Japan Racing Preview- 7th of February 2023

Racing And Sports has your best bets from Japan today.

Four meetings in Japan on Tuesday with racing from Funabashi, Himeji, Kasamatsu and Kochi. We've done the form and picked out our best bets for the day.

Funabashi Race 10- #6 Highgarden

Keen on this filly by Duramente to continue on her winning ways. She's been in good form this preparation, winning three of five starts including her past two at this track and distance. She's returned good ratings there with an all-the-way 2.5 length win last start the highlight, and even if she regress by a length or two she looks the horse to beat. While the market likes her, she's been sent around at $2.80 and $2.20 in her past two wins and a couple others in this race coming off short prices I think we get another good chance to back Highgarden.

Funabashi Race 12- #2 Links Ai

This filly looks the obvious here and I'm expecting her to start favourite and prove far too good. Since transferring from the JRA to the Watanabe stable she's won two from four, destroying her rivals over 1 3⁄8 m last start by 6 lengths. The slight query here is she drops back to 1 1⁄8 m but she did win earlier in the campaign over 7 1⁄2 f in good style and her rating was only slightly inferior to last start. Others in the race have similar peak ratings but none are in as good form as Links Ai.

Himeji Race 9- #1 Grand Rutile

A fairly open race with most of the field having some claims but I like Grand Rutile who comes through a solid race, really finding the line strongly for a narrow third placing. That followed two straight wins at Sonoda by 5 and 3 lengths, able to show versatility to either lead or sit off the pace. He took a sit midfield last start but now drawn barrier one I expect him to be more positive. His starting price profile suggests we should get a good price with #9 Namura Joker coming off an odds-on start but Grand Rutile bringing the better ratings.

Kochi Race 9- #7 Hadiah 

A very competitive race at Kochi with a number of horses in good form, none more so than Hadiah who has had two starts since coming from the JRA, winning both with seemingly more to come. The six-year-old actually tried his hand over the jumps, winning both a flat and jumps maiden race before his form tapered off. His first up win was over a mile before dropping to 6 1⁄2 f last start but still able to lead all of the way. Based on his prior form the step back up to 1 m will suit and he looks the one to beat. #6 Firstbahn has also won his past two starts but Hadiah is coming through the better races and I give him the edge.

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