Japan Racing Preview- 2nd of February 2023

Racing And Sports brings you the daily best bets from Japan's local racing.

Japan Racing 2
Japan Racing 2 Picture: Racing and Sports

Three tracks host racing in Japan on Thursday with meetings at Himeji, Nagoya and Kawasaki. We've done the form and identified the best bets across the day.

Himeji Race 5- #2 Planeta

Keen to be with Planeta here as I think the Matsuura stable have figured this filly out after three runs. Two of those have been at 1400m where she's been well beaten, but she bounced back with a much better effort over 800m last start to just miss, finishing second. Her form prior at Mombetsu was all over the 1000m so she's clearly best kept to the short trips and off her last start rating she looks hard to beat here. #3 Tamamo Pair Ring might be the main danger with peak ratings capable of winning but Planeta looks to have found an ideal race to notch up her third win.

Himeji Race 11- #5 History Maker

The feature of the day and I'm siding with the best horse in the race which is History Maker. His form may not read the best on paper but if you look back through it, he's been contesting some very strong races. Although he hasn't won in a while, he was last seen running second at Hanshin to Ushba Tesoro, who came out and won the Group 1 Tokyo Daishoten at his next start. That's the best NAR dirt form there is at the moment and if he runs anywhere near that level he'll prove too classy. #4 A Shin Nacelle is fit and firing and rates as a danger but they'll all need History Maker to run well below his best.

Kawasaki Race 11- #14 Black Panther

Another feature race and it's an open field but I think Black Panther is the one to beat despite the wide gate. A son of Epiphaneia, he started favourite in a very similar race here last start but could only manage third, beaten by #11 Rgyal Dar, who was third favourite. Black Panther meets that horse 2kg better at the weights this time which helps, but he also has prior ratings 1-2 lengths better that he can reach, whereas that was the best of Rgyal Dar. I think Black Panther is capable of bouncing back and turning the tables.

Nagoya Race 11- #6 Acute Girl

Sticking with the feature race theme today in a cracking contest at Nagoya with four last start winners, including Acute Girl who is undefeated in five starts on the NAR circuit, all her wins coming at Sonoda. She again proved too strong last start, taking out the Shinshun Sho, leading all of the way and she again looks very tough to beat. There are others in the field bringing strong form, including #7 Win United who won the Tokai Gold Cup at Kasamatsu last time out but Acute Girl has more upside given she's lightly raced. This looks her toughest test but I'm confident she's the best horse in the field.

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