meters (1mile 1 furlong) – Turf- 3-Year-Olds
It’s a very tough race to call with 16 runners and some up-and-coming horses stepping out of maiden company for the first time against winners.
The proven class in the race is All Parfait who already has a Grade 2 success to his name when winning the Daily Hai Nisai Stakes at Hanshin over a mile in November. He was not disgraced when contesting the Grade 1 Asai Hai Futurity Stakes at the end of last year, and the class drop gives him a great chance for his second graded stakes victory.
He won’t have it all his own way, as the improving Sea Wizard looks like a tough foe here. He broke the maiden tag on debut and then went on to land the Fuyo Stakes at Nakayama in October. His next run came in the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes at Nakayama in December when finishing 9th of the 18 runners. Today’s cut back in distance and the class relief should see him there when the photos are taken.
We have two very interesting runners who are both unbeaten. Bellagio Opera and Ho O Biscuits have both won their first two starts, so fall into the “could be anything” category.
Bellagio Opera broke the maiden tag the first time up and has since gone on to win the SaintPaullia Sho at Tokyo on his first start this year. Both wins have come over today’s distance of 1800 meters, and he is a danger to the likely chalk All Parfait.
Ho O Biscuits is another that needs a second look and is also unbeaten in two starts. He broke the maiden tag at Nakayama in December and was a recent winner on his first try at minor stakes level, winning the Friesha Sho at Tokyo just last month over 2000 meters. The cutback in distance is a slight negative as he has closed late for both wins, but this should be a race full of speed, and he’ll be closing late to the wire.
Others that will be fighting it out for a share of this big purse include Ice Green, Tosen Aurora, and Seven Magician, with the last named having already performed well in graded stakes company
2023 Spring Stakes Odds & Betting Picks
|Horse||Jockey||Odds by Jazzsports|
|Ho O Biscuits||K.Yokoyama||+360|
It’s a tough betting race to call, but the unbeaten Ho O Biscuits looks sure to go well on his first attempt stepping up the class ladder. His closing style will be well-suited to the race set up and he can hit the board.
The vote has to go to ALL PARFAIT who has already achieved a high level of form, and his 6th of 17 in the Grade 1 Asia Hia Futurity is top-class form, and he gets a confident vote here.
Sea Wizard, Seven Magician, and Bellagio Opera should be battling for a slice underneath.
Grade 2 – Purse $969,000 – 3000 meters (1mile 7 furlongs) – Turf- 4-Year-Olds And Up
The big horse Boldog Hos looks to secure his first graded stakes success after finishing runner-up in two of Japan’s most prestigious Grade 1 races at the end of 2022.
This race has a very lopsided look to it, with two proven top-class horses in Boldog Hos and Deep Bond taking a significant class drop, and the others looking like they are all playing for a slice underneath.
Deep Bond was last seen when he finished eighth in the Arima Kinen (The Grand Prix) over 2500 meters on Christmas Day. He was six spots behind Boldog Hos on that occasion so has ground to make up on that rival.
It is possible he may not have been on top form after competing in the Prix De L’A De Triomphe in France in October and has been given a nice break.
Boldog Hos clearly has the best form in the race. How he has not won a graded stakes race is amazing, but this looks like his best opportunity so far. He was runner-up in the Arima Kinen in December and was also runner-up in the Japanese St Leger at Hanshin in October over the same distance as today’s race.
Previous to those two runs, he had hit the board in two Grade 2 events, both over much shorter distances and he should have too much for these rivals.
Of the others, Segen could be one at big odds on the board who could be fighting for a spot underneath. He won for the first time since 2020 when taking the Shorai Stakes last month on his first go stretching out at this marathon trip, so there is some upside that has bought about improvement.
Iron Barows has been well beaten in his last five starts, but he does have some solid back form and was a close second to Deep Bond in the Hanshin Daishoten over this distance back in March. A recent run should have him in top shape fitness-wise.
Looking at the bigger prices on the boards, Break Up and Achernar Star are two that could be worth an interest.
Break Up won the Grade 2 Copa Republika Argentina at Tokyo in November and is one that might improve for the stretch-out, although he was well behind the chalk last time, while Achernar Star was a winner over 2500 meters in the Goodluck Handicap in December when trying an extended marathon trip for the first time.
Daishoten Odds & Betting Prediction
|Horse||Jockey||Odds by Jazzsports|
|You Can Smile||S.Ishibashi||+3960|
There is no doubt that Deep Bond is a classy horse and it would be a surprise if he does not hit the board here after being given time to recover from a tough end to 2022.
However, we cannot get away from BOLDOG HOS and he is a clear pick in this after running second in two of Japan’s biggest Grade 1 events at the end of last year. On the class drop, he looks impossible to oppose.
The others look to be playing for a slice underneath and Segen, Break Up and Achernar Star can be fighting it out to hit the board and grab a slice of this nearly $1,000,000 purse.
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