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Tenno Sho (Spring) preview

Superb racing all around the world this weekend, including one of Japan's great races, the Tenno So, spring edition. Form lines out of this race will extend to the great races of the world such as the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe and the Melbourne Cup.

Stepping up with the preview is Australian racecalling prodigy Luke Humphreys, @WorldRacingLuke. Excuse the lack of betting insight, it's a few years before he's allowed to bet and early markets on Japanese races are very tough to find!

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The Tenno Sho (Spring)
Race 11, Kyoto - 1640 AEST, 0740 BST
3200m – Turf
Group One 4yr old+ 286,000,000 Yen


'Morning line' odds - Sat 5.30pm local tote

1: GOLD SHIP: As we all know, he is an absolute gun at his best but at his worst, his pretty bad. Coming into this off a victory in the G2 Hanshin Daishoten, for the third year in a row. The two previous years he won that race, his run in this at his next start and been ordinary. His won the 2012 Japanese St Leger at this track. His been fired up apparently this week, which is a good sign for him. Barrier one is a bit of a question mark but if he has the right run and gets off the inside at the right time, and wants to race, he is right in it.

2: CURREN MIROTIC: Consistent type who was second to Gold Ship in last year’s G1 Takarazuka Kinen. A good run subsequently in the G1 Hong Kong Vase and was fourth to Gold Ship in the G2 Hanshin Daishoten. Each-Way.

3: NEO BLACK DIA: Stayer who could set the pace in this after drawing barrier three. The runs to go on are from two and three starts ago in the G3 Diamond Stakes over 3400m and G2 Stayers Stakes over 3600m. On both occasions he set the pace and finished in 5th and 6th positions. This is a tough test however.

4: LAST IMPACT: G2 Kyoto Daishoten winner and G2 Kinko Sho winner last year before running a slashing seventh in the G1 Arima Kinen when only beaten 1 ¾ Lengths. Sixth in the G2 Hanshin Daishoten behind Gold Ship when first-up. Each-Way show.

5: TAMAMO BEST PLAY: Second to Last Impact in the G2 Kyoto Daishoten and then set the pace in the G1 Japan Cup and got tired but still beat most home running tenth of 18. Has been a bit disappointing however in its first two runs this time in behind Admire Deus in the G2 Nikkei Shinshun Hai and G2 Nikkei Sho. Rough place.

6: HOKKO BRAVE: third in this race last year at massive odds when getting home strongly for third but hasn’t quite performed the same since. Not for me today.

7: TOSEN ARNICA: Was fourth to Meisho Mambo in the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup of 2013 but was only ninth of 12 last start in the Nikkei Sho behind Admire Deus last time. No.

8: SUZUKA DEVIOUS: Great second in the G2 Kyoto Kinen over 2200m behind Lovely Day, just beating home Kizuna, when first-up and leading almost all of the way. Got tired however over 3000m in the G2 Hanshin Daishoten when eighth of the ten runners. Each-Way.

9: COURIR KAISER: Consistent type who placed in three G2s in a row at the end of last year. Victor of the G2 American Jockey Club Cup on his seasonal reappearance when making all of the running where Gold Ship was well beaten, but he didn’t try. Was tenth of 12 however in the G2 Nikkei Sho last start. Each-Way.

10: LOVELY DAY: Just won the G2 Kyoto Kinen two starts back, defeating home Suzuka Devious and Kizuna but subsequently was only sixth of ten in the G2 Hanshin Daishoten. Each-Way.

11: HULA BRIDE: Midfield in the G2 Hanshin Daishoten. Was second to Admire Deus in G2 Nikkei Shinshun Hai and fourth in last year’s G1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup behind Lachesis and Nuovo Record. Rough Each-Way.

12: DENIM AND RUBY: Hard horse to find. Fair runs in the G1 Takarazuka Kinen, G1 Tenno Sho (Autumn), G1 Japan Cup and G1 Arima Kinen last year. Was 2nd in G1 Japan Cup in 2013 and was a very good second in the G2 Hanshin Daishoten behind Gold Ship and looks to have improvement in her over staying trips. In it.

13 KIZUNA: An absolute superstar at his best. Winner of the G1 Japanese Derby in 2013, awesome win, and then went to France to win the G2 Prix Niel and run a game fourth in the Arc. Unfortunately he was injured in this race last year, still ran fourth, and his year was cut short. His first two runs this time in have been fantastic running third in the G2 Kyoto Kinen, storming home, and was no disappointment when second to the smart mare Lachesis in the G2 Sankei Osaka Hai, a race he won last year, where Christophe Lemaire on the winner, just outsmarted Yutaka Take around the last turn. Barrier 13 is a question but his ability is awesome. The one to beat.

14: FAME GAME: Up and coming stayer who was midfield in last year’s G1 Takarazuka Kinen and then sixth of 18 in the G2 Sankei Sho All Comers behind Meiner Lacrima. He then won the G2 Copa Republica Argentina, defeating some of today’s rivals. Was well back in the G2 American Jockey Club Cup, behind some of today’s rivals, but then won the G3 Diamond Stakes over 3400m. True stayer but a class rise which is a question mark. Each-Way.

15: SOUNDS OF EARTH: Nice type who was well back in the G1 Japanese Derby but was second in the G2 Kyoto Shimbun Hai, G2 Kobe Shimbun Hai and G1 Japanese St Leger behind Toho Jackal, when giving him a scare. Good fourth when favourite in the G2 Nikkei Sho behind Admire Deus when First-Up. One to watch.

16: WIN VARIATION: Really nice horse at his best, but that doesn't happen as often as ownees would like. Was second to Orfevre, the immortal, in the G1 Arima Kinen of 2013. He was also second to that freak in the G1 Japanese Derby and G1 Japanese St Leger in 2011. Was just denied in this race last year by Fenomeno and was then well beaten off in the G1 Takarazuka Kinen. His was then always well back in the G2 Kinko Sho at Chukyo, behind Last Impact and finished 2014 with a down-track run in the G1 Arima Kinen. He did show something of his best first-up however in the G2 Nikkei Sho behind Admire Deus. Each-Way.

17: ADMIRE DEUS: Was lightly raced as a 3YO when finishing midfield in the G1 Japanese 2000 Guineas and G1 Japanese Derby. He has returned with two victories from two starts this year with good performances in the G2 Nikkei Shinshun Hai and G2 Nikkei Sho. Drawing Barrier 17 of 17 is a disadvantage but is racing well and is perhaps worth an Each-Way ticket.

Summary
It’s a great renewal of the spring version of the Tenno Sho, as always, and could be a lead towards the big spring features in Melbourne later this year for some like possibly (12) DENIM AND RUBY, (14) FAME GAME, (16) WIN VARIATION etc, but it’s a lead towards the biggest prize in the world for (13) KIZUNA who is on his way to the Arc. He’s the one to beat after putting in two slashing runs this time in and after being injured in this race last year, he has a super chance of making up for it this year. (1) GOLD SHIP hasn’t tried in the last two renewals of this race after victories in the G2 Hanshin Daishoten, which again is the race he uses as his stepping stone to this. But it’s his third run back from a break, instead of his second, so that’s something different they’ve tried with him for this race. Barrier One is interesting but he’s a star at his best and hopefully he has a go! If he does so, his right there. (12) DENIM AND RUBY ran a very good trial for this in the G2 Hanshin Daishoten over 3000m and will relish the extra 200m. (15) SOUNDS OF EARTH returned well and was a good 2nd in the Japanese St Leger at this track last year. He certainly could be up there. (4) LAST IMPACT, (2) CURREN MIROTIC, (10) LOVELY DAY, (8) SUZUKA DEVIOUS, (16) WIN VARIATION, (17) ADMIRE DEUS, (9) COURIR KAISER, (14) FAME GAME are all Each-Way chances.

Selections
(13) KIZUNA – (1) GOLD SHIP – (12) DENIM AND RUBY – (15) SOUNDS OF EARTH

Ratings
13 / 1 / 12 / 15 / 4 / 2 / 10 / 8 / 16 / 17 / 9 / 14 / 5 / 11 / 6 / 7 / 3

The Bet
(12) DENIM AND RUBY could be nice odds and if so she’s the bet Each-Way. If (13) KIZUNA starts good odds however, it would be a straight win bet on him.

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