2015 News

November 13, 2015


2015 Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1) - comments from runners' connections

Note: All runners are female

Mermaid Stakes (G3)
Chateau Blanche
Chateau Blanche (5)

Yoshitada Takahashi, trainer
“She had a good trip in the Fuchu Himba Stakes and came into the stretch looking good. I think just coming back from a layoff was the reason for her lack of acceleration. And the going was bad. We’ve been aiming her for the QE2 all along and she’s improved each time out. So, it was a good enough race for where she was at the time. I’m not too bothered by her results. She had no repercussions from that race, and work since has gone well. I’d wanted to push her a bit on the 5th so had her work with two others on the woodchips. From the looks of that, I think she’ll go to the gate in good shape. Because it’s a G1 she’ll be up against different competition.”

Felice Regalo
Felice Regalo
Felice Regalo (5)

Yasuo Tomomichi, trainer
“Before her layoff she’d shown some excellent late speed in the Mermaid Stakes. At one point early on, because she couldn’t win races where late speed was essential, I ran her on the local circuit, but she was better suited over turf. Last race she still had something left over at the finish. Since then, we’ve been giving her regular work and she has maintained the condition she was in for his last start. The course and the distance are the same as her last race. She’s a good starter and races where she can move quickly to the top are easiest for her. A fast track is OK, but I’d like to see one with a bit of spring to it.”

Hula Bride
Hula Bride
Hula Bride (6)

Hidenori Take, assistant trainer
“We’d been concerned last race because she’d bled the time before. She was lean but since she was coming off a layoff, I think she could have done with one or two more fast gallops. But her last race was good considering. Though the jockey riding work last week said, ‘She feels a bit lacking,’ and, ‘I think with a little more she’ll take the bit on her own,’ I think what she did was enough. She clocked 11.7 seconds over the last furlong. Her weight is up so this week we pushed her. Her coat has a great sheen to it and the last race has sharpened her up markedly. This will be her last race and she is in top condition. The Kyoto outer 2,200 is her best race. She was in good shape last year but she’s good this year too. If she can quickly get a good position like she did last race, I’ll be looking forward to the finish.”

2014 Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1)
Lachesis (5)

Katsuhiko Sumii, trainer
“I didn’t pay much attention to her time this week, but I’d say her movement is better now. She’s on and off her feed. Before we take her to the racetrack she weighs over 470 kg but the trip to the track apparently takes a lot out of her mentally. She doesn’t get agitated but she doesn’t eat. There are a lot of unknowns with her.”

Norihiko Kishimoto, assistant trainer
“When we stabled her at Hakodate we only had a flat course to work her on and we left room for improvement keeping the haul to Sapporo in mind. So, her weight in the Kyoto Daishoten was down 16 kg from the Sapporo Kinen. But I think that was good for her. The race was slow and she was keen in places and used up energy with that. But, considering that she was up against some strong male horses and that the race was came down to exceedingly fast times over the final 3 furlongs, she ran very well for her and showed us what a talented mare she is. On the 4th she worked alone in her fast workout. She was on her game and is physically ready so there was no need to push her too hard. We’ll just keep her relaxed. She looks just as good as she did for her win last year. My expectations are high.”

Lilavati (4)

Sei Ishizaka, trainer
“She’s been unruly in the gate for her past two starts, her timing was off and she’s had to run from the rear. So, she wasn’t able to run her race. She’s been worked regularly and had a fast gallop in tandem on the 4th. She ran well for her and she looks to be in good shape. She is good enough to do well in an open-class race if she breaks fairly well and can run well-balanced. With the competition stiff, I guess the main thing will be whether she can run her own race.”

Marialite (4)

Tadashi Kubota, trainer
“Last week, we had her work with another horse and we pushed her quite hard. She ran well to the end and it was a good piece of work. We’re careful to not stress her out and to let her stretch out and run relaxed in a long frame. I think she’s back to where she was at her best. She’s toned up since last race and is light on her feet. With the longer distances we’ve been giving her, she’s getting better results. There aren’t many longer G1s for females so we wanted to race her here. I think the conditions will suit her. She has experienced a lot of tracks, so I’m not worried about it being her first time at Kyoto.

Kazutaka Ikeuchi, assistant trainer
“For the Sankei Sho All Comers she still had room for improvement and she was a bit slow getting up to speed because of it. Still, she showed us some nice footwork from the top of the hill. For the strong field that it was, it was a good race. We gave her two weeks off after that and she’s been easier to tune up than before last race. Last week’s fast work showed improvement and this week we just breezed her. She handled the long haul to the racetrack well before, so that shouldn’t be a problem. There are a number of strong horses in the field but she is definitely in better shape than she was for her last race. I think the Kyoto outer course will suit her.”

Meisho Mambo
Meisho Mambo
Meisho Mambo (5)

Yuji Iida, trainer
“Two races ago over dirt she wasn’t traveling well so I wanted to push her from the start last out and she wound up racing from too forward a position. But the race unfolded so as to favor horses from further back, so, even though she was moving well until the straight, she wasn’t able to draw on her full strength. So, due to that, she came out of the race well and didn’t show any signs of fatigue. We clocked her on the 5th and I instructed the rider to hold back a bit. She’s won this race before but recently, even though we’ve tried a lot of different things, she just doesn’t seem able to do what she used to. We’re not stressing her out too much but at the same time we’re not letting her have her own way and we’re hoping that will stand her well in the race.”

Fuchu Himba Stakes (G2)
Nobori Diana
Nobori Diana (5)

Masahiro Matsunaga, trainer
“I think she’s at her best so far. She’s OK in the gate now, so that shouldn’t be a problem. Her time up the hill this week was as expected. (Yutaka) Take rode her last week and she clocked 52.6 seconds with a final lap in 12.5 seconds. Everything has gone really well. It being her first time over anything longer than 2,000 meters is a point of concern but I think with the shape she’s in now she’ll be able to handle it.”

Yoshikazu Nakayama, assistant trainer
“She jumped late in the Fuchu Himba Stakes but because we had planned to hold back it was still workable. She moved up nicely in the finish and showed us that she could race at a good speed over distance. We’ve been working her as usual after that. She’s on her feed and handled all the work we’ve given her, which is the most important thing. Her action in her fast work last week wasn’t bad and she’s in good shape. She showed us last race that she could run at a good clip over a distance, I think she’ll be able to handle the distance of this race. There is the gate concern, and we’ve had the jockey practicing on her. However she breaks though, if she can run at her own pace she should be able to show us the same kind of running as last start.”

Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) (G1)
Nuovo Record
Nuovo Record (4)

Makoto Saito, trainer
“In the All Comers last out she had the pressure on her from the start and then had to put the brakes on going into the straight when she ran into traffic. It was a very stressful race for a filly and not smooth in any way. She lost squarely but I think she did really well to have made second under the circumstances. I was reminded of how good she is. We kept her at the training center after that and got her over any fatigue she had from that race and have been giving her regular work. Two weeks ago, Iwata rode her at length in tandem with another horse. She started from behind and advanced on the other. Iwata pushed her hard just before the finish and it was a tough workout. She’ll be switched on with this. She had great late speed. This week she was laid back and for a horse that is always raring to go, I think being able to be like this is a good thing. Last year, I didn’t think she’d be able to handle the race, which demands late speed, but now I think she’s ready for it. This race has been our main objective. Iwata is ready for it and I don’t think he wants to lose to the foreign jockeys or to the 3-year-olds. Over the past year she’s learned to switch on and off with ease. She’s looking a lot more powerful now and the jockey has gotten a good handle on her. I don’t want the times over the final 3 furlongs to be too fast so a bit of rain would be good. She would be OK over a heavy track too, I think.”

Yasunari Iwata, jockey
“The staffs have really kept her in good shape and I think she’ll head into this race in top condition. She felt much better this week than she did last week. Her responses were good. She’s filled out more now since last year.”

Power Spot
Power Spot
Power Spot (7)

Takanori Kikuzawa, trainer
“Everything has gone according to plan and her movement is good.”

Hochi Hai Fillies\' Revue (Japanese 1,000 Guineas Trial) (G2)
Queens Ring
Queens Ring (3)

Keiji Yoshimura, trainer
“For the Shuka Sho, she was 8 kg heavier than the race previous. She’s the kind of horse that loses weight from when she arrives at the track. I think she didn’t lose that much because Kyoto was close by. She was kept waiting a bit in the race with its four turns. It’s either bring her wide or race like she did and come second. It was frustrating but it was a good display of strength. We breezed her alone on the 5th. Since she’s already had two races this fall, that was enough training. This week the jockey was scheduled to ride just to check how she feels. She hasn’t gone off her food and she has good muscle tone. I’m not that worried about the extra furlong this time out. The Shuka Sho was fast but with the outer course things should be a bit slower. I think I’d like her to race about midfield. It’ll be the first time she’s up against older horses but I want to see her give it her all.”

Remain Silent
Remain Silent
Remain Silent (5)

Katsumi Shiomura, assistant trainer
“She finished fifth in the Fuchu Himba Stakes but there were many moments in the race where she looked good. Earlier, she would stay out in front or very close to it but these last two races she’s been able to hold back more and leave something for the finish. I think she’s become more versatile. She usually runs pretty well in morning work but at times she’ll look great in work and then do poorly in the race and other times you think she needs more and she gets good results, so you really can’t tell much from her work. Her time on the 5th was just average but her overall movement and responses weren’t bad. I don’t know how she’ll handle the distance. The field is stronger than what she’s been used to. She’s definitely stronger than she used to be but I don’t know how she’ll stand up in a G1. I hoping she’ll do her best.”

Kisaragi Sho (NHK Sho) (G3)
Rouge Buck
Rouge Buck (3)

Masahiro Otake, trainer
“Leading up to the Sapporo Kinen, we’d taken her from the farm to Hakodate Racecourse but when she ran a fever of 2 degrees higher than her normal temperature we decided not to overdo it and sent her to Northern Farm Kuko for a rest. She developed a rash and we made it our priority to get her healthy again. When she was better, we worked her up the hill course for several laps over 3 furlongs in the 42-43-second range. We then brought her back to Miho on Oct. 21 via Northern Farm Tenei. On the 4th, she clocked 67.6 seconds over 5 furlongs on the woodchip course with a final 3 furlong time of 37.6 seconds. At this speed, she’ll run with no urging, but because she wasn’t switched on, the jockey encouraged her a bit by snapping the reins. But her breathing was good so she’s fit. I think she’ll be on her toes just enough for the race. This week we focused on the half mile and we tested her responses over the short distance. She glowed the whole way and heated up a bit in the end. To be honest, I think her responses are a little bit duller than they were in the spring. Last week, she was a bit heavy but the weekend gallop and this week’s were a lot better. I think this last gallop will have gotten her up to where we want her. I think we made the deadline. If she can get a run where she’s able to draw on her strength then she should measure up to the older horses. But, it is her first race in a while and a G1 on top of that. That’s the main point of concern. Also, rain would make things all the more difficult. I’m hoping for a fast track.”

Keita Tosaki, jockey
“I’ve ridden her from her debut and it’s been frustrating not to have won a G1 with her. She has good racing sense and great potential. I think she’ll be fine at Kyoto. It’s her first time up against older horses but you won’t know until you try it. She has ample talent. She can run any kind of race, so I’m not too concerned about having the race unfold in any particular way.”

Smart Layer
Smart Layer
Smart Layer (5)

Ryuji Okubo, trainer
“Earlier, she’d get keen if you sent her forward from the start, but now that she’s learned to relax, she’s had better results. Before, we’d had to race her from a rearward position but now she can get a more forward position and stay balanced. Though the finishing order was the same, I think she ran better in this year’s Fuchu Himba Stakes than last year’s. Being more relaxed, she’s coming out of the races better too. So, her training has gone well. Her last two races were really good, so the extra distance shouldn’t be difficult for her. Because he has a handle on her quirks it’s a real shame that Mirco (Demuro) can’t ride her, so in the meantime we’ve had (Suguru) Hamanaka get a feel for her. Since the jockey doesn’t have any preconceptions about her, I think if she just goes out and runs a normal race it’ll be OK.”

Sundarbans (4)

Eiichi Yano, trainer
“Her recent success is, I think, due to her having matured and now being able to learn from her experience. I think she’s finally ready. She’s been eating well and has gotten stronger, which has made running easy for her. Her hindquarters are nice and strong. She’s had great late speed in these past few runs, with times in the 33-second range over the final 3 furlongs. I don’t know how she’ll do over her first race to the right over 2,200 meters though. The distance should be fine and I think she’ll handle it.”

Tagano Etoile
Tagano Etoile
Tagano Etoile (4)

Hiroyoshi Matsuda, trainer
“In the Kiyomizu Stakes, she kept up in second position at quite a fast pace. The plan was to race her here if she won that race and she gave us results, which is the most important thing. In work, if we put a horse in front of her, she will usually run smoothly and she settles well now, unlike before. All has gone well and as she gets older she’s not losing weight like she was as a 3-year-old. Her last race, over a mile, was too busy for her, I think. The extra distance won’t be a problem and unlike in the spring for the Victoria Mile, where she’d had one race after another, this time the rotation has been more relaxed.”

Kansai Telecasting Corp. Sho Rose Stakes (Shuka Sho Trial) (G2)
Touching Speech
Touching Speech (3)

Sei Ishizaka, trainer
“She quickened well in the straight in the Shuka Sho but that was all she could do on the inner course. Our plans had always been to run her here so after that race we continued to keep her in work. In her work on the 4th, she looked the same as she had before last race and her condition is good. This will likely be her last race for this year so we’ve been training her hard working with others. The distance this time is enough and I think the change to the outer course will be a plus. As I said before last race, she has matured since the spring. She’s definitely stronger now and I don’t want to think that what she showed us last race was all she’s got. She’ll be up against older horses but with these conditions I think she has ample chance.”  

Christophe Lemaire, jockey
“Her starts are never that good so in the Shuka Sho we raced from the back, then had to go wide into the straight. She didn’t have enough speed. She was still moving well but not fast enough. She wasn’t that far off the winner though. I don’t think the Kyoto inner course suits her. The outer should be better and the distance. Her mental condition is important and I think she was feeling better in the Rose Stakes than the Shuka Sho.

Win Liberty
Win Liberty
Win Liberty (4)

Yuzo Iida, trainer
“When I saw her at the farm before her debut she looked like a Dance in the Dark progeny with nice strong hindquarters. But when she started racing she lost muscle there. Then this spring we gave her a rest and she’s filled out nicely and gotten stronger. We kept her at the training center and aimed her at this race. Last week we worked her on the woodchips over 5 furlongs and focused on the finish. The time was just average since the ground was bad but she quickened nicely in the finish. Her responses have gotten better than they were for last race. Distances in the 1,800-2,000-meter range may be her best but she has good racing sense, so I think she’ll be able to handle it.”



Sources: Keiba Book, Nikkan Sports, Tokyo Sports, Net Keiba, Sports Nippon, Radio Nikkei

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