JRA Blackbook: Durezza makes mess of start, and rivals, at Nakayama

A well-bred staying colt overcame severe trouble at the start to win at Nakayama, while the talented but luckless Danon the Kid looks back to his best after a resolute third in the G1 Osaka Hai at Hanshin.

Duramente colt Durezza picked himself up after a horror start to win at Nakayama. (Photo by @de57802028)

Homan Ho



Durezza (R8 Nakayama, Yamabuki Sho, Class 1 Win, 2200m, 2 April)

A badly botched start wasn’t enough to stop lightly-raced colt Durezza from registering his second win from three career starts at Nakayama on Sunday.

The three-year-old son of Duramente stumbled badly as the gates opened, almost unseating jockey Takeshi Yokoyama, before recovering to score an unlikely victory.

Durezza’s dam is the G1 New Zealand Oaks winner More Than Sacred and that staying pedigree kicked in at the end of the 2200 metre contest, as the Tomohito Ozeki-trained galloper sustained a long run to score impressively. 

The G1 Tokyo Yushun may come too soon for this horse but the extra distance of the G1 Kikuka Sho in October could suit.

“There was an accident when jumping out from the gate and I nearly fell,” said jockey Yokoyama.

“He picked up and showed his turn of foot when turning to the straight, it was a perfect win.” 


Danon the Kid 3rd of 16 (R11 Hanshin, G1 Osaka Hai, 2000m, 2 April)

Undefeated in all three starts as a two-year-old, things haven’t gone the way of talented galloper Danon the Kid in all his racetrack appearances since.

Indeed, the son of globetrotting star Just A Way is yet to win again since his crowning achievement in the G1 Hopeful Stakes – which also saw him named Best Two-Year-Old Colt of 2020 – with the now five-year-old registering seven minor placings from 12 subsequent starts, including runner-up finishes in the G1 Mile Championship and G1 Hong Kong Cup. He also finished third in last year’s G2 Mainichi Okan, but only after breaking through the stalls prior to the jump.

Takayuki Yasuda’s headstrong charge demonstrated a welcome return to his best form in Sunday’s G1 Osaka Hai at Hanshin following his uncharacteristic flop in the G2 Nakayama Kinen on February 26, a race in which he faded after racing handily from an inside draw. 

Forced to cover additional ground after jumping from barrier 13 of 16, Danon the Kid chimed in strongly to challenge leader and eventual winner Jack D’Or as the field entered the straight but faded very late for third, as high-class mare Stars On Earth flashed into second.


Could Sunday's G1 Mile Championship be the breakout day for Danon the Kid? (Photo by @umayopi_pasha)

Jockey Kazuo Yokoyama felt that a better draw would have left his mount much better placed to finish off his race.

“I am frustrated,” said Yokoyama. “We jumped from the outside gate and were forced to race wide. He jumped well due to practicing a lot before the race so it was a shame that he lost by a short distance.”

Despite yet another defeat, Danon the Kid does look on track to break his drought in a high-level race between 1600 and 2000 metres, particularly if he can keep his barrier manners in check.




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