2015 News

November 20, 2015


2015 Mile Championship (G1) – comments from runners' connections
Mainichi Broadcast. Swan Stakes (G2)
Albiano (filly, 3)

Tetsuya Kimura, trainer
“On the evening of the 17th, I checked out the track with my staff and we decided from where we wanted the horse to make her move and the next day things went perfectly to plan. She’s in good shape. I don’t think her weight will be down even on her third start. She took up a position further back than usual in the (Mainichi Broadcast.) Swan Stakes, but from her debut, I had never thought she had to be at or near the front. Last start, she was nicely balanced and relaxed. When I saw her accelerate when she headed into the stretch, I was so excited I yelled. After that race we took her to Ritto (Training Center) for the first time. The first week she wasn’t able to relax, but each day she grew more and more accustomed to her surroundings. Now she’s not swayed by things around her. This time out, I have no concerns about the distance. She’s always had talent and now she has grown physically and matured mentally and her balance has improved from the spring.”

Arma Waioli
Arma Waioli
Arma Waioli (colt, 3)

Katsuichi Nishiura, trainer
“He’s moving well now with the one race behind him. He settles well too. Still, I’d like a little bit more from him in the finish. He still has a lot of room for improvement.”

Tsuyoshi Ito, assistant trainer
“It’s great he made the cut. He’s on the up and up. He has some problems settling but he can really turn on the speed.”

NHK Mile Cup (G1)
Clarity Sky
Clarity Sky (colt, 3)

Yasuo Tomomichi, trainer
“He was too full of energy for the Fuji Stakes and bolted off in the preliminaries. That was the first time he’s done that and then he was keen over the first half of the race. As a result, he had nothing left for the final furlong. I guess it was because he was just back after a layoff. He worked with two others over the woodchips on the 11th and we pushed him hard. His responses were good when we asked him to quicken. The rider said ‘He’s definitely improved with the last race.’ He wasn’t at all in bad shape for his last start but I think we’ll see improvement. He has let off steam now, has muscle and has filled out from spring.”

NHK Mile Cup (G1)
Curren Black Hill
Curren Black Hill (horse, 6)

Osamu Hirata, trainer
“He couldn’t hold his ground in the Fuji Stakes. It was his first race in a while but these days, and in a G3, it’s a bit much to ask for him to lead. He has improved with that race. Our strategy this time will, of course, depend on the start and the draw but I think it will be different from last race. He’s fine running to the left or to the right and if the ground is soft, it won’t be a problem.”

Hankyu Hai (G3)
Daiwa Maggiore
Daiwa Maggiore (horse, 6)

Yoshito Yahagi, trainer  
“In the Swan Stakes, even though he was coming off a layoff, he was in very good shape. Even the jockey said he was surprised in the stretch. The result may be attributable to the layoff but he raced well, and I think for it being his first race of the fall campaign, it was a good one. Since then, I feel he’s showing improvement. With this amount of time between races, it’s our norm to breeze him on the Friday a week before the race. He may not be getting the best results lately but I don’t feel age is a factor. He’s not particularly suited to a sloppy track, but, since all the runners will be disadvantaged by it, I think if he has a track like he did for his win of the Hankyu Hai, that he’ll have a chance.”

Danon Shark
Danon Shark
Danon Shark (horse, 7)

Ryuji Okubo, trainer
“Whenever a race draws near and we give him some fast work, he takes the bit on his own. He’s very clever that way and so he’s easy to get ready. He hasn’t changed much from last race and he’ll go into this race in good shape. We haven’t given him that many races, but have been careful with him. I don’t see that he’s any worse off now that he’s seven. He had the bruised hoof in the spring and we had to pass on the (Yomiuri) Milers Cup and we weren’t able to race him as much as we would have liked to. Things have gone well this autumn and I think he’ll do well with the sharpener. It’s a change to a course where he has gotten good results. If it comes down to the final drive, I think he’ll measure up. The rain for the past two weeks is a concern. He gave us that great time last year so I’m hoping for a fast track that will bring out his best. And a bit of luck.”

Fiero (horse, 6)

Hideaki Fujiwara, trainer
“Last year’s result was really frustrating. I’m really hoping he can do it this year. Naturally, with him being one year older I do wonder if he can, but we’ve taken especially good care of him all along. We’ve given him lots of time off and not many races. So, in that way he’s still ‘youthful.’ I think as far as his condition goes, he’s better than last year. I think he’s at his peak right now. I think the Swan Stakes was a very good prep for this race. It was the first time up for Mirco (Demuro) and I wanted to see how he worked with the horse and what kind of ride he’d give him. I think, with the concerns we had and the result we got, the answer to my questions was a very good one. Mirco said after the race that things had gone as he’d pictured they would. He said that the horse quickened very nicely over the final furlong. The track was heavy for this week’s fast work. We worked him first thing in the morning so the conditions would make it easier for him and Ryota Samejima, who always rides him, said things looked ‘good.’ If he says he’s good, then the horse will run. I’m confident. The hill on the Kyoto outer course is something that Fiero can use to his advantage and so the conditions are excellent for him. Last year the jockey made the best of the inside draw and a lot this year will depend on the draw.”

Mirco Demuro, jockey
“He’s a great horse. Last time out, the outside draw made things a bit difficult but he moved very well in the finish. I’d watched his past videos and saw that he gets a bit keen so I waited to make my move until late. It was his first race in a while and over 1,400 meters at that so he was a bit eager to run, but his tension level was just right and made him easy to ride. He’s a very clever horse. I think the extra furlong will be fine as the 1,400 was a bit too busy. An outside draw at Kyoto would make things difficult so I’m hoping to break from the inside. If he jumps well and we can get a good position, I think he’ll run well. I’d prefer a fast track to a slow one.

Isla Bonita
Isla Bonita
Isla Bonita (colt, 4)

Ryuji Sato, assistant trainer 
“In the Tenno Sho (Autumn), he raced uncharacteristically from the back. He got into some traffic at the second turn and got a bit keen, but even with his outside draw, I’d say he had a pretty smooth trip. It wasn’t by any means a bad race. On the Thursday of the week after the week of the race, we worked him up the hill course, then on the 13th we worked him over the course. He didn’t show any signs of fatigue, but was full of pep as usual. I think we can expect improvement. He’s in really good shape now. It’s his first mile since the summer of his 2-year-old year, and since he’s always eager to run and we have to try his patience, I think the conditions suit him. If he can keep something in reserve, I think he’ll show us more late speed than usual.”

Keiai Elegant
Keiai Elegant
Keiai Elegant (mare, 6)

Kiyohiko Tanaka, assistant trainer
“She came out of her last race well. She’s relaxed and in a good frame of mind to run and showing improvement from last race. We decided on the Mile Championship over the Queen Elizabeth II Cup because of the distance. She won the Kyoto Himba Stakes but the competition in this race is another matter. I at least want her to do her best until the last 100 meters and we’ll see how far she gets.”

Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) (G1)
Let's Go Donki
Let's Go Donki (filly, 3)

Tomoyuki Umeda, trainer
“In the Shuka Sho, the start was everything. She was unruly in the gate, jumped poorly and ran poorly balanced. The distance may have been a bit much for her too. Since then, we reset our sights on this race. On the 11th, we worked her up the hill course and she clocked 51.4 seconds overall with the last furlong in 12.4 seconds with no urging. She could have done more if we’d pushed her but she moved well on her own and there was no reason to push her. Her breathing was good afterward and she’s in good shape. This week we just checked her responses. At this distance, she should have an easier time racing. The main thing will be keeping her relaxed in the gate.”


Logotype (horse, 5)

Tsuyoshi Tanaka, trainer
“He did very well in the Fuji Stakes despite a bit of trouble when the jockey moved him out. I think the weight the top two finishers were carrying made the difference. His back is better now and he’s put muscle on his hindquarters. We pushed him hard last week up the hill course as usual. This week we had the jockey breeze him on the flat. He hasn’t been able to win lately, so I’m really hoping he can this time. He has exceptional talent and he is in excellent shape.”

Yasuda kinen (G1)
Maurice (colt, 4)

Atsunori Hashimoto, assistant trainer
“With how good he looked racing in the Yasuda Kinen, I was surprised that his winning margin wasn’t more. He was really strong. We had tied his tongue because we wanted him to take the bit in the gate but he had a lot of gate practice and I don’t think that the reason his start was so good was just because of his tongue being tied. We decided to pass on the Mainichi Okan because he was showing signs of fatigue. His gait was stiff and his back tense. Since then, we’ve been having him treated and he’s had light gallops up the hill course. His pain is gone now and he’s fresh. On the 10th he weighed 534 kg and we’ve been slowly getting him leaner and bringing him up to peak. A G1 coming off a layoff won’t be easy but I think he’ll go to the gate in good shape.”

Hanshin Cup (G2)
Real Impact
Real Impact (horse, 7)

Atsunori Hashimoto, assistant trainer
“In the Yasuda Kinen he was just back from overseas and I think he was still tired from the journey. He didn’t show his usual tenacity. For the Mainichi Okan he was not quite up to peak as he had run a fever and had not gotten the training he needed. Even though he had traveled from a bit back and kept something in reserve, he wasn’t able to accelerate enough. He came back to the training center on Nov. 5 and we clocked him on the 8th. He hasn’t shown much improvement but he has gotten ample work. I’m hoping his last start will have sharpened him up a bit.”

Sekiya Kinen (G3)
Red Arion
Red Arion (horse, 5)

Kojiro Hashiguchi, trainer
“In the Keisei Hai Autumn Handicap, he didn’t run out of energy and he just lost interest at the final turn because he was running unbalanced. He’s very sensitive and when this happens, he won’t run. We gave him a bit of time off to refresh because this has brought us good results recently. On the 11th, we worked him in tandem. His movement was good and there were no concerns. The righthanded track is no problem. The key will be the going. He hates mud in his face and won’t run. A firm track is a must. He can hold his own in a G1. If he can jump well and get a smooth trip, he has ample chance.”

Red Reveur
Red Reveur
Red Reveur (filly, 4)

Naosuke Sugai, trainer
“She had a nice inside track last time out in the Fuchu Himba Stakes but things got tight in the stretch and she couldn’t get room to run. Even though she was coming off a layoff, she was in good shape and so the results weren’t convincing. She came out of the race well and has gotten work as usual. The jockey rode her on the hill course last week and said she’s still doing well. She has had good results at the mile and I think the wide-open Kyoto outer course with its long homestretch will suit her. She is solid now, more so than her weight would indicate. She has also matured mentally.”

Satano Aladdin
Satono Aladdin
Satono Aladdin (colt, 4)

Yasutoshi Ikee, trainer
“He was moving very nicely in the Fuji Stakes and had a perfect ride. The winner was coming off a layoff too but this horse is big and the other carried only 54 kg. I think that made the difference. He didn’t show signs of fatigue afterward and we’ve been able to work him as usual. I think he will definitely show improvement. We worked him at length on the 11th and his action was good. This week’s workout will have him ready. His only experience at Kyoto was the Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger). I don’t think the conditions of the mile are bad. I’d like a very firm track.”

Christophe Lemaire, jockey
“He moved very well in work this week. His responses were good. He’s in perfect shape. The last race sharpened him up. He has speed and good acceleration. Last race he ran second but he has great potential and I think the mile suits him the best. I am confident and, of course, am looking forward to the race.”

Challenge Cup (G3)
Tosen Stardom
Tosen Stardom (colt, 4)

Yasutoshi Ikee, trainer
“Whenever he wins, it’s never by much but last time out in the Cassiopeia Stakes he concentrated better than usual after the jockey moved him out. He’s more solid now after the summer. He always has a bit of fatigue after a race and the staff has taken care to get him over that. I have no particular worries. He’s coming along fine. He can concentrate better in a race with fewer turns. It won’t be good if the track is slow though. I want a really firm surface on Sunday.”

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

Mikio Matsunaga, trainer
“In the Tenno Sho (Autumn) the horses had to move wide at one point when a horse hit the rail. And from there he chomped down on the bit. The pace was slow and he had an outside draw so things were tough for him. He didn’t go all out in the final stages so he didn’t have any fatigue coming out of that race. He’s actually full of pep and on his toes. The jockey will be up for the first time, so we had him ride work last Thursday with a breeze over the woodchips and his movement was good. This week the jockey worked him hard up the hill course. The horse has won at Kyoto so I don’t think the venue change will be a problem. A softer track will bring out his best. In fact, it would even be good if it rained.”


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

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