Mission Approved arrives for Japan Cup
Mission Approved arrived in Japan on Friday, November 11, from the United States as the first of four foreign-trained horses slated for this year's Japan Cup (G1, 2,400 meters turf). The 7-year-old bay son of With Approval landed at Narita Airport east of Tokyo and was transported to quarantine facilities at the Japan Racing Association Horseracing School in Shiroi, Chiba prefecture.
According to trainer Naipaul Chatterpaul, the trip went off without a hitch and Mission Approved was doing fine. "He has a good appetite, the trip went well and he's looking as good as he did before coming to Japan," Chatterpaul said. "As for training, we're only going to do fast work once we've moved to Tokyo Racecourse. We'll see how he and the track are tomorrow and decide from there whether we'll take him out onto the track. In any case, we'll only be doing light work."
Mission Approved, owned by Terikcha Chatterpaul, was bred in New York by William F Coyro Jr. He is out of the Fortunate Prospect mare Fortunate Find. Mission Approved has won eight of his 26 starts and notched five seconds and a third to garner him over 67 million yen in earnings. His major performances include a win of the G3 Singspiel Stakes in 2008, a second in the G1 Man O'War Stakes two years later, and a win of the G1 Manhattan Handicap in June of this year at Belmont.
Mission Approved has run all but two of his races in the United States. He ran at Woodbine in the Singspiel Stakes in 2008 and 2009. He is predominately a turf horse, but ran his first four races over dirt at the mile and 1,200 meters. After the move to turf, Chatterpaul has tested him largely at distances between 1,800 and 2,400 meters. His wins, however, have come at a wide range of distances, from 1,200 meters to 2,400 meters. Mission Approved is coming off a fourth-place finish in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic International Stakes (G1, 2,400 meters) on Oct. 1 at Belmont.
Chatterpaul was born and raised in Guyana, South America. He hails from a family that bred, trained and owned horses. Chatterpaul moved to New York in 1988, when he was in his early 20s and tried on a number of wildly divergent jobs before settling into racehorses fulltime. He claimed Mission Approved for $35,000 in June of last year, the year after Chatterpaul took out his license. The New York-bred finished second by a neck to Gio Ponti in the Man o' War Stakes that year.
The Japan Cup, an invitational, will be run on Sunday, Nov. 27 at Tokyo Racecourse. The race boasts a purse of 521 million yen (over $6.5 million), with the winner alone taking home 250 million yen. Mission Approved's partner in the Japan Cup is to be the American-based jockey and native of Mexico Jose Espinoza.