2019 News

November 1, 2019


Copa Republica Argentina (G2) - Comments from runners' connections
African Gold
African Gold

African Gold (gelding, 4)

Masato Nishizono, trainer
“In the Rokusha Stakes last out, he got a good position and was able to get cover and keep something in reserve, then go wide in the stretch and pull away. It was an ideal race and a perfect win and the results made it clear he’s a cut above the three-win class. He came out of the race well and we targeted him here. All has gone well. The distance is long this time, so I’ve been giving him hard workouts over distance with a focus on accelerating in the final stage. He worked on the woodchip flat on Oct. 24 and his movement was good. He’d lost weight after the race prior to that but he’s eating well now and things are going as planned. This week he clocked 54-some seconds and wrapped it up with an 11-some second final furlong. His movement is fantastic. He’s light on his feet and I think he’ll go to the gate in good shape. In the beginning of the year, he was beaten badly in the Nikkei Shimbun Hai, but I think you can disregard that race because he got caught in amidst the others and couldn’t get a clear run. He used to lose a lot of weight after a race but these days the effect of having gelded him half a year ago is showing up and he fills out after a race. He has the ability to do well in open-class races and Tokyo suits him. His assigned weight is higher than I thought it would be but it means expectations are high, so it can’t be helped.”

Happy Grin (colt, 4)

Kodai Hasegawa, trainer
“After his last race, he went back to Hokkaido and then changed stables and had the long trip to Ritto. I feel that he still has a lot of potential and will be able to get a whole lot stronger. He’s a good horse and I think he’ll be much more suited and able to run much more solidly over a light, fast track. He has a lot of experience and at Tokyo too. Last week in track work, he needed a bit more in the final stage, so this week I had the jockey ride him. He’s had two fast workouts since coming to Ritto on Oct. 12 and this week (on Oct. 30) his time was good and I’d say it was an excellent workout. He’s not a big horse but he feels big when you ride him and that’s part of being able to run well. His hindquarters still show immaturity and I think he’ll improve there. He’s had races over longer distances while at the NAR stable, so I think he’ll be fine with the distance. He’s had a lot of experience, but I think it’s still a plus for him to be moving to JRA racing.”

Ice Bubble
Ice Bubble

Ice Bubble (colt, 4)

Yasutoshi Ikee, trainer
“He needed just a bit more last out in the Kokura Kinen. He was in good shape and I really can’t pinpoint why he lost. I had planned to race him in the October Stakes at Tokyo but the typhoon caused that to be cancelled. Nonetheless, the target had always been this race, so if he had run in the October Stakes a week later than planned, he’d only have had one full week between races, so I didn’t re-enter him in that race. As usual, he doesn’t move very well in morning work but he hasn’t looked bad since the Meguro Kinen and he’s the kind of horse that does well even in his first race following time off. Besides, it hasn’t been all that long since he last raced. In the springtime, his prep for the Meguro Kinen, the Metropolitan Stakes, was canceled too, due to hail. One thing’s for sure – we’ve had to deal with a lot.”

Meguro Kinen (G2)
Look Twice

Look Twice (horse, 6)

Hideaki Fujiwara, trainer
“He got full marks for his performance in the Meguro Kinen. The break was a bit slow but the jockey did a great job. The horse gave it his all in that race so I wanted to be sure to have him recover fully both mentally and physically and I think he had a good vacation. He is 6 years old and I think it’s the mental refreshment he needs more than the physical. Since coming back to the training center he’s shown that he is fresh and on his game again. He’s eating well. His coat has a nice sheen and he’s up to his usual antics. All is good. Being a son of Stay Gold, he can switch on and off very easily. Having a prep is not important. Actually, 56kg is about where he can still race at his best, but he’s learned a lot and now it’s 57kg he’ll be carrying. Still, it’s better than 58kg. I think he’s stronger this year than he was last. If he wins here and could go on to the Japan Cup or such, it would be great for the owner and it would be great for the horse. My staff and I feel a lot of responsibility. I’ll leave it up to the jockey. I hope they’ll do their best.”

Makoto Galahad (gelding, 6)

Ippo Sameshima, trainer
“Last year he finished third, but he’d been racing and had improved. This year, he’s coming back from a fracture after a year off so I don’t know. He’s had regular work and we’ve done everything we could to get him ready and he is ready. Last week he wasn’t able to pass the horse he was working with and that was a one-win-class horse. His movement still is slow. We’ll need some help for this one.”

Takeshi Noda, assistant trainer
“He’s had a lot of work in the pool and on the hill course. He looks good but it has been a year since he last raced so I can’t say if he’s really solidly back or not. The most important thing for now is that he finishes the race safely.”

Muito Obrigado
Muito Obrigado

Muito Obrigado (horse, 5)

Koichi Tsunoda, trainer
“He had a good ground-saving trip in the Meguro Kinen but wasn’t able to gain enough ground in the stretch. The track was fast and the times were just too fast. We sent him to the farm after that to refresh, then brought him back to the training center with this race as our target. He’s gotten better with each bit of fast work and last week he worked on the flat. His movement and wind were both good. With just a bit of fine-tuning this week, he should be ready. As you can see from his results, Tokyo suits him and so does the distance of 2,500 meters, so the conditions aren’t bad for him. A fast track is ideal but he’s been able to put in solid runs on heavier going recently too. He has the ability to be competitive in a graded-stakes race, so I’m hoping he’ll be able to handle the trip well.”

Noble Mars
Noble Mars

Noble Mars (horse, 6)

Hiroshi Miyamoto, trainer
“After the Kokura Kinen, I gave him a bit of time off and then aimed him at the Kyoto Daishoten. I think he was a lot stronger in that race. After that, he was looking good and full of energy, so I decided to race him here. I always have the jockey ride him for the final fast work, and my only instructions to him was to check how the horse feels. The jockey said the track was pretty torn up at that time of morning, so he didn’t push him hard. I think the horse has really gotten stronger recently and everything has gone well. I do think Tokyo suits him and with the race 100 meters longer this time, I hope the jockey will put a lot of thought into the ride. There appears to be no solid frontrunner this time, which will make things better for Noble Mars.”

Nakayama Grand Jump (J-G1)
Oju Chosan

Oju Chosan (horse, 8)

Shoichiro Wada, trainer
“He was not in bad shape for the Rokusha Stakes, but I think he would have been able to bring out his best if there’d been a bit more pace. Also, having just gotten through the hot summer months, perhaps he still wasn’t at his best. It had been very hot and his work hadn’t been satisfactory. I gave him a bit of time off to help freshen him up and, since then, I think we’ve struck a good balance with track work and I’ve kept a close watch on how he responds to the work. And there does not seem to be any problems for now. I think he’ll be able to take on this race in good shape without any drop in condition. I don’t think he does not have good acceleration but he may not be able to compete well in that area at this class. This time though, it’s 100 meters longer and there are two hills to climb so a lot will depend on stamina, which is a good thing for him. He has improved with his last race and he is eager to run and light on his feet.”


Palingenesis (horse, 5)

Hisashi Shimizu, trainer
“Last out in the Kyoto Daishoten, he really didn’t move well from the start and so raced from the rear. If he runs from a forward position he has gotten results, but last race, he just wasn’t able to give us that kind of run. In the Meguro Kinen, he was moving up in class and into the graded-stakes level and he traveled on the outside. Since moving to the open class these last two starts, the race has ended without him racing at his best. He looked good in his Oct. 17 workout and his last race looks to have sharpened him up. I want to see how well he can do in an open-class race, but first, he has to run his own race so he can draw on his best.”


Popocatepetl (horse, 5)

Yasuo Tomomichi, trainer
“In work or in a race, he handles a heavier track well. His work on Oct. 23 was good and I think the going was to his liking. He looked very good in work last week and this week he looked like he still had a lot in him. He’s doing well for him. This will be his third start since his long layoff and he has improved. He’s in good shape and I do hope he’ll finally be able to give us a good performance.”

Taisei Trail (colt, 4)

Shigeki Miyauchi, assistant trainer
“Two starts ago, there was no other option but to move early and, last out, the difference between him losing and winning came down to the difference in assigned weights. They were both well-run races, however, and they’ve opened up prospects since he’s now able to perform well consistently. He went to the farm after that and returned to the training center on Oct. 19. Things have all gone well. On Oct. 24 he worked together with Loves Only You and I think he moved well. The last time he vanned to the track, he did get agitated and on edge but he’s much calmer these days so I don’t think we need to worry. He’s had good results at Tokyo and he just needs a bit more kick.”

Trust Kenshin Kenshin (colt, 4)

Fumimasa Takahashi, trainer
“The ground was heavy for fast work this week, so it was a hard workout for him and he was tired in the final stage. He will surely have improved from last race and if he can relax like he did in that race, I think he’ll be able to handle the extra 100 meters.”

Yutaro Nonaka, jockey
“He had an ideal position in the Rokusha Stakes and was able to go with the pace. But when the pace picked up, he was reluctant to pick it up as well and it took time to get his engine revved and he just missed making it home in first. But his ability to handle a variety of distances is a strong point.”

Win Tenderness
Win Tenderness

Win Tenderness (horse, 6)

Haruki Sugiyama, trainer
“Last start he tripped at the break and the jockey fell off. He didn’t seem to have any injuries from that and Hiroyuki Uchida rode work on Oct. 24 and gave him a hard workout. This week there should be no problem fine-tuning him. A return to the Tokyo 2,500m is a plus and he’ll be back in form.”

Katsuhiko Yamamoto, assistant trainer
“After the jockey fell off in the Kyoto Daishoten, we gave the horse two days off but nothing seemed amiss. He’s suited to the Tokyo 2,500m but it’ll all depend on how the race unfolds. He had a hard workout last week, so this week we just focused on the final stage. He’s looking good.”


Sources: Keiba Book, Net Keiba, Gallop, Tokyo Sports, Sankei Sports

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