SA champion jockey Lyle Hewitson will ride a horse close to his heart in Sunday’s JPY 245 190 000 The Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) at Nakayama Racecourse.
He partners Galore Creek, the horse that gave him the first Graded win of his short term contract there when winning the Gr2 Spring Stakes for three-year-olds over 1800m at Nakayama at the end of last month – seen in the pic below.
The colt by Kinshasa no Kiseki boasts two wins from four starts, having won on his debut over 2000 meters at Tokyo,
Trainer Hiroyuki Uehara said recently, “It wasn’t such a fast finish to the race last time, but it showed that he can adjust to how a race is run, and the distance of 2000 meters poses no problems. He’s in good shape since his last race and we’ve just been keeping him ticking over in training. It’s his third race this time since a spell, and I think he’ll be in great condition for it. He’s very well and has become more mature. It was a slow pace last time in his trial race, but the Satsuki Sho pace should be better. The horse has the ability to adjust to any pace, and that’s certainly one of his strong points. Even over this distance, it shouldn’t be a problem and he should run well.”
The race is the first leg of the Japanese Triple Crown and the 80th running of the colts’ Classic.
Seven horses have worn the prestigious crown, the last being nine years ago when Orfevre took full honors in 2011.
It was Duramente back in 2015 that has recently come the closest, with his wins in the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) and Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) in that year.
The winner’s cheque on Sunday is JPY 110 million – around R19 million!
The race time this Sunday for SA fans is 08h40. It will be Race 11 on the Nakayama card.