04/07/2006 12:00AM

Japan's best assembled for Guineas


A highly competitive renewal of the Grade 1, $1.76 million Oka Sho, or Japanese 1000 Guineas, at Hanshin on Sunday has attracted the winners of all eight graded stakes run for 2- and 3-year-old fillies in Japan this year and last, as well as 10 of the top 11 ranked juvenile fillies of 2005.

T M Precure earned the 2-year-old filly title with her win last December in the Grade 1 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies over the Oka Sho course and distance of one mile.

A daughter of Paradise Creek, T M Precure was only fourth most recently, however, in the Grade 3 Tulip Sho at one mile on March 4, when Oka Sho rivals Admire Kiss, Shells Lei, and Win Cynthia all finished ahead of her.

Admire Kiss is a late-blooming Sunday Silence filly who will be ridden by Yutaka Take, but the preference is for Daiwa Passion, a daughter of Forty Niner who prepped with a 1 3/4-length victory over Yumeno Ora in the Grade 2 Hochi Hai Fillies Revue at seven furlongs at Hanshin on March 12. She has drawn perfectly in post 4, from where rider Kodai Hasegawa can use her tracking speed to good effect in the 18-runner field.

Recent Grade 3 winners Kiss to Heaven and Koiuta must also be considered.