JRA Weekend Wrap: Jan. 23-24

TOKYO (TR) – Topping Japan Racing Association action over the weekend was Decipher, which won the American Jockey Club Cup G2 on Sunday at Nakayama Racecourse.

From paddock to ride out, the 7-year-old by Deep Impact looked composed. Riding most of the 2,200-meter race in the sixth position, jockey Yutaka Take began a steady assault out of the fourth corner and passed pacesetter Suzuka Devious with 100 meters left to win by a length and a quarter. The win earned just over 63 million yen and a seat at the table in the Dubai World Cup Carnival.

The favorite, 4-year-old Satono Rasen, appearing a hair jumpy compared to his older half brother, managed to come out of the fourth corner in the third position, but was played out by the 200-meter pole and finished tenth.

With 200 meters to go, a seven-horse wall was forming a length behind Decipher, and the battle for second place was afoot. The line was quickly pared down to the field’s 5-year-olds: Super Moon, Shonan Bach, Meiner Frost, and Yamanin Voielactee.

While Shonan Bach had the fastest last three furlongs at 34.5, it wasn’t enough as Christophe Lemaire took Super Moon wide to take second place, a neck ahead of Shonan Bach. Meiner Frost finished fourth followed by Yamanin Voielactee.

Decipher’s graded-race record now stands at 3-2-2-5 with earnings of 404.9 million yen.

Tokai TV Tokai Stakes G2

A pair of 5-year-old sons of Agnes Digital finished first and second in the Tokai TV Tokai Stakes on Sunday at Chukyo Racecourse. Asukano Roman won the 1,900-meter dirt race by two lengths to earn just over 55.8 million yen of the 106-million-yen purse. Monde Classe took second place followed by the favorite Roi Jardin, who made a late play to finish third, three and a half lengths behind Monde Classe.

Monde Classe, the second favorite, shot to the front from the 10th gate and stayed there until stalker Asukano Roman took the lead just after the 200-meter pole and handily finished the race going away. It’s a small world for the top dirt runners here in Japan, so expect to see Asukano Roman making a name for himself in the G1 February Stakes on February 21.

Noteworthy

Declan McDonogh caught his first win of his second tour of duty in Japan with 13th ranked Morgenrot in the second in Kyoto on Sunday by blowing everybody away on the 3-year-old colt by Opera House to win by four lengths and paying 8,080 yen to win.

Buster Type, the 10.6-million-yen colt by White Muzzle (GB) and Global Song (JPN), won the Alexandrite Stakes on Saturday at Nakayama Racecourse bringing the 4-year-old’s 12-race career record to 4-4-3-1 with earnings of 81.4 million yen.

Symboli Kris S filly Ultima Blood took the Gion Tokubetsu in the 9th at Kyoto Racecourse to bring her last eight race record to three wins and five places.

Deep Impact colt Makahiki is 2-0 after winning the Wakagoma Stakes in Kyoto.

Bulldog Boss by Daiwa Major won the Uzumasa Stakes to bring his 11-race career record to 5-3-2-1.

If you invested 100 yen in the trifecta 10-12-14 in the 12th race at Chukyo Racecourse, then you got 2,054,860 yen back when 14th ranked Ange de Bonheur, fourth ranked Rich Girl, and 11th ranked T M Futaemaru finished in order.

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