Rey de Oro (horse, 5)
Rey de Oro
Kazuo Fujisawa, trainer
“He’s had a number of races where he didn’t get very good results, but this time when he returned to the training center he was in good shape. Last week, his movement looked quite good and although his time wasn’t that fast on Wednesday morning (Nov. 20), I just wanted him to catch his training partner just before the finish line and he looked good and eager to run. He definitely has improved. And the jockey (William Buick) told me the horse looked to be in good condition.
“I had expected him to do a bit better in the Sankei Sho All Comers but, unfortunately, he didn’t have much left just before the finish. He didn’t do too well in Dubai and his results weren’t good in the Takarazuka Kinen either and that may have affected him last out too. After the All Comers, he went to the farm to get over any fatigue and, when it got cooler, I heard that his condition had improved. He’s been back at the training center now for about a month and I think he’s showing that improvement.
“He debuted at Tokyo and has always gotten good results at Tokyo. I’m hoping he can somehow do his best this time as well. I think he’s much better and much stronger now than he was two years ago when he finished second here.
“The Tokyo 2,400m has a long stretch and it’s not that difficult a race. I have confidence in William Buick and in asking him to ride. It’s an unforgiving course, one that doesn’t leave itself open to excuses, so I’m hoping he’ll do his best. Rey de Oro really did well as a 2-year-old. And, he’s won both the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) and the Tenno Sho (Autumn) and I’m hoping he’ll do his best again at this same venue.
“I’d like to thank all the fans who have supported Rey de Oro for a long time. I think this will be his last year racing. He’s going to the race in good shape and I want him to do his best.”
William Buick, jockey
“On Wednesday morning he was very much on his toes. His responses to my signals were very sharp and he felt extremely good. Mr. Fujisawa told me about the horse’s condition and said that because he was ready he would leave the work up to me. I rode just to get a feel for him.
“I’m very aware that Rey de Oro has been a very strong horse, that he won the Derby and the Tenno Sho (Autumn) and that he ran second in the Arima Kinen (The Grand Prix), and I do think that we can expect good things from him this time as well.
“I was so excited when I got the ride on Rey do Oro. I’ve never won the Japan Cup and, to be riding a horse with such a good chance of winning, it has really gotten me excited. Of course, I know that winning is very difficult, but I think this horse has ample chance of doing just that.
“I think this horse’s strongpoint is his acceleration. He’s suited to the Tokyo course and I think the distance of 2,400 meters is perfect for him. He’s in excellent shape coming in to a Grade 1 event.
“I had been to Japan a number of times before but I hadn’t won a Grade 1 race here yet. So, winning the Mile Championship last year (with Stelvio) meant a lot to me. I’ve had wonderful support from the Japanese fans and I hope to win many, many more Grade 1 races. The Japan Cup is a famous race worldwide and I’m going to try hard to win it. I’ll be doing my best.”