Nikkei Sho Stakes & Takamatsunomiya Kinen 2023 Recap

First Force causes a huge upset in the Grade 1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen 2023 and hangs tough to win by a length and secure a first Grade 1 on his twenty-ninth career start while Titleholder runs his rivals ragged and wins by 8 lengths in a stunning gate-to-wire demolition job to take out the Grade 2 Nikkei Sho Stakes at Nakayama

Takamatsunomiya Kinen

Grade 1 – Purse $2,530,000 – 1200 meters (6 furlongs) – Turf – 4-Year-Olds and Up

As the gates blasted open for this six-furlong sprint, it was one of the inside gate runners, Kir Lord who ran well in this last year, taking the field along and he was flanked on his outside by Opal Charmer and Aguri, while Daddy’s Vivid had secured a nice stalking position on the rail in the fourth spot.

One of the well-fancied runners Naran Huleg bobbled at the gate, but soon recovered to sit midfield.

Meanwhile, the chalk Meikei Yell found traffic problems, and was shuffled back and would not be able to recover, while the eventual winner and longshot FIRST FORCE had a smooth run into the stretch in the five-lane and was tracked through by eventual runner-up Namura Clair.

As they set down for the drive to the wire, It was Aguri who had taken over and soon widened by a length, but the challengers were coming and it was here that slow starte Naran Huleg found a run on the inside rail and he challenged the leader.

Meanwhile, First Force and Namura Clair came wide on the better ground and the winner went to the front with just a sixteenth to run. He was challenged all the way to the wire by Namura Clair but held well for a shock win.

Travesura closed late to take third on the wire with Naran Huleg finishing in the fourth spot.

Takamatsunomiya Kinen 2023 Payouts

HorseWinPlace
1. First Force$32.30$6.60
2. Namura Clair $2.20
3. Travesura $7.70

WINNING TIME: 1 min 11.50 secs

Takamatsunomiya Kinen Race Video

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First Force (JPN) wins the 2023 Takamatsunomiya Kinen #Horseracing #Horseracingtips #Horsesoftiktok #Horses #Horse #FYP #Sport

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Nikkei Sho Stakes

Grade 2 – Purse $990,000 – 2500 meters (1 mile 4 1/2 furlongs) – Turf – 4-Year-Olds and Up.

As soon as the gates opened it was business as usual for Titleholder and he was going to make this both a test of speed and stamina.

Kazuo Yokoyama made his intentions clear as he sent his horse to the front from his wide draw and he never saw another rival. Behind he was followed closely by Diastma and Cantor.

Nikkei Sho Stakes Race Video

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Titleholder wins the 2023 Nikkei Sho #Horseracing #Horseracingtips #Horses #Horse #FYP #Sports #Horsesoftiktok

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The early gallop was not overly fast, but this race was going to be about tactics, and as they went through the clubhouse turn, the eventual winner TITLEHOLDER was nicely in hand and two lengths clear, with Diastima in second and King Of Dragon now stalking the speed in third spot.

Meanwhile, the chalk Ask Victor More was content to sit back in midpack, a decision that would ultimately cost him any chance.

The leader traveled kindly in the lead and jockey Yokoyama controlled the speed.

As they reached the 600-meter mark, he suddenly injected some real pace and his rivals were caught flat-footed. He turned into the home stretch 2 lengths clear, with Diastima still in pursuit, and from the back Heat On Beat had moved into third.

As they hit the top of the stretch, the leader was asked to extend and he literally streaked clear to win in hand by 8 lengths at the wire.

Boccherini who was way back early, closed late to take second, while Diastima held well for the third spot, and Lilac came from way back to grab fourth right on the wire.

Nikkei Sho Stakes Payouts

HorseWinPlace
1. Titleholder$2.40$1.70
2. Boccherini $3.20
3. Diastima $5.30

WINNING TIME: 2 mins 36.80 secs

Nikkei Sho Stakes Race Video

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Titleholder wins the 2023 Nikkei Sho #Horseracing #Horseracingtips #Horses #Horse #FYP #Sports #Horsesoftiktok

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