2023 Tenno Sho Spring & Aoba Sho Recap

Justin Palace streaks clear in the final furlong to break the heart of Deep Bond for a third successive year, and take out the 2023 Tenno Sho (Spring) for a second career Grade 2 victory.

Tenno Sho

Grade 1 – Purse $3,117,000 – 3200 meters (2 miles) – Turf – 4-Year-Olds and Up

This race was blown wide open from the gates as first Titleholder and then African Gold got to the speed, so much so that Titleholder was taken out of his comfort zone as he could not dictate early.

Following the two runaway leaders was the Japanese St Leger winner Ask Victor More.

Meanwhile, the other fancied runners were further back, with the eventual winner JUSTIN PALACE settled nicely under a hold and stalking the speed on the rail in eighth.

2023 Tenno Sho Spring Race Video

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African Gold soon backed out of things and at the clubhouse turn, it was Titleholder who took over. As they reached the 600 meters (3 furlongs) mark, it was clear something was wrong with Titleholder and he was soon eased and pulled up by the jockey.

Meanwhile, last year’s runner-up Deep Bond made his effort and looked for a moment like he might make it third time lucky.

But as they hit the top of the stretch, his move was covered by Justin Palace and he swept by with 300 meters (1 ½ furlongs) to run and soon widened to win by two and a half lengths from Deep Bond (second for the third time in this race) with Silver Sonic closing late and fast to take third, with BreakUp finishing in fourth spot.

2023 Tenno Sho ( Spring) Payouts

HorseWinPlace
1. Justin Palace$4.30$1.60
2. Deep Bond $3.70
3. Silver Sonic $4.00

WINNING TIME: 3 min 16.10 secs

Aoba Sho

Grade 2 – Purse $774,000 – 2400 meters (1 ½ miles) – Turf – 3-Year-Olds

Skilfing closes late and fast to mow down Hearts Concerto right under the wire to win by half a length and secure the trial for The Japanese Derby and his first graded stakes win.

As the gates opened, there was no real strong pace but as they went into the clubhouse turn, it was the well-fancied Asakara King leading from the two longshots, Shadow Sonic at 200/1 and Masahaya Wolds at 500/1.

The chalk and eventual winner SKILFING broke well and was settled in mid-pack by Christophe Lemaire and had a good view of the front posted out in the three-lane. Meanwhile, well-fancied runner Hearts Concerto was content to sit one from the back and around ten lengths off the speed.

Aoba Sho Race Video

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With 800 meters (half a mile) to go, the pace increased but the pack started to close on the leader and just eight lengths were covering the fourteen runners.

Asakara King widened off the far turn and was two lengths clear of his foes, but he started to empty at the 400 meters (2 furlongs) mark and it was here he quickly backed out of things.

Hearts Concerto met traffic problems but got to the front a sixteenth to the wire, only to be immediately challenged by the chalk, and it was Skilfing who proved strongest to edge ahead and win by half a length at the wire.

Timur closed late for the third spot but could not land a blow on the front two, finishing two lengths back in third with May Tesoro closing late for the fourth spot.

Aoba Sho Payouts

HorseWinPlace
1. Skilfing$1.70$1.10
2. Hearts Concerto $1.60
3. Timur $12.30

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