2016 News

December 22, 2016


Arima Kinen (The Grand Prix) (G1) - Comments from runners' connections
Nikkei Sho (G2)
Admire Deus

Admire Deus (horse, 5)

Mitsuru Hashida, trainer
“On Dec. 7, he looked a little heavy in his movement, but as the race has gotten closer, he’s shown improvement in training. In his last race in the Grade 1 Tenno Sho (Autumn), he wasn’t able to get a good finish in. It’s important that he gets into the flow of a race.  More than Tokyo, I think Nakayama suits him better.”

Yasunari Iwata, jockey
“From the gate position, I’ll be able to keep tabs on where the other horses are running in the race, and if I can handle him well, with the condition he’s in, he has a chance.”

Sports Nippon Sho Stayers Stakes (G2)

Albert (horse, 5)

Atsunori Hashimoto, assistant trainer
“He’s been training as usual doing work up the hill. Compared to last year, he’s in the same condition. It’ll be his third start since his break in the middle of the year, so he’s still showing a lot of strength. It’s possibly a stronger field than last year; I worry about that.”

Keita Tosaki, jockey
“We’ve drawn an outside gate, but I want to ride a good race by getting into useful positions throughout the race.”

Copa Republica Argentina (G2)
Cheval Grand

Cheval Grand (colt, 4)

Yasuo Tomomichi, trainer
“There’s no tiredness after his last race, so we’ve been able to work him well in training.  I’d say his condition has improved compared to before, and he’s in better shape than he was for his last race. I think the Nakayama course is fine for him, and I’d like good ground on the day.”

Yusuke Hayashi, assistant trainer
“He drew wide last time, and it didn’t help him having to run wider, and he got just a little too far back in the race.”

Yuichi Fukunaga, jockey
“Hopefully I can get a good position during the first half of the race. He won’t be in the gate too long, which is good. Observing the other horses in the run, I want to get a good position with him.”

Kansai Telecasting Corp. Sho Rose Stakes (Shuka Sho Trial) (G2)
Denim and Ruby

Denim and Ruby (mare, 6)

Kazuya Maekawa, assistant trainer
“There’s no damage from her last run, and she’s been working well on the slope. She was a bit timid in her last race, but when she displays more tenacity, that’s best for her.  She’ll be in better condition than she was for her last race. She’s quite easy to control, and we’ve got her to take the bit at the right time. This race has been her target, and if she can find the flow of the race and produce her best over the 2,500 meters at Nakayama, we’re looking forward to what she can do.”

Mickael Barzalona, jockey
“She’s not a horse that starts quickly. I’ll try to ride her so she is able to produce a good finish down the home straight.”

Sankei Sho All Comers (G2)
Gold Actor

Gold Actor (horse, 5)

Tadashige Nakagawa, trainer
“He was just a little heavy for his race in the Japan Cup, so in recent training we’ve worked him accordingly, and hopefully he’ll go into this race at just under 500 kgs. His last piece of work was fine. The jockey knows all about the horse, so there are no worries there, and the horse is in similar condition to when he won last year.”

Toshiaki Sasajima, assistant trainer
“Even though he won the race last year, I want to forget that and look on him as a challenger for this year’s race. If he shows his best form, I think he can go close.”

Hayato Yoshida, jockey
“There’s no change in him from last year when he won. I’m obviously aware of the strong horses in the race, but this time too, I will ride him to the best of my ability to get a result here as well.”

Meguro Kinen (G2)
Hit the Target

Hit the Target (horse, 8)

Keiji Kato, trainer
“He’s a horse that can’t run on bad ground. Ideally, an inside gate is best, where he can get a position on the fence and just have a ground saving run all the way round, hoping for a run at the end of the race.”

Hironobu Tanabe, jockey
“It’s good we haven’t drawn the widest of gates. I want to ride him in a way where we don’t get caught out of a handy position.”

Japan Cup (International Invitational) (G1)
Kitasan Black

Kitasan Black (colt, 4)

Hisashi Shimizu, trainer
“First, it’s an honor to train the horse the fans have chosen as their No. 1, and I would love to win from that aspect alone. Even before his debut, the stride this horse has on him had us thinking he was a Grade 1 performer. Now we rely on the jockey (Yutaka Take) who rides him so well. The horse has developed very well since last year, he’s bigger and stronger. He’s had the same training routine, and we hope for a result here too.  With an incident free run, I think he can confirm his performance last time. I’m not worried about his rivals – I don’t think about that. My job is to get the horse into the best condition. I’d like an inside gate.”

Yutaka Take, jockey
“In the Japan Cup, another horse didn’t want to lead, so I took the initiative, and the responses I got, including in the final straight, were great. It feels good to be associated with the No. 1 horse the fans have chosen. The horse himself gives me confidence. He’s the type of horse I don’t have any worries about at all. It’s the last big race of the year, so I want to do my best and win.”

Fukushima Kinen (G3)
Maltese Apogee

Maltese Apogee (colt, 4)

Masahiro Horii, trainer
“The horse is showing he has power, as can be seen from his recent races. Where he breaks from is certainly to be considered, the way he runs. And getting him to run smoothly is another factor. With the form he’s in, he has to challenge this race.”

Tomoharu Bushizawa, jockey
“I think the draw is fine. He’s been doing well in training and keeping his condition. He’s only run at 2,000 meters so far, but if he finds his rhythm things should be fine. He consumes less energy if other horses are with him, but if we go off in front, I worry a little about the noise from the crowd when passing the stands.”

Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1)

Marialite (mare, 5)

Takashi Kubota, trainer
“She’s a horse that runs and runs, and I’ve been satisfied with her in training. She’s more balanced than earlier this autumn. She has won at Nakayama, and won well, and naturally I’d like her to do so here in similar fashion. She ran pretty well last year to finish fourth, and drew Gate 16. I’d have liked something better this time too, but I’m not too concerned about that.”

Kazutaka Ikeuchi, assistant trainer
“There’s no big change since her last race, but she feels similar to how she was for last year’s Queen Elizabeth II Cup. I think she’ll be fine with the ground, and we want her to do her best in her last race.”

Masayoshi Ebina, jockey
“She won the Takarazuka Kinen from Gate 16, so wouldn’t it be good if she could do the same here. I want to do my best and make sure she runs a good race.”

Shuka Sho (G1)
Mikki Queen

Mikki Queen (filly, 4)

Yasutoshi Ikee, trainer
“She’s a special filly with a lot of guts, but taking on male horses and older horses at the top level will not prove easy. I can’t think too much about her condition and taking on the race, but we have to pitch in here and see what she can do, especially given the way she finishes off in her races.”

Suguru Hamanaka, jockey
“We’ve got a good draw, I think, not too high, not too low. She’s a filly with a lot of potential, and I want to do the best I can with her.”

Meguro Kinen (G2)

Mousquetaire (horse, 8)

Yasuo Tomomichi, trainer
“There’s no big change in his condition for an older horse. I think he can run like he did last time. He’s better at going right-handed now. Even though there hasn’t been much time between his races, if he gets to find his rhythm, we’ll see what he can do amongst the strong field.”

Yuta Nakatani, jockey
“The gate’s fine for him – he doesn’t need to go off in front. It’s a question of getting him to adjust to the flow of the race.”

Samson's Pride
Samson's Pride

Samson's Pride (horse, 6)

Hiroaki Sugiura, trainer
“He’s worked well in training. Timing is important with him, as well as showing fast speed. I think he’s better than in the summer, and looks well in his coat. He lost some ground last time between the third and fourth corners in the Stayers Stakes, but still finished seventh. If he gets a good run, it’ll be interesting to see what he can do here.”

Norihiro Yokoyama, jockey
“I’m pleased to have a ride in the race. I think the draw is a good one for him.”

Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) (G1)
Satono Diamond

Satono Diamond (colt, 3)

Yasutoshi Ikee, trainer
“His responses in training have been good. His back has gotten better, and he seems fine in all aspects. It’s going to be difficult for a 3-year-old, but he can surely challenge to be the top here. In the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) earlier this year, he was disadvantaged by having to make up a lot of ground. I think he handles Nakayama fine.”

Christophe Lemaire, jockey
“I’ve ridden him in all his races since his debut through to Grade 1 races. The horse gave me my first Classic win here in Japan. He’s a great horse, easy to ride, and with so much potential. I want to win the Arima Kinen. Obviously, Kitasan Black is strong, but I want to make it a match race with him and my horse. We’ll have to see what gate we get and the pace of the race.”

Naruo Kinen (G3)
Satono Noblesse

Satono Noblesse (horse, 6)

Yasutoshi Ikee, trainer
“I’d like to see him go more forward from the gate, racing in third or fourth would be ideal. He seemed a little heavy last time, but he’s just right now, I believe.”

Yuki Iwasaki, assistant trainer
“There’s no change with him, and everything’s been satisfactory. We’ve just worked on getting him to finish fast at the end of his work. He’s fallen just short of winning a Grade 1, but he’s got power, and in his current condition, we want him to give it his best shot here.”

Arima Kinen (The Grand Prix) (G1)
Sounds of Earth (Yello cap)

Sounds of Earth (horse, 5)

Kenichi Fujioka, trainer
“In the Japan Cup, he couldn’t quite get into the flow of the race with the leading horse setting a good gallop. He needs to really get his turn of foot in when it counts. He finished second in last year’s Arima Kinen, so I think the course and the trip suit him. An inside gate would be good. The jockey knows the horse well, so I’m hoping we can finally win a big race with the horse.”

Mirco Demuro, jockey
“He’s stronger in the winter, more than the spring. He ran well enough in the Japan Cup, and a horse came out from the inside to just take a little of our momentum close to home. I’m not worried about the course or distance this time. The important things are the pace and the draw. It’s a strong field, but in the last Grade 1 of the year, I want to do my best.”

Kinko Sho (G2)
Yamakatsu Ace

Yamakatsu Ace (colt, 4)

Kaneo Ikezoe, trainer
“I think he’ll be fine with the long transportation this time. He’d lost weight at the time of the Tenno Sho (Autumn), which might have contributed to the result that time. I’d like an inside gate this time. I think the distance is the key, as well as a ground saving run.  Of course, the opposition’s strong, but we’ll see what he has to offer this time.”

Kenichi Ikezoe, jockey
“We haven’t pushed him too hard in training. He’s in good shape. He hasn’t run at the distance, but it’s my job to ride him effectively and get him to produce his best effort.”


Sources: Keiba Book, Net Keiba, Nikkan Sports and Sports Hoichi

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