Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) Preview

This year represents a nice edition of the Japanese Derby, although it suffers slightly from the injury of Bright Emblem, our choice in the first leg of the Japanese Triple Crown and a horse who looked one who could figure over this longer trip. Nevertheless, we have a solid field of 18, highlighted by Duramente -- winner of the Satsuki Sho. To say this son of King Kamehameha is a quirky sort may be the understatement of the year, but despite completely blowing the final turn in the Satsuki Sho, he won the race well. The talent is obviously there, but backing him at short odds at this stage wouldn't be advised given his volatile temperament.

In a race that doesn't appear to be loaded with speed, we'll instead side with Kitasan Black, who initially was pushed forward before settling in nicely under a firm hold in second for most of the race. He stayed on well for third, looking a horse who'd stay over further, but lacked the necessary turn of foot to outrun top class 2000m horses late. Although Spirits Minoru did not lead, as was expected, in the Satsuki Sho, he went back to his frontrunning ways (after being aggressively ridden from the gate) and from the wide draw will likely do the same here. This should be beneficial to Kitasan Black who is drawn to his outside and from such a draw should be able to slot in behind the likely breakaway leader.

Although the likes of Duramente and Real Steel may ultimately be the most talented horses from this crop, should he get a bit of luck from the gate, Kitasan Black looks likely to get the run of the race and should stay the trip -- a perfect combo in one of Japan's most prestigious events.


Kitasan Black to win

Boxed Exacta: Kitasan Black, Real Steel, Satono Rasen

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