NHK Mile Cup & Kyoto Shimbun Hai Odds and Betting Picks

Japanese horse racing attracts lots of attention also during this weekend as the cards feature three Graded races. On Saturday, the G2 Kyoto Shimbun Hai will be held at the Chukyo Racecourse, where three-year-olds are about to compete at the distance of a mile and three furlongs to make names for themselves as the field comprises of not so renowned participants.

On Sunday, four-year-old Stellaria will try to score in the G3 Niigata Daishoten after failing to repeat fine performances among the elite. While she’ll run in Niigata, three-year-old colts will hit the track in Tokyo in the G1 NHK Mile Cup, where Serifos makes a seasonal reappearance.

He’s shown to be a classy two-year-old, so if he transfers his form to the season 2022, he should be a significant player here. Other Graded winners like Danon Scorpion and Jean Gros are also considered here.

NHK Mile

The most prestigious event of the weekend at Japanese tracks is this G1 turf race meant for three-year-olds. At the distance of a mile, eighteen of them will compete for the purse of 253,460,000 Yen, while the participant catching the eye at first sight is Serifos trained by Mitsumasa Nakauchida.

The fine-looking colt recorded four starts as a two-year-old, bagging the first three. He scored his debut, then a G3 race, and also the G2 Daily Hai Nisai Stakes, upon which he succumbed only to Do Deuce in the G1 Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes. He hasn’t shown up at a different distance than the mile, so it’s possible the team thinks it’s Serifos’ perfect trip, and it won’t be surprising in the slightest if he returns to winning ways on Sunday.

The only thing holding him back could be the fact he hasn’t been out in 2022; still, his class was quite boosted by Do Deuce’s third place in the 2000 Guineas. 

His most serious rivals come from three-year-olds who have bagged their Graded victories in 2022, for example, Jean Gros who outran Matenro Orion in the mile-long G2 New Zealand Trophy at the beginning of April. By that, he completed a hattrick, and even though Matenro Orion got bettered by him, he also looks like a pretty fine colt.

On the one hand, they fought for a win in the G2; on the other one, the quality of the field wasn’t that deep. Purpur Ray and Danon Scorpion scored in their respective G3 outings, while we slightly prefer the latter one of these two, given his finish in the Arlington Cup was rather good. The distance of a mile seems to really suit him, while he’s always been giving the impression to be a proper G1 horse. Another duo that could impact the race is Sonnet Phrase, an inexperienced yet talented filly, and Industria, a Listed winner.

HorseJockeyHorse Racing Odds courtesy of JazzSports
Alluring WayY.Fujioka+2000
Otaru EverK.Yokoyama+9000
Kawakita ReverieA.Sugawara+10000
King HermesR.Sakai+900
Jean GrosY.Take+1200
Sonnet PhraseT.Yokoyama+1500
Taisei DivineF.Matsuwaka+4200
Danon ScorpionY.Kawada+650
Dante’s ViewH.Yoshida+3000
Toshin MacauK.Tosaki+2400
Voller BluteT.Ono+9000
Matenro OrionN.Yokoyama+400

NHK Mile Cup Betting Tip

Serifos, who has placed at the G1 scene and could go one better this time. Sonnet Phrase might be his most serious rival here, together with Danon Scorpion.

Kyoto Shimbun Hai

This G2 turf race is open only to three-year-old colts that are about to cover the distance of a mile and three furlongs. The purse of 103,500,000 Yen attracted a field of eleven participants, among which Ask Wild More has the most experience with the Graded races.

The Hideaki Fujiwara bound colt scored a maiden in 2021, upon which he finished second in the G3 Sapporo Nisai Stakes, getting bettered only by a recent Classic winner, Geoglyph. Although he was only tenth in the G1 Hopeful Stakes and fourth in his 2021 premiere, he needs to be considered in the Kyoto Shimbun Hai.

He looks definitely an interesting contender, and it seems he could appreciate Saturday’s trip here. Pod Bullet then finished fourth in the G3 Kyoto Hai Stakes in November, while in 2022, he collected a second place at the Stakes scene and last time out, he succeeded in the Listed Sumire Stakes.

The distance should go well into his stride. The remaining trio we’re will talk about hasn’t shown up in the Graded races but both Boldog Hos and Black Blossom have already scored at the Stakes stages. While the former did so in his fifth career start after bagging just a maiden and finishing third in Class 1, Black Blossom achieved such a success in his second outing.

In fact, the Takashi Saito bound colt is unbeaten in two outings, given he also triumphed in his career premiere start. Still, he left Sunrise Ace behind in second, while the colt had zero impact on last weekend’s G2 Aoba Sho. 

Therefore, we mention also Mr White with his impressive victory in a maiden company. He indeed scored his first win in his fourth start, but he did so in a fine fashion; thus, there could be something more lurking in him. 

HorseJockeyHorse Racing Odds courtesy of JazzSports
Ask Wild MoreM.Iwata+1500
Shonan AddeybbK.Ikezoe+3000
Stop the TimeY.Furukawa+2200
Black BlossomD.Lane+100
Boldog HosD.Matsuda+800
Pod BulletY.Fukunaga+550
Mr WhiteH.Yoshida+700
Meisho LanakilaS.Akiyama+1000
Verona CityM.Sakai+1000

Kyoto Shimbun Hai Betting Choice

Ask Wild Victor, who is experienced and has shown what he’s made of, unlike some of his rivals who are yet to suggest their actual class. 

Niigata Daishoten

The G3 race is held at the distance of a mile and a quarter while offering the purse of 82,600,000 Yen. The field of fifteen four-year-old and older horses are about to hit the turf track, and because the race is a handicap, the participants will carry different weights.

On one side of the spectrum is the most carrying Red Gallant () trained by Takayuki Yasuda, who has been running in the Listed and G3 company for three seasons. The seven-year-old horse collected some places and even two victories, especially in January when he recorded a G3 triumph. Still, he didn’t have a big say in his subsequent start in the G2 company, upon which he failed to place in a Listed. Ss he’s about to carry such a weight on Sunday, he is a place contender, but some of his rivals could exploit his disadvantage.

A bit less is carrying Al Satwa, a five-year-old horse trained by Takashi Saito that has only one Graded experience under his belt, and even though he didn’t succeed back then, it seems as if his team was just waiting patiently for their charge to develop, which he did. Al Satwa hasn’t been able to shine at the Stakes level until 2022, when he achieved two wins in a row, including bagging a Listed last time out.

The distance should suit him, and he seems to be classy enough to compete honourably at the stage, but he’ll face some advantaged rivals here, especially five-year-old Yashamaru. The Kazuyuki Ogata bound horse is a progressive specimen, given he spent the first part of his career just in maidens, still, once he was pointed among the Class 1 and Stakes competition, he managed to step up his game without a problem. In 2021, he recorded a hattrick, upon which he tried even the G3 company and failed on all three occasions to make an impact.

However, his 2022 premiere happened in the G2 Nikkei Shinshun Hai at the Chukyo Racecourse, where Yashamara delivered a fine finish to secure third place. He had no chance with the better duo, but it was a very promising effort as a seasonal debut. 

Six-year-old Tosen Grand is also considered as he’s always looked talented enough to amass some successes at the Graded stage; however, he was forced to leave out almost the whole season of 2021 as he only managed to score a Stakes race in June. He hasn’t hit the track since but prior to the mentioned triumph, he was progressive, and on Sunday, he could finally confirm his class is enough to be a big player in the G3 races. The last to talk about is four-year-old filly Stellaria.

Trained by Takashi Saito, she’s only a Listed victress who didn’t show anything of interest in two of her last year’s appearances among the elite; however, she ran a blinder in second in the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup.

That effort was quite respectable, yet it’s true she didn’t draw on the performance in her two next outings, being well beaten in the G2 Kinko Sho in March and the G1 Osaka Hai in April. Facing this competition, she has strong claims to achieve her very first Graded triumph.

HorseJockeyHorse Racing Odds courtesy of JazzSports
Icon TailorH.Kameda+400
Al SatwaY.Tannai+200
Kaiser BarowsA.Tsumura+1300
Chevalier RoseK.Matsuyama+700
Danon MajestyM.Muto+3000
Tosen GrandG.Maruyama+1500
Precious BlueM.Katsuura+10000
Mount GoldK.Ogino+10000
Mozu NagareboshiY.Hishida+4800
Last DraftK.Miura+1000
Red GalantT.Yasuda+700

Niigata Daishoten Betting Prediction

Stellaria. She’ll carry alright weight, and if the class she suggested is really in her, she should score this. 

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