where the horse is always the hero
Article Item
Posted 2023-12-17 10:13:22  

In the heart of Hanshin Racecourse, a rising star named Jantar Mantar painted the turf with victory in the prestigious Gr1 Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes - the race Danon Platina, the South African based stallion won before trekking to Africa.

This wasn't just any win; it was the culmination of an immaculate season, three perfect starts woven into a tapestry of equine brilliance.

From the moment he burst onto the scene in October, a maiden win at Kyoto marking his arrival, Jantar Mantar had tongues wagging. The Palace Malice colt, a dark bay with a glint of steel in his eyes, possessed a grace and power that belied his youth. He confirmed the whispers in the November sunshine, claiming his first graded title in the Daily Hai Nisai Stakes with the poise of a seasoned veteran.

On this crisp December day, the stage was set for Jantar Mantar to ascend to a new level. Breaking smoothly from the third stall, he tucked in behind the leaders, a predator patiently stalking its prey. As the field rounded the final turn, jockey Yuga Kawada, a maestro of the turf, saw his opening. He nudged Jantar Mantar forward, unleashing a surge of power that propelled him to the front like a runaway express.

Challenges came, of course. Ecoro Walz, a late bloomer with a potent finishing kick, emerged from the pack like a phantom, eating up ground with every stride. But Jantar Mantar, his heart a furnace, refused to yield. He found another gear, a hidden reserve of strength deep within, and stretched his lead.

The final furlong was a blur of hooves and flying dirt. Ecoro Walz loomed large, but Jantar Mantar wouldn't be denied. He crossed the finish line a length and a quarter clear, a champion etched in the annals of the Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes.

Beyond the winner's circle, accolades poured in. Kawada, a veteran with 26 JRA-G1 titles to his name, spoke of Jantar Mantar's "good character" and "vast potential." Trainer Tomokazu Takano, basking in the glow of back-to-back JRA-G1 wins, marveled at the colt's "exceptional talent."

And Jantar Mantar? He stood, ears pricked, the December sun glinting off his coat, a silent promise etched in his every muscle. This was just the beginning. The future, like the unfurling turf before him, stretched boundless, and Jantar Mantar, the undefeated champion, was poised to conquer it all. 

In the wake of Jantar Mantar's triumph, a tapestry of other destinies unfolded on the turf. June Take, a late bloomer, surged from the back of the pack, sniffing distance of the podium but falling just short in fourth. Tagano Dude, a persistent warrior, chipped away at his rivals one by one, claiming fifth with dogged determination.

Satomino Kirari, a fleeting comet, flirted with greatness, holding onto second place until the final hundred meters before succumbing to fatigue. Set Up, the early pacesetter, found his wings again briefly after turning for home, but the final furlong proved too demanding, and he retreated to seventh.

Danon McKinley, a cautious contender, waited in the wings before unleashing a brief challenge, ultimately settling for eighth with a steady gallop. Taiki Vainqueur, a mid-field battler, responded well until the final furlong, then faded gracefully into ninth.

Strauss, a bold but inexperienced soul, led the charge early before his youthful exuberance waned, leaving him tenth at the finish. Namura Hooker, a determined pursuer, fought valiantly until the final two hundred meters, but needed more time to reach his full potential.

Band Shell, a frustrated strategist, struggled to find a clear path amidst the crowded field, never quite able to unleash his hidden speed. Enya Love Faith, a victim of circumstance, was checked early and lost momentum, tumbling down the standings.

Awesome Stroke, a quiet observer, followed Jantar Mantar's shadow but lacked the spark to ignite his own challenge. Ask One Time, a hopeful dreamer, showed a flicker of life before being swallowed by the traffic, his quest unfulfilled.

Clean Air, the early tracker, faded after the final turn, finding himself boxed in with no room to maneuver. And lastly, Miltenberg, a distant dreamer, drifted further back in the final furlong, content to spectate from the sidelines.

Each horse, a unique brushstroke on the canvas of the Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes, wrote their own story, one of triumph, resilience, or quiet acceptance. Their journeys, though overshadowed by the champion's brilliance, are equally deserving of recognition, for they too are champions in their own right, testament to the unwavering spirit of the racing world.


Email link to a friend | Printable Version
  • Japan
    Displaying 10 ResultsSee All
    japanese gr1 jockey dies from fall injuries 2024-04-11

    On April 11th, the Japan Racing Association sadly announced the passing of jockey Kota Fujioka, who ...

    View | Add Comment
    gr1 saudi cup winner, panthalassa retired2024-01-08

    Dubbed the "Fugitive of Reiwa," Panthalassa, a two-time G1 champion clinching victories in...

    View | Add Comment
    historic achievement: rachel king granted prestigious license2024-01-05

    The Japan Racing Association (JRA) has officially accepted Rachel King's application for a short-ter...

    View | Add Comment
    regaleira becomes first filly to win hopeful stakes gr12023-12-28

    Regaleira made history by becoming the first filly to win the Hopeful Stakes, setting a race record ...

    View | Add Comment
    legend jock take and do deuce win the biggest betting race in the world! 2023-12-24

    Do Deuce, partnered with the 54 year old legendary jockey Yutaka Take for the first time this season...

    View | Add Comment
    equinox sets up dream date with almond eye2023-12-16

      The Champion of the World and best turf racehorse since Frankel, Equinox, has a dream date w...

    View | Add Comment
    darley japan acquires yoshida and palace malice 2023-12-14

    Darley in Japan has expanded its stallion lineup with the introduction of two notable horses –...

    View | Add Comment
    equinox to stand for highest fee in japan 2023-12-07

    Equinox, recently crowned as the world's top-ranked racehorse and triumphant in the Japan Cup (G1) j...

    View | Add Comment
    world best equinox retires2023-11-30

    Equinox, hailed as the epitome of equine excellence, has gracefully concluded his racing career, lea...

    View | Add Comment
    equinox supreme and stamps authority in japan cup win2023-11-26

    Equinox showcased his superiority in this year's Japan Cup, triumphing over a formidable field that ...

    View | Add Comment