2019 News

May 10, 2019


Victoria Mile (G1) - Comments from runners' connections
Mainichi Okan (G2)

Aerolithe (mare, 5)

Takanori Kikuzawa, trainer
“This week on Wednesday, I rode her up the hill course alone. Last week she worked in tandem over the woodchip flat. Recently, this has been the pattern, with the hill course just for the final tuneup. I think her footwork was excellent, so much so that you didn’t really feel how fast she was going. There happened to be a horse that could move in front of her and when she got near the top it did feel like she was trying to catch that horse. Her concentration was good and it was a good workout. On the flat course, especially going to the right, she does lack some agility, but that is the same all the time. Last week I pushed her hard and she was more on her toes over the weekend and this week. I think she’s showing improvement. I think she’s mentally stronger now after coming back from the U.S. Her flight was delayed in New York due to weather and I had been really worried but she looked fine when she got back to quarantine here. Tokyo is a good track for her and although it’s not that she can’t race to the right, but she definitely has more to draw on when going to the left. Compared to last year, she has matured physically and mentally, she’s calmer and more relaxed. She has a better air about her in general this year.”

Amalfi Coast
Amalfi Coast

Amalfi Coast (filly, 4)

Kazuya Makita, trainer
“The pace suited her in the Hanshin Himba Stakes and she raced ahead of the top picks and gave us a nice run. She did well in her first mile in a while so I think she gained a lot from that race. I gave her a bit of time off afterward and all has gone well since returning to the training center. She worked on the flat last week and most importantly, she’s calm now and able to work well. She worked hard up the hill course on Thursday. She’s in good shape. She handled the mile last out and she has won at Chukyo, so the left-handed track shouldn’t be a problem. She has matured mentally so I think she’ll be able to handle the trip to the track well.”

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

Cantabile (filly, 4)

Yasuyuki Tsujino, assistant trainer
“The impression I had for the Hanshin Himba Stakes was that, after 5 months off, we had just managed to get her ready in time. We brought her up to speed a bit fast though. There were some traffic problems in the stretch so I don’t think her sixth-place finish was anything tragic. The pace was slow, but she still did well over her first mile in some time and I think that race will stand her well going in to this one. We kept her at the training center and, after she was fully recovered, we got her ready for this race. The jockey rode her on the course last week and her movement was good. A run up the hill this week should have her right. She’s in better shape than she was for her last race. She has matured and is looking like a grownup now. This was our target for the spring and I’m looking forward to it.”

Ireland Trophy Fuchu Himba Stakes (G2)

Crocosmia (mare, 6)

Katsuichi Nishiura, trainer
“In the Hanshin Himba Stakes, she let the frontrunners go ahead and she ran smoothly in a nice spot on the inside. Turning into the stretch, she still had a lot left but with the rather slow pace, she couldn’t catch those in front. Still, she ran solidly to the end and finished only 0.1 seconds off the winner. I think it was a good race. She has come along well after that and worked up the hill last week, over the weekend and this week. She moved well and I’d say she has improved with her last two races. She doesn’t have to insist on the lead, but she’s good at the break so I’d like her to travel from a good position. She’s had some frustrating finishes, so I’m hoping for good results.”

Victoria Mile (G1)>
Denko Ange

Denko Ange (mare, 5)

Jun Sato, assistant trainer
“The Fukushima Himba Stakes was slow until the final 3 furlongs and that suited her. Also, with it being a tight track, the small field helped with the position she got. Of course, I think her condition had a lot to do with it and there were traffic problems on the inside, so a lot of things came together for her so I think luck was on her side too. There wasn’t much time between races, but she came out of that last race in good shape and was able to get enough work. This is the race I had originally aimed her at. She got her berth in it and we can take her to the gate with heads held high. The competition is a step up but I think the Tokyo mile is perfect for her. If she can use her late speed to the utmost, things should go well.”

Laurel R.C. Sho Nakayama Himba Stakes (G3)
Frontier Queen

Frontier Queen (mare, 6)

Kosei Miura, jockey
“She was in good condition in track work on Wednesday and she felt like she was enjoying herself, but in a good way. As instructed, I pushed her in the finish and she used her body well, the same as last week. Her responses were excellent. Everything is fine, from her warmup to her work. I didn’t ride work before the Nakayama Himba Stakes but I can say that everything about her is looking better than then. She had a long run of races without a win, but because of that she has gotten a lot of experience. Looking at what she’s done up to now, I’d say Tokyo shouldn’t present any problems. I’m not at all worried about the change in course. She holds her ground really well and gives it her all in a race. Last time she got into position on her own and I think that, as long as things unfold more or less normally, she’ll be able to handle it. If I manage to time things right, I know she’ll run well.”

Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) (G1)
Let's Go Donki

Let's Go Donki (mare, 7)

Tomoyuki Umeda, trainer
“She’d finished second in the Takamatsunomiya Kinen for two years straight and I really had my hopes up this year. She ended up racing from behind as well and had to put the brakes on in the stretch, so she really ended up having a lot left in the tank. She had the fastest time over the final 3 furlongs so if her tip had been smoother, things would have been quite different. She stayed at the training center after that. Last week she worked up the hill. Because we didn’t push her over the first half, her time was rather slow for her but she moved well. This will be her fourth Victoria Mile and she hasn’t had the best results but because of her Takamatsunomiya Kinen run this year, I think we may see some improvement.”

Tulip Sho (Japanese 1,000 Guineas Trial) (G2)
Lucky Lilac

Lucky Lilac (filly, 4)

Mikio Matsunaga, trainer
“She worked up the hill with another horse on Wednesday and her time and movement were good. Everything is coming along fine. She’s always relaxed in work and this week was no different. There was no particular difference from last week’s fast work but I did have the rider push her a bit more this week. She hasn’t changed, in a good way, from last race. Last out, it was the first race she’d gotten blocked in. She was able to quicken in the end but she did lean in, which she doesn’t normally do. She has power. She’s not bad out of the gate so I’m not concerned about the gate position. She’s won at Tokyo so I hope she can win. There are strong horses in the field so it won’t be easy but if she can run her own race and access her power, I think she can.”

Meisho Owara
Meisho Owara

Meisho Owara (mare, 5)

Masahiro Uchiyama, assistant trainer
“In the Milers Cup, she had a hold of the bit somewhat, but not too bad. She looked fine under way but it was the first race of the meet and the times were fast in. The going may not have suited her. On May 2, we gave her an easy run up the hill course. After only one full week between races, she now has two, so I’m not expecting any big improvement. She has maintained her condition. She likes a softer track and though she hasn’t had good results at Tokyo, she has won at Niigata, so I think the change to a left-handed track won’t matter. In the Hanshin Himba Stakes two races ago, she finished 13th but she was only half a second behind the winner. I think she’ll be able to do better in an all-female race.

Mieno Succeed
Mieno Succeed

Mieno Succeed (mare, 6)

Ryo Takahashi, trainer
“In the Hanshin Himba Stakes, she broke slowly as usual, but recovered and was able to get a good position. The jockey gave her a good ride. She filled out nicely from the end of last year just after returning from a spell and she’s looking more like her sire now. All has gone well since the last race and the jockey rode her on May 2. I think we’ll see some improvement. She has quite a bit of experience and the trip to the track should be OK. She has never had any really bad results at Tokyo. Still, it’s a strong field and the times tend to be fast for this meet. She can only do about 33 seconds something over the final 3 furlongs, so that is a concern. I’m hoping the final stage isn’t extremely fast.”

Sankeisports Hai Hanshin Himba Stakes (G2)
Mikki Charm

Mikki Charm (filly, 4)

Mitsumasa Nakauchida, trainer
“Her workout up the hill on Wednesday was good. It was just to tune her up. On Sunday, I clocked her over 6 furlongs on the flat and concentrated on the final stage. She ran solidly to the end. Normally, work is done to the right, but on Sunday, the woodchip track was to the left so I worked her over that. I also thought it would be better for her mentally to have her fast work early. I’ve ridden all her work myself. I’d say all has gone well with her work and that is the most important thing. She has maintained her condition and, mentally, it’s up to us to be sure that’s fine. She’ll be transported to the track on Saturday as usual. The jockey did a good job in the Hanshin Himba Stakes but of course she was strong and the trip helped her some too but she was able to draw on all her ability. It’s her first time at Tokyo and I can’t say how she’ll do until we try it but I think she’ll be OK.”

Shion Stakes (Shuka Sho Trial) (G3)

Normcore (filly, 4)

Kiyoshi Hagiwara, trainer
“She had, among other things, an inside draw for the Nakayama Himba Stakes and she couldn’t move in places. In the homestretch too, it wouldn’t open up for her so she was kept waiting before she could make her move. It was a frustrating race. We sent her to the farm and she came back to Miho on April 20. Last week, she worked with two other horses and she caught them nicely. Her movement was good and I think she’ll be in good shape on raceday. She’s won at the mile before and I think she’ll be able to handle it because of the long stretch at Tokyo. Still, it’s a strong field. I’m hoping the other horses will inspire her.”

One to One
One to One

One to One (mare, 6)

Kenichi Fujioka, trainer
“I’d figured the pace would be slow in the Hanshin Himba Stakes, but she couldn’t get clear in the stretch. Some things just can’t be helped. All has gone well since that race and she had a hard workout up the hill course a week ago and on Wednesday. Her movement was good and the warmer weather has brought a nice sheen to her coat. Physically she has stabilized and I’d say she’s as good as she was in the fall when she ran second in three graded-stakes races straight. She’s not the most agile horse but she has a solid finish. If she gets a good trip I think she’ll be competitive. She has gotten good results at Tokyo before.”

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

Primo Scene (filly, 4)

Yu Ota, assistant trainer
“In the previous race, she broke well and ran a neat race to the final turn but the winner held his ground. Still, this horse showed her strength and I think she had a bit more in her, so I hope she’ll keep improving until the main event. She had a bit of time off and came back to the training center on April 24. With that one race, she’s been moving better now. She worked alone last work and we pushed her over distance. She put her all into it and ran solidly. Her skin is thinner and I think she’ll show us improvement. The switch to a more wide-open course is not a minus. The position she gets is not going to be a big factor but a clean break is going to be important if she is to win.”

Red Olga
Red Olga

Red Olga (mare, 5)

Nobuyuki Tashiro, assistant trainer
“She broke well in the Hanshin Himba Stakes but after that didn’t keep up with the pace because she had horses getting in front of her. She ran solidly in the stretch but she had run up the outside and that was a factor. Still, she was only 0.1 seconds off the winner and I think she showed her strength. We sent her to the farm for about 10 days as usual. On May 2, the jockey rode her hard on the hill course. Everything has gone well. She has run well over the Tokyo 1,600 before and two races ago in the Tokyo Shimbun Hai (G3) she did well against male horses. A fast smooth track would be ideal. I think she’ll be competitive.”

Sankei Sports Sho Flora Stakes (Japanese Oaks Trial) (G2)
Satono Walkure

Satono Walkure (filly, 4)

Yasuyuki Tsujino, assistant trainer
“In the Hanshin Himba Stakes, she got crowded out and ended up racing from behind. On top of that the pace was slow. The jockey decided going wide would make for a difficult race so he aimed for the inside. She did run well, but the others quickened. When she was 3 years old, she would lose weight right away because she was weak in her back and loins, but this time, in the Kinko Sho and the Hanshin Himba Stakes, the races didn’t take that much out of her. All has gone well. I think if she can break well, keep up with the pace, and keep something in the tank for the finish, things should turn out well.”

Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) (G1)
Soul Stirring

Soul Stirring (mare, 5)

Daisuke Tsumagari, assistant trainer
“She looked ready to make her comeback with the Queen Stakes so we had expectations for the Fuchu Himba Stakes but after that race we learned she had suffered a small fracture in her front left knee. So that was a real disappointment. When she returned from the farm, at first she was pretty high strung but with work she started to calm down. It’s been a while between races but I think she is refreshed now. She was in good shape last year but the rain was a factor. She couldn’t get traction. This time, it’s a furlong shorter and the venue changes to the Tokyo 1,600, but I think this makes things easier for her.”

Sound Chiara (filly, 4)

Akio Adachi, trainer
“Last out in the Rokuhara Tokubetsu, she traveled in a good position, turned into the stretch looking strong, and still was able to accelerate in the end. Seeing how strong she looked, I think she could have picked it up even more. I’ve raced her exclusively over the mile in the 2-win class races and she always gives us a solid race. Nothing much has changed since the last race. She stayed at the training center and all has gone smoothly. I also registered her in the Nishiki Stakes at Kyoto, which is her usual level. She’s been raced mostly at the mile and has given us good results. Going to Tokyo would be her first long trip to the track in a while and I don’t know how that will pan out, but I am eager to see how well she can do in a Grade 1 race.”


Sources: Keiba Book, Netkeiba

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