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BRINGING ASIAN RACING TO THE WORLD
The first leg of the Triple Crown was first run in 1939, and presents a serious test of character as Japan's best three-year-old colts negotiate the searching Nakayama 2,000 metres.
Despite being known as the Japanese 2,000 Guineas, the Satsuki Sho has an identity all of its own. Just like the original 2,000 Guineas in Newmarket, England, it is the first Classic race of the year open to colts as well as fillies and it is run on turf. But whereas the English Classic is contested over a straight mile, the Satsuki Sho, like the Kentucky Derby in the United States, kicks off the Triple Crown over a distance of 2,000 metres.
The race tests the character of its protagonists from the moment they arrive at the starting gate, right in front of the packed Nakayama grandstand. The bustling field navigates the right-handed oval and unfolds off the final turn as the pick of the crop vies for supremacy down the relatively short home straight. The Satsuki Sho was first run in 1939 and two years later St Lite won the race on his way to becoming the first of Japan’s eight Triple Crown winners.
When Victoire Pisa led home a Japanese-trained quinella in the Group 1 Dubai World Cup at Meydan in 2011 he delivered a timely triumph in the aftermath of the massive earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan’s eastern seaboard and triggered the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
The bay colt’s success uplifted, in some small way, the spirits of a beleaguered nation’s racing fans. But Victoire Pisa’s fine career should not be defined solely by that night in Dubai. The Katsuhiko Sumii-trained colt hit the big time with his Classic success in the Satsuki Sho a year earlier and ended a busy three-year-old campaign that December with victory in the great grand prix showpiece, the Grade 1 Arima Kinen.
Between times, Victoire Pisa placed third in the Tokyo Yushun, flew to France to contest the Group 2 Prix Niel and Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe without success, and was also third in the Japan Cup. He retired to stud with eight wins from 15 races and in 2021 he relocated to stand as a stallion at the Turkish Jockey Club.
|2022||Geoglyph||Yuichi Fukunaga||Tetsuya Kimura||Sunday Racing Co. Ltd.||1:59.7|
|2021||Efforia||Takeshi Yokoyama||Yuichi Shikato||U Carrot Farm||2:00.6|
|2020||Contrail||Yuichi Fukunaga||Yoshito Yahagi||Shinji Maeda||2:00.7|
|2019||Saturnalia||Christophe Lemaire||Katsuhiko Sumii||U Carrot Farm||1:57.8|
|2018||Epoca d'Oro||Keita Tosaki||Hideaki Fujiwara||K Hidaka Breeders Union||1:57.9|
|2017||Al Ain||Kohei Matsuyama||Yasutoshi Ikee||Sunday Racing Co. Ltd.||1:58.2|
|2016||Dee Majesty||Masayoshi Ebina||Yoshitaka Ninomiya||Masaru Shimada||1:59.6|
|2015||Duramente||Mirco Demuro||Noriyuki Hori||Sunday Racing Co. Ltd.||1:58.0|
|2014||Isla Bonita||Masayoshi Ebina||Hironori Kurita||Shadai Race Horse||2:01.3|
|2013||Logotype||Mirco Demuro||Tsuyoshi Tanak||Teruya Yoshida||2:00.6|
|2012||Gold Ship||Hiroyuki Uchida||Naosuke Sugai||Hidekazu Kobayashi||2:00.8|
|2011||Orfevre||Kenichi Ikezoe||Yasutoshi Ikee||Sunday Racing Co. Ltd.||1:58.7|
|2010||Victoire Pisa||Yasunari Iwata||Katsuhiko Sumii||Yoshimi Ichikawa||2:01.7|
|2009||Unrivaled||Yasunari Iwata||Yasuo Tomomichi||Sunday Racing Co. Ltd.||1:59.9|
|2008||Captain Thule||Yuga Kawada||Hideyuki Mori||Shadai Race Horse||1:59.2|
|2007||Victory||Katsuharu Tanaka||Hidetaka Otonashi||Hideko Kondo||1:58.6|
JRA Blackbook: Sol Oriens dominant in Keisei Hai, stakes Satsuki Sho claim