Hanshin Himba, New Zealand Trophy & Oka Sho Recap

This weekend offered especially the first Classic race of the Japanese season – the G1 Oka Sho, which is the Japanese equivalent for the 1000 Guineas held at the Hanshin Racecourse where Stars of Earth caught the favourite off guard. At the same track, older fillies and mares clashed in the G2 Hanshin Himba Stakes that saw an upset caused by Meisho Mimosa, upon which Jean Gros scored the G2 New Zealand Trophy in Nakayama.

Hanshin Himba Stakes

The G2 turf race meant for four-year-old fillies and older mares resulted in a big surprise as Meisho Mimosa (68-1) struck gold here under Katsuma Sameshima. At the distance of a mile, the five-year-old grey snatched up most of the purse of 106,020,000 Yen after galloping in the field, but she then managed to use a gap at the fence to move forward. She scored the event by ½ of a length in 1m 32.80s, resisting Andvaranut (21-10) finishing on the outside. Last year’s winner Des Ailes (12-5), came home in third.

After our favourite Akaitorino Musume scratched, Andvaranaut was the leading chance in the field of eleven participants, while she, indeed, delivered a brilliant finish in the final stretch; however, Meisho Mimosa was surprisingly better than anybody else. The Kaneo Ikezoe bound mare has bagged just a Stakes victory throughout her career, and on Saturday, she was faced with a G2 company for the very first time. It’s necessary to add she reached such success in front of Andvaranaut and Des Ailes thanks to the ride of Katsuma Sameshima. Meisho Mimosa had a fine position close to the lead, which she lost subsequently; still, the jockey didn’t panic, waited for a space to open at the fence, and once his mount used the opportunity, she dug really deep to cause the upset.

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Longshot Meisho Mimosa takes the Himba Stakes by 12 length #Horseracing #Horseracingtips #Horse #Horses #Sports #FYP

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New Zealand Trophy

On Saturday, three-year-olds clashed in this G2 turf race with the purse of 104,620,000 Yen up for grabs. At the distance of a mile, Matenro Orion (13-10) started off as a favourite, and even though his finish came supposedly in time, he was just outbattled by Jean Gros (6-1). The Yutaka Take ridden bay was always prominent and stayed on at the front despite Matenro Orion’s bold move, and bettered him by a head in 1m 33.50s. Lubeck (105-10) finished third.

It’s fair to say that G3 victor Matenro Orion delivered an eye-catching finish, but Jean Gros was just determined to hold on and bag his third win in a row after scoring a Stakes race and a Listed. The Hideyuki Mori trained colt seems to be still quite progressive, and we might see him next time among the absolute elite. Behind Matenro Orion, Lubeck again showed a respectable effort in third, leaving promising duo Empezar (111-10) – Teegarden (39-10) in fourth and fifth, respectively. 

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Jean Gros wins by a head the G2 New Zealand Trophy #Horseracing #Horseracingtips #Horse #Horses #Sports #FYP

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Oka Sho

The first Classic race of the Japanese season was open to three-year-old fillies, ran at the distance of a mile, and offered the purse of 287,420,000 Yen. On the turf surface, Water Navillera (26-5) tried hard to score her first Graded victory after collecting numerous places among the elite, and even though her effort was so bold, she was bettered only in the closing stages by Stars on Earth (135-10), flying on the outside. Yuga Kawada timed the finish of his mount perfectly to win by a nose in 1m 32.90s in front of Water Navillera, while Namura Clair (135-1) came home in a close third place.

The Mizuki Takayanagi bound Stars on Earth didn’t belong among the favourites because, in her previous outings, she succumbed to some of her Sunday’s rivals, including Namur (11-5). The favourite had no moment in the spotlight this time, though, crossing the wire in tenth, affirming once again that the winners of the main trial, the Tulip Sho, are coming short in the Classic itself. Moreover, Water Navillera was also beaten by Namur and Circle of Life (41-10) in previous outings, and this time, she managed to leave behind both of them. However, Circle of Life ran a good race when finishing fourth, just a neck to third Namura Clari, winner of another Classic trial. 

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