Hakodate Kinen Tips & Betting Preview

A full field of sixteen runners will make this more difficult than it need be with luck in running looking likely to play its part but on pure form it looks to be between the five horses we will cover here in our race preview. Make no mistake, Japanese racing is getting stronger year on year and is a match these days for anywhere in the racing World, and as the use advanced technology and newer innovations their horses and racing are well worth adding to your betting resume, and with 41,560,000 Yen to the winner (about £282,000), and good prize money down to fifth, this will be as competitive as ever.

Running through the short list and the first name that jumps off the page has to be the Christophe Lemaire ridden Satono Ares, a son of the legendary Deep Impact and almost certain to go off favourite here even though there are very slight question marks about his stamina over this trip. Last time out he raced over 1800mtrs here when taking the Listed Tomoe So at the beginning of the month where he held off the attentions of Angreifen but that was little more than a confidence booster for Kazuo Fujisawa’s charge. He had been beaten in each of his previous two contests with an eleventh of eighteen over this trip in the Satsuki Show (Japanese 2000 Guineas), but had won three on the bounce before those,  culminating in the Asai Hai Futurity Stakes over 1600mtrs at Hanshin last December. He is the best horse in this race by some margin on that form but is precious little value at the prices and with that nagging doubt over the trip may be worth opposing here.

Looking at the trainer statistics as of the time of writing and Yasutoshi Ikee heads the list at present with a 20% winning strike rate over the season and better still (in this case), a 39% top three rate with all of his runners. He is responsible for STAY IN SEATTLE with the superstar veteran Tutaka Take in the saddle, and at the prices he does look solid each way value and should prove hard to keep out of the first three home. Last time out he comfortably took the Naruo Kinen at Hanshin from Smart Layer over this trip and although not getting any younger at the age of 48, his jockey brings decades of experience with him as well as a long list of big race wins and is still as good in the plate as any of his younger rivals, given the right horse.

If we use the trainers’ table as a guide then we ought to at least consider the jockeys as well and Hayato Yoshida heads that particular list at present yet is on board a rank outsider here in Tamamo Best Play, and even he may struggle to bring the son of Fuji Kiseki home in front in this contest. Presumably connections have a cunning tactical plan as they drop the seven-year-old back in trip to this 2000mtrs after a win over 1000mtrs further in Listed class in the Manyo Stakes on January and two unplaced effort over 3000mtrs and then 3200mtrs last time out when he finished thirteenth in the Group One Tenno Sho at Kyoto. It seems likely he will find himself rushed off his feet early here over this trip but will be running on though beaten horses at the end of this race and could potentially sneak in to a place if they go flat out form the start at a suicidal early pace as seems quite likely.

Tsukuba Azuma O comes next on the short list for trainer Mitsuhiro Ogata and jockey Yutaka Yoshida and is another likely to be challenging strongly. Although well beaten last time out over 2500mtrs he did win two in a row in December and January over this trip at Nakyama in Listed and the Group Three class so is far from out of things if able to repeat that form, and with the lightning fast ground very much in his favour, he is another who ought to make a very serious effort at getting in to the first three home this morning.

One more to round off our race preview and if he gets the run of the race then Meiner Milano won’t be far away either as he looks to follow up his victory in this race in 2016.  His only win in five starts since was in the Listed Fukushima Mimpo Hai in April which he followed with a respectable seventh in the Epsom Cup at Tokyo last month and if they have him back to his best ahead of this target then he ought to go close to a follow up win for popular jockey Yuji Tannai.

Please Gamble Responsibly