Oka Sho G1 Guide

The Oka Sho – ‘Cherry Blossom Prize’ – was first run in 1939 and is the first leg of the fillies’ Triple Crown.



Venue: Hanshin

Distance: 1,600 metres

Prize money: ¥302,400,000

The Oka Sho is the first Classic of the year in Japan and is also referred to as the Japanese 1,000 Guineas, being a mile race restricted to three-year-old fillies. The pathway to the race is via a number of lead-up contests, notably two recognised trials staged at Hanshin in March: The Grade 2 Tulip Sho over 1,600 metres and the Hochi Hai Fillies’ Revue over 1,400 metres.

The Oka Sho – ‘Cherry Blossom Prize’ – was first run in 1939 and is the first leg of the fillies’ Triple Crown, which also features the Yushun Himba over 2,400 metres and the Shuka Sho over 2,000 metres. The race starts on the back straight and the contenders navigate the outer loop before entering the home stretch for a run of a little more than 400 metres to the finish line.

The quality of runners since 2017 has justified its upgrade. The Osaka Hai starts in front of the Hanshin grandstand and runs right-handed, taking the inner loop out of the backstretch into the home straight.  

Featured winner:  Sodashi

Few winners of the Oka Sho have enjoyed such glamourous popularity as ‘The White Wonder’ Sodashi, a daughter of the enigmatic white mare Buchiko. Sodashi became the first genuinely white thoroughbred to win a Japanese Classic when she landed the spring prize in 2021.

The striking filly, trained by Naosuke Sugai, became a fan favourite and a media darling after she won her debut race at Hakodate at two and followed up with a pair of Grade 3 triumphs. Sodashi whipped up the hype even more when she closed her juvenile campaign with a famous victory in the Grade 1 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies. 

She raced first-up in the Oka Sho the following spring and held on by a neck at the winning line to take her unbeaten streak to five. After failing to stay 2,400 metres in the Yushun Himba, Sodashi won the Grade 2 Sapporo Kinen from the soon-to-be Breeders’ Cup heroine Loves Only You but was well off the boil in two subsequent runs that season.

At four, she gave her fans a big buzz when winning the G1 Victoria Mile, and rounded off that campaign with a good third in the G1 Mile Championship.

Oka Sho Past Winners

2022Stars On EarthYuga KawadaMizuki TakayanagiShadai Racehorse Co.1:32.9
2021SodashiHayato YoshidaNaosuke SugaiKaneko Makoto Holdings1:31.1
2020Daring TactKohei MatsuyamaHaruki SugiyamaNormandy Thoroughbred Racing1:36.1
2019Gran AlegriaChristophe LemaireKazuo FujisawaSunday Racing1:32.7
2018Almond EyeChristophe LemaireSakae KuniedaSilk Racing1:33.1
2017Reine MinoruKenichi IkezoeMasaru HondaMinoru Yoshioka1:34.5
2016JewelerMirco DemuroKenichi FujiokaYoichi Aoyama1:33.4
2015Let's Go DonkiYasunari IwataTomoyuki UmedaToshihiro Hirosaki1:36.0
2014Harp StarYuga KawadaHiroyoshi MatsudaU Carrot Farm1:33.3
2013AyusanCristian DemuroTakahisa TezukaJuichi Hoshin1:35.0
2012GentildonnaYasunari IwataSei IshizakaSunday Racing Co. Ltd1:34.6
2011MarcellinaKatsumi AndoHiroyoshi MatsudaShadai Racehorse Co.1:33.9
2010ApapaneMasayoshi EbinaSakae KuniedaKaneko Makoto Holdings1:33.3
2009Buena VistaKatsumi AndoHiroyoshi MatsudaSunday Racing1:34.0
2008ReginettaFutoshi KomakiHidekazu AsamiShadai Racehorse Co.1:34.4
2007Daiwa ScarletKatsumi AndoKunihide MatsudaKeizo Oshiro1:33.7



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