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Prognosis Beats Some of Japan’s Stars in Sapporo Kinen

The prognosis is good indeed for Prognosis after the 5-year-old son of Deep Impact  roared to victory in the Sapporo Kinen (G2) Aug. 20, defeating a field including some of Japan’s most accomplished international competitors.

Jockey Yuga Kawada got Prognosis out of the gate cleanly from the No. 13 stall but then allowed the horse to settle back next to last around the first turn. Moving down the backstretch, Prognosis moved up, first along the rail and then between horses and was in position to challenge pacesetting long shot Top Knife around the stretch turn.

With a couple reminders from the rider, Prognosis quickly found another gear, blew by and ran on to win by 4 lengths, looking eager for more. He finished the 2,000 meters (about 1 1/4 miles) in 2:01.5 over good turf.

Top Knife held second with some of the nation’s stars well behind.

Danon Beluga , second in the Dubai Turf (G1) at Meydan Racecourse in March, finished fourth. The favorite, Jack d’Or, last year’s Sapporo Kinen winner and victor in the Osaka Hai (G1) April 2, was seventh. Shahryar , winner of the 2021 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby-G1) and second in the 2022 Japan Cup (G1), was 11th while returning from a fifth-place finish in the Dubai Sheema Classic (G1).

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With many in the field of 15 coming off layoffs and some off international travel, conditioning was a key in the race, which often is a tightener for the big grade 1 events coming later in the Japanese calendar, including November’s Japan Cup—or for further foreign quests.

Lightly raced Prognosis is poised to take his place in that picture.

The horse won four of his first five starts in 2021 and 2022. He stepped up with a victory in the Kinko Sho (G2) March 12, sufficient to convince owner Shadai Race Race Horse Co. and trainer Mitsumasa Nakauchida to send him to Hong Kong for the Queen Elizabeth II (G1) April 30.

A runner-up showing behind Hong Kong star Romantic Warrior in that event led directly to the Sapporo Kinen and potential further stardom.

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