Deep Impact the general ranking champion for the 7th consecutive year
Remarkable advance by Lord Kanaloa, who produced his second generation
General sires ranking
In the 2018 general ranking in Japan, Deep Impact (sire: Sunday Silence (USA)), who has produced nine generations over his career, remained in the top spot from January through the end of the year, becoming the champion sire in this category for the 7th consecutive year.
Wagnerian became Deep Impact’s fourth colt to win the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) (G1). Fierement, Deep Impact’s three-year-old colt, achieved success in the classic races, winning the Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger), the final leg of the Triple Crown races for three-year-olds. Danon Fantasy, Deep Impact’s two-year-old filly, won the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies (GI), raising expectations for 2019. Although unrelated to the general ranking in Japan, it is worth noting that Deep Impact’s colts are also performing strongly abroad, with Saxon Warrior (JPN) winning the 2000 Guineas Stakes (G1) and being backed as 1st favorite in the Derby Stakes (G1) in the UK, and Study of Man (IRE) winning the Prix du Jockey Club (G1) in France. This means Deep Impact is also a top sire on the global stage.
King Kamehameha (sire: Kingmambo (USA)), remained in 2nd place in the sires ranking for a 7th consecutive year. His colt Rey de Oro delivered another strong performance (after his triumph at the 2017 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) (GI)) by winning the Tenno Sho (Autumn) (G1), while his colt Mikki Rocket won the Takarazuka Kinen (G1).
In 3rd place in the sires ranking was Heart’s Cry (sire: Sunday Silence (USA)), whose filly Lys Gracieux won the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1), and whose colt Suave Richard won the Osaka Hai (G1). In addition, his colt Yoshida (JPN) became the first Japan-bred horse to win the US G1 dirt race, Woodward Stakes, a remarkable achievement.
Also worthy of note was Lord Kanaloa (sire: King Kamehameha), who produced his second generation. His first-generation three-year-old filly Almond Eye won all Triple Crown races for fillies [Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas), Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks), Shuka Sho], and triumphed in the 2,400m turf Japan Cup (G1) with a time of 2:20.6, achieving a perfect record over five races throughout the year. In addition, his three-year-old colt Stelvio won the Mile Championship (G1), and his two-year-old colt Saturnalia won the Hopeful Stakes (G1) and its other two races. This put Lord Kanaloa in 7th place in the ranking by only first and second generations.
General two-year-old sires ranking
In the ranking for the two-year-old category, Deep Impact became the 8th champion, retaining the title for the 3rd consecutive year. In this category, his filly Danon Fantasy won the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies (G1) and was selected for the JRA Award for Best Two-Year-Old Filly. In 2nd place for a second consecutive year was Lord Kanaloa (sire: King Kamehameha), who closed in on the top spot by virtue of successive strong performances of his colts and fillies, with Saturnalia winning the Hopeful Stakes (G1), Fantasist winning the Keio Hai Nisai Stakes (G2) and Kokura Nisai Stakes (G3), and Cadence Call winning the Niigata Nisai Stakes (G3).
General first crop sires ranking
The top spot was held by Just a Way (sire: Heart’s Cry), who placed 1st in the 2014 World’s Best Racehorse Rankings with a rating of 130. His colt Admire Justa won two races and finished 2nd in the Hopeful Stakes (G1), while his filly A Will a Way won two races, was awarded the Dahlia Sho (OP), and finished 2nd in the Keio Hai Nisai Stakes (G2). Although his colts and fillies did not secure victories in graded races, they delivered top performance. In 2nd place was Dunkirk (USA) (sire: Unbridled’s Song (USA)), which held the most wins (36) in this category. His colt Meiner Alchemy placed in two JRA open races and earned the most money. The 3rd place was occupied Belshazzar (sire: King Kamehameha), whose colt Gravitation placed in local principal races.