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JRA Best Bets Sunday November 27
Racing eyes the world over will be focused on Japan today with the running of the Grade 1 Japan Cup (2400m) at Tokyo.
As always, a contingent of both international horses and riders will be trying to wrest away the feature trophy from the strong line-up of Japanese horses in this year's feature on turf and it's no easy feat - the last invader to win being Alkaased for the Cumani/Dettori combination in 2005.
While the main drawcard is the staying contest at Tokyo, Hanshin also plays host to the Grade 3 Keihan Hai Cup over 1200m on turf.
Our best bets for Sunday
Tokyo Race 12 - #14 Danon Beluga
Lightly raced colt on an upward trajectory. Two starts ago finished off hard over this journey in the Grade 1 Japanese Derby then a break. Set for this race, he resumed in the Grade 1 Tenno Sho and after settling back found the line nicely again to finish third. He will strip much fitter and looks ideally placed over the extra two furlongs. Japan's leading rider Yuga Kawada stays aboard and can steer the local colt to a win in the international feature.
Vela Azul, who is thriving since switching to the turf, looks a big threat up the long straight, as does Shahryar, who won last year's Derby and has since won at this level in Dubai.
Tokyo Race 9 - #8 Jun Blossom
Talented colt resuming from a break. Finished off a two start campaign in Grade 2 company over a little further and boxed on well for fourth in a good form race. He was a winner of his only other run of the campaign though while fresh from a break. The colt is suited this easier grade and has a leading hoop booked for the ride. Looks tough to beat this class.
Spider Gold is also a promising colt and looks the biggest danger. He was a fresh-up winner of the only start of his last campaign and although takes on tougher here has upside and shapes as a real threat.
Hanshin Dirt Race 11 - #3 Ushba Tesoro
In form galloper having third run back from a break. Placed fresh then tackled stakes class last time on the dirt at Tokyo and after drifting back circled and came away with a determined win. Meets the runner-up again here 1.5kg worse off at the weights but did have a bit on him. This galloper goes equally well third-up and looks tough to hold out again.
Vaisravana was the horse than finished runner-up in the same race when resuming from a spell. Meets the winner better at the weight although faces a tricky draw this time. Will strip fitter though and looks a serious threat again.
Tokyo Dirt Race 10 - #14 Consigliere
Talented galloper resuming. Won first two career starts then placed in a richer event in Dubai before a spell two back. Only run last time in was another minor placing in a richer race than today, sitting on speed and boxing on well. He looks ideally placed this class, won his only other try at the course and distance and with Damien Lane aboard again should be going close.
La La Effort is racing in great form and appeals as the main threat. He was a second-up winner and although this is tougher is on the up and can challenge again.