2015 News

December 25, 2015


2015 Arima Kinen (The Grand Prix) (G1) - comments from runners' connections
Nikkei Sho (G2)
Admire Deus
Admire Deus (4yo, colt)

Mitsuru Hashida (trainer)
“He’s coming along just as we had planned. The buildup for the last race wasn’t great. In the workout a week before the last race, we held him back too much and overworked him the week of the race. This time, everything has been perfect. He can show he’s made of a lot more if he can just travel properly.”

Sports Nippon Sho Stayers Stakes (G2)
Albert (4yo, colt)

Noriyuki Hori (trainer)
“He's got good body balance and didn't let up through the entire workout. He's in the same form he was in for his last race. His previous start was a marathon but didn't take long to get his wind back after the race. (Ryan) Moore made sure the race didn't take too much out of him. I really think it's up for grabs, which is a huge reason why we decided to throw our hat into the ring. We're going into the race with great expectations."

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

Futoshi Kojima (trainer)
“We weren’t expecting to get in but we have been training him in the event that he might. The workout was perfect. He’s in incredible shape at the moment.”

Copa Republica Argentina (G2)
Gold Actor
Gold Actor (4yo, colt)

Hayato Yoshida
“He put in the work he had to a week ago so he just breezed today like we planned. He was sharp. I’m glad I made it back in time (from a knee injury). I hope to ride the race of my life. You don’t get an opportunity like this that often. I’ll be going for it.”

Takarazuka Kinen (G1)
Gold Ship
Gold Ship (6yo, horse)

Hiroyuki Uchida
“To be able to ride a horse this popular, this supported in his final race is an absolute honor for a jockey. The norm has never applied with him. He’s still full of energy and the potential he’s always showed is incredible. In a few years, Gold Ship’s kids will be racing and it would be great to win the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) with one of them.”

Naosuke Sugai (trainer)
“He went all out a week ago so he’s been switched on. Just breezing today. He was fit (for the Japan Cup) but we didn’t want him to have nothing left for the next race. This is the one we were going all in all along.”

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

Keiji Kato (trainer)
“He’s been working well last week, this week. But with him, a lot of things have to fall into place for him to do well, like the draw, the weather, the pace. We’ll have to see how it goes.”

Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) (G1)
Kitasan Black
Kitasan Black (3yo, colt)

Norihiro Yokoyama
“I’ve spoken to (Hiroshi Kitamura) about it but not because I’m taking over, but in the natural flow of conversation. The trainer has said he’s easy to ride and judging by everything I’ve read in the papers, he doesn’t seem to have any hitches. After the chats I’ve had with Kitamura and from watching him race, he does seem like an easy horse to ride. The only thing that worries me is his condition because it’s been a while since his last start. But if he’s fit, there shouldn’t be any issues.”

Hisashi Shimizu (trainer)
"He's the same as always, which is good for us. He had the third most votes from the fans and you can only be grateful. You don't come across a horse of his caliber too often. I want to send him out there in the best shape possible and add some excitement to the race."

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

Hiroyoshi Matsuda (trainer)
“His movement was good but he only worked for the last furlong. He’s been steady, though. He’s just as fit as he was for his last race.”

Kobe Shimbun Hai (Japanese St. Leger Trial) (G2)
Lia Fail
Lia Fail (3yo, colt)

Christophe Lemaire
“It’s the last Grade 1 race of the year. At this time of the year, physical conditioning speaks a lot but he was already in great shape when I worked him a week ago. He’s become easier to ride and his action was good. He took a little time off after the Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) and is fresh now. He can take position toward the front, has stamina and the 2,500 meters at Nakayama is just right for him. I’ll be going into the race with a lot of confidence.”

Hidetaka Otonashi (trainer)
“He was tired without question after the Kikuka Sho but we sent him to the farm and came back to us completely refreshed He looks sleek, and I like the way he’s shaped up.”

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

Yuga Kawada
"It's not his best distance I'll admit, but I think he's got a better shot here than the 2,400 meters at Tokyo. It's on me to make sure he can run to the best of his ability."

Yasutoshi Ikee (trainer)
“It's difficult to stay in competitive form throughout the fall to the Arima Kinen so I've been impressed. He's been in excellent form. We didn't overwork him nor did he have it too easy. It was somewhere in between, just right."

Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1)
Marialite (4yo, filly)

Takashi Kubota (trainer)
"It's her third race of the fall so she's already fit. I've been trying to make sure she doesn't build up fatigue but she recovered quickly from her previous start and is as steady as she can be. She's in a much better state than I imagined she would be. The racetrack, the distance is good for her. We're going up against some of the best horses in the country so we're going for broke. But I'm kind of hoping she can do the job one, last time."

Ocean Blue
Ocean Blue
Ocean Blue (7yo, horse)

Yasutoshi Ikee (trainer)
"He's as good as he's been this year. He had a little more to him three years ago. I wish he'd remember the form he was in back then and run the race of his life. I'm not ruling him out."

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

Kojiro Hashiguchi (trainer)
"He put up a fast time last week so he doesn't need to do any more than he did today. He looks sharp, and there's no question he'll be going out there in good condition. I thought he showed signs of turning it around in the Japan Cup. If he actually had a clean race last time, he would've at least reached the board. He was at a disadvantage during the trip but he still came on strong at the finish. I'm not really thinking about this being my race and all. All I want is for One and Only to make a comeback."

Kisaragi Sho (NHK Sho) (G3)
Rouge Buck
Rouge Buck (3yo, filly)

Keita Tosaki
"She trained well like she always does, very lively. She's such a good racehorse but I haven't been able to help her win a G1 title and it's been gnawing at me. I want to make up for it here - and then some. She shook off the rust through her last race and is much better now. I was able to win this race last year. I want to finish the year again on a high note. Nakayama will be a first for Rouge Buck but she's light on her feet and has great footwork so the course itself shouldn't be an issue. I just want to make sure she goes all out and produce a good performance."

Masahiro Otake (trainer)
"She won't have a problem settling in the actual race itself. We don't expect anything less than a brilliant workout from her. She's in good condition, that's a certainty. We'll just have to see how she stacks up against the rest at 53kg."

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

Mirco Demuro
"Three straight graded wins? That would be great. I'm on a roll. The Arima Kinen is always exciting. I think everyone has a chance this year. It got a little dangerous for us on the first turn and the pace really picked up at the last corner. He couldn't race the way he's capable of racing. If the trip is smooth, we're in the game."

Kenichi Fujioka (trainer)
"(Demuro) will ride beyond your expectations. You can trust him to get the most out of a horse and more, especially on the big stage. I think he has great instincts. The horse will be at his best. He seems fired up."

Epsom Cup (G3)
Tosen Reve
Tosen Reve (7yo, horse)

Yasutoshi Ikee (trainer)
"When we entered we didn't have enough prize money but the win last week took us over the top. He'll be racing on back-to-back weekends but this was in our plans all long so we're ready."


Source (comments): Nikkan Sports, Sports Hochi and Sankei Sports

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