2015 News

May 8, 2015


2015 NHK Mile Cup (G1) - comments from runners' connections

Note: All runners are 3 years old

Flower Cup (G3)
Albiano (filly)

Tetsuya Kimura, trainer
“She started very well in the Flower Cup and because she has such great speed she easily went to the top. In the backstretch she was able to take a breather and traveled very easily. Afterward, we checked her over and turned her out. She got over any fatigue she had quickly and was back on her feed immediately. Compared to the winter, her coat has a nice sheen to it now. As always, she came back to the Miho Training Center two weeks before the race and we worked her in tandem last week. She had the other horse on her outside and had him come up on her. Her movement and time was as we had expected and all looks to be well. She has won all her three races going wire to wire but she can also settle even if she’s running behind others. She has versatility and doesn’t have to lead.”

Arma Waioli
Arma Waioli
Arma Waioli (colt)

Katsuichi Nishiura, trainer
“In the New Zealand Trophy he was eager to run. And even though he quickened over the last furlong he wasn’t running balanced and that was what he lost it on. He was overtaken by the others who had been running balanced and he finished in third place. Even though the rotation was a bit tight, he’s gotten a lot of care. On Apr. 30, we worked him in tandem up the hill course and he reached the top first and his movement was good. He’s come along nicely. I’m not concerned about the haul to the track since he handled that last time. Two races ago he went from the far back and did well. If he can settle well, he can access that late speed. And with it being a G1 this time, the pace should be good and that will help him. I’m hoping he’ll break well and settle. He’s had a lot of frustrating races and I’m hoping he’ll get good results here.”

Avenir Marcher
Avenir Marcher
Avenir Marcher (colt)

Kazuo Fujisawa, trainer
“He is a bit difficult, but he was relaxed in this week’s fast work. His time wasn’t that fast but we put him behind another horse and he ran nice and smoothly. I don’t think the mile is bad for him. He was fifth last time out but two races ago in the Tokyo Sports Hai Nisai Stakes, he came up through a tight spot and quickened well. I think Tokyo is good for him.”

Masaru Oehara, assistant trainer
“Last time out, he had horses move up on him right away and that caused him to become unbalanced. In the finish, he accelerated well and went to catch those in front but the difficulty getting a good position in the start hurt here. Since then he’s gotten an average amount of work and I think it’s been enough. This horse has a future, so we’ve given him lots of rest and taken it easy. He hasn’t had many races yet but I think he has a lot of talent, top-class talent for his age. The Tokyo 1,600 suits him and he’ll surely be able to settle nicely and use his speed well. I’m expecting a good race.”

Clarity Sky
Clarity Sky
Clarity Sky (colt)

Yasuo Tomomichi, trainer
“I hadn’t given the jockey any particular instructions in the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) and, on his own judgement, he decided to send the horse to the front. I think he ran a good race, but the top finishers were strong. This horse has had good results at the mile and he’s won a graded stakes race at Tokyo with a fast time. Considering the competition, I felt that this race was a better choice for him than the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby), so we came here. On the Wednesday of the week following the Satsuki Sho, we rode him in the trotting ring, then took him up the hill course the next day. Since then he’s gotten regular work. On Apr. 30, we breezed him with a time of 56.8 seconds and 13.6 seconds over the last furlong. He’s not fatigued at all. He’s quite full of energy. If he’ll just maintain the shape he’s in until the race, I think he’ll give us a run that won’t be embarrassing.”

Cool Hotarubi
Cool Hotarubi
Cool Hotarubi (filly)

Michiro Oshida, assistant trainer
“She’d been in good shape for the Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) and I wouldn’t have anything to say if she’d been able to run her own race and then lost. But, that race just had no pace. She went from the back and I had the feeling that she wasn’t really participating. It was one race that just didn’t add up. She came back to the Ritto Training Center on Apr. 22 and we worked her alone up the hill course a week ago. Her movement wasn’t bad. The ground wasn’t that easy to run on and yet she did well. Since we have the long trip, we pushed her hard last week and went easy this week with just a focus on the finish. That’s our usual way. The left-handed track shouldn’t pose a problem. She hasn’t had results but she’s been in good shape all along. If she can really give it her all, we’ll see how well she can do.”

Cosmo Nine Ball
Cosmo Nine Ball
Cosmo Nine Ball (colt)

Yuji Wada, trainer
“In the New Zealand Trophy, I think he kept up with the flow very nicely. On that day, the outside ground was fast and I think that made the difference in the end. After that race, we kept him at the Miho Training Center and got him ready there. He’s looking fresh and in good spirits so I think we can look for improvement next time out. On Apr. 30, we worked him in tandem on the woodchip course. Jockey Daichi Shibata rode him pretty aggressively and this colt caught and passed the other one nicely. This week we just gave him a blowout. He’s had three wins over left-handed tracks and has won the Ivy Stakes at Tokyo. Like in that race, if he can get a forward position, he tries hard, so I think that kind of race again would be ideal. And he’d probably do better if the track was a bit slow.”

Danon Major
Danon Major
Danon Major (colt)

Kojiro Hashiguchi, trainer
“When I watched the (Fuji TV Sho) Spring Stakes, I thought that if he had only a mile that he could do even better. So, I decided not to go to the Satsuki Sho, but to focus solely on this race. He worked in tandem up the hill course on Apr. 29 and though part of it may have been due to it being late in the morning, he was fast at the start and slower over the last furlong. It needs to be the other way around. Still, he’s coming along and he’s full of energy. As far as Tokyo goes, two races ago, the jockey let up in the stretch because he felt something was amiss, so you can throw that result out. I’m not worried about the Tokyo course. It would be no surprise if this horse would win a graded stakes race. I think he’ll be able to measure up on Sunday.”

Fumino Moon
Fumino Moon
Fumino Moon (colt)

Katsuichi Nishiura, trainer
“Last race, he was nicely in tune with the jockey and made up ground even with the bad going. It was a very strong race, with still a lot left at the end. On Apr. 29, we gave him hard work up the hill course. The going was a bit slow, but he was still able to clock 52.7 seconds and 13.4 seconds over the last furlong. It was a great workout and all is going well. I’d been aiming for him to take on a G1 and with winning his last race, we were able to make that come true. It’ll be his first long trip to the racetrack and he’ll handle an extra furlong, largely due to the fact that he has learned to settle well. If he does settle, he’s the type that can run well at length. If the jockey can get him nicely in hand, he’ll surely be able to run a good race amid this lineup. I’m looking forward to seeing just how well he can do.”

Grand Silk
Grand Silk
Grand Silk (colt)

Hirofumi Toda, trainer
“In the gate of the New Zealand Trophy, this horse was startled by another horse acting up and missed the break. Even so, he raced extremely well in the stretch and just missed the win. Even though he lost, he gained a lot from that race and because we’d had him go out onto the track ahead of the others, he was calm in both the preliminaries and the race. There hasn’t been that much time between races, so last week we just checked his responses in the finish in morning work. Even though he was relaxed, he responded well. From his pedigree, he’s an excitable horse and even though he hasn’t been difficult recently, we have given him gate practice just to be on the safe side. He’s been good since switching to the mile and he raced at Tokyo on his debut so he knows the track. He’s put on muscle now and I hope to see him in top form on Sunday.”

Nikkan Sports Sho Shinzan Kinen (G3)
Guanciale (colt)

Mitsuo Murata, assistant trainer
“On Monday of the week of the Satsuki Sho, he lost a shoe in his stall and must have stepped on it. He was in pain and his gait was affected so we unfortunately had to withdraw from the race. We let him have it easy for about a week so he lost some muscle, but he came back faster than we’d anticipated. His breathing was better after working him fast on Apr. 29 than it had been at an easy 15-15 on Apr. 26. With a mile, we have no concerns about him settling and the long stretch of Tokyo is attractive.”

Matenro Happiness
Matenro Happiness
Matenro Happiness (colt)

Mitsugu Kon, trainer
“It was a close one but we got our ticket to this race with the win last time out. It was a tough way to win but he’d learned well from the race previous to that, which shows what a good learner he is. His weight had been up two races ago at Nakayama. Once he got to the stables at Nakayama he quickly settled in and his appetite was hearty. And that also shows his strength. He’s versatile and should handle the distance and the jockey in his last race thought he could use a little more ground. There’s not much time between races but he’s not on edge and he looks full of energy. He hasn’t had many races yet and he shows his youth, for good or for bad. And I think that for now what is most important is his eagerness to run.”

Niigata Nisai Stakes (G3)
Musee Sultan
Musee Sultan (colt)

Satoshi Oehara, trainer
“He always acts up so I don’t think that was a factor in his loss last time out. The pace was a strange one and the trip he got didn’t suit him. A 2,000-meter race at Nakayama tends to be busy and hard to get a smooth trip, but I think the wide-open Tokyo venue would be good for him. He hasn’t been tested Tokyo yet, but I think the mile will most definitely be good for him. We just focused on the finish in his fast work on Apr. 30 and pushed him hard. Jockey Yoshitomi Shibata said he felt good and I think he’s sure to show improvement with one race behind him after a layoff. We didn’t have to push him much this week. In the Tokyo mile you don’t have to go all out in the beginning and I think this horse will be able to use his late speed better. If he can show his talent, I think he’ll be hard to beat.”

Night Fox
Night Fox
Night Fox (colt)

Masahiro Otake, trainer
“In the Tachibana Stakes he had a wide draw and wasn’t able to get any cover. Then the frontrunners tired and him having moved early hurt him. And he wasn’t even breathing hard after the race, which tells me he didn’t run all out. I guess he shouldn’t move early. He was fine after the race, came out of it very well, so I don’t see a problem with the tight rotation. He doesn’t seem especially suited to the Tokyo venue, but in a G1 the others aren’t going to fade that easily so I’m hoping he’ll give it more because he’s running in with the others. He’s really good with jockey Katsuharu Tanaka so I hope he’ll do his best.”

Nishino Rush
Nishino Rush
Nishino Rush (colt)

Yasuhito Tamura, trainer
“He only had two wins as a 2-year-old so I wanted to get him some more earnings, thus the run in the Crocus Stakes. He was coming off a layoff but he was in good shape. But, just as he was settling from the break from an inside gate, he was boxed in and that put him in a difficult spot in the stretch. He did a good job making it to the top after regaining position nonetheless. We turned him out and had planned to bring him back for the New Zealand Trophy but he was too strung out with the tight rotation so we decided to bring him here instead since he was in good shape. He got a nice time in fast work up the hill course on Apr. 29 and I once again was reminded of how talented he is. But, he’s coming off a layoff and it’s a G1. I believe that the mile is within his range of capability but Tokyo requires stamina and that is my one concern.”

Ren England
Ren England
Ren England (colt)

Yasuhiro Shibuta, assistant trainer
“In the (Chunichi Sports Sho) Falcon Stakes, the track surface had been slick and he couldn’t get traction. I’d hoped for a fast track last time out in the Marguerite Stakes but we just haven’t been lucky. I’d throw the last race out. We turned him out for a bit, brought him back to the Ritto Training Center on Apr. 22, and gave him a fast workout on Apr. 29. The ground was heavy so his time was just average, but he’s coming along well. We checked his wind on Sunday and one more workout should do it. I think 1,600 is a bit long for him and with it being a G1, it won’t be easy. This time for sure, I want a fast track.”

Tagano Azaghal
Tagano Azaghal
Tagano Azaghal (colt)

Yoshikazu Ichimaru, assistant trainer
“In the Falcon Stakes last start he lined up and then pulled away from the others in the stretch, which shows he can hold his own and hold up to a challenge. Away from the Ritto Training Center, he still got a lot of work, so he’s ready to race and his wind is good. In fast work on Apr. 29, we didn’t push him all out, but left something over. His movement was good and so were his responses in the finish. He’s in good shape. His first time over the distance was in the Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes and I think the ground was a factor in his loss. I think if the track is firm, he’ll be able to handle the distance. He has won twice at Chukyo so the left-handed track should not pose a problem. It may be asking a lot but I think if he can leave something for the finish, he’ll be able to handle it.”

New Zealand Trophy (NHK Mile Cup Trial) (G2)
Yamakatsu Ace
Yamakatsu Ace (colt)

Kaneo Ikezoe, trainer
“In the New Zealand Trophy, when moving was crucial, he moved up steadily on the outside and got the time he did even though the track was not firm. It was a very strong win and it was proof that he can handle the mile. We reaped a lot from that race. Since then, all has gone well. He’s been raced regularly but I see no signs of fatigue. Last week, the jockey rode him for work and pushed him hard. There were other horses running around him at the time so it had a good training effect. His movement looked good. We have the haul to the track so I am planning to only do some fine-tuning from here and I believe he’ll be going into the race in good shape. This week, his movement was good. Some people may think his time was a bit fast but it shows he’s in good shape. I was able to see from the Falcon Stakes, where the going was bad and it was a bit hard to get traction, that he was still able to gain ground and finish well. That showed me that he’s good racing to the left. He’s also handled the long trip to the track before. He has good acceleration and he can handle a fast race. If he can keep something in reserve until the turn for home, I think he has a chance. I’m looking forward to it. If he doesn’t have some fatigue that we can’t see, he’ll be OK.”

Arlington Cup (G3)
Young Man Power
Young Man Power (colt)

Takahisa Tezuka, trainer
“I had had my hopes up for his last race (New Zealand Trophy) since he was in better condition than when he’d won the Arlington Cup. But, he’d drawn unluckily wide for the Nakayama 1,600 and then he had to recover after interference in the stretch as well. And, the race turned out not to favor frontrunners. All in all, there were too many factors working against him last time out. He was showing some fatigue after that race but his eating returned and he’s back in shape. We gave him fast work on Apr. 29 and he may have looked rather lackluster, but considering that the horses he was running with really moved, I think he put in a solid workout. I think it being his first time in Tokyo isn’t a bad thing considering that he is a horse that gains ground slowly. He doesn’t have great times but with it being a very mixed field, I think he has a chance.”

Masami Matsuoka, jockey
“He hadn’t felt that good in fast work last week but when I rode him on Wednesday I could feel that this week’s work had sharpened him up. He debuted late in December 2014 and still is a bit immature physically. I feel that his best will come as an older horse. He felt good in fast work this week and I’d say he’s close to his present best. He doesn’t switch leads well, so the one turn of the Tokyo mile will suit him. And the final 600-meter times now are a bit slow, which is also good for him. I’d like to not push him too much in the first half and instead focus on the finish.”

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