Satono Crown Can Topple Kitasan Black in the Japan Cup
Last year’s winner, Kitasan Black looks a worthy favourite to retain his Japan Cup title, but it could be worth chancing Satono Crown to confirm the Takarazuka Kinen form on more suitable ground. Satono Crown was beaten a neck by Kitasan Black in the Tenno Sho just 4 weeks ago on usually soft ground, over 10 furlongs. He only just failed to reel in the favourite, and would have finished on top over a little bit further, which bodes well for today’s race over 2 furlongs extra. Today’s race could be the main target for Satono Crown, who weighed in very heavy for his last race and with likely improvement he could be much sharper this time around. His biggest win to date came in the Hong Kong Vase in December last year when stepping up to 1m4f for the first time, he overcame trouble in running to chase down Highland Reel from a long way back.
While there should be very little between Kitasan Black at 7/4 and Satono Crown at 11/2 in the race, at the current prices it does swing it the way of Satono Crown at 11/2.
Of the other Japanese runners, Rey De Oro has look good against his own age, but faces some really good opponents in here and 3/1 doesn’t look a great price. At big prices, both Sounds Of Earth at 50/1, second in this race last year and Sciacchetra at 40/1 are capable of placing. Aiden O’Brien’s Idaho faces a tough task and is put in at 25/1 with the UK bookies, but is currently hovering around 73 on the Japanese tote.
Satono Crown, 11/2 Coral