Japanese 1000 Guineas: 2023 Oka Sho Odds & Picks

The most fascinating race of the whole weekend in Japan is the G1 2023 Oka Sho taking place at Hanshin

Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas)

Grade 1 – Purse $2,305,000 – 1600 meters (1 mile) –  Turf – 3-Year-Old Fillies

Liberty Island looks to follow up her Grade 1 win in the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies Stakes with victory in the first fillies classic of 2023.

Liberty Island was a very impressive winner last time when taking the Grade 1 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies Stakes here at Hanshin in December. She was positioned in mid-pack on that occasion and then came wide in the stretch to grab the lead with 100 meters to go and widened to win by two lengths with plenty of today’s runners in behind.

Mozu Meimei was the winner of the Tulip Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas Trial) where she went gate to wire over the one mile here at Hanshin. She led at a moderate pace but widened by more than three lengths at the quarter pole and looked like running out an easy winner but just held the late close from Kona Coast.

Kona Coast is on an upward trajectory having finished second in the Elfin Stakes before the even better effort in the Tulip Sho. She is definitely one to look at as a potential danger to the likely chalk Liberty Island.

A couple of lightly raced ones here include Light Quantum and Shinryokuka.

Light Quantum broke the maiden first time up and then took a steep rise up the class ladder to win the Grade 3 Shinzan Kinen at Chukyo. This needs another jolt of improvement, but she is sure to run well, while Shinryokuka was also a winner first time, and then was second behind Liberty Island in the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies Stakes, and must be a real danger after just two career starts.

Others to consider at bigger odds include Harper, Moon Probe, and Tosen Laurier.

2023 Oka Sho Odds & Betting Pick

Liberty Island clearly looks like the horse to beat, and has already got the upper hand on many of these, so she looks sure to hit the board but will be cramped odds to do so.

Trying to find a horse to beat her is tough but our main selection across the board is KONA COAST who closed from a bad position last time and should get the pace she needs to close into, and she should be decent odds on the boards.

Many with chances of grabbing a slice underneath and the lightly raced pair of Light Quantum and Shinryokuka are the ones that look most interesting.

HorseJockeyOdds by Jazzsports
Bouton d’OrK.Ikezoe+13300
Light QuantumY. Take+520
Liberty IslandY.Kawada-200
Doe EyesH.Yoshida+1030
Mozu MeimeiR.Wada+6640
Kita WingM.Sugihara+2150
Kona CoastK.Sameshima+1400
Sing That SongM.Iwata+4400
Tosen LaurierK.Yokoyama+13300

Hai Hanshin Himba Stakes

Grade 2 – Purse $803,000 – 1600 meters (1 mile) – Turf – 4-Year-Olds and Up – Fillies And Mares

Win Charlotte looks to keep up her incredible run of form by posting her fifteenth successive top 3 finish in sixteen starts.

We have to start with the admirable mare Win Charlotte who has not been off the board in her last fourteen starts. She has won five but never as high up the class ladder, and after finishing runner-up in the Grade 3 Turquoise Stakes two back, she followed that with another runner-up finish in the same spot in the Kyoto Himba Stakes at Hanshin in February. She’ll look to go gate to wire here.

The two class horses in the race are Pin High and Izu Jo No Kiseki and it is the latter that looks to hold the best form.

Pin High was second in last year’s Grade 2 Tulip Sho before an even better effort in the Japanese Oaks behind Stars On Earth. She closed very late that day and will be aiming to take advantage of the likely pace set by Win Charlotte. The downside is the cutback in distance.

Izu Jo No Kiseki is a top-class mare and her fourth spot in the Grade 1 Arima Kinen at Nakayama is the best piece of form on the card. She was in behind Equinox that day who recently proved to be one of the best racehorses in the world with a win at the Dubai Carnival. She now gets significant class relief.

Others to watch for include Mama Cocha and Rouge Stiria, both of whom have won three of their last four races at a lower class level.

Hanshin Himba Stakes Odds & Betting Prediction

For betting purposes, then Win Charlotte has to enter calculations for exotics players and she can record her fifteenth consecutive board finish.

However, the clear vote goes to IZU JO NO KISEKI who has by far the best piece of form in this field with her run behind Equinox in the Arima Kinen, and she’ll be very tough to beat.

Pin High looks potentially Grade 1 caliber and will be closing late and fast which should give our selection plenty to think about.

HorseJockeyOdds by Jazzsports
Sublime AnthemM.Iwata+3660
Costa BonitaK.Sameshima+3390
Win CharlotteY.Ishikawa+310
Phrase d’ArmesY.Kitamura+2950
Mama CochaK.Matsuyama+340
Ten Happy RoseK.Fujioka+3970
Rouge StiriaY.Kawada+210
Pin HighR.Takakura+620
Sound VivaceS.Hamanaka+1940
Izu Jo no KisekiY.Iwata+840

New Zealand Trophy

Grade 2 – Purse $797,000 – 1600 meters (1 mile) –  Turf – 3-Year-Olds

The Grade 1 winner and 2000 Guineas hopeful Dolce More looks to make it four wins from four starts as he takes a step down the class ladder.

This race revolves around Dolce More who was last seen when winning the main trial for the Japanese 2000 Guineas (The Grade 1 Asia Hai Futurity Stakes).

It remains to be seen if he shows up for this, as the 2000 Guineas is next week so the two races are close together. This would be a significant class drop and maybe connections feel he needs a sharp drill before the big one. That seems like a risk, so he may not run here. If he does he’ll prove very difficult to beat.

Rumino Meteore won both starts as a two-year-old and made a nice return in this spot when fourth in the Grade 2 Tulip Sho at Hanshin racecourse in early March, and as that came off a near ninety-day layoff, he looks sure to step forward.

Omatsuri Otoko hit the board on all six starts as a two-year-old, including three wins and a board finish in the Grade 3 Hakodate Nisei Stakes. His first run this year was poor so he’ll need to take a step forward, which is entirely possible.

Make A Snatch is lightly raced and looks very interesting here after winning his first two races as a two-year-old and then coming back from a lay to finish second in The Grade 3 Fairy Stakes in January. He’ll be a lot sharper here and will be a strong closer.

Others with chances include Moryana and Eeeyan, with the latter an interesting one for exotics. He is likely to be big odds on the boards but has clearly improved from two years to three, as he has won both starts this year, and could grab a slice underneath.

New Zealand Trophy Odds & Betting Tips

If he turns up for this, then DOLCE MORE is a confident choice to keep his unbeaten record going and should have far too much class for these.

Finding one against him is difficult, but Rumino Meteore and Make A Snatch are the two that look the biggest dangers.

For exotics players then Omatsuri Otoko and Eeyan are worth including at likely bigger odds.

HorseJockeyOdds by Jazzsports
Miss YokohamaS.Ishibashi+11200
Rumino MeteoreT.Yokoyama+1280
Lord DefeatH.Tanabe+6370
Sunrise SiegR.Sakai+3380
Champagne ColorH.Uchida+2420
A Shin EightA.Tsumura+14900
Dolce MoreK.Yokoyama-200
Omatsuri OtokoT.Nagano+4430
Mississippi TesoroD.Shibata+14900
Josho HopeK.Ogino+14900
Make a SnatchK.Tosaki+2170
Sea WizardY.Take+4930

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