Aoba Sho & Tenno Sho Spring Odds and Betting Predictions

This weekend offers two Graded races at Japanese tracks. On Sunday, four-year-old and older horses aim at the Hanshin Racecourse to compete in the prestigious G1 Tenno Sho Spring. On Saturday, three-year-old colts will compete in the G2 Aoba Sho, a trial for the Japanese Derby that is held at Tokyo Racecourse.

Aoba Sho

Can Hearts Concerto bounce back from his lackluster seasonal debut and show his true class or will the new kid on the block Skilthing gain his first graded stakes success?

A very interesting Grade 2 contest for the three-year-olds and the two that have already proven themselves at graded stakes level are Hearts Concerto and Savona.

Hearts Concerto broke the maiden tag the first time up in September taking a two-year-old newcomers event at Chukyo before taking a step up the class ladder to this spot next time when hitting the board in the Grade 2 Hai Nisai Stakes here at Tokyo Racecourse.

He was then stepped up to the top table next time in the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes when going off the chalk but he hit traffic problems in the stretch and failed to land a blow on the leaders. That is still the best piece of form in this field.

He returned a below-par effort on his return in a listed event but should be much fitter now.

Savona has not quite reached that level of form but was a good fourth in the Grade 3 Keisei Hai back in January and has since taken a class drop to finish second in the Yurikamome Sho here at Tokyo before a win last time in minor stakes company. That win came over today’s distance and he is an interesting foe for the chalk.

The rest of the field is very unexposed and both Grande Venus and Yori Maru are both lightly raced winners who tackled graded stakes foes last year without success, with the latter bouncing back from a Grade 2 defeat in the Deep Impact Kinen behind the highly rated Tastiera to win a minor stakes on his first run this season. He stretches out which looks as though it will give plenty of upside.

Of the others, Hishi Taykan, Skilfing, and May Tesoro are all lightly raced winners now stepping up the class ladder.

Hishi Taykan broke the maiden tag the first time and steps right into graded stakes company while May Tesoro is a dual winner and has not been off the board in six starts.

The one that looks really interesting is Sklifing. He was second on introduction but has since won his next two, including when beating Savona in the Yurikamome Sho Stakes. That win came when stretching out to this distance and he is on a sharp upward curve.

2023 Aoba Sho Odds and Prediction

There is no doubt that Hearts Concerto has the best piece of form in the race, and if improving from his seasonal bow, he may well be just too good for these.

However, our selection is the rapidly improving SKILFING who is going for the hat trick and falls into the “could be anything” category.

Yori Maru and Savona can be battling for a slice underneath.

HorseJockeyHorse Racing Odds courtesy of JazzSports
Meiner EmperorR.Wada+3300
Yori MaruA.Sugawara+2000
Hearts ConcertoK.Matsuyama+500
Ame BlancheY.Yoshida+3300
Grande VenusD.Lane+1200
Nishino RevenantT.Ono+9900
Hishi TaycanM.Demuro+800
Shadow SonicR.Sakai+9900
Asakara KingY.Ishikawa+1600
May TesoroY.Kawada+3300
Masahaya WoldsT.Nagano+9900

Tenno Sho Spring

Can Titleholder win for a second year running or will Deep Bond finally hit gold after finishing runner-up in the last two runnings of the Tenno Sho (Spring)?

An absolutely fantastic race in store with last year’s winner Titleholder and the runner-up for the last two years Deep Bond renewing rivalry once more. However, they won’t have it all their own way as this is a deeper renewal with the St Leger first and second Ask Victor More and Boldog Hos providing deep opposition.

Titleholder was a very easy winner last time taking the Grade 2 Nikkei Sho by nearly ten lengths for the second successive year. That was a gate-to-wire performance and those will be the tactics today. He’ll aim to control the speed and kick from the top of the short stretch.

Deep Bond has put up two solid performances in this race in 2021 and 2022, but he just seems to get caught for speed at a vital time in his races and the best he can hope for is a spot on the board once more.

The younger generation sees last year’s St Leger (Track Record) hero Ask Victor More try and atone for his defeat to Titleholder in the Nikkei Sho. That was his first race of the year after a layoff so he is entitled to improve.

Boldog Hos is very consistent and this stretch-out in distance looks to provide plenty of upside. He closes strongly in his races and we could see him turn the form round with Justin Palace on their seasonal debuts when they finished 1-2 in the Grade 2 Hansin Daishoten at Hanshin Racecourse in March.

A very interesting runner here is Silver Sonic who unshipped his jockey at the start of this race last year but then went on to prove he is a stayer of real quality by taking the Grade 2 Sports Nippon Sho Stayers Stakes next time.

He then reappeared to win the Grade 3 Red Sea Turf Handicap over 2 miles and 1 furlong, so we know he is fit, in form, and stays, and he also has strong back form here at Kyoto.

As well as the above, others that could go well at bigger odds on the boards include Humidor and Breakup which are both unexposed over this distance.

2023 Tenno Sho Odds and Prediction

It is clear that Titleholder will be the chalk here and his gate-to-wire tactics will have many of these in trouble way before they reach the wire. He looks sure to hit the board.

From a value perspective at the likely odds, the narrow vote goes to SILVER SONIC. He was unlucky to unship his jockey in this last year and has since gone on to win his next two races, both in graded stakes company.

The stretch-out in distance looks to give some major upside to the chances of Boldog Hos, and he looks like a real danger here.

HorseJockeyHorse Racing Odds courtesy of JazzSports
Justin PalaceC.Lemaire+460
Deep MonsterS.Hamanaka+7940
Melody LaneH.Miyuki+9900
Iron BarowsR.Sakai+9900
Ask Victor MoreT.Yokoyama+640
Deep BondR.Wada+1190
Tosen CambinaM.Iwata+9900
Sanrei PocketM.Demuro+9900
Boldog HosY.Kawada+880
Matenro LeoN.Yokoyama+7290
End RollT.Nagano+9900
Silver SonicD.Lane+1740
African GoldK.Kokubun+7890

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