2018 News

November 9, 2018


Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1) - Comments from runners' connections
Victoria Mile (G1)
Admire Lead

Admire Lead (mare, 5)

Naosuke Sugai, trainer
“After returning to the training center she was very relaxed, too relaxed and though she did pick it up in the finish in the Fuchu Himba Stakes, I didn’t feel that she was on her toes as she usually is. Because she’s so calm, I think the mile is too busy for her. I think 2,200 meters suits her better. Last week she worked on the flat with another horse and her last race has sharpened her up. I think the wide-open course is good for her and from her pedigree and because since she’s a calm horse, I think she’ll be able to manage the distance. She does have a tendency to stop running, so with the extra distance, that will be key.”

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

Cantabile (filly, 3)

Yasuyuki Tsujino, assistant trainer
“For the Shuka Sho, I had imagined a position further forward but she was late out of the gate and raced from behind. But she flew down the stretch and showed us a new side of her. She has matured a lot from the spring and having increased her racing options was a big gain. She showed more fatigue after the Shuka Sho then she had after the Rose Stakes, so we’ve only been giving her light work, including lots of hand-walking and pool work. She’s had two races in the fall so she doesn’t need that much work. Mainly, her fast work has been up the hill course and her responses have been good over the last furlong, so I think she’ll go to the gate in the same shape as she was for the Shuka Sho. Distance-wise, she hit a wall in the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks), but she has developed further now and I think she’ll be able to handle the extra furlong. I think she’ll be OK on the outer course as well. She’ll be up against older horses for the first time and it’s hard to say how she’ll compare, but I do think if she can draw on her ability, she’ll be fine.”

Corcovado (mare, 5)

Yuya Tsuchida, assistant trainer
“She was moving up nicely and looked like she was going to win the Tancho Stakes but she and the horse that won had the same racing style and he was able to beat her. But it was her first time stabled at the track and, considering that she was a bit off her feed, it wasn’t a bad race. Since mid-October, we’ve worked her mainly on the hill course, but last week she worked on the woodchip flat. She really moved well and everything is looking good. She’s used to Miho now and eating again. I think her constitution has improved as well. Jockey Suguru Hamanaka won on her two races ago and I like the way they work together. The more open turns of Kyoto should suit her better than a smaller track and even though the lineup is strong I think she will measure up.” 

Ireland Trophy Fuchu Himba Stakes (G2)

Crocosmia (mare, 5)

Katsuichi Nishiura, trainer
“Last out in the Fuchu Himba Stakes, she raced in second position, ran smoothly and it wasn’t a bad race overall. She needed just a bit more in the final stage but she was blocked in front and she was tense. She can hold back but I do think her best style is to take the lead. All has gone as planned since and with little time between races, I think 55-some seconds up the hill course on Oct. 31 was fine. The ground was soft too. Her movement was good and she looks to have gained muscle. I think she improved with the sharpener. It was a difficult race for her last year and, again, her ideal race is one where she can lead. I’m hoping she’ll get to run her race this time.”

Aichi Hai (G3)
Eterna Minoru

Eterna Minoru (mare, 5)

Masaru Honda, trainer
“She likes it when she is stabled at the racetrack, so she was calm while in Hokkaido. The gate has always been her problem, but she has been good recently and ran three solid races. I think she’s shown us she can give us an honest race if she can run at her own pace. She had time off so she’s fresh. Her return to the training center was delayed due to a typhoon so I switched plans and aimed her here. She has gotten regular work and has been nice and calm since returning. She’s going in without a prep but if things continue to go well, I think she’ll be fine. The gate has always been a problem but I think her current mental state will allow her to break well. If she runs her own race, she should do well.”

Frontier Queen
Frontier Queen

Frontier Queen (mare, 5)

Sakae Kunieda, trainer
“In the Fuchu Himba Stakes in her last start, she had her eye on the frontrunners and went with the pace but she had trouble making her move and that made the difference between her and the two that beat her to the finish line. She ran solidly to the end though and it wasn’t a bad race. We kept her at the training center after that to get her ready for here. She has maintained her condition and we took her first time on the hill on Oct. 31. Since we haven’t overworked her, she is in good shape and I think she moved well. This week in fast work, she could have been a bit lighter on her feet, but her training partner was fast. She’s eating well and I think she looks good. She’s not difficult to settle so I think the distance is well within her ability and she has done well up against strong competition before. She should measure up here well. She always gives it her best and I think a run like her last race, where she moved up slowly, will work well here. If her timing is good, I think she has a chance.”

Happy Yunibansu (mare, 6)

Osamu Hirata, trainer
“She showed us something new in the Tancho Stakes last out. She moved early and really gave it her all. I’d had the Copa Republica Argentina and the Fukushima Kinen in my sights as well, but when she ran like she did in the Tancho, I thought the Kyoto 2,200m might suit her. After some time at Northern Farm, she returned to Ritto via Northern Farm Shigaraki. And she has been showing us her normal movement. Considering her age, she probably can’t be raced that many more times so I entered her here. The competition is tough and I don’t know if she can race like she did in her last start but she is in good shape and I want her to race with assertiveness.”

Tokyo Shimbun Hai (G3)
Lys Gracieux

Lys Gracieux (filly, 4)

Joao Moreira, jockey
“I rode her for the first time this week and she was eager, full of energy and her condition was good, so I’m satisfied with her. She did feel a bit different than what I had expected to. She was very switched on and raring to go but not keen. She was well in hand and her responses were good. I think Kyoto Racecourse is a fantastic course but it is one of the trickiest courses in Japan, but one of the fairest. The stretch is long enough and I think it’s a course where the best horses win. This will be my first all-female race to ride in Japan, but of course I’ve ridden many overseas. Fillies and mares can be difficult, which does leave room for concern, but I haven’t had any problems before. Key will be to have her running relaxed so she’ll have a lot left for the finish.”

Sankeisports Hai Hanshin Himba Stakes (G2)
Miss Panthere

Miss Panthere (filly, 4)

Mitsugu Kon, trainer
“She’s moody and runs how she feels like running, but she usually gets into shape with about two fast workouts. She has gotten results after time off, but for the Fuchu Himba Stakes, I think two fast workouts were too much. And she was too worked up. Her heart and lungs were in good shape for her last start and still are. I just have to be careful not to push her too much and overdo it, so I’m only giving her light work. Her training and her racing meshed very well in the spring and if that works out well again, I think she’ll handle the distance. But, fillies do have a tendency to suddenly lose interest in running. She’s showing us good work now so I hope there are no after-effects from the last race.”

Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1)
Mozu Katchan

Mozu Katchan (filly, 4)

Ippo Sameshima, trainer
“I gave her some time off after the Sapporo Kinen and had planned to race her in the Oct. 13 Fuchu Himba Stakes. Ten days before that, however, she ran a fever and had to be withdrawn. She got over the fever immediately, and I switched my sights to here. She tends to improve with a prep, but she did run very well in the Sapporo Kinen even though it was her first race in 4 1/2 months. This time, the time between races is less, so I think she’ll be able to access all her power.”

Mirco Demuro, jockey
“She ran a really good race last out in the Sapporo Kinen and it was unfortunate that she couldn’t win. She has matured and has good acceleration now, but where she had always been a good starter, she is now a bit slower out of the gate. Still she can run well at length. She has a lot of racing sense and is a serious horse, so she can do well on the inner or outer course.”

Shion Stakes (Shuka Sho Trial) (G3)

Normcore (filly, 3)

Kiyoshi Hagiwara, trainer
“She was third in the Floral Stakes in April, so I decided not to overwork her and gave her time off over the summer. I think that helped a lot. She filled out and her loin muscles are now much more developed. That allowed her to have a good late kick in the Shion Stakes. With that win, we had a ticket to the Shuka Sho but I didn’t think she was fully recovered yet so I passed on that and aimed her here. She came back to Miho on Oct. 19 and has handled all the work we’ve given her. This week on Wednesday she worked over the flat woodchip course and I confirmed that she is in the same shape as she was for her last race. Her movement was good and she’ll be able to meet expectations. There will be a lot of firsts for her this time such as the distance and the trip to Kyoto but, after seeing her last race, I think we can expect good things from her. It won’t be easy though.”

One Breath Away
One Breath Away

One Breath Away (mare, 5)

Tomonori Tsuchiya, assistant trainer
“Last out in the October Stakes she was sent forward, but the frontrunners held their ground, so she was only able to make third. She stayed the pace well but she was a bit unsettled in amidst the others at spots. Still, the main thing is that she is better out of the gate now and has broken well in her last three starts. We kept her at the training center in preparation for this race. Last week, I didn’t think she needed to work with another horse so she worked alone. She usually moves well in work and she looked good as usual. She’ll be in good shape for this race. The distance shouldn’t be a problem, but the others are strong, so we’ll just have to see how she does. I’m hoping she can get an inside course and a ground-saving run.”

Primera Azul
Primera Azul

Primera Azul (mare, 6)

Takashi Suzuki, trainer
“In her workout this week, I had the rider focus on the final stage. She has come along well, her movement is good and she is in good condition. This is her best distance, as she can get a breather more easily with the four turns. With her regular racing style, it will be tough though, so she’s going to have to be aggressive. The jockey is familiar with her though.”

2018 World All-Star Jockeys 2nd Leg
Red Genova

Red Genova (filly, 4)

Shigeyuki Kojima, trainer
“She improved dramatically from the spring and before the Kyoto Daishoten, we stabled her at Ritto instead of Miho after we saw how she had lost a lot of weight during the transport from Hakodate to Sapporo this summer. She had a good position in the Kyoto Daishoten but, when the others surrounded her, she fell back going in to the stretch. It took a little time for her to gain ground again but when the jockey brought her wide she flew down the stretch. This time too we kept her at Ritto and the jockey rode her on Oct. 31, pushed her hard in the final stage and she responded well. We gave her a hard workout this week too and she ran eagerly and looked good. I’d always thought she would improve from this year but she has done even better than I’d imagined.”

Reiho Romance
Reiho Romance

Reiho Romance (mare, 5)

Kosuke Murai, assistant trainer
“In the Tanabata Sho, two races before she took time off for the summer, she ran into interference. But in the race after that, the Kokura Kinen, she had a nice smooth trip and ran well in the final stages too. She was only carrying 51kg, but she still did well in a race that was won in record time. We gave her time off because she had been raced regularly and a week ago she worked over the flat in 76-some seconds and she wasn’t even out of breath. If she can run this well, I think she’ll be fine racing right off a layoff. This time, not only will the competition be different, she’ll be asked to carry a lot more weight, so the question will be just how well she can compete in a set-weight event. Still, I don’t think the Kyoto 2,200 is a minus. She can gain momentum coming down the hill and the stretch is long over the outer course. We’ll see how much she can keep in reserve and move up on the others. The other concern will be if she can relax or not on raceday.”

Kyoto Daishoten (G2)
Smart Layer

Smart Layer (mare, 8)

Ryuji Okubo, trainer
“I’d wanted her to get some cover in the Kyoto Daishoten but she wasn’t able to and didn’t run as balanced as I’d have liked. If she’d been able to beat male horses as strong as the ones she was running against, she probably would have already won a Grade 1 race. She worked in tandem on the flat last week and the assistant trainer who rode said she felt a bit heavy. She did look good though and I think she moved well. Looking at her recent results I’d have to say that it’s due to her being 8 years old. Last start she didn’t race all out even though she doesn’t seem tired mentally or physically.”

Vafuram (mare, 6)

Keiji Yoshimura, trainer
“From three starts ago, I put a blinker on her right eye only and that has helped her tendency to fall in when straightening into the stretch. She only carried 52 kg last start and I think that helped her win. She spent time at Northern Farm Shigaraki before returning to the training center and the jockey rode her on the flat last week and gave her a solid workout. She has gained breadth and has a nice sheen on her coat now. She’s in good condition. The field is strong, but I think she’ll like the Kyoto outer 2,200 and may be able to turn the tables.”


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

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