Tokyo Yushun

Tokyo Yushun ? Race Details:

When:
Late May or Early June
Track Location:
Tokyo Racecourse, Fuchu
Race Distance:
2400m
Race Status:
Grade 1
Race Conditions:
3YO Colts & Fillies at Set Weights
Weights:
Colts- 57kg / Fillies- 55kg
Stakes:
?343, 300, 000
Inaugurated:
1932

The Tokyo Yushun, also referred to as the Japanese Derby, is the second leg of the prestigious Japanese Triple Crown. It is raced over a distance of 2400m, a notable increase of 400m from the first race of the series, the Satsuki Sho. The Tokyo Yushun is a Grade 1 flat race held in late May or early June every year at the esteemed Tokyo Racecourse in Fuchu. The event is open to three-year-old thoroughbred colts and fillies, geldings excluded, and is run under set weight conditions. First run in 1932 when Wakataka won, today the prizemoney on offer is ?343, 300, 000.

The Tokyo Yushun is also known as ?the festival of racing? and to claim victory in the race is a dream for every Japanese trainer, owner and jockey. Since 2001 the race has had an international injection, with foreign-bred entries allowed to run in the Tokyo Yushun for the first time. The number of overseas horses permitted to compete in the race continues to increase every year; currently seven foreign raiders can run if they qualify. Entries are eligible to run in the event after qualifying through set JRA trail races.

Two excellent lead-up races which are run at the same course over the same distance and conditions as the Tokyo Yushun are the Japan Cup and the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks), so watch for the winners and placegetters of these earlier events when making your Derby selections. Other good Japanese Derby trial races include the NHK Mile Cup (1600m) and Tokyo Hai Aoba Sho (2400m).

Lots of runners in the Tokyo Yushun have come via the Satsuki Sho, so keep an eye on this first Triple Crown race as an indication of the dominant three-year-olds of the season who stand a good chance for the Japanese Derby. Although no horse has won this popular double since Deep Impact in 2005, the top few finishes are always good to back for your Japanese Derby Place bets.

Only three fillies have managed to win the Japanese Derby, Hisatomo (1937), Kurifuji (1943) and most recently Vodka (2007). The race attracts the finest quality competitors and many Japanese turf champions have claimed victory including Deep Impact (2005), Narita Brian (1994), Symboli Rudolf (1984) and Shinzan (1964). The betting favourites for the race have fared well in recent years, so placing a wager on the top few bookies? picks can be a good way to go. Also, looking back over the winners? trends, no horse has one the Japanese Derby with only one prior win in over 70 years. So, look for entries that have a few high-status wins under their belt and experience in races over 1800 metres. Another important betting tip is to look at not only the record of the horses, but those of the trainers and jockeys as well. The most successful Japanese Derby jockey in the last decade or so is Yutaka Take who has amassed an impressive four wins with Special Week (1998), Admire Vega (1999), Tanino Gimlet (2002) and Deep Impact (2005).

The horses that perform well in the Tokyo Yushun are then likely to be aimed at the final jewel in the Japanese Triple Crown, the Kikuka Sho (3000m) in October.

Tokyo Yushun ? Recent Race Results:

Year

Winner

Jockey

Trainer

Owner

Time

2009
Logi Universe
Norihiro Yokoyama Kikyoshi Hagawara Masaaki Kumeta 2:33.7
2008
Deep Sky
Hirofumi Shii Mitsugu Kon Toshio Fukami 2:26.7
2007
Vodka
Hirofumi Shii Katsuhiko Sumii Yuzo Tanimizu 2:24.5
2006
Meisho Samson
Mamoru Ishibashi Tsutomu Setoguchi Yoshio Matsumoto 2:27.9
2005
Deep Impact
Yutaka Take Yasuo Ikee Makoto Kaneko 2:23.3
2004
King Kamehameha
Katsumi Ando Kunihide Matsuda Makoto Kaneko 2:23.3
2003
Neo Universe
Mirco Demuro Tsutomu Setoguchi Shadai Racehorse Co. 2:28.5
2002
Tanino Gimlet
Yutaka Take Kunihide Matsuda Yuzo Tanimizu 2:26.2
2001
Jungle Pocket
Koichi Tsunoda Sakae Watanabe Yomoji Saito 2:27.0

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