Saturday 7.40am Nakayama – Oju Chosan @ 1/4
It’s been pretty much one-way traffic in the Nakayama Grand Jump since Ruby Walsh was over there in 2013. There is a horse dominating this scene, as he has done for the last five years – Oju Chosan is his name.
He’s a 1/4 shot to win this with us. He’s going for his fifth win in a row here. Ruby talked about the payday he had – think about the payday this lad has had! He’s going for north of €6million if he wins this race in his total career, which is quite something being a jumps horse.
The big one against him is going to be the young pretender Shinigun Michael. He’s the young up-and-comer in the division, but didn’t quite have it when he put it up to Oju Chosan last time.
I can’t really come up with an excuse – he finished well behind him and the only slight curveball I would have with Oju Chosan this year is there is a deluge of rain predicted on Saturday morning.
They don’t normally get rain in Japan, so that’s a little bit of a question mark for a lot of these horses. He might find it a little tough as he does pull a bit hard but baring a huge mishap he should have five in a row in his back pocket.
The one I give a slight squeak to against him is Bright Quartz. He stays stronger than most and goes very well on very soft ground but apart from that I expect Oju Chosan should win this.
Sunday 7.40am Nakayama – Darlington Hall @ 16/1
It’s one of the best renewals we will have for a long time in the Japanese 2000 Guineas and that’s saying something, with the roll of honour the Satsuki Sho has.
There’s two very exciting Group 1-winning two-year-olds putting their unbeaten records on the line. You’ve got Contrail and Salios, both huge talking horses going into this.
The ground is going to be key again. How much softer the going will be on Sunday, I don’t quite know, but there is depth in the race to take the two of them on, despite how good they are.
Satono Flag has seen a bit of a spring in the market. He has won a decent prep race for this in great style, and on soft ground crucially. If the rain comes, he will be a huge player.
But I’ll take them all on with Darlington Hall – he could be a big price here at 16/1 with us at the moment. He’s Godolphin’s only representative in the race, and although I think Contrail might be a very good horse – and we might be talking about the Arc for him – I just think Darlington Hall Has improved a bit this year.
He was his own worst enemy as a two-year-old. He was very keen, and reminded you of his sire a bit. Last time he won a Group 3 he seemed to settle a lot better. The race didn’t really go to plan and he raced off the pace in a slower race but still did enough, and I think he’s learned his lesson as a three-year-old.
Hopefully from stall 13 he’ll get a bit of luck and 16/1 might be a decent shot against the big three here.
Paddy Power’s Tip Summary
7.40am Nakayama, Saturday – Oju Chosan @ 1/4
7.40am Nakayama, Sunday – Darlington Hall @ 16/1
- All odds correct at time of first publishing but may change.
FROM PADDY POWER’S RACING ICONS DOCUMENTARY WITH RUBY…
- I took Annie Power home for the summer… and horse joined our family BBQs!
- My biggest Cheltenham regret and one race I’d love to have a second chance at
- Ruby’s hilarious story about dad Ted’s terrible medical advice after nasty leg break