Costa Rolfe



Japanese first-starter Shitei Taiketsu produces freakish finish to win from ‘impossible’ position

Two-year-old colt Shitei Taiketsu on Monday unleashed one of the all-time most electrifying racing debuts. Watch the extraordinary race vision.

Two-year-old colt Shitei Taiketsu has unleashed one of the all-time most electrifying racing debuts, coming from an impossible position to spectacularly claim a maiden on the Tokyo dirt on Monday.

Hopelessly tailed off for the majority of the 1400m race at Oi Racecourse, the son of French stallion Bago finally reconnected with his five rivals after rounding the home bend, before blitzing home out wide to record a stunning victory. 

For those yet to see it, enjoy: 

Ridden by Takayuki Yano for trainer Masahiro Uesugi, Shitei Taiketsu started a slight $3.50 favourite, but would have given favourite-backers reason for all manner of alarm with his early reluctance to go.

Comparisons were inevitably drawn to ‘The Enigmatic One’, Hong Kong’s Pakistan Star, who became an overnight internet sensation after deploying a similarly jaw-dropping last-to-first debut performance at Sha Tin back in 2016.   

While Pakistan Star eventually furnished into a Group One-winning (sometimes!) star, it will be interesting to see if Shitei Taiketsu can go on with it after such an attention-grabbing debut.

The colt’s dam Satto was a four-time winner on the NAR circuit, leading all the way for three of those wins, and a daughter of Stay Gold, Japan’s global performer who shed a bridesmaid tag to win both the Dubai Sheema Classic and Hong Kong Vase in 2001. His sire Bago is most famous for producing recent two-time Takarazuka Kinen-winner Chrono Genesis, who also showed up early as one of the best two-year-old fillies in Japan.


Chrono Genesis takes out the 2019 Shuka Sho, a G1 fillies event run at Kyoto Racecoures. (Photo by JRA)

Racecaller Bob Werley – who had the privilege of describing Shitei Taiketsu’s remarkable performance as it unfolded – told Asian Racing Report that it was one of the best wins he’d seen during his time in Japan.

“It definitely was a freak performance. In the five years since I’ve been calling the races here, I can’t think of another time with a victory from so far back,” said Werley. 

“It’s very rare to come from last to first here, even when the field isn’t so stretched out. I was just as surprised as everyone else to see Shitei Taiketsu making that move in the final furlong.”



    Subscribe now & get exclusive weekly content from Asian Racing Report direct to your inbox

      Expert ratings, tips & analysis for Hong Kong racing