Just A Way, Harp Star, and Gold Ship comprise the three-fold Japanese contingent for the 93rd Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1) this Sunday, and all three seem incredibly viable candidates to win the race coveted by so many throughout the world. This triumverate enter French territory with some incredibly impressive wins on their collective C.V, but all come with a series of question marks.
Just A Way’s win in the 2014 Dubai Duty Free (G1) remains the top-rated performance in the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings, a six length drubbing of multiple Group 1 winner Vercingetorix. The ground was bottomless on his return in June in the Yasuda Kinen, where he just got up on the line after being interfered with by outsider Grand Prix Boss. Watch his two most recent runs below.
2014 Dubai Duty Free – Just A Way dominates
2014 Yasuda Kinen – Just A Way barely on gooey going
Harp Star, a 3-year-old filly in a race that has accentuated their glory with great weight allowances. Sophomore ladies have won three of the last six runnings, with 3-year-olds taking five of the last six. The daughter of Deep Impact has not been perfect, but she’s about as close as you will find. Perhaps most importantly when ranking the Japanese contenders is that she has a win in open company, against elders, including a defeat of Gold Ship in the Sapporo Kinen in late August. Watch that race below.
2014 Sapporo Kinen – Harp Star bests Gold Ship
She typically comes from well off the pace, and will likely need some early gallop in front of her to bring her into the race. With firmer going expected at Longchamp, a going that has played host to all of her big performances, Harp Star seems an incredibly formidable opponent, not just against her Japanese rivals, but the field in general. Take note of this devastating run from off the pace in the Japanese 1,000 Guineas (G1), the Oka Sho.
2014 Oka Sho – Harp Star wins from out of nowhere
Gold Ship is a striking gray who has his share of big wins and big flops, a lack of consistency over the last two seasons that don’t come close to his superb run as a 3-year-old in 2012. Still, he is confirmed to get over firm going and distances up to and exceeding the 1 1/2 miles of the Arc, something that cannot be said for Just A Way. Below, watch his repeat win in the Takarazuka Kinen, racing wide throughout, and without much cover.
2014 Takarazuka Kinen – Gold Star repeats
The Japanese have put for some valiant efforts to win the Arc in the past, with Orfevre running second in the last two editions. A diverse team is present in Paris for another chance, and the quality makes one believe they could get over the top. DubaiRaceNight.com will be onsite next Saturday and Sunday for the big meeting.