Japan Cup (G1) - comments from eight Japanese runners' connections
Buena Vista, mare, 5 years old
Hiroyoshi Matsuda, trainer
"She has always gotten herself in shape and, I have to hand it to her, she's a tough horse. Her weight is no different but she has really toned up. She is dramatically better than in her last run (the Tenno Sho (Autumn)). She had been lean for that race but she was still soft. Still, to have run as she did under those conditions is quite a feat."
Yasunari Iwata, jockey
"The competition is tougher than her last race, but I think that she is the best horse among them."
Eishin Flash, colt, 4
Hideaki Fujiwara, trainer
(likening his horse to this year's Triple Crown winner Orfevre and referring to jockey Kenichi Ikezoe)
"He has the same racing style as Orfevre and having Ikezoe ride him is a real confidence boost. The world's top fillies are going to have the advantage of the weight allowance but if he can give us what he is capable of giving us, then he can give us results."
Kenichi Ikezoe, jockey
(after 6 furlongs in tandem over the woodchip course at Ritto. Ikezoe won the Mile Championship (G1) last week aboard Eishin Apollon.)
"His responses were good and I think this last bit of fast work will have brought him right up to peak. When he gets a sharpener it helps him relax mentally and if can go to the race Sunday in the same kind of mental state he is in now he can turn in a good performance. I think the Japanese horses are on a par and I have a feeling I'm going to have another week like last."
Pelusa, colt, 4
Kazuo Fujisawa, trainer
(after 5 furlongs in group of 3 over turf at Miho)
"He was able to give me exactly what I asked for. He has relaxed after being given a sharpener."
Norihiro Yokoyama, jockey
"He has improved as I imagined he would."
Rose Kingdom, colt, 4
Ioritz Mendizabal, jockey
(after work in tandem up the hill course)
"He seemed to be leaning out at some point but I got him more onto his right and he ran straight. When I first got on him, he still seemed to be asleep, but once he got out onto the track he woke up and his movement was top-rate."
To the Glory (colt, 4) and Tosen Jordan (horse, 5)
Yasutoshi Ikee, trainer
(has three horses in the Japan Cup, comment after To the Glory and Tosen Jordan worked in tandem over 6 furlongs on the woodchip course at Ritto. To the Glory finished 1 length ahead of Tosen Glory.)
"Both horses ran very well. Tosen Jordan is the type that gets better with a race under his belt. This time, four weeks from his last race, he is on the up and up. Before the Tenno Sho, To the Glory could not get past Tosen Jordan, but these past two weeks in a row, he has finished ahead of him. I think we have ample chance."
Victoire Pisa, colt, 4
Mirco Demuro, jockey
(after working 6 furlongs over a fast woodchip course on
Wednesday, times 82.5 seconds (6f) – 67.5(5f) – 53.1(4f) – 38.8(last3f) – 12.3 second last furlong)
"His responses were good. It's been eight months since he raced and hard training was the right thing for him. He is in good condition, that is something I am confident of. Arc champion Danedream is going to have the advantage racing under 53 kg. It's a G1 and it's not going to be easy to win, but we are going to give it our best. He has good racing sense and a strong desire to win."
Katsuhiko Sumii, trainer
"I can feel that he is now completely in ‘race mode' and I think we have him at his peak."
Win Variation, colt, 3
Katsumi Ando, jockey
(after 6 furlongs in tandem over the woodchip course at Ritto, 83.3 seconds total with 12.5-second final furlong. )
"I only pushed him over the last furlong and he moved well. I feel he's mentally up and eager to race. He's maintained the same condition he was in for the Kikuka Sho (2nd place finish) and the wide open track at Tokyo will make racing easy for him."