Next Sunday, it will be the colts’ turn when the Hanshin Racecourse again holds a Grade 1, in which the Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes run over a mile on the outer grass course of the Kansai circuit. It is the 73rd edition of the race for 2-year-olds without geldings, and the colts carry an assigned weight of 55 kg.
This year there are 19 nominations for a maximum field of 18 runners, and to show the competition, six of the nominated horses are so far unbeaten in their short careers.
The winner’s prize pool this year is JPY 70 million (approximately $ 610,000 US). The race starts at 3:40 p.m. Japanese time and will be Race 11 on the Sunday Hanshin ticket.
Here’s a look at some of the horses that are bidding for victory in the race:
Serifs: Trainer Mitsumasa Nakauchida won the race with Grenadier Guards last year, and while leading the coaching table this year, he’s sending this undefeated colt by Daiwa Major who won both the Niigata Nisai Stakes Grade 3 and Daily Hai Grade 2 Nisai Stakes, plus one more race in the three races he has competed in. Guest jockey Cristian Demuro has been booked for the ride and the horse sure seems to be one of the favorites as he tries to keep his unbeaten record intact. Serifos runs in the colors of G1 Racing Co. Ltd.
Geoglyph: There is no doubt about the potential of Drefong’s chestnut stallion, who came home as the winner over four lengths in Sapporo in September at the Sapporo Nisai Stakes Grade 3 over 1,800 meters (1 1/8 miles). He won his only other race on his debut in Tokyo in June, also over 1,800 meters.
Assistant coach Yu Ota said, âHe did well in the Sapporo Nisai Stakes, even if he was a little too relaxed. When he returned from the farm recently, he is handsome and the jockey reports that the horse is in good shape during training. With two victories over 1,800 meters there should be no problem over a mile. “
Geoglyph is expected to be ridden by Christophe Lemaire, who has ridden the colt in both of his previous starts.
Danon Scorpio: Another unbeaten colt, the son of Lord Kanaloa, wins the Hagi Stakes over 1,800 meters in Hanshin in October and won his further race on his debut in June, also in Hanshin, over the course and the distance of the Asahi Hai Futurity stakes . Step by step he looks good for a chance of a grade 1 and in a recent job at Ritto on the wood chip track under racing jockey Kohei Matsuyama he achieved a six-field time of 81.9 seconds with a finishing time of 11, 7 seconds, his third time under 12 seconds in the last trackworks. The horse was bred on the KI farm and is trained by Takayuki Yasuda.
Dobun: The colt by Deep Impact was bought for a considerable sum at the Chiba Thoroughbred Sale 2021 and has started his career well. He has won both races since September, most recently the 1,400-meter Kikyo Stakes in Chukyo in October after winning a 1,500-meter race on his Sapporo debut. He is trained by Koshiro Take and the trainer recently said: âHe is an intelligent horse, knows a lot and is very relaxed about it. He can certainly take on his ability with a grade of 1, although he has to give his best. âJockey Hayato Yoshida seems ready for the ride on Dobune.
Do Deuce: Trainer Yasuo Tomomichi and jockey Yutaka Take team up with the Heart’s Cry colt, who comes from the American broodmare Dust and Diamonds, who in turn comes from a strong line of other American horses. Do Deuce won on his Kokura debut in September and has won his only other race since, the 1,800-meter Listed Ivy Stakes in Tokyo in October. He is developing properly and has worked well on the Ritto wood chip track, even if only lightly, and wants to remain unbeaten in the big race on Sunday.
âHe is a horse with a lot of power and has a good racing feel. He showed what a good finish he had in the last win at the Ivy Stakes, âsaid the coach recently.
Otaru Ever: The eye-catching dark brown colt by Leontes is a confirmed leader in what he has shown so far. He finished third in the Grade 3 Niigata Nisai Stakes, behind Serifos, over 1,600 meters in August, and he led all the way to win the Shumeigiku Sho over 1,400 meters last time at Hanshin in November. It’s already paying back part of the 45 million JPY it cost at the Select Sale 2020, and it’s an interesting contribution here.
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