The G1 Tenno Sho Spring, contested at two miles on the turf at Hanshin is one of two big G1’s on the calendar for horses going 3000m+, with this being the only one for older horses.
You don’t get to handicap two mile races very often so it really can be a case of trying to predict who can get the distance.
Race 11 – G1 Tenno Sho Spring – 3200m (2 Miles) Turf – 2:40 am ET/11:40 pm PT
17 – Authority – It’s been a very frustrating career for this regally bred son of Orfevre (dam is a daughter of the brilliant Cesario and a full sister to Epiphaneia). Thought to be one of the top classic horses last year, he had nothing but bad luck with a string of injury setbacks. He came back to the races in November of last year scoring in a G2 before fading to finish out the back in the G1 Arima Kinen. Connections were very happy with his performance first out this year in the 3400m Diamond Stakes, losing by a neck on the wire. He’s yet to race at Hanshin or win in G1 company but feel he comes into this race in prime order. Post isn’t great but feel Kawada will have more than enough time to work out a trip. With very little speed in the race he should be forwardly placed and have the jump on the closers. The pick at a possible price.
2 – Aristoteles – Gave Triple Crown winner Contrail a big scare last year in his triple crown bid, with Contrail prevailing by a neck in the G1 Kikuka Sho (3000m). He’s risen the class ladder in his short career and as shown in that G1 event, has the talent and skill when right. Last out in the G2 Hanshin Daishoten (3000m) he fought jockey Lemaire for most of the race and not surprisingly had not much left in the tank when called on. They’ve worked on getting him to relax since then with Lemaire riding him in numerous training sessions. I think you can put a line through that last effort and look for a return to his best. Has yet to win at Hanshin (Three 2nd place finishes from four starts) but has no issues with the track or distance. See him sitting mid-pack then coming with a rush late.
1 – World Premier – Lightly raced son of Deep Impact has had numerous injury problems through his short career and is only making his 11th lifetime start. Won the G1 Kikuka Sho as a 3yo so should have no problems with the distance today. He’s failed when running against some of the best in Japan (Lys Gracieux, Almond Eye, Chrono Genesis) but has put in respectable efforts. There aren’t any world beaters in here (top two selections can get there) so this may be his day as he finally returns to an extended distance. Think the jockey change to Fukunaga is a big plus. Does his best running from the back of the pack and with little speed in here he’s going to hope his late run doesn’t fall short.
12 – Deep Bond – Bond, Deep Bond may be the special agent horse in this that may sneak away at a bit of a price. He won impressively last time out in the G2 Hanshin Daishoten scoring by 5 over a few in here he’ll face again. He’s shown glimpses of ability throughout his 11 start career and maybe the lightbulb has come on for this son of Derby winner Kizuna. Has yet to finish worse than 2nd at Hanshin and should be sitting 4th or 5th the whole way. Think he can repeat that last effort and if he does could be long gone in the stretch. The last race will skew his odds downward so will let him try to repeat that to beat me. Using defensively in exotics.