JRA Best Bets - Saturday, 7th January 2023

The first day of a long weekend of JRA racing begins today with meetings at both Chukyo and Nakayama.

Here are our best bets for Saturday

Chukyo Race 6 - #4 Protoporos 

Emerging colt resuming from a good spell. Made debut with an effortless win here over today's journey when heavily bet and never looked in doubt. He was tipped out and returned taking a big step in class to the Grade 2 Kokura Nasai Stakes. There he settled just off the pace and fought on well, missing the frame but finishing fourth just over a length from the winner.

Resuming from another break today, the colt looks well placed in this far easier grade. He has drawn well and David Eagan takes the mount. He looks tough to hold out.

Yakushima is also a promising colt who looks the main danger. He, too, has run well in tougher grade and looks suitably placed in this company. Off the inside gate he will settle back but wind up late.

Chukyo Race 10 - #6 L'Evangile 

Honest four-year-old who is racing well. After resuming in far superior grade the entire appreciated the drop in class and returned to winning form second-up, sitting just off the speed and winding up to score a comfortable win. Last time out he raced in similar grade to today and again wound up strongly but just missed, finishing third in a three-way photo.

From nine career runs his only two unplaced runs were in Grade 2 company and he is stakes placed along with three wins. He looks well placed today over 2000m and should be at his top. Looks tough to hold out.

Zeffiro is another honest entire and looks the biggest danger. Yet to miss the frame in five career runs, he finished off his last campaign with two wins on end. He resumes today but worth noting he also won his only try fresh, getting off to a flying start with his maiden success.

Nakayama Dirt Race 4 - #9 Three Express 

Handy galloper overdue for a win. A winner of one of nine on the turf, the entire was switched to dirt racing four back and racked up three consecutive seconds before finishing fourth last time. That was over 2500m where he kept coming and finishing fourth, albeit a fair way from the easy winner.

Today he meets a very moderate line-up and gets the chance to break through.

Kaiser Leon is an up and comer and looks the main threat. He got off the mark before a spell then ran on strongly for sixth over 1800m when resuming. He looks suited stepping out further in journey this time and will strip much fitter. Drawn ideally he should enjoy a good run close to the speed.

Nakayama Race 12 - #5 Belle Cresta 

Talented filly who is a winner of just one of eight starts but has spent most of her career in stakes class, including three Grade 1 races.

After a good spell she resumed in similar grade to today and was runner-up after settling off the leaders and working home strongly. She resumes from another spell today over the same journey and while fresh has been in the money at all three runs. On her best figures she looks well placed to return to winning form.

The biggest danger looks to be Sankalpa. The filly ran on hard fresh for a close-up fourth in a similar race and worth noting she is unbeaten when second-up. Looks for her breaking late and running on hard.


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