2018 News

May 11, 2018


Victoria Mile (G1) - Comments from runners' connections
Hokkaido Shimbun Hai Queen Stakes (G3)
Aerolithe (filly, 4)

Takanori Kikuzawa, trainer
“In her last race, the Nakayama Kinen, she was running with good rhythm in second position, but when they turned for the stretch the eventual winner was bearing in on her from the outside, which made for a tough race. But she dug down and was able to pass the frontrunner. She lost, but she put up a good fight against the male horses. She had gained weight but she had lost weight before the Shuka Sho and she didn’t look fat last race. I’m not worried, considering that she’s growing. Keita Tosaki rode her on May 2 and I think he got a good reading on her. All has gone well since she returned to the training center on April 20 and it looks like she’ll head into the race in good shape. Her responses are good when racing to the left and she’s won a Grade 1 at Tokyo, so the change of venue will be good for her. She’s one of the strongest females and I think she’ll turn in a good race here.”

Victoria Mile (G1)
Admire Lead
Admire Lead (mare, 5)

Naosuke Sugai, trainer
“She came to my stable in the spring of her 3-year-old year. She was high-strung and from the beginning I thought she was going to need kid-glove care. Last year going in to the Queen Stakes, she’d been moved from farm to farm and from Hakodate to Sapporo and with all the change of scenery, she’d gotten pretty nervous. I sure don’t think we’ll go to Hokkaido this year. I kept her at Ritto from last fall and she’s finally back to her best. In the Hanshin Himba Stakes, Mirco Demuro said that if she’d had a clear run she’d have won. She can clock 32 seconds something over the final 3 furlongs on a fast track, and she can handle any kind of race. She’s in really good shape now and when Mirco agreed when he rode her in work last week. Last year, I always had to watch that she wouldn’t lose condition, but this year she maintains it well. I’d say she’s in better shape than she was last year. In her last start, she didn’t go all out but finished only 0.1 seconds off the winner. She has ample chance of winning.”

Dea Regalo
Dea Regalo
Dea Regalo (filly, 4)

Masahiro Otake, trainer
“Last race, the trip to the track took two hours longer than it usually does and perhaps for that reason she was strangely quiet and didn’t finish her feed, which she always does. The pace was slow too and she was much keener than she’s been before. Still, she moved ahead of the winner at one point by about a head and ran solidly to the very end. I think she did a really good job for a graded-stakes race. We sent her to the farm for a bit as usual and she came back to the training center nice and lean. Key will be how balanced she’ll be running. She has gotten worked up from the saddling enclosure at Tokyo, so I’m hoping to get past that OK.”

Artemis Stakes (G3)
Denko Ange
Denko Ange (mare, 5)

Jun Sato, assistant trainer
“Last race, her wide draw worked to her advantage as it was easier for her to keep an eye on things. Still, if she runs alongside another horse, she has a tendency to not want to pass and I think if there’d been a bit more distance between her and the others it would have been better. This is the same rotation she had last year when she finished second in the Victoria Mile. She always improves after a race. And this year after the Fukushima Himba Stakes, I think she came out of the race better than last year. She should look good going into this race. The Tokyo mile is one of her best races and I think we have something to look forward to even if she draws wide.”

Aichi Hai (G3)
Eterna Minoru
Eterna Minoru (mare, 5)

Masaru Honda, trainer
“She missed the break last out in the Hanshin Himba Stakes and that took its toll. But she did run solidly in the final stages and demonstrated her ability. The gate is something that needs to be worked on. She has come along well since her last start and I have no complaints. She looked good in work last week. She doesn’t have trouble with the trip to the track itself but she does get easily agitated in general. Key will be if she’s calm on race day because it will affect her start for one. If she can break decently and go with the flow, she shouldn’t be far off the others.”

Jour Polaire
Jour Polaire
Jour Polaire (mare, 5)

Masato Nishizono, trainer
“She gained well in the latter stages of the Hanshin Himba Stakes, but the pace had been slow. The track was a bit yielding and I think that had an effect too. She worked on the hill course on May 2 and clocked 51.2 seconds. I think her movement was fantastic and it looks like she has vastly improved from her last race. Her breathing is good too. She finished a frustrating third in this race last year and she tried hard despite the shifty ground. A hard fast track would be ideal and, under those conditions, I think she could do even better. The distance two races ago was too far for her and, like her brother Sadamu Patek, I think the mile is her best.”

Laurel R.C. Sho Nakayama Himba Stakes (G3)
Kawakita Enka
Kawakita Enka (filly, 4)

Tamio Hamada, trainer
“In the Fukushima Himba Stakes last out, she was the one everyone was watching, much more so than the race before that. Still, she managed to hold her ground and finish in second place. I think having brought her out onto the track before the others prior to the race worked well too. She was much more relaxed. There are only two full weeks between races this time and she’ll have the long haul to the track again. She’s on her toes and I plan to only do a bit to get her ready. A mile run to the left is definitely not her best race. But I think the pressure will be off and she won’t be marked and things should go well if she can run at her own pace. I’m hoping this race will help to expand her options.”

Kyoto Himba Stakes (G3)
Let's Go Donki
Let's Go Donki (mare, 5)

Yoshiaki Terada, assistant trainer
“Before the Takamatsunomiya Kinen, she’d filled out again and gotten lots of work and was in good shape. She had a smooth trip and quickened nicely in the stretch. She ran well, but from the results, I’d have to say that she must have made her move a bit early. We kept her at the training center after that and she has been very relaxed. She was coming off a sprint and before that we’d had the jockey ride to get her switched on, but since it’s a mile this time we’ve been careful not to get her worked up. Her movement is good and things are going well. She has a lot of ability and I think she’ll be able to handle the mile. She always runs well and she is in good shape.”

Tokyo Shimbun Hai (G3)
Lys Gracieux
Lys Gracieux (filly, 4)

Yutaka Take, jockey
“I thought the pace would be slow in the Hanshin Himba Stakes, but she is not the most nimble of horses and the pace was even slower than I’d imagined. That hurt. Nonetheless, she ran well. She has always worked very well in morning training and she did last week too when I rode her. Her time was better than I thought it would be. She’s much stronger now than she was compared to this time last year. She’s in good condition too. I didn’t ride this week as they told me she didn’t need much of a workout. She has gotten good results and she has raced over a number of distances, but I do think the mile is best for her. She has always been high-strung and will likely be more so at Tokyo. But she’s gotten results there and I think the course suits her. Also, it’s an all-female race and this is her best chance to win a Grade 1. She is still not consistent out of the gate though and that’s a concern. As a 3-year-old old, she would tense up if she was running with other horses and would want to stop – this year in both her starts she ran with the others and there were no problems.”

Maids of Honour (filly, 4)

Nobuyuki Tashiro, assistant trainer
“The pace was slow in the Uzushio Stakes, but the jockey’s judgment was excellent and she was able to get a good position. Her time over the final 3 furlongs was 33.2 seconds and the race was a good demonstration of how much she has matured. After that race we sent her the farm to refresh and she came back unchanged, in a good sense. She worked on the woodchip flat course last week, ran well and got a good time. At the mile, she runs nicely balanced and she can run from any position. Her results last out over a course with only one turn was a good experience for her. She has talent, as you can see from her run in the Aichi Hai, where she finished in fifth place despite having to cover more ground, and by her win last out at the 16-million-yen (3-win class) level.”

Sankeisports Hai Hanshin Himba Stakes (G2)
Miss Panthere
Miss Panthere (filly, 4)

Mitsugu Kon, trainer
“With an eye to a Grade 1 race, the jockey has tried a variety of positions over her last few races and she has gotten fantastic results. She has always liked running in with the pack, but she has learned to move out and can now handle any kind of pace. Her last start didn’t take much out of her. She came out of the race well, wasn’t agitated and has been eating well. Last week, she worked on the flat, was relaxed and ran solidly in the finish. She has improved from last race. At the stable she is so full of energy, it’s almost scary. This week she was really calm. This will be her first race to the left since the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks), but she looks better in work training to the left. And she doesn’t tend to lose weight during the trip to the track. The competition has progressively gotten harder as we aimed her for this race and she has still had the weight advantage. Still, I’m confident because we’re returning to this venue after having gotten solid results. She can handle any race now. The track was officially fast for her last start but actually was close to slightly yielding. That didn’t suit her, but she still won, proof of how strong she’s gotten. I’m hoping for a hard, fast track this time.”

One to One (mare, 5)

Kenichi Fujioka, trainer
“The pace of the Hanshin Himba Stakes last out was too slow and apparently not to her liking. She did quicken in the final stages though and I don’t consider her results anything tragic. After the race, things went fine with her and last week we worked her hard up the hill course. Recently she hadn’t been getting good times in work, but this time she did. She has put on weight and is stronger and, naturally, I think she’ll have improved. She won strongly two starts ago and, considering the track condition, I think that a change to Tokyo will be a plus. It’s a Grade 1 race and the competition will be stiff, but she has good late speed and if she gets a trip to her liking, I think we’ll have something to look forward to.”

Queen's Milagro
Queen's Milagro
Queen's Milagro (mare, 6)

Kenji Nonaka, trainer
“In her last race, the horses close to the pace all were able to hold their ground and she was late out of the gate, which took its toll. Still, she did run well in the final stages and showed that she has good ability. Things went well after that race and she has sharpened up considerably. She looked fine in last week’s workout and I think we’ll have her in good shape. She has late speed and I think she has what it takes to do well here if she breaks decently and can run at her pace.”

Kansai Telecasting Corp. Sho Rose Stakes (Shuka Sho Trial) (G2)
Rabbit Run
Rabbit Run (filly, 4)

Yasuyuki Tsujino, assistant trainer
“She’s not very nimble where quick manuveuring is called for, so it’s better to bring her out wide in the stretch. So, with the pace as slow as it was in the Hanshin Himba Stakes, I don’t think her results could be helped. She did gain ground near the goal and her finish wasn’t as bad as the ninth place makes it sound. She was easily agitated as a 3-year-old but she has settled down now and her appetite has also stabilized. She has gotten good work and is full of energy. I think the last race has toughened her up. The Tokyo course, with its long stretch, should suit her. Then we have the trip, of course, but I’m hoping she’ll have a fast track to bring out her quick turn of foot.”

Red Avancer
Red Avancer
Red Avancer (mare, 5)

Hidetaka Otonashi, trainer
“In her start before the Hanshin Himba Stakes, she may have been helped by the early slow pace that brought it down to a contest of late speed. That said, she has always had power. She went after the frontrunner and eventual winner. She wasn’t able to catch her, but was neck and neck to the finish. I think it was obvious that she was just as strong as the winner. She’s gotten regular work since then and she worked in tandem on May 2 with the open-class America’s Cup. We urged her on and she finished ahead of the other. This week she worked up the hill. I think she’s stronger than she was last year. The mile is a good distance for her and there is no problem with the Tokyo course.”

Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) (G1)
Reine Minoru
Reine Minoru (filly, 4)

Masaru Honda, trainer
“She gave us a good, close race until the finish in the Takamatsunomiya Kinen up against tough competitors. Two races ago, her return to the training center had been delayed due to snow. Last race we were able to get her ready as usual. This will be the third start since returning from a layoff and she’s on her toes. Her workout last week was very good. She has early speed, enough to lead, and it should be even easier for her to take the lead in a 1,600-meter race. Her balance will be an important factor. If she can run at her own pace and keep something in reserve, I think she can do well here.”

Rhein Tesoro
Rieno Tesoro
Rieno Tesoro (filly, 4)

Ryo Takei, trainer 
“I wasn’t able to have her in perfect shape going in to the Grade 1 last race and that does bother me. She had a rest after that and has looked good after returning to the training center. She hadn’t been concentrating recently, but now for the first time in a while, she seems to be back on her game. It looks like we should be able to have her in the best shape for a race yet. She ran second in the NHK Mile Cup last year and the warmer weather this time of year seems to suit her. She seems to run best with a strong pace over distances in the 1,200-1,600 range and in this range I don’t think we have to worry about her losing her rhythm. Running with other females suits her personality. I’m hoping she’ll give it her best.”

Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) (G1)
Soul Stirring
Soul Stirring (filly, 4)

Daisuke Tsumagari, assistant trainer
“The pace in the Hanshin Himba Stakes was slow and then the final stages were extremely fast. There was nowhere to take a breather at all. The results would have been different if there had been a stronger pace in the beginning. After that, we’ve trained her over more distance and our main objective has been getting her to relax. We pushed her hard in a solo run on May 1. It was a very good workout. If we can get a brisk pace, unlike last race, even if it’s a tough race it’ll be good for her. It will be her first time over the mile at Tokyo, but I think the venue definitely suits her.”


Sources: Keiba Book, Netkeiba, Tokyo Sports, Sankei Sports

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