Four NAR meetings install for Japan on Wednesday with racing at Kawasaki, Kochi, Nagoya and Himeji. The 2100m Conditions event at Kawasaki spearheads the day's action as they race for over $1.5 million AUD. We've done the form and landed on our four best plays that cover the respective cards.
Himeji Race 4 - #9 Nishino Buchinuke
Siding with leading hoop Tomohiro Yoshimura to get the job done for us at Himeji. The talented hoop has continued his strong form, boasting an impressive 31% winning strike rate from his last 350 rides. While this looks a competitive race with a handful of last start winners locking horns, I'm expecting Yoshimura's mount to have enough early dash to offset the outside alley and dictate proceedings. Stripping fitter third-up, Nishino Buchinuke is nearing a peak and should prove tough to reel in for his rivals.
Kawasaki Race 6 - #9 Isa Chil Ace
In what looks an intriguing race between Ponte Drago, Fort Roi and Isa Chil Ace, we have landed on the latter. While the others were handy last start winners, I was impressed with the eye-catching return of the ever-consistent Isa Chil Ace. The son of Hard Spun had plenty to do fresh when straightening at the rear but managed to let down aggressively to rattle home and narrowly miss the placings. Shouldering a handy second-up record and over this journey, there looks to be solid speed engaged that should play right into our favour. I expect Isa Chil Ace to be saved for the final shot at them and be too strong for them over the concluding stages.
Kochi Race 1 - #9 Marions Nous
Looking to get off the mark early at Kochi with the returning Marions Nous in the opener. With both the Yuji Uchikoshi stable and rider H Yoshihara in great touch boasting a winning strike rate north of 22%, this combination looks awfully hard to dismantle. Reiwa Gantan appears to be the immediate danger but should find it difficult to win off the back of being beaten convincingly fresh. Marion Nous does have a first-up win under her belt, scoring dominantly here two campaigns ago over the same journey. Expect her to hold the class edge over this field.
Nagoya Race 4 - #3 Toho Paradise
Was far from her best last start here when fading out of the finish in the sprint home. Had been racing in great order in her two runs prior though, notching up back-to-back seconds over the same distance. Booking of in-form hoop Soichi Kato is a big push for this filly's chances, with the talented hoop shouldering a 24% winning strike rate from his last 50 engagements. A return to form sees this well within her grasp.