2019 News

October 25, 2019


Tenno Sho (Autumn) (G1) - Comments from runner's connections
Mainichi Okan (G2)

Aerolithe (mare, 5)

Takanori Kikuzawa, trainer
“In fast work this week, I had her pick up from the 6-furlong mark. In her last start, the jockey said she’d grabbed the bit turning off the backstretch, so I went easy there and she changed gears coming in to the stretch just as planned. I did the same last week. Being able to use the new woodchip course to the left at Miho Training Center has made for some very effective track work. Since she just raced in the Mainichi Okan, I’d been worried how she’d come out of that, but surprisingly she was in good shape. Without a doubt, she’s suited to Tokyo, but until we race her at this distance, we can’t say how she’ll take to it. Being able to get into a good rhythm will be crucial.”

Osaka Hai (G1)
Al Ain

Al Ain (horse, 5)

Yasutoshi Ikee, trainer
“I send him to the farm to refresh and he came back to the training center on Sept. 24. He looked quite heavy and last week he still was looking a bit heavy but his muscling has changed. The jockey rode work on Oct. 10 and said that he didn’t feel heavy on his feet and that his wind was good. So, last week we really worked him hard and that has helped get him ready a lot. The track was soft for the Takarazuka Kinen but he still raced well over it, and the ability to handle softer ground is one of his strong points. Distance-wise 2,000 meters is his best, but he likes a tighter track with four turns so I don’t know how well he’ll do at Tokyo.”

Japan Cup in association with LONGINES (International Invitational) (G1)
Almond Eye

Almond Eye (filly, 4)

Christophe Lemaire, jockey
“Her fast work on Wednesday was just right and her condition has improved since last week. She’s coming off a layoff but I think she’ll perform very well. She knows her work and does it easily but I did feel her relax a bit at the end of work this week so I used the whip and also because I wanted to check her gait after the finish line. Last week, she’d been a bit winded, but not this week. Since work is in the morning, I think she was at about 80 percent. She’ll give that extra 20 percent for the race and that will make quite a difference. I think she was in the best condition for the Japan Cup. This time she has had five months off and getting back to peak takes time. It’s possible she’ll improve a bit after the Tenno Sho. But at her level, I think she’ll win this week. She returned from time off for the Shuka Sho and won that. In the Yasuda Kinen, other than the start it was a very good race. If we hadn’t had to struggle for position at the start in that, I think we definitely would have won. Almond Eye is the best horse in Japan. She won all her races last year and won in Dubai this year. There are a lot of Grade 1 winners this time, but she has beaten nearly all of them. She is the best.”

Hochi Hai Yayoi Sho (Japanese 2,000 Guineas Trial) (G2)

Cadenas (horse, 5)

Koichi Shirakura, assistant trainer
“He ran from the rear again in the Niigata Kinen last out but gained ground well in the stretch. He had a long run of dull performances but looks to be back in form. He’s good in a race where he can keep something in reserve. He had a bit of time off after that race and refreshed at the farm. All has gone well since returning to the training center. The jockey rode work on the hill course on Oct. 10 and his time was good. On Oct. 17, we concentrated on the final stage. He’s filled out nicely and his movement is good. Mentally and physically he’s fine and we’ll just have to see how he measures up against the Grade 1 horses.”

Danon Premium
Danon Premium

Danon Premium (colt, 4)

Yuga Kawada, jockey
“I was told to push him pretty hard this week. His responses in the straight weren’t bad but the ground was quite heavy so I think it would have been difficult to gauge any horse’s responses. He did work solidly. He’d been a bit heavy last week and I do think he ran better this week. I don’t feel any difference from the spring. He’s always been a good horse and he is more solid than he was as a 3-year-old. Because of the accident at the start of the Yasuda Kinen, I could feel that he was favoring himself for the rest of the race, so he couldn’t gain ground at any point. I pulled him up right away just to be careful, but I think that may have been a big part of his being able to race here. He is best over 1,600-2,000 meters, so I think he’ll be able to bring out his best here. The draw will make a big difference and most importantly, having a smooth run.”

Kyoto Daishoten (G2)

Dreadnoughtus (gelding, 6)

Takahide Ando, assistant trainer
“For the Kyoto Daishoten, he was lean and in good condition, but to be honest, I didn’t think he would win it. But he had won a graded race at Kyoto, the course does suit him and the jockey gave him a nice ride and it brought out his ability to the best. He was a bit tired after that but from his fast work on Oct. 18, there are no problems. It was an allowance race but he has won over the Tokyo 2,000 meters. It was his first race after being gelded and looking back now, I think the timing had been right. When it gets colder, he’ll get a winter coat, but it’s still OK now and he’s strong, ready, and isn’t particular about the going.”

TV Tokyo Hai Aoba Sho (Japanese Derby Trial) (G2)
Go for the Summit

Go for the Summit (colt, 4)

Daisuke Tsumagari, assistant trainer
“For the All Comers, his weight was up 16kg but that was because we had slimmed him down for the Sapporo Kinen before that and he’d put that weight back on. He wasn’t fat at all. He traveled in second and third position and though he didn’t gain quite enough ground in the finish, he was only 0.5 seconds off the winner. He stayed at the barn after that. Last week jockey Hiroshi Kitamura rode him in a light workout working in tandem with another and did well. The venue change from Nakayama to Tokyo is a welcome and he has gotten good results in races that are decided solely by late speed. If he gets a smooth trip, he’ll be able to give it his all.”

NHK Mile Cup (G1)
Keiai Nautique

Keiai Nautique (colt, 4)

Osamu Hirata, trainer
“Unlike his usual pattern, he raced from a forward position in the Mainichi Okan and because he grabbed the bit in some places he wasn’t able to quicken enough. Things have gone well since then. On Oct. 17 he clocked 54.3 seconds up the hill without urging and covered the last furlong in 13.2 seconds. He’s quiet lately but there’s nothing wrong with him physically. He’s calmed down with age, in a good way. The last time he went to Tokyo, he didn’t drop any weight during the trip to the track. The rotation is tighter this time, so his weight may be down a bit but I think his last race will have sharpened him up. Regardless of the pace, a race where he can keep something in reserve is best for him.”

Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) (G1)

Makahiki (horse, 6)

Yasuo Tomomichi, trainer
“In the Takarazuka Kinen, he wasn’t moving forward well from the preliminaries and during the race his heart wasn’t in it. The going was probably a factor. Last year we’d kept him at Ritto Training Center before this race but this year we’ve let him refresh at the farm. And this race has been the target. He had a good run up the hill course on Oct. 16 and his movement was good. He isn’t as on his game as he used to be, but I think that’s from maturity. He’s calm in a good way. I think Tokyo is his best venue. He just missed out on making a comeback with his runs in the Kyoto Kinen and Osaka Hai but I think he still has the power and if he gets the right trip, things will be different.”

Run for the Roses
Run for the Roses

Run for the Roses (colt, 3)

Daisuke Tsumagari, assistant trainer
“He wore blinkers for the first time last out in the Mainichi Okan and they worked well. He was able to concentrate. He was unbalanced in places but better compared to the St. Lite Kinen last out. He was able to gain ground in the straight while running against strong older horses and it was his best of his last three starts. Last week on Oct. 17, he worked up the hill course. The rotation is a bit tight, but he doesn’t have any cuts or abrasions and he has maintained his condition. He’s more solid now and stronger overall. His racing did change for the Mainichi Okan when we switched from cheekpieces to blinkers. The competition is a step up but I think his last start will serve him well here.”


Saturnalia (colt, 3)

Yasuyuki Tsujino, assistant trainer
“In the Kobe Shimbun Hai, he was calm and collected, unlike on Derby Day. The pace was slow but he was nicely in hand and I wasn’t nervous watching the race. You could see how he’d matured over the summer. He went to the farm after his last start and returned to the training center on Oct. 2. He was nicely filled out in a good way. We worked him quite hard after that and his muscle tone is up and all preparations have gone ideally. His Derby results were unfortunate but he’s well-balanced racing to the left. He’s up against older horses for the first time and it’s a strong field. If you consider his potential, I think there’s a lot to look forward to.”


Stiffelio (horse, 5)

Kenichi Shono, assistant trainer
“In the All Comers, he was ridden assertively and that helped to bring out his best. It all came down to the final stage and that made it tough, but his strong point is running well at length. He came out of the race well and has gotten all work as planned. He clocked about 56 seconds up the hill course on Oct. 10 and because the ground was heavy the time didn’t stand out. But on Oct. 17, he had a good solid workout and I think he’ll maintain his condition for this race. The long stretch of Tokyo won’t be easy but he has gotten stronger bit by bit. He doesn’t have to lead, but I do think another assertive ride will best bring out his tenacity.”

Osaka Hai (G1)
Suave Richard

Suave Richard (horse, 5)

Yasushi Shono, trainer
“After the Takarazuka Kinen, I sent him off to the farm and though last year he went to Hokkaido, this year I kept him nearby. He’s had a lot of work since returning and he’s in better shape than last year. Last week we didn’t push him too hard because he’s had sufficient work. The jockey rode and looks to have a good reading on him. In the spring, this horse experienced some new surroundings and he has matured a lot mentally. The draw and the horses’ positions in the gate are going to be key. If those work in our favor, things will go well for him. Since the Osaka Hai, he hasn’t been able to win but he has shown his strength in top-level races, and I think he can measure up.”


Wagnerian (colt, 4)

Yuichi Fukunaga, jockey
“Turning off the backstretch in the Sapporo Kinen, he felt like he was going to win. But from the final turn he suddenly couldn’t quicken. Afterward, we found he’d lost the shoes on both his forefeet and that was clearly the reason he lost. He did show in how he travelled that he has matured and mentally he was very on his game. He still gets worked up a bit though. He tends to be somewhat unruly in the pre-parade ring but that’s his usual self. He has more power now and his balance has improved, so he should better at the break too. In work on Oct. 17, he felt a lot more solid and moved easily. I did want a bit more oomph in the stretch, but he looks good. I pushed him hard and that should have him improved by the race. He can run well at length and I don’t see a difference going right or left. A long stretch should suit him. The draw will make a difference.”

Win Bright
Win Bright

Win Bright (horse, 5)

Yoshihiro Hatakeyama, trainer
“I started him back from his summer layoff early and prepared him from step one but his results in the All Comers showed he hadn’t gotten enough work. The new course at Miho is light and easy to run on, so I think he wasn’t training hard enough. After the All Comers, he had no pain anywhere so I kept him at the training center. Two weeks ago, I clocked him and his time and movement were lacking, so from last week I’ve worked him hard and long, including this week. The lineup is strong and the venue changes to Tokyo, so we’ll see how much he has improved.”

You Can Smile
You Can Smile

You Can Smile (colt, 4)

Yasuo Tomomichi, trainer
“He has always been good racing to the left and his cornering is different from when he’s on a righthanded track. I’d been giving him more distance up to the Niigata Kinen, so it was quite a gain to have done well over 2,000 meters. After that he went to the farm and returned to the training center with this race as our target. He worked hard under the jockey in a trio over the woodchip course on Oct. 17. He doesn’t run that well in work but it was his usual. He matured from about the Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) and improved in leaps and bounds. The competition is tough but he’s in good form, so I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do.”


Sources: Keiba Book, Net Keiba

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