2019 News

May 3 2019


NHK Mile Cup (G1) – Comments from runners' connections

*All horses are 3-year-olds

Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes (G1)
Admire Mars

Admire Mars (colt)

Yasuo Tomomichi, trainer
“There hasn’t been long between races, but he’s kept his condition well. He’s relaxed, has regained his weight and there’s no tiredness about him. I think the course and distance are fine, and it’s all about the flow of the race. He should be well forward in the run, and has a real battling nature about him to take on other horses. He’s run well at the track and he has a good enough chance. I’m looking forward to his run.”

Cadence Call
Cadence Call

Cadence Call (colt)

Takayuki Yasuda, trainer
“His coat is looking good, and he’s worked well on the woodchip course, posting good times. Rather than 1,800 meters, the mile seems better for him, and he has run left-handed at Niigata and Chukyo. The jockey thinks the horse looks about the same as when he achieved his graded race win.”


Catedral (colt)

Manabu Ikezoe, trainer
“It was after his run in the Keisei Hai, where he pulled quite a lot, that it seemed best to bring him back in distance. He’s developed more muscle and is more relaxed, as we’ve kept him at the stable after a race for the first time. He definitely looks like a miler now. I don’t think there’ll be any problem transporting him to the track. The opponents are strong, but if it’s a smooth race for him, I’m looking forward to what he can do.”

Kisaragi Sho (NHK Sho) (G3)
Danon Chaser

Danon Chaser (colt)

Yasutoshi Ikee, trainer
“I think the mile’s probably going to be his best distance, despite the fact he has run well over 1,800 meters. He’s developing well and is getting bigger. One of the keys this time is how he gets on in a race with a lot of runners. He’s a horse that always tries his best and wants to run, and we’ll have to see how he gets on here. A similar run to his last race would be good.”

Kokura Nisai Stakes (G3)

Fantasist (colt)

Tomoyuki Umeda, trainer
“He put in his tough work last week, working uphill and posting a time of 56 seconds, so in his last work this week we’ve tried to keep his concentration up and just made sure he’s finished off well. It’s best to keep him relaxed early on and I discussed this with the assistant trainer. The horse’s breathing is good and he’s in good condition overall. I think his strong point is being able to get into the flow of a race, as he’s an easy horse to ride. He’s tried different distances, and a mile is about as far as he probably gets. It would be good to see him run the kind of race when he won at Tokyo last year.”

Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) (G1)
Gran Alegria

Gran Alegria (filly)

Kazuo Fujisawa, trainer
“Having a run last month hasn’t made her preparation that hard. In her last piece of work, things were fine and she ran smoothly without having to clock a fast time. On her pedigree, this trip seems fine for her. Since last autumn she’s come along nicely, but up against some strong colts here, I’m a little anxious, but nonetheless looking forward to the race.”

Daisuke Tsumagari, assistant trainer
“In last year’s Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes, she finished third in what was a strong race, and there wasn’t that much in it between her and the male horses. This time she’ll be back at Tokyo where she’s won twice over the mile. The jockey knows how to get the best out of the horse, and with her natural speed and ability she should be able to run a big race here too.”

Christophe Lemaire, jockey

“She’s won at Tokyo, and it’s not a tricky course really, so there should be no problem. She can just lean a little if she gets tired, but with her victories at Tokyo I’m not worried. Her footwork was good in her last workout. Of course, Admire Mars is a strong horse, and so too are some others, but she always tries her best and I’d like to get a good result here.”

Groove It
Groove It

Groove It (colt)

Mikio Matsunaga, trainer
“He’s worked well uphill and done what I’ve expected, moving very well in training. He’s not a difficult horse to control, so I think he can adjust to the extra furlong, and he’s handled the switch to turf, as well as being able to race left-handed. I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do over the Tokyo mile.”

Damian Lane, jockey
“I’ve been very satisfied riding him in training. There’s a good shape to him and he responds well. I don’t see any problem with the distance of the race and I think Tokyo is a fair course. I’ve made a good start here in Japan and I’m looking forward to the Grade 1 ride here.”

Chunichi Sports Sho Falcon Stakes (G3)
Happy Hour

Happy Hour (colt)

Koshiro Take, trainer
“He’s in good condition and came out of his last race well. We’ve monitored him on a daily basis and things are good with him. He should be fine with the distance of the race. Transportation to the track is one of the keys. When he came back from Hokkaido as a 2-year-old, he’d lost a bit of weight, but he seems a different horse now. Thinking of the long holiday, ideally he’ll travel over with some time to settle in after the journey.”

Arlington Cup (NHK Mile Cup Trial) (G3)

Iberis (filly)

Fumiaki Shibahara, assistant trainer
“She’s won going left-handed at Niigata, and has handled long hauls in transit, so both those things should be fine. She’ll be taking on a Grade 1 this time, so that’s different. There’ll be other horses in the race with a similar running style, but if she finds her rhythm, it’ll be interesting to see what she’s capable of.”

Suguru Hamanaka, jockey
“She’s in good condition and moves well. Even though there’s only a short time between races, there’s no tiredness about her. She’s a horse that likes to get on with things.”

Kurino Gaudi
Kurino Gaudi

Kurino Gaudi (colt)

Norio Fujisawa, trainer
“We’ve had him finish off strongly in training, and even though the track condition was heavy, he handled it well. He’s recovered his condition.”

Hirokazu Tajima, assistant trainer

“I think he should be in better condition than he was last time. He’s had experience at the mile, and if you think about how the pace will probably be, it should be fine for him. If he can save as much as he can throughout the run, he could pull off a good result.”

Lord Gladio
Lord Gladio

Lord Gladio (colt)

Katsuichi Nishiura, trainer
“After his last race, the jockey (Yusuke Fujioka) said he was best suited to the mile. Since that last run everything has been fine with him.”

Meiner Flap
Meiner Flap

Meiner Flap (colt)

Tomoyuki Umeda, trainer
“The first two furlongs of a race are important for him to get settled. Two starts ago in the Shinzan Kinen he had an inside draw, but finally managed to fly home down the outside. I think Tokyo with its long homestraight should suit him, and a furlong less is a plus. It’ll be interesting to see what he can do if he gets to run his own race.”

Masami Matsuoka, jockey
“He’s easier to ride than I thought. He did his hard training last week, so in this last piece of work I concentrated on his closing finish and he responded well.”

Mikki Black
Mikki Black

Mikki Black (colt)

Hidetaka Otonashi, trainer
“He trained well with two other horses in his last piece of work, chasing them down well. As for the race itself, I’d like to see him giving it his all, and I hope he’ll be able to fight it out right to the finish.”

Hochi Hai Fillies' Revue (Japanese 1000 Guineas Trial) (G2)

Pourville (filly)

Hirotaka Hanada, assistant trainer
“She’s a small filly, and it’ll be her first time to transport long distance, so that will be one of the keys. She has good race sense. Last time she drew the widest gate, so it was going to be hard. Ideally she’ll get a better gate from where she can run to her strength, and I have the image of her saving things until she can run on strongly down the long Tokyo straight.”

Toya Rito Seito
Toya Rito Seito

Toya Rito Seito (colt)

Takeshi Matsushita, trainer
“He’d improved for his last race and things are fine going into this one. He’s won at Tokyo and there’s no problem with the distance. It’ll be the second time the jockey has ridden him, so he has a feel for the horse. I’m looking forward to his run in this Grade 1.”

Yuichi Fukunaga, jockey
“There hasn’t been long between races, but his condition is good and we’ve just worked on the finish in training. He should run well in the race by the way he’s been moving.”

Nikkan Sports Sho Shinzan Kinen (G3)
Val d'Isere

Val d'Isere (colt)

Kunihiko Watanabe, trainer
“He can be a little unruly, but generally he’s relaxed enough. His weight has recovered to around 454kg and his condition is fine, just working him in the final stages of training. I think the long homestretch and the Tokyo course in general will suit him, and the transportation shouldn’t be a problem. I hope it’s a good pace and he gets a smooth run in the race.”

New Zealand Trophy (NHK Mile Cup Trial) (G2)
Wide Pharaoh

Wide Pharaoh (colt)

Yasuyuki Tsujino, assistant trainer
“There’s no change with him and he looks good in his coat. He has run well left-handed at Tokyo and Chukyo, so that’s a good thing. If there’s another horse that wants to go on, that’s fine, and hopefully whatever the situation he’ll get to run a strong race.”


Wittelsbach (colt)

Masakazu Ikegami, trainer

“I can’t say that racing at Nakayama last time was a real plus, the way the horse races, but to get a good result and then to get a start in this race was an achievement. I think the switch to Tokyo is a real benefit. The jockey says the horse’s cornering and responses are better than before. He’s not a horse to behave differently on the day of a race. One of the big things with him is how he behaves at the gate. He was alright last time and with gate practice he should be fine. If he jumps a little behind the others it won’t be a problem, but to be just a little more forward from the start might be better. His salespoint is his turn of foot at the finish, and hopefully he’ll be able to show this, even among this Grade 1 field.”


Sources: Net Keiba, Keiba Book, Sports Hochi

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