2019 News

November 8, 2019


Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1) - Comments from runners' connections
Armeria Bloom (mare, 5)

Yasuyuki Takahashi, trainer
“She had been a poor eater, but recently she is eating and has put muscle on her hindquarters and shoulders. She has stabilized all around, mentally and physically, and that has helped lead to good results, like her win last race. Her weight was up 10kg before and after her last start, and her movement in work was good last week. She is showing no signs of fatigue and is coming along nicely. Recently in her races, she has been traveling well without getting tensed up. She’s using her body better too so I think she’ll be able to handle the distance. She may hit a wall with this sudden jump up in class but she’s good at Kyoto and it looks like she’ll be in good shape. She’s looking good and this will be a good test of her ability.”

Bright Moon (mare, 5)

Ryuji Okubo, trainer
“Last out in the Koto Stakes (Oct. 26), she had a perfect trip up until the top of the final turn. The jockey really gave her a good ride. She’d drawn the innermost gate and there was no place to bring her out wide in the stretch, but she nonetheless showed her tenacity racing on the inside. Things would have been different if she’d been able to move out. With only one full week between races, she’s still ready and though it’s not much time, the track isn’t far. She has always been better with a sharpener as opposed to coming directly off a layoff. It’s a Grade 1 race and she should show improvement. She’s not bothered by a rough track, so it’ll work in her favor if the going doesn’t suit the others.”


Centelleo (filly, 4)

Tomokazu Takano, trainer
“She had a smooth trip and a good position in the Niigata Kinen and I think things unfolded to her liking. Still, she wasn’t able to quicken enough in the final stage and I thought, well, for a graded stakes race she’s going to need to be able to do better. She’s a late bloomer so I’m looking at things long-term. She went to the farm after that and has gotten regular work since returning to the training center. Last week she worked in tandem and wasn’t quite able to pass the horse she was working with. Her movement was good though. This week the jockey rode her and pushed her hard in the final stage. In February, she finished second to Mer de Glace in the 2,200-meter Amagasaki Stakes. She should be able to handle the distance. The rest I’ll leave up to the jockey.”

Shuka Sho (G1)
Chrono Genesis

Chrono Genesis (filly, 3)

Takashi Saito, trainer
“She recovered slowly from the Shuka Sho but, thankfully, there were no real problems. Most importantly, everything has gone well with her preparations. I was worried about the tight rotation but she has matured and is much stronger now, eating well and relaxed, everything looks good. Jockey Yuichi Kitamura rode her in work last week and this week. I’d wanted her to start off slowly last week but things were a bit too fast overall. This week I made sure she was over any fatigue from that workout. The jockey said that she tenses up in work after a prep, so we were mindful there too with her workout this week. I put a horse in front of her and she moved up on that horse’s inside. She was more relaxed than last week and finished nicely. Her muscle tone, breathing and movement are better than they were last start, but I think the mental-physical balance was better then. Her being calm this week was a relief. She’s a clever horse, so I probably shouldn’t worry.”

Ireland Trophy Fuchu Himba Stakes (G2)

Crocosmia (mare, 6)

Katsuichi Nishiura, trainer
“She started well last out in the Fuchu Himba Stakes and went forward and traveled in a good position but the pace was a bit too strong. Still, she held her ground and raced well to the finish. It was a good race. She worked up the hill on Oct. 30 and her movement was good and she’s showing improvement with that sharpener. We pushed her hard up the hill this week too. She’s coming along well. She has gotten good results over 2,200 meters on turf and she had the same rotation she did last year. She’s had frustrating finishes both times in this race, so I’m hoping this time things will go better.”

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

Frontier Queen (mare, 6)

Sakae Kunieda, trainer
“Although I don’t think she was at her very best in the Fuchu Himba Stakes, she did move to beat the others to the finish and made second, so it was a strong race. She’s much calmer now than she was last year and, looking at her last start, that seems to be working to her advantage. Her racing is better and she’s not off her game at all. She’s by Meisho Samson, which is probably part of why she’s still going strong. There have been areas of concern since her last start and she’s in good shape. This week, I put two horses in front of her and only wanted to check her responses in the finish. They were good. She never moves all that well in work, but this week she looked good. The focus is going to be on the 3-year-olds this year, but I’m hoping she’ll be able to use her experience to her advantage.”

Gorgeous Lunch
Gorgeous Lunch

Gorgeous Lunch (filly, 4)

Yuichi Shikato, trainer
“She hadn’t been able to win but, in her last two starts, she was relaxed and traveled well. In the Nihonkai Stakes (Aug. 17), even though the horses moved up on her early, she was able to run solidly to the end. I can’t say she’s at her career best yet but she has gotten stronger, much more so than this time last year. She had time off and enough time between races and things have gone well since returning to the training center. She worked in tandem last week moving up on the other horse and easily catching and passing him, so it looks like she’ll go to the gate in good shape. I’m not being critical of the jockey last year but she was in too good of shape to have finished in eighth place in the Shuka Sho. So, I’m looking forward to seeing how well she does in a Grade 1 race against strong competition.”

Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) (G1)
Loves Only You

Loves Only You (filly, 3)

Yoshito Yahagi, trainer
“Just before coming back for the Shuka Sho, she got some inflammation in her tendon. I decided to call it off. Things since have gone well, which hasn’t always been the case with her. On Oct. 30, jockey Mirco Demuro rode her in work and she looked fantastic. I was really impressed with her. This week my instructions were to work her quietly without pressure for a total time of 55 seconds just to get her wind right and that went as planned. She has put on good muscle, is bigger all around and weighs 480kg now. I think she’ll still be a good 20kg heavier than she was for the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) and that’s fine. Her appetite has improved a lot from the spring and that has made things easier all around. It’s her first time at this distance but she’s won everything else from 1,600 meters to 2,400 meters, so there shouldn’t be a problem. A lot of people are worrying about the long time between races, but she returned to the training center early and everything has gone well. I think she’ll be able to show us her best.”

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

Lucky Lilac (filly, 4)

Eishu Maruuchi, assistant trainer
“In the Fuchu HImba Stakes, she kept up well with the strong pace and has improved since that. She’s been relaxed, with no signs of tension. We usually push her pretty hard a week before race week but when I heard the jockey was going to ride this week, I wanted to be sure she was ready no matter how he rode her, so I did push her hard. The jockey rode this week as planned and she ran alongside another horse, then stepped ahead just before the finish with no urging. She was relaxed and looked good. She seems to be at her best now, both physically and mentally. Before, if there was anyone around, she wouldn’t eat or would get nervous if the feeding time was changed. But now, she eats well and never goes off her feed, which has helped a lot. I think the distance this time will be fine, better longer than shorter. She’s always been marked by the others but the pressure should be off this time, which will also help.”

Miss Mamma Mia (filly, 4)

Ryo Terashima, trainer
“I was really hoping for good results in her last start, the Rokusha Stakes (Oct. 6) and she did gain ground well on the outside in the finish. I’d say it was as good as if she had won. She’d been running only on softer ground and I’d been thinking that the fast times in the final stage of a race of this class would be tough for her but she did well and reaped a lot from that race. I sensed she had ability from the time she transferred to the JRA and physically she has improved in leaps and bounds, even more from this fall. She had a bit of time off and then was getting regular work. It’s a top-level race but I think the distance is just right for her to see how well she measures up in an all-female field. I’m hoping she’ll be able to move up slowly and run her kind of race.”

Pont des Arts (filly, 4)

Kazutomo Mori, assistant trainer
“It took her a while to break her maiden, but she finally did at the end of the Sapporo meeting. After that she went to the farm and returned for three more wins in a row. She’s gotten stronger with each race. She moved up in class and took on the Tancho Stakes last out (Sept. 1). It was over her favorite grass and though she did have the weight advantage, it was a strong race. We gave her time off again after that and she came back to Miho on Oct. 11. Her coat has gotten longer but her movement is good and her preparations have gone as planned. She had a hard workout last week, so this week just a breeze was enough. It’s her first time at such a high level of competition but she is a late-bloomer and maturing readily now. I’m looking forward to it.”

Red Landini
Red Landini

Red Landini (filly, 4)

Sei Ishizaka, trainer
“She went to the Fuchu Himba Stakes in good shape and really tried hard. I don’t think it was a poor race by any means. This race has been my target and we’ve worked her accordingly. On Oct. 30, her fast work was done up the hill course working together with a new horse and she clocked 53.9 seconds over 800 meters. I think a slower time would have been better but she easily gets that kind of time so it means she’s feeling good. She always runs well in the final stage and I don’t think the extra distance is a minus. It’s a Grade 1 with strong horses and it won’t be easy. I’m hoping this distance will work in her favor.”

Reiho Romance
Reiho Romance

Reiho Romance (mare, 6)

Mitsuru Hashida, trainer
“She brings out her best in the race’s final stage, but last out the relaxed pace really worked to the advantage of the others. In fast work this week, she clocked 12.7 seconds over the final furlong. Her turn of foot was sharp and so was her acceleration. She’s a small horse but is well muscled and looks much bigger because of that. She looks to be in good shape and is showing improvement from her last race.”


Salacia (filly, 4)

Manabu Ikezoe, trainer
“In the October Stakes, I had planned to not send her forward from the gate, but just let her run as she broke. But, with the pace tending to be slow in the Tokyo 2,000 meters, things unfolded as expected. When the others lined up with her, she did put up a good fight to hold her ground. It was a good race. She’s eating well now so she filled out right away after that race. Compared to when she seemed to deflate after each race, she now is much stronger, more filled out between races, so I think the rotation will be fine. She settled well in her last race, so if she can do that in the Tokyo 2,000m, she should be able to handle the Kyoto 2,200m. Before, it was better to take her to the racetrack the day before the race, but now she’s mentally more mature and shipping in on raceday shouldn’t be a problem.”

Satono Garnet
Satono Garnet

Satono Garnet (filly, 4)

Shigeki Miyauchi, assistant trainer
“She was slow at the break in the Fuchu Himba Stakes and that hurt. She clocked 33-some seconds over the final three furlongs though, so she did run well. I’m not bothered by it much, as it wasn’t a bad race. Since then, everything has gone well with no major changes. Her weight had been up for her last start and she has been eating better than she used to. She’s definitely maturing. Last week she worked on the hill course. We pushed her hard and her time was good. This week we just breezed her. That should do it. The ground was soft in her last race and it made me realize that she needs a fast track to really bring out her best.”

Ireland Trophy Fuchu Himba Stakes (G2)
Scarlet Color

Scarlet Color (filly, 4)

Ryo Takahashi, trainer
“I’d thought of racing her in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) but seeing how she was eating after the Fuchu Himba Stakes, considering the short time in between races and the trip to the track, I decided on here instead. We worked hard on getting her over her last start and she actually recovered more quickly than I’d thought she would. She’s the type of horse that gets herself ready for a race and so she hasn’t needed much hard work. The jockey has done a real good job getting her to settle well and then pick up in the final stage. I’m not too concerned about the distance. In the Queen Stakes, she clocked 33-some seconds in the final three furlongs over the short Sapporo stretch and looked really strong. I know she has gotten a good reading on Tokyo and Kyoto and has won at Kyoto, so I’m looking forward to seeing how well she can do now when the competition steps up a notch.”

Shadow Diva
Shadow Diva

Shadow Diva (filly, 3)

Hideyuki Ohara, assistant trainer
“She finished just out of the money in the Shuka Sho but that race served as a good sharpener. She ran well to the right so we gained a lot home from that race. I kept her at Ritto Training Center and got her ready there. She recovered immediately and has been calmer and looking like she may be maturing. She took the bit well in work last week and we picked it up a bit in the finish. Her responses were really good and there’s no problem with her contact with the bit. The extra furlong is a concern but if she isn’t sent forward strongly from the break she won't keen. If she stays relaxed, she should be able to handle it. And, I’m hoping she can stay calm behind the gate.”

Uranus Charm
Uranus Charm

Uranus Charm (filly, 4)

Hideyuki Ohara, assistant trainer
“She was up against male horses last out (Kyoto Daishoten) and it was a graded-stakes race. The field was strong and the horses up front were holding strong. Also, it was her first time to travel on the inside from start to finish. I kept her at Ritto after the last race and she was in a bad mood for a while and spooking at things, but would be OK once she got moving. Jockey Arata Saito rode work last week and pushed her hard. He said she felt good. All has gone well. The outer 2,200-meter course should suit her because she’s able to run at a good speed over distance. I think if she can get an outside track, it’ll help to bring out her best.”


Sources: Keiba Book, Net Keiba

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