2017 News

June 23, 2017


Takarazuka Kinen (G1) - Comments from runners' connections
Copa Republica Argentina (G2)
Cheval Grand

Cheval Grand (horse, 5)

Yasuo Tomomichi, trainer
“We kept him at the training center when we were getting ready for the Tenno Sho (Spring), but this time we had more time between races, so we sent him to Norhern Farm Shigaraki (training farm) for about two weeks. He came back refreshed and we’ve been training with this race as our target. On June 7, he had a strong workout running solo, and on June 14, the jockey rode him and worked in tandem. We didn’t push him and he looked good. This week, the ground was bad and it took more time but the assistant riding said ‘He ran solidly.’ Last week, the jockey rode, and two weeks ago the assistant was up and he has gotten long workouts. He’s ready and he’s better than he was for his last start. Last year, he took on this race because he’d done well in the Tenno Sho (Spring), but the Takarazuka Kinen was his fourth race from the beginning of the year and if I think about it now, he was probably tired. Compared to that time, he’s in better shape this year. These days, he’s able to get a pretty good position and keep up with the pace. He’s always been pretty versatile. There are strong horses in the lineup, but I’m hopeful.”

Clarity City (horse, 6)

Hiroyuki Uehara, trainer
“This horse had a forward position in the Epsom Cup, but if you consider the condition of the track that day, I think the jockey did a real good job riding. This horse has had problems with his hooves and it was hard with that to get him race ready. He couldn’t give it his best. Now, however, he has no problems and I think that is helping to bring us good results. I think the best course for him is one with a flat homestretch, like Kyoto. But, I think one with a hill in the stretch is OK. The competition is going to be stronger than what he’s had recently. In the shape he’s in now, we’ll just have to see how far he can go.”

Sankei Sho All Comers (G2)
Gold Actor

Gold Actor (horse, 6)

Tadashige Nakagawa, trainer
“In the pre-parade ring before the Tenno Sho (Spring), I think he may have been a bit too quiet for this horse. There were surely many factors that contributed to his loss but to name a couple, he was slow out of the gate and unable to keep up with the pace. It was unfortunate because he didn’t get to run his race. We kept him at the training center afterward and had him out on the course first thing in the morning of June 15. The jockey was riding and he looked good over the first half and he got his wind back immediately after the workout. He had a good gallop then, so if that will get him switched on, it will be great. We’ve got the long trip to the track this time and we’ll have to think about the possibility of it being hot, so I’m trying a lot of different things to get him ready. If he’s in good spirits on raceday, I think he’ll show us what he’s capable of doing.”

Meguro Kinen (G2)
Hit the Target

Hit the Target (horse, 9)

Keiji Kato, trainer
“He had a good solid workout on June 14 up the hill course and I think we’ll see improvement. Last race, the jockey said the horse wasn’t quite on his game, so I’ve put blinkers on him. I’m hoping we’ll get good results with those. With the small field this time, I think he’ll be able to move to the inside early on, so I’m not that concerned about the draw. The going is more of a concern. With it being the rainy season, the weather will be unpredictable and this horse doesn’t do well over softer ground. The competition is stiff. We’ll see just how well he can do.”

Tenno Sho (Spring) (G1)
Kitasan Black

Kitasan Black (horse, 5)

Hisashi Shimizu, trainer
“I think he ran a very strong race in the Tenno Sho (Spring). He was more powerful that I had imagined he would be and he really has matured into an incredible horse. He’s really something. After that race, he did get a lot leaner and he was somewhat tired. It’s not that he’s ailing at all, so we did bring him back into training early. He’s sturdy and recovers well. He’s outstanding in many ways, including his heart and lung capacity. I’ve laid out my plan counting back from raceday and, so far, all has gone according to that plan. His workout last week went well and he’s getting good times as well. I think he looks good. He’s a horse that the more you push him, the more he’ll do. He gets himself ready in many ways. This week, there was no need to push him that much. He’d been a lot tenser last year. He’s much calmer now and he looks good. Even though the ground was slow, he quickened nicely. It’s a tight schedule but he’s in good shape. Last year’s results were frustrating, but he has become much stronger since then. He’s a different horse now. If he can win three Grade 1 races in a row, he’ll go down in history. I’m being careful not to overdo it while at the same time still focusing on getting the very best results.”

Sankeisports Hai Hanshin Himba (G2)
Mikki Queen

Mikki Queen (mare, 5)

Yasutoshi Ikee, trainer
“Last year, she had injured a ligament in her left foreleg and we hadn’t been able to race her to the left. But that injury healed and, this year, because it was a spring Grade 1 we decided to race her in the Victoria Mile. But, she was favoring the leg that had been injured and she kept changing leads. Because she hadn’t raced all out, she didn’t need to recover much after the race, which was good. She came back from Northern Farm Shigaraki (training farm) on June 7. Her appetite was good, her stomach was good and she was able to get enough exercise. On June 15, I gave instructions to push her hard in the final stage of her fast work since the race was getting close. And it was a good workout. She looked good. Her best distance is mid-distance. She can handle bad going, but a fast track would be preferable. Even up against male horses, I think she’ll be able to hold her own.”

Nikkei Shinshun Hai (G2)
Mikki Rocket

Mikki Rocket (colt, 4)

Hidetaka Otonashi, assistant trainer
“He was acting up in the gate in the Osaka Hai and he just wasn’t in the right mind to have raced. He didn’t break that slowly, but he couldn’t get momentum and ended up racing from behind. Normally, he’d race from a good position or midfield. We gave him time off after that and gave him gate practice when he came back to the training center and he has been getting regular work. For the past two weeks, he worked in tandem with another horse and he has gotten leaner with each workout. He’ll be just right after this week’s workout. The position he gets in the race will be key, so I really want him to break well. It’s good to have a small field and it would be good if he can get a position where he can keep an eye on Kitasan Black.”

Rainbow Line
Rainbow Line

Rainbow Line (colt, 4)

Keiichi Asami, assistant trainer
“In the Tenno Sho (Spring), the pace wasn’t as slow as I thought it would be. It was a good pace all the way and this horse ran from the rear the whole way. He ran second in the Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger), so he can handle distance, but I think his best is a shorter race, so the 2,200 meters of this race are welcome. Nothing much has changed in the meantime. We gave him a bit of time off and then brought him back to the training center three weeks ago. He worked with another horse on June 11 and all has gone well. Two races ago, he didn’t get a clear run and wasn’t able to give it his all, but he did gain some ground in the end and it wasn’t as bad as the trip he’d gotten in the Japan Cup. He has sufficient strength and if he can get a smooth run, I know he has good late speed.”

Kyoto Kinen (G2)
Satono Crown

Satono Crown (horse, 5)

Kazutomo Mori, assistant trainer
“I think the reason he lost the Osaka Hai was in part due to the distance and I have the impression that the winner was a horse that is very good over 2,000 meters. We took him to Northern Farm Shigarki (training farm) and he was back at the training center on May 20. He was a bit soft from the time off, but he was completely over any fatigue he had from last race. He weighed 509kg on June 6 and 506kg on June 13. He’s tuning up well and he has definitely improved. There is one very strong horse in this field, but the small number of runners will make racing easier. The extra distance for him this time should be good for him too. Last year he was tense and on edge and finished in sixth place. Even though he has gotten used to long hauls in the van, he did lose weight the last time we trucked him in. I’m hoping he’ll be able to maintain his weight going into the race.”

Nikkei Sho (G2)

Sciacchetra (colt, 4)

Kazuya Maekawa, assistant trainer
“The Tenno Sho (Spring) competition was top class and Kitasan Black was just too good. This horse had an inside draw but was left behind. The jockey sent him forward and he did get a good position. He finished in ninth place but he did get experience in a Grade 1 race. His career is still young and the experience will stand him well. It wasn’t a tragedy. He had a bit of time off and we brought him back to the training center with this race as our target. He has gotten regular work and, with each workout, he has gotten better. When he was 3 years old, he would get sore shins easily and he was rather weak. But now he’s stronger and he can handle hard work. The jockey rode him over the course last week and he told me the horse’s responses were good and he felt good. This week we didn’t push him. He’s no longer looking weak anywhere. He’s full of energy. I don’t think the Hanshin 2,200 meters is a bad course for him and, as for the weather, it’s not a worry if it rains. I have my hopes up.”

Spirits Minoru
Spirits Minoru

Spirits Minoru (horse, 5)

Hirokazu Hashimoto, assistant trainer
“He had a good break in the Naruo Kinen, one of his best in a long time. His early speed has gotten better bit by bit and he was able to get a better position and run closer to the pace in that race, but he lost ground switching tracks in the stretch. If things had gone more smoothly there, I think he’d have made third or fourth place. Still, I think he showed us that he has the ability to hold his own in a graded-stakes race. Last week’s workout was late in the morning when the track isn’t at its best. His responses were so-so and I wouldn’t say it was his best work but his time wasn’t bad. After the Tenno Sho (Spring), he was still somewhat fatigued, so if you compare his work now to his work before his last race, it is still better now. He didn’t run his own race in his Grade 1 start before, so the small field this time is a good thing. I’m hoping he’ll show some of the tenacity he has shown in his Grade 2 and Grade 3 races and that it will work in his favor.”


Sources: keibabook, Netkeiba

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