Can Sol Oriens make amends for his unlucky run when second in the 2023 Tokyo Yushun Stakes (The Japanese Derby) Here the Kikuka Sho Betting Preview!
Kikuka Sho Stakes (Japanese St Leger)
Grade 1 – Purse $2,792,000 – 1 mile 7 furlongs – Turf – 3-Year-Olds
The starting point is Sol Oriens who was a very impressive winner of the 2023 Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) and was also runner-up in the Japanese Derby where he closed late to be denied at the wire.
He is often held up in mid-pack aiming to produce a late close. He had a prep for this race back in September finishing second in the 2023 Abai Hai St Lite Kinnen, which is the main trial for this race.
He came six wide into the stretch and closed to the wire. This is a big stretchout and that looks to give plenty of upside.
He is vying for favoritism with Hearts Concerto and these two are closely matched on form having been separated by half a length in the 2023 Japanese Derby.
Hearts Concerto was another that was closing late that day and it should be close between them.
He has also had a recent assignment when taking a close fifth spot in the 2023 Grade 2 Kobe Shimbun Hai. He was poorly placed off a slow pace and when the leaders hit the top of the stretch he was caught for speed. He found his best stride late but was still passed by the eventual winner Satono Glanz who is strongly fancied today.
Satono Glanz has won four of his last five starts with two of those at Grade 2 level. His only defeat in graded stakes company was when well beaten in the 2023 Grade 1 Tokyo Yushun Stakes where he was behind a few of these.
However, he met traffic problems in the run, and of the horses at the top of the board, he looks the most likely to appreciate this stamina test.
Outside the top three, then Tastiera has to be on anybody’s shortlist. He won the 2023 Japanese Derby (Tokyo Yushun) but was holding on late over that mile and a half.
He has not run since that May so has to overcome the layoff and some serious question marks on the required stamina. However, it’s doubtful connections would have entered if that was the case.
A longshot to consider is Savona who was caught late last time by Satono Glanz after taking it up with a sixteenth to the wire. He did not show blistering acceleration and it looks very much like this stamina test will suit him.
2023 Kikuka Sho Odds & Racing Pick
|Horse Racing Odds from Jazzsports
|Night in London
Satono Glanz is sure to go close here and can grab a share of this huge purse.
However, a chance is taken on the big outsider SAVONA who could just cause one of the biggest upsets in recent Japanese racing history.
Sol Oriens and Hearts Concerto should be battling for at least a slice of the pie.