JRA Weekend Wrap: Jan. 16-17

TOKYO (TR) – In topping Japan Racing Association action over the weekend, closer Reve Mistral and jockey Yuga Kawada got the slow race they wanted to win the 2,400-meter Nikkei Shinsun Hai for 4-year-olds and up in 2:25.9 at Kyoto Racecourse on Sunday.

Yuga Kawada quickly held the 4-year-old colt by King Kamehameha back and trailed the field of 12 until bolting in the stretch 7-wide to win by two lengths going away. Christophe Lemaire, who was riding favorite 4-year-old colt Cheval Grand by Heart’s Cry, may have thought the race was in the bag at the 200-meter pole, which was just about the time Reve Mistral was flying by to complete the last 600 meters in 33.1 seconds to Lemaire’s 34.0.

Satono Noblesse by Deep Impact finished third, a nose behind behind Cheval Grand. Owner Sunday Racing Co. Ltd. collected 57.8 million yen from the 109.5-million-yen purse, with the win paying 440 yen. (Video: Nikkei Shinshun Hai G2 at Kyoto Racecourse on Jan. 17)

Aichi Hai G3

8th ranked Bounce Shasse by Zenno Rob Roy hung back until breaking through a 10-wide wall in the stretch to win the 2,000-meter Grade 3 Aichi Hai for fillies and mares on Saturday at Chukyo Racecourse. Favorites Sundarbans and Maximum de Paris spent the race contending with a strong front line leaving the race open to closers Bounce Shasse, Lethal Weapon (Deep Impact), and 4-year-old Earthrise by Manhattan Cafe to finish first, second and third respectively. Bounce Shasse paid 2,190 yen to win and the trifecta paid a hefty 345,200 yen to the more astute pace watchers.

Keisei Hai G3

Shane Foley, in his biggest win since starting in Japan on January 5 under a short-term JRA jockey’s license, took 5th ranked Prophet to the finish line to win the Keisei Hai G3 for 3-year-olds in Nakayama on Sunday.

Owner U. Carrot Farm’s hit a grand slam as its three entries in the 2,000-meter turf race got the win, place and show when Quelle Freude by King Kamehameha took second, followed by Zenno Rob Roy colt Maitres d’Art for third earning U. Carrot Farm 63.2 million yen of the 72.7-million-yen purse.

Prophet and Quelle Freude ran just off the pace in the third and fourth position while Matres d’Art took a position in the rear. Breaking out of the fourth corner, Quelle Freude had a little traffic to deal with while Prophet had a wide open view of the finish line. At 200 meters the race was not decided. Prophet and Quelle Freude were side by side and accelerating while Matres d’Art was four lengths behind coming wide and fast. Prophet prevailed to win by a length and a quarter and paid 1,130 yen.

Noteworthy

Deep Impact prodigies Imagine That and 199.5-million-yen foal Vanquish Run won their maiden races on Saturday. Vanquish Run beat another Deep Impact colt, Lord Premium by a neck, and both were favored at 2.2.

Mirco Demuro caught some nice rides over the weekend and picked up seven wins to take the lead from Lemaire, 10 wins to eight.

French jockey Fabrice Veron, on a short-term riding jockey’s license, caught his first win in the third race at Chukyo Racecoursae aboard 5-year-old mare I’m Your Dream by Fuji Kiseki.

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