2015 News

October 30, 2015


2015 Tenno Sho (Autumn) (G1) - comments from runners' connections
Mainichi Okan (G2)
A Shin Hikari
A Shin Hikari (colt, 4)

Masanori Sakaguchi, trainer
“He was able to get a nice run in the Mainichi Okan, at a pace he liked and his time over the final 3 furlongs was 34 seconds flat. He ran solidly to the end. He ran nice and straight and I’m not worried about him running over a left-handed track anymore. He’s showing no signs of fatigue, but because it’s tight between races, we focused just on the finish up the hill last week. There’s no need to do too much. In addition to the tougher competition of a G1, the distance will be a furlong longer. It’ll be his first time carrying 58 kg as well. It’s by no means an easy race, but I think if he just runs his own race he’ll be good. If he has a horse ahead of him he gets keens, but if he leads, he’ll settle. He’s eating well and he’s normally relaxed. The only time he gets excited is in the parade ring. He’s relaxed in the preliminaries as well, so I don’t think any excitement will have an influence on his being able to perform at his best.”

Yutaka Take, jockey
“He ran rather slowly in the first half of his fast work this week but he did well in the end. I think he’s in good condition. I feel he has changed quite a bit these last three races. I feel he’s better right now than he was for the Epsom Cup. He has had such great results up to now and has gotten stronger with each race. He has overcome any problems he’s had and I’m really looking forward to a G1. I felt his last race was much easier for him than I’d imagined it would be. It was a comfortable pace for him but the Tenno Sho is not an easy race to win wire to wire. It’ll surely be a tough race. He’s a difficult horse, so I won’t know how I’m going to play it until we’re out of the gate. It’s likely, looking at the field, that we’ll take the lead though. I’m hoping for an inside draw.

Admire Deus
Admire Deus
Admire Deus (colt, 4)

Mitsuru Hashida, trainer
“In the spring Tenno Sho, he was kept waiting in the gate and broke late. Sent forward, he became keen. After the race he showed signs of heatstroke and then we discovered he had suffered a fracture. We gave him a layoff at Northern Farm Hayakita and then brought him back to the training center aimed at this race. He’s matured and gotten taller and has put on over 10 kg. He has a powerful stride and his work has gone according to plan. He can do well coming directly off a layoff as long as he’s been getting the right kind of work. The fracture has not influenced that at all. The Tokyo course calls for a fast time over the final 3 furlongs and he did well enough in the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby). There’ll be no problem with either the course or the distance.”

Radio Nikkei Sho (G3)
Ambitious (colt, 3)

Hidetaka Otonashi, trainer
“He broke well in the Mainichi Okan but stumbled on his second stride and ended up in the back of the field. He moved out and ran well in the stretch but the winner went wire to wire and with that kind of pace, sixth was the best he could manage. He only really ran in the stretch so he came out of that race OK. The race did sharpen him up but he’s not too lean. He has definitely been improving so I think he’ll be able to move this time. I was looking forward to seeing how well he would do last race but he wasn’t able to run his own race. He can settle at this distance so I’m not worried there. I’d like to see a fast pace.”

Clarente (horse, 6)

Kojiro Hashiguchi, trainer
“In the Mainichi Okan, he missed the break and then because he had horses closing in on both sides he ended up running from a rear position. In the stretch as well, he was blocked in front, so wasn’t able to open up. Because he couldn’t run, he wasn’t tired from the race and we’ve been able to give him the same work he’s usually gotten. He’s in good health and we’ll be able to take on the race in top shape again. He won the 1,800-meter Epsom Cup the year before last and was third in a close finish in the Mainichi Okan. I believe he can handle 2,000 at Tokyo. Above all, this horse is very different racing to the left. He didn’t fire fully last outing, but if he can I think he can do well enough.”

Curren Mirotic
Curren Mirotic
Curren Mirotic (gelding, 7)

Osamu Hirata, trainer
“A week before the Kyoto Daishoten I thought he was lacking something, but his movement improved the week of the race and, for a preliminary, he was in good shape. The winner was strong and with this one looking just about to overtake the runnerup, I think he ran a strong race. He’s moving well in work and on the 21st we worked him at a pace of 15-15. He’s really on his toes and I feel the last race sharpened him up. He’s able to handle the distance but I don’t think 2,000 meters is his best. There are frontrunners so I think it’ll be good if he keeps up well with the pace from whatever position he gets just out of the gate. He’s only been raced once at Tokyo, when he was young, but I think it’s a course that can bring out his best. He’s gotten stronger with age.”

Niigata Daishoten (G3)
D'accord (horse, 7)

Koichi Shirakura, assistant trainer
“The Niigata Daishoten was a perfect race. He came from a rear position and the ground was pretty torn up. He quickened nicely but only made it to sixth. The frontrunners really held their ground. I think the race just unfolded in a way that didn’t suit him. He returned to the training center on Oct. 9 and he has filled out and is very muscular. Last week, we sent him aggressively forward and he held on relatively well until the end. We gave him a strong gallop this week too. When he comes back from a layoff, he’s relaxed and calm and looking good. The Tokyo 2,000 itself is not a difficult venue for him but this year the lineup is quite a strong one. I’m hoping that firstly we’ll have good weather, and then that he’ll break well and get a good position. We’ll see just how well he can do from there.”

Chunichi Shimbun Hai (G3)
Decipher (horse, 6)

Futoshi Kojima, trainer
“The pace was slow last out in the Mainichi Okan and I think the difference between them at the finish line was just the difference of when they had made their move. His ideal run is one where he advances slowly. He also got a jockey’s whip in his face, but even so, he was able to handle a finish that called for a late kick. It’s not like we just squeezed into the lineup, so I’m looking forward to Sunday. We breezed him up the hill on the 21st and were careful to not let him get too fast. With the rather tight schedule, this was enough. He’ll be right at peak this week. I instructed the rider to work him at about 80 percent this week and it did look like a lighter workout than usual. He’s not that sharp a runner, not one that can respond that easily, so I think his ideal race is one where he can run his own race and make his move on his own like he did in the Sapporo Kinen. He’s more powerful than he was last year. In the Tokyo 2,000, an outside draw definitely puts you at a disadvantage so you have to ride to overcome that. After getting into the backstretch, getting a good position and settling are important.”

Hakodate Kinen (G3)
Derby Fizz
Derby Fizz (horse, 5)

Futoshi Kojima, trainer
“Even though he was third in the Sapporo Kinen it was only by a small margin. I don’t think he was any worse than the winner Decipher. From Shadai Farm via Yamamoto Training Center, he returned to Miho on Oct. 7 and has gotten ample work. He worked up the hill course on Oct. 21 and though he doesn’t run well in tandem, he gave us a nice time running solo. He’s on his toes even in work, not just in races now. He was a bit heavy last week but his fast work this week should have tuned him up. He’s not an easy horse by any means but he has the ability to do well here. I’m hoping the jockey will be able to bring that out in him. I think Demuro will have studied his past races. He’s a bit of a difficult horse but he really has a will to run.”

Isla Bonita
Isla Bonita
Isla Bonita (colt, 4)

Hironori Kurita, trainer
“He was very high-strung as a 3-year-old but has matured a great deal. He was calm even after this week’s fast work. He was striding out nicely and had a good atmosphere about him. Last out, I’d say he was at about 80 percent, but that race has relaxed him. He’s experienced at Tokyo so there’s no problem there. If he can run his own race he’ll be OK.”

Ryuji Sato, assistant trainer
“The Mainichi Okan was his first race after a 7-month layoff. His workouts had all gone well and I’d say he was ready. But, I don’t know what is was but something was off, something was lacking. That’s the impression I got. But, nonetheless, whatever it was, he still managed to make third place, so I’ll look at it positively. He’s looking good. He’s alert and energetic. He let off steam and is calmer, which is a very good development. (Masayoshi) Ebina rode him last Friday and gave him a very nice gallop on the woodchip course. It’ll be good if the pace is a somewhat brisk one. That will make things easier for him. I’m expecting to see a good race.”

Masayoshi Ebina, jockey
“Last week I rode him in work at a pace of about 15-15 and this week was similar. His breathing was good afterward and he’s lighter on his feet so he’s showing improvement. Last race he didn’t quicken as much as I felt he could. But that was probably because it was his first race after the layoff. He has definitely improved.”

Last Impact
Last Impact
Last Impact (horse, 5)

Hiroyoshi Matsuda, trainer
“He just didn’t have that bit more acceleration he needed in the finish in the Sapporo Kinen. He was off the winner by only 0.2 seconds. But that little difference between so many runners is what makes the open class so difficult. Also, it was difficult in that he was back after a layoff. We didn’t give him any time off but took him back to Ritto after the Sapporo meet was finished and have aimed him at the Tenno Sho since. On the 21st he ran the course in tandem. He’s handled his gallops well and he will definitely be showing improvement this time out. Now that he’s older, his back and hindquarters are markedly stronger. A left-handed 2,000 meters is good for him. I think he measures up ability-wise.”

Takarazuka Kinen (G1)
Lovely Day
Lovely Day (horse, 5)

Yasutoshi Ikee, trainer
“His win of the Kyoto Daishoten was a strong one and I think it showed. Things got a little tight in the stretch but he split the ranks and came through and handled the fast finishing times. And all that was accomplished coming off a layoff with still room for improvement. I think his recent success comes from a number of things. Last race when he made his move, he continued to concentrate well and I think he is more relaxed than he used to be. Physically he has filled out and I have the impression that he is sharper than before. Because there isn’t much time between this race and last, his work last week was more like on a regular weekend, not one before a race. We worked him up the hill course at a pace of 13 seconds a furlong. And, I felt that he had sharpened up more than I had expected he would. Two thousand meters has always been his best distance. And now he seems able to race from any position, so with some strong frontrunners in the field, I think it will make things all the easier for him. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Suguru Hamanaka, jockey
“In work this week I had my eye on the horse in front from about the half-mile mark. Instructions were to not push him too much and to leave something in the stretch. He felt good to me. He was relaxed throughout.”

Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) (G1)
One and Only
One and Only (colt, 4)

Kojiro Hashiguchi, trainer
“He’s the type of racer that can run at a good clip for extended times, but in his last race, the Kyoto Daishoten, the slow pace favored those with a strong final kick, so it wasn’t his kind of race. He came out of the race well and is full of pep, so we’ve been able to work him as usual. In his two races before that, the Arima Kinen and the Takarazuka Kinen, he was blocked in front and couldn’t get a clear run to show what he’s capable of. The last time he was able to do that was in the Dubai Sheema Classic. We’re back at the venue where he won the Japanese Derby and it won’t come as a surprise if he gets the kind of race that suits him. I’m hoping things come together well for him.”

Pelusa (horse, 8)

Daisuke Tsumagari, assistant trainer
“The jockey’s talent really shone in the way he was able to ride aggressively and get results in the Sapporo Nikkei Open. This horse hadn’t won in a long time but had been showing improvement in each race from the spring, so I was hoping that his time would come. And he proved his ability with this win, which has made everyone at the stable very happy. We’ve trained him as usual since returning from Hokkaido and with it getting much cooler now, he is feeling good. It’s his second bid in the Tenno Sho and with his comeback last start, I’m looking forward to it.”

Hochi Hai Yayoi Sho (Japanese 2,000 Guineas Trial) (G2)
Satono Crown
Satono Crown (colt, 3)

Atsunori Hashimoto, assistant trainer
“I think his Derby run was affected by the jockey’s regrets about having pushed him too much in the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) and by the hot weather. And though he missed the break by a full stride, he gave us some nice footwork in the finish. We rested over the summer to get him completely recovered and refreshed. And we aimed him at this one race alone. I think he’s had enough work but he hasn’t shown much improvement. For the Satsuki Sho and the Derby, he showed improvement with each gallop but he’s still a bit heavy. He weighed 499 kg on the 20th and I hope this week’s fast work will show some change in him. He’ll be up against some strong horses. It won’t be easy.”

Shonan Pandora
Shonan Pandora
Shonan Pandora (filly, 4)

Tomokazu Takano, trainer
“She was third in the Takarazuka Kinen in the spring but knowing how good she was I thought she’d do better. Last out in the (Sankei Sho) All Comers she won as I expected her to going into the Tenno Sho. In work on the hill on the 21st, we had her hold back and extend over the last furlong and she did very nicely. The jockey said she was better than last time. Her last race sharpened her up. This week we just fine-tuned her and I think she’ll be going into the race fresh. She’s been good in the gate recently and that gives me less to worry about in getting a good position. Compared to her 3-year-old year, I’d say she has matured from a youngster to an adult in all aspects. She should give us a good race.”

Kenichi Ikezoe, jockey
“I rode her for the first time after her last race and my thoughts were that because she was aimed for a G1 I wanted her to be in even better shape. But, when I got on her I could feel right off that she was in very good shape. I rode her up the hill twice and I could feel her getting better just on the second lap. She ran very solidly at the end too. The Tokyo 2,000 is difficult and I’ll be concentrating on getting a good start. She herself is an easy horse to ride and I think the wide-open stretch at Tokyo will suit her.”


Spielberg (horse, 6)

Kazuo Fujisawa, trainer
“Last week his movement was good in work, so this week we just breezed him. His time isn’t usually that good in work but his action was good this week.

Daisuke Tsumagari, assistant trainer
“His last run was his first after returning from England. He’d had ample work and I think he was in good shape. But, in the Mainichi Okan he simply wasn’t able to show us anything of what he can do. Yes, the race favored the frontrunners and he didn’t get his kind of trip but, still, he didn’t seem to be on his game. And he got his breath back right after pulling up so it looks like he didn’t put that much into it. He’s always been a laidback horse and normally you can easily tell from his movement and his work when he improves after a race. And he is looking different now from last race. He has gotten better and I think we’ll surely be able to see a performance this time that is more in character.”

Hiroshi Kitamura, jockey
“The track was easy to run on this week in work but I think he ran better than usual this week. I think he has improved. If he can get good cover in the race it’ll be good.”

Saudi Arabia Royal Cup Fuji Stakes (G3)
Staphanos (colt, 4)

Nobuyuki Tashiro, assistant trainer
“He had a final 3-furlong time of 33.2 seconds in the Mainichi Okan but the pace had been slow most of the race. He came out of that race fine and we gave him a fast run on the woodchips on the 23rd. With the rotation tight, it was enough to just focus on the finish. His wind is better now after having raced for the first time in quite a while. His muscle tone is better and he’s in overall good shape. He’s always been one to improve with each race and I think this time will be no different. He ran second in an international G1 so he is definitely up to par. He’ll do better if the track is a bit rough.”

Tokyo Shimbun Hai (G3)
Vincennes (horse, 6)

Mikio Matsunaga, trainer
“He can do quite well even under a mile but he settled well at 1,800 last out even when sent forward. After the Yasuda Kinen, I gave him a rest in Hokkaido and had him reset so to speak. Still, and the jockey agreed, he wasn’t in any better shape than we’d thought. But, I think he’s finally showing his real self. He’s running solidly in his fast gallops now and he has improved with that last run. I’ll let the jockey ride as he wishes, but this horse is best at holding back, keeping something in reserve, and going all out at the finish. With early speed in the field, I think it’ll make things easier for him. If he settles well then the distance won’t be a problem.”

Sources: Keiba Book, Net Keiba, Sports Nippon, Sankei Sports, Sports Hochi

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