JRA (Japan) Stakes Analysis – G1 Takarazuka Kinen

It’s time for the end of the Spring/Summer G1 racing season in Japan.  While this isn’t the greatest renewal of the race, it showcases two of the best older horses in Japan in the form of Chrono Genesis and rising star filly Lei Papale.

Three of the top horses in the race are fillies and or mares and each will have a strong say.  Will one of the top fillies take this race down or will one of the boys upset the race?!

Race 11 – G1 Takarazuka Kinen – 2200m Turf (1 3/8ths) – 3yo & up – 2:40 am ET/11:40 am PT

2 Lei Papale – 4yo daughter of Deep Impact has done little wrong in her six start career.  Going from strength to strength, she’s handled every step up in class and distance, scoring last time out in the G1 Osaka Hai.  In that race she defeated some very salty foes including 2020 triple crown winner Contrail and star mare Gran Alegria.  That race also showed that she doesn’t need to worry about a boggy surface, as she powered home away from her closest competitor.  She’s a high cruising speed type who makes her own race and should be sitting the perfect trip either on the lead or outside of Unicorn Lion.  Is 3 for 3 at Hanshin and the only question mark is her racing at the longest distance in her career.  She’ll have the first jump on her competition and she may be long gone again. Think she stays undefeated.

7 Chrono Genesis – Comes in off of a stellar effort in the G1 Dubai Sheema Classic.  That day she just couldn’t get past a stubborn Mishriff while bumping in the stretch with fellow Japanese star Loves Only You (who came back to score a G1 win in Hong Kong).  Is the defending champ in this race and you know what you get with her, rarely not firing her best shot.  She usually sits mid-pack and makes her run at the leaders and should do the same today.  With Almond Eye retired, you could argue she’s the best horse in training in Japan.  She has been entered with an eye to the Prix de L ‘Arc de Triomphe in October so you’d think they’d have her cranked up for this.  She’s going to have to run down a very good filly in our top selection.  Will be there at the end but the odds won’t be.

9 Aristoteles – Came in at the start of the year full of promise after a very good 3yo campaign. The son of Epiphaneia gave Contrail all he could handle in the G1 Kikuka Sho last year so connections thought he wanted to go that far (about two miles).  He’s proven his connections wrong as both of his staying starts have been sub par although not as bad as they appear on paper.  He did win at this distance to start the year with a nice effort in the G2 American Jockey Club.  Really think he’ll appreciate the cut back in distance and have his late kick available.  Still think his best days are ahead of him but will today be the day that the lightbulb goes on?  Loses jockey Lemaire to Chrono Genesis but does get “Legend” Yutaka Take on board.  See him sitting a similar trip to Genesis and think he’ll have a say in the outcome.  If he is the real Aristoteles today you’ll get paid for your theory!

11 Mozu Bello – Often overlooked in wagering, Mozu Bello has been the fly in the ointment numerous times in his career.  His chances in here move up if the ground comes up on the softer side but has still put in some very good efforts vs. graded stakes company.  Last out in the Osaka Hai he made a sustained run to finish 4 lengths back of Lei Papale.  Can see him dropping out the back again in here, making his run and clunking up for a top 4 finish.  Reunited again with jockey Ikezoe who seems to know this son of Deep Brilliante well (his best son to race) and has produced his best efforts.  Will add some flavour to the exotics.

10 Curren Bouquetd’or – Daughter of Deep Impact is much like Mozu Bello who is usually in the mix but has a winning phobia.  Was at the best of her form in 2019 as a 3yo, finishing second in the Japanese Oaks, Shuka Sho and Japan Cup.  Her 2020 was a mixed back of results but she seems to have bounced back this year including a nice 3rd in her last start.  Much like Aristoteles cuts back to a distance more to her liking and should be right in behind the leaders.  Would not be a shock to see her right in the mix at the end of this but usually finds one or two a bit better.  Odds will be right if you want to take a stab here.

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