Satsuki Sho G1 Guide

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.



Venue: Nakayama

Distance: 2,000 metres

Prize money: ¥325,400,000

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.

Featured winner:  Victoire Pisa

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. 

Satsuki Sho Past Winners

2022GeoglyphYuichi FukunagaTetsuya KimuraSunday Racing Co. Ltd.1:59.7
2021EfforiaTakeshi YokoyamaYuichi ShikatoU Carrot Farm2:00.6
2020ContrailYuichi FukunagaYoshito YahagiShinji Maeda2:00.7
2019SaturnaliaChristophe LemaireKatsuhiko SumiiU Carrot Farm1:57.8
2018Epoca d'OroKeita TosakiHideaki FujiwaraK Hidaka Breeders Union1:57.9
2017Al AinKohei MatsuyamaYasutoshi IkeeSunday Racing Co. Ltd.1:58.2
2016Dee MajestyMasayoshi EbinaYoshitaka NinomiyaMasaru Shimada1:59.6
2015DuramenteMirco DemuroNoriyuki HoriSunday Racing Co. Ltd.1:58.0
2014Isla BonitaMasayoshi EbinaHironori KuritaShadai Race Horse2:01.3
2013LogotypeMirco DemuroTsuyoshi TanakTeruya Yoshida2:00.6
2012Gold ShipHiroyuki UchidaNaosuke SugaiHidekazu Kobayashi2:00.8
2011OrfevreKenichi IkezoeYasutoshi IkeeSunday Racing Co. Ltd.1:58.7
2010Victoire PisaYasunari IwataKatsuhiko SumiiYoshimi Ichikawa2:01.7
2009UnrivaledYasunari IwataYasuo TomomichiSunday Racing Co. Ltd.1:59.9
2008Captain ThuleYuga KawadaHideyuki MoriShadai Race Horse1:59.2
2007VictoryKatsuharu TanakaHidetaka OtonashiHideko Kondo1:58.6



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