2015 News

November 27, 2015


2015 Japan Cup (G1) in association with Longines – comments from Japanese runners' connections
Nikkei Sho (G2)
Admire Deus
Admire Deus (colt, 4)

Mitsuru Hashida, trainer
“With the gate he had for the Tenno Sho (Autumn) there was nothing else he could do but advance slowly. Then, in the straight a horse on his inside pushed him further out and he lost some speed there. Still, he had the fastest final-3-furlong time and he was able to settle amid the slow pace. The far outside gate in a Tokyo 2,000 is a tough place to break from. He worked in tandem a week ago over the woodchip course. He was held back a bit too much and so his time was slow but the jockey still said, ‘He has improved a lot.’ I think he’s on his toes. This week his time and movement were both good. His lungs are good too and his breathing returned to normal quickly after work. He should show improvement from last race and the Tokyo 2,400 should suit him because he’s the type of horse that can run at a good speed at length. He’s up 10 kg but that’s due to him maturing. He’s nice and lean now. The extra distance this time will be better for him. He’s had outside draws for his last two races so I’m hoping to at least avoid that. ”

Kinko Sho (G2)
Curren Mirotic
Curren Mirotic (gelding, 7)

Osamu Hirata, trainer
“The Tenno Sho (Autumn) was his first race in a long time over 2,000 meters. He had been good at this distance so I was looking forward to the race, but the pace was slower than expected. At one point, everything was jammed up in front and the pressure was on him from the outside. It was quite a difficult trip for him and the results he got were not indicative of what he can do. His training has gone as planned after that. This week he was very near to looking as he did at his best. His movement was good. It’s the autumn of his seventh year but he doesn’t look his age. I still don’t quite understand why he did so poorly last time out but he’s in good shape. He hasn’t yet gotten results at Tokyo though I feel the long stretch should suit him. But right now, I think the longer distance is good for him. I think if there is any sort of pace and if stamina comes into play he won’t give us a race like last time.”

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

Futoshi Kojima, trainer
“If I were to sum up his Tenno Sho (Autumn) run I’d say he simply didn’t race. And because he didn’t race he came out of the race well. I’d like for him to give a bit more convincing performance. The going on the hill course on the 18th was pretty bad but even without the rider’s urging he went it up nicely. He moved powerfully and I had no complaints. There is nothing wrong with him physically. At the jockey’s request, he didn’t want to ride fast work, so I put him up on Friday two weeks ago. He’s not an easy horse but I think the jockey got a good handle on him. The distance is OK. I think if he can just run seriously he can measure up even amid this lineup.”

Tenno Sho (Spring) (G1)
Gold Ship
Gold Ship (horse, 6)

Naosuke Sugai, trainer
“The gate was everything in the Takarazuka Kinen. He was loaded early and kept waiting quite a while and that upset him. The horse next to him was jumping around and that got him worked up even more. The timing of the break was bad and that was really frustrating, but that’s racing and there’s nothing you can do about it. He came back to the training center at the beginning of October. He never has any problem in gate practice and there was no problem with his gate test either. Two weeks ago he got a nice time on the flat course and last week he surprised us with a great time up the hill course when the track was slow. His movement is powerful and his muscling is good. He’s looking like he did in his best of times so far. He has a lot of wins and I don’t think he’s as bad over the Tokyo course as people tend to think. The gate is a big factor and I’m just hoping he can get a nice smooth run with no mishaps and give us his kind of race.”

Meguro Kinen (G2)
Hit the Target
Hit the Target (horse, 7)

Keiji Kato, trainer
“We had our sights on the Tenno Sho (Autumn) and had been getting him ready for that but there were some areas of concern that we wanted to take care of so we decided to pass on that race. But, he’s gotten work all along. On the 18th, the assistant trainer rode him, as is usual. He gave us a solid run until the end and I think you could say his movement had improved. There doesn’t seem to be any effect from the extra time off. He has always been in good shape but due to a bad surface or a poor trip he hasn’t gotten the results we’d have liked. If he can sit patiently on the inside and the race is one where late speed comes into play, he can really give us some amazing stuff like he has these last two races. If the going is bad he loses interest in running. So, a fast track is a must. And being able to move up slowly on the outside is important too. I’m hoping for a fast pace.”

2015 World All-Star Jockeys 2nd Leg
Jungle Cruise
Jungle Cruise (gelding, 6)

Daisuke Tsumagari, assistant trainer
“His win at Sapporo was easier than the winning margin would indicate. He showed really nice acceleration and the race was a good one. We had planned to give him one more race in the autumn before this one but he was a bit lacking in some areas as compared to when he won at Sapporo so we held off until now. We watched him closer and upped the amount of work we’ve given him accordingly and his movement has gotten a lot better. He’s going to be competing against horses much stronger than he’s seen before. I think it’ll be a very tough race for him but he’s in his prime now and I’m looking forward to seeing how he can do.”

Kinko Sho (G2)
Last Impact
Last Impact (horse, 5)

Hiroyoshi Matsuda, trainer
“I thought the position he had in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) would be OK but he hit the rail on the turn and lost his balance. So, the results were understandable and he didn’t break down but got home safely, so I’ll call it good. He looks heavy for a son of Deep Impact but he’s gotten sufficient work. He worked solo over the course on the 18th and quickened well in the end. Four weeks from the Tenno Sho (Autumn) is a bit tight so that is enough work. He’s able to settle better now that he’s older so the 2,400 meters should be fine. Ryan Moore asked for the ride himself this time. I’m hoping for a smooth race and for him to be able to give it his best.”

Tenno Sho (Autumn) (G1)
Lovely Day
Lovely Day (horse, 5)

Yasutoshi Ikee, trainer
“In the Tenno Sho (Autumn), we’d figured that Clarente might take the lead and were pretty sure the pace would be slow. He was a bit keen when the jockey sent him forward but he ran a totally different race from the horses who finished second through fourth. He was very impressive. His hindquarters and shoulders have gotten very muscular in particular and overall he has put on muscle. I think he’s at his prime. In fast work on the 19th we had him start behind another horse and he easily caught and passed that horse. He’s coming along as we imagined and since we’d left room for improvement last race, he has gotten even better. We’re just being careful not to overwork him right before the race. He has handled the Kyoto 2,400 well but the hill at Tokyo is long. That will be key. I’m hoping to be able to give further proof of the high level of Japanese horses.”

Shuka Sho (G1)
Mikki Queen
Mikki Queen (filly, 3)

Yasutoshi Ikee, trainer
“She jumped better last time out than she had in the (Kansai Telecasting Corp. Sho) Rose Stakes and the far outside gate was actually good because she was loaded late. We knew the track was really fast so the jockey took up a position ahead of midfield, but the lap times were quite fast and I think in the backstretch that that strategy may have actually backfired on us a bit. But she was great in splitting the ranks coming into the stretch. We sent her to Northern Farm Shigaraki after that and though we did considering running her in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup, I wanted to give her a bit more time between races, but here she will only have to carry 53 kg. We had enough time so were able to get rid of any tightness in her back and hindquarters. Her movement was good on the 19th and she has maintained her condition. This week she showed a nice turn of foot in her fast work. We’ve been careful to keep her relaxed and I think she’ll go to the gate Sunday in the same condition she was for the Shuka Sho. She won the (Yushun Himba – Japanese) Oaks at the same venue but the Japan Cup is a totally different race. It’ll surely be a much tougher race than what she’s had up to now.”

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

Kojiro Hashiguchi, trainer
“The Tenno Sho (Autumn) had a slow pace and then it came down to who had the best acceleration in the final stage. This horse isn’t suited to that kind of trip. There was that and then, the same as in the Kyoto Daishoten, he was unusually relaxed from the saddling enclosure. In the (Tokyo Yushun – Japanese) Derby and in Dubai, once you put the saddle on him he was a real handful. He was always rather hard to handle. If you think of that, he was a bit too quiet in his last two races. Since then, we’ve concentrated on pushing him to the point of irritation. Physically, he’s in good shape, but he needs to get on his game mentally. His best race is the Tokyo 2,400. I think the key is the trip. He can run at a steady pace at length so I’d like the race to call for stamina. If he can get a good handle on the pace it would come as no surprise if we see something different this time out.”

Pelusa (horse, 8)

Daisuke Tsumagari, assistant trainer
“In the Tenno Sho (Autumn) he was affected by a horse that had hit the rail in the first bend so he dropped back in position. Still, he quickened nicely just before the finish line. He was in good shape so the interference was regrettable. On the 19th we worked him on the flat course and it was a good piece of work. He has no fatigue and all has gone well. He was only 0.5 seconds off the winner even with the interference in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) so it looks like he has pulled out of the slump he was in for a while. The competition is formidable but I think he’ll give it his best.”

Shonan Bach
Shonan Bach
Shonan Bach (colt, 4)

Hiroyuki Uehara, trainer
“Even though his last race was an allowance race, it was an easy win. Earlier, he’d been bothered by shin splints and he was weak in the hindquarters. Now, he’s stronger, more solid. I think you could say he’s come into his own. Of course, the lineup is much stronger but he’s really in good shape now.”

2014 Shuka Sho (G1)
Shonan Pandora
Shonan Pandora (filly, 4)

Tomokazu Takano, trainer
“She wasn’t able to get a good position from the gate in the Tenno Sho (Autumn). I don’t want to make excuses but I think the wide draw made things difficult. Still, I think she ran well. The Tenno Sho (Autumn) was run at a slow pace and it really only came down to the stretch so she recovered more quickly than she had after the (Sankei Sho All Comers). She has a very hearty appetite and looks very filled out. The jockey rode in tandem on the 18th and pushed her hard over the final furlong. We’d hoped to have her maintain the condition she was in for her last race but it looks like we’ve done even better. She has improved more than we thought she would. Things have gone much better for her this fall than they had in the spring with the rough race she had in the (Sankei) Osaka Hai and the bad going. The Tokyo 2,400 demands a lot, but as she is now, I think we can expect a good race. From her appearance, she looks like a colt, but she is a filly after all and I have to think of the time between races and take care. She ran powerfully in work this week. She lost a shoe but we checked her legs and got the shoe back on and there was no problem there.”

Sounds of Earth
Sounds of Earth
Sounds of Earth (colt, 4)

Kenichi Fujioka, trainer
“He was in good shape for the Kyoto Daishoten and did a nice job. I think he measured up even with the fast times over the final three furlongs and he learned from the race. He didn’t stiffen up after that race and two weeks ago we worked him up the hill course but held back and he got a good time. It’s a G1 and keeping the long trip to Tokyo in mind, we worked him on the flat course last week and he looked good. He’ll definitely be better than last race. This week his movement was good and solid and his time was fast. He’s maintained his condition. He hasn’t done well when there was a long trip to the track before but he’s a different horse now. The competition is stiff but he wasn’t far off Lovely Day last time out, so I have my hopes up.”

Mirco Demuro, jockey
“He used to be weak behind and wouldn’t change leads but now he’s able to change them easily.”


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

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