Dualist brings perfect record to Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun

Dec 14, 2020 Kellie Reilly/Brisnet.com

The Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby continues in Wednesday’s Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun at Kawasaki. Although no runners from the first scoring race, the Nov. 28 Cattleya Stakes, are involved, the metric mile affair could launch other promising types onto the trail.

Dualist extended his record to 3-for-3 in the Dec. 2 Hyogo Junior Grand Prix at Sonoda. Trained by Takayuki Yasuda, who just won Sunday’s $2.8 million Hong Kong Sprint (G1), Dualist made his debut July 4 Hanshin and then romped at Chukyo in juvenile track-record time for about 7 furlongs. He wheels back just two weeks after passing his listed stakes test. From the first crop of Mikki Isle, a champion son of the great Deep Impact, Dualist figures to use his early speed from post 2 with Yuichi Kitamura. 
Bakushin warrants respect after winning his last two at the premier Tokyo Racecourse. After crushing a maiden by 10 lengths, the well-bred son of Henny Hughes followed up in a Nov. 14 allowance. Like Dualist, Bakushin has yet to race past 7 furlongs, but should be just as effective on the step up in trip. His dam, Out of the Whim, is a Sunday Silence half-sister to two-time Japan Cup Dirt (G1) hero Kane Hekili.
Several are coming out of the Nov. 3 JBC Nisai Yushun at Mombetsu, where Lucky Dream held on by a neck from Transcendence. Giga King was sixth, Luce d’Oro 10th, and Taisei Again a too-bad-to-be-true 13th as the favorite.
Taisei Again, based on the higher-level Japan Racing Association (JRA) circuit like Dualist and Bakushin, is capable of much better than he showed last time. The winner of his first two starts, the son of Pyro aired in his Chukyo debut and captured a Tokyo allowance. It could be significant that he reunites here with Yuichi Fukunaga. 
The other JRA entrants are the aforementioned Luce d’Oro and Rastrillo. Luce d’Oro just missed in a blanket finish to the Hakodate Nisai (G3) on turf before flopping at Mombetsu, and he came back to run fourth to Dualist in his latest at Sonoda. The filly Rastrillo opened her career by scoring on dirt at Niigata and turf at Sapporo, but finished fourth on the class hike to listed stakes company in the Edelweiss Sho. 
The remaining contenders belong to the lesser National Association of Racing (NAR) level.
Alain Barows, 4-for-4 so far, faces a bigger class test in this spot. Another by Henny Hughes, he took a pair of sprints at his home track of Funabashi, and continued his progress by winning twice at Oi. Most recently, Alain Barows captured a mile event over Ranryo O, himself a four-time winner who’s been second in his other two.
JBC Nisai Yushun winner Lucky Dream sports a 4-for-6 mark, but was pretty workmanlike in that listed score. Transcendence, who’s played second fiddle to Lucky Dream in two straight, was getting to him late at Mombetsu. Giga King rebounded from his loss in the same stakes to win at Morioka Nov. 15.
Ivanhoe, runner-up to Lucky Dream in their mutual debut, had seconditis through the summer, but has come on to take three of his last four starts. He’s won back-to-back since stretching out to about 7 1/2 furlongs and 1 1/16 miles at his Kanazawa base.
Leitch also comes off two straight scores at Mombetsu and Kawasaki, the latter going about 7 1/2 furlongs at this track. The locally based pair of Arc Angel and the filly Nine Ball have both gone unplaced twice since their maiden wins.
The Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun offers points on a 20-8-4-2 basis to the top four finishers. The two final races on the Japan Road are the Hyacinth back at Tokyo in February and the Fukuryu at Nakayama. 
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