International Race Fan
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.