Keiba Diary: It’s Tenno Sho week and the overseas riders are flying in
JRA broadcaster Adrian Webber takes a look at the latest happenings in Japan including Group 1 observations and a worrying trend for the industry.
After last weekend’s ‘classic’ action, this Sunday brings a clash of the generations in the G1 Autumn Tenno Sho and the race looks like a real cracker. The 2000-metre showpiece at Tokyo might not have the superstars it boasted last year when Efforia saw off Contrail and Gran Alegria, but the 15 likely runners and their riders are packing plenty of talent nonetheless.
This week brings the arrival in Japan of foreign jockeys on short-term licences and Cristian Demuro will step straight into the fray to ride last year’s Tokyo Yushun hero Shahryar in the big race – the colt’s first race since he disappointed at Royal Ascot in June – while Tom Marquand will be aboard the Yasutoshi Ikee-trained outsider Ablaze.
See you very soon Japan! 🇯🇵🛩👋🏼 pic.twitter.com/VHMiCb7oKr
— Tom Marquand (@TomMarquand) October 24, 2022
Three-year-olds Equinox and Danon Beluga will be having their first runs since the G1 Tokyo Yushun in May – they placed second and fourth behind Do Deuce – while some of the older and more experienced runners will be happy to put the younger generation to the test. Jack d’Or and Panthalassa slugged it out to finish in that order in the G2 Sapporo Kinen last time and they could be at each other’s throats again as they love nothing more than to set a strong pace, but it’ll be interesting to see what happens when the cavalry get to charge at them in the homestretch.