Tokyo Yushun 2022 Preview, Leading Contenders & History

Tokyo Yuhun

Tokyo Yushun 2022 Preview, Leading Contenders & History

One of the biggest global horse racing events takes place this weekend, as the 2022 edition of the Tokyo Yuhun is staged. The Japanese Derby is the second leg of the Japanese Triple Crown, and is the Japanese equivalent to the Epsom Derby, which is staged just seven days later.

This year’s race takes place on May 29th, and there have been a number of stunning performances in the step races to help narrow down the list of potential winners this year. Bets can be placed on the huge Group 1, with Kakekko Rin Rin offering a free bet of 1000 yen, which can be used to bet on the Tokyo Yushun in 2022.  

History Of The Race

The Tokyo Yushun has been staged annually since 1932, and has historically formed the second leg of the Japanese Triple Crown. The Satsuki Sho is the first of the Japanese Classics to be run, while the Kikuka Sjo is run in late October. Horses involved in this race will be aged three, and a total distance of 2400 meters will be covered on the turf.

Tokyo Racecourse hosts the illustrious race, with the incredible Shahryar giving jockey Yuichi Fukunaga a third winner in four years last year. It was a second victory in the race for trainer Hideaki Fujiwara, with his previous victory coming in 2010 with Eishin Flash.

Leading Contenders


One of the leading contenders this weekend will be Geoglyph for trainer Tetsuya Kimura. This three-year-old will be the ride of Yuichi Fukunaga this weekend, which gives him every chance of claiming victory. This horse will be following the same path to the Tokyo Yushun as 2020 winner Contrail, who also won the Satsuki Sho before lining up in the second leg of the Triple Crown.

Geoglyph was in excellent form on his previous start, as he claimed success in the first leg of the Triple Crown when beating Equinox by a length at Nakayama. That was a first victory since his win on debut, and he made his first start this season back in February when finishing second to Danon Beluga in the G3 Kyodo News Hai at Tokyo. He will need to be much better on this start in Tokyo. But, connections are a massive plus in his favor.


The surprising name at the top of the betting is currently Equinox, who will be looking to bounce back after being beaten in the Satsuki Sho by Geoglyph last time out. However, he will be expected to produce a much better effort on his second start this year, as he likely needed the run in the middle of April to get back up to speed. This three-year-old is trained by Tetsuya Kimura, who will be looking for a first Japanese Derby winner.

It was hard not to be taken by this three-year-old last year though, as he dominated the field in the G2 Tokyo Sports Hai Stakes last November. On that occasion, he finished two and a half lengths clear of stablemate Asahi at Tokyo. Course form is a big factor in his favour ahead of this weekend, as jockey Christophe Lemaire looks for a second career victory in the Tokyo Yushun.

Danon Beluga

Another interesting contender for the race this weekend is Danon Beluga for trainer Noriyuki Hori. This three-year-old has made two starts already this year. He was beaten by Geoglyph on his previous start in the Satsuki Sho, as he finished back in fourth and two and a half lengths off the pace. However, like Equinox, he has good experience around Tokyo.

In February, he landed a success in the G3 Tokinominoru Kinen, as he finished a length and a half clear of Geoglyph. That was a fine performance from this contender, and it was a run that should be taken exceptionally seriously on his return to Tokyo this weekend. His course form over another leading contender makes him extremely interesting, and a big run should be expected by the three-year-old this weekend.

Outsider – Ask Victor More

There could be some good value in the betting for this extremely competitive renewal. At a bigger price, it may be worth examining Ask Victor More. This three-year-old beat one of his main rivals this weekend in the G2 Hochi Hai Yayoi Sho Deep Impact Kinen back in March, as he finished a neck clear of Do Deuce.

He was slightly hindered on his return run in the G1 Satsuki Sho, as he could only finish fifth, but he was still only just two lengths behind the winner. This distance could suit him perfectly, and he at least has each-way claim in Tokyo.

This race will be close, no doubt, and the excitement leading up to this event will not disappoint! Make sure to stay posted to find out all about the highlights and winners of this year’s derby. 

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