It seems inevitable that the hype around Japan’s ‘White Wonder” Sodashi will cause her to be overbet and I will be looking elsewhere in a race that contains some classy fillies and mares.
The two that come into clear focus are Stars On Earth and Songline.
Stars On Earth captured the Oka Sho/Yushin Himba (Japan Oaks) double last year before sustaining a leg injury that kept her sidelined through the middle part of the year. She was solid in the Shuka Sho last October and again when second first-up behind Jack d’Or in the Group 1 Osaka Hai. Her best distance is probably further and Stars On Earth comes back from that 2000m performance to 1600m against some mile specialists.
One of those mile specialists is last year’s G1 Yasuda Kinen winner Songline and she is my pick. Songline was unplaced in the 1351 in Saudi Arabia – a race she won in 2022 – but returns to a track she loves: Songline has three wins and a second from five starts over the course and distance.