2019 News

March 22, 2019


Takamatsunomiya Kinen (G1) - Comments from runners' connections
TV Nishinippon Corp. Sho Kitakyushu Kinen (G3) 
Ares Barows

Ares Barows (horse, 7)

Koichi Tsunoda, trainer
“He carried 57.5 kg in the Silk Road Stakes and moved up strong from an outside gate to reach the front. He looked good in places and overall it wasn’t bad. After that race he had some time off as usual. But this time we brought him back to the training center earlier than usual. All has gone as planned since. Last week he had a hard workout and his movement was good. Last time his weight was up so I’ve paid attention to getting him lean. I think he’ll be in good shape on Sunday. I feel good going to this race because he won a 1,200-meter graded stakes race at Chukyo last year. He likes a good speed race, so with the change to the B course I’m hoping for a fast track. Also, I hope the pace is right for his running style”

Daimei Fuji
Daimei Fuji

Daimei Fuji (horse, 5)

Naoyuki Morita, trainer
“He couldn’t go all out in the Hankyu Hai before the (Yukan Fuji Sho) Ocean Stakes, so he wasn’t tired from that race. There was little time between races for the Ocean Stakes but he ran well. I think he gained ground nicely even though there was no stopping those in front. He can be difficult at times though, so I think the 1,200 is better for him. Again, there isn’t much time between this race and his last, so I’ve taken pains to get him fully recovered. He had come out of the last race well too. He breezed on Sunday and had a good hard workout Wednesday. That should have him ready. It’s a G1 and the field is strong, but he does well in the cold weather. Ideally, he’ll get a nice forward position and settle there. I’m looking forward to seeing how well he can do.”

Ibis Summer Dash (G3)
Daimei Princess

Daimei Princess (mare, 6)

Naoyuki Morita, trainer
“Recently, she’s not good at the break. And in the Ocean Stakes, she raced from behind. She tried to move up turning out of the backstretch and into the straight, but the rough ground bothered her and she couldn’t gain ground. She has lost weight and muscle and hadn’t looked very good. So after that race, I gave her time off and did my best to get her back in shape. She has been eating well and has put the weight back on. On Sunday, we breezed her and with her fast work on Wednesday, her tone should be back. It’s tough if she has to race from the rear, so I’d like her to get a position midfield. She can run a good race over six furlongs, so I’m looking forward to seeing what she’ll do.”

Silk Road Stakes (G3)
Danon Smash

Danon Smash (colt, 4)

Takayuki Yasuda, trainer
“On Wednesday, his time was 51.3 seconds. I wanted him to clock about 53 seconds but the track was very fast. He has really come along well since his last race, the Silk Road Stakes. He had a solid workout last week and this week we just gave him a blowout. In the Silk Road Stakes I was worried when he turned into the stretch. I even thought he’d lost the race there but he was able to rally. Compared to last year when he lost the (Chunichi Sports Sho) Falcon Stakes as the favorite, his back and hindquarter muscles have gotten much stronger. He’s at his best for where he is now, but I think he will still improve. He ran in the NHK Mile Cup and I thought the mile was too long for him so I took him to Hokkaido and he was really strong at Hakodate and Sapporo in the sprint. He hasn’t done well racing to the left before, but in the condition he is now, I think the results will be different. To be honest, I am a bit worried about the course, but again, I think he can handle it. His sire Lord Kanaloa had the same rotation as this horse has had, but I’d have to say that Lord Kanaloa was stronger at this point. I hope Danon Smash will catch up soon, but he won’t be able to surpass him.”

Kyoto Himba Stakes (G3)
Dea Regalo

Dea Regalo (mare, 5)

Masahiro Otake, trainer
“As the numbers would indicate, she was heavy for her last race. But she was still able to win because she had settled nicely. And I think she was able to do that because the extra weight allowed her to relax or maybe it was because the pace was fast. After that race, we gave her time off as always and she returned to the training center on March 12. At that time, her weight was 500 kg. She worked hard on Wednesday, but I expect her weight will be a bit up from her last start. I think she’ll be able to settle well enough at this distance, but as for winning, the 1,200 may be a bit busy and the the field is a strong one. It being Chukyo is a bit of a worry since she hasn’t won racing to the left. We’ll just have to see how well she can do under these conditions.”

Hiruno Devaro
Hiruno Devaro

Hiruno Devaro (horse, 8)

Mitsugu Kon, trainer
“I’ve been giving him jumping work and he’s returned to his best shape since last autumn. He can run solidly to the end now. It’s just a bit, but he has improved. Compared to what I remember as his best, he still looks a bit lacking but he’s getting hard work. On March 13, his training partner could really move so this one couldn’t catch him. His times on the woodchips over six furlongs are in the 77-second range, which is something you don’t see often. With some work at uphill course just before the race, he should move even better. He’s looking ready to win on turf and not showing signs of age. If he can use his body like he used to, we’ll see results.

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

Let's Go Donki (mare, 7)

Tomoyuki Umeda, trainer
“She drew the innermost gate for the Hankyu Hai and she went for the win. She finished in second place but I think she turned in a good race. Jockey Yasunari Iwata rode her for fast week a week ago and pushed her pretty hard. Her movement was fantastic. She’s seven years old but I don’t think she’s showing it. Not with times like she can turn in. Last year, I thought she’d won this race but she was overtaken just before the finish line. She was second the year before that too and it’s been a frustrating two years in a row. This will be her fourth Takamatsunomiya Kinen and I want her to give us a strong race with an aim to win. At her age, I think this year will be her last chance and I’m hoping she’ll do well.”

Fuji Stakes (G3) 
Logi Cry

Logi Cry (horse, 6)

Naosuke Sugai, trainer
“In the Hankyu Hai, another horse moved in on him at the break and he wasn’t able to go forward. There were times in the stretch as well when he couldn’t move. It would have been better if he’d raced over the same path the runnerup did. Still, I have to give him good marks for breaking away from the crowd like he did. He came out of the race well and things have gone as usual. Last week he worked at the uphill course in tandem and had a good solid workout. He normally looks good in work but he looked especially good this time and his time was good too. There are no complaints with his physical condition. He has won a graded-stakes race to the left and the jockey will be the same as it was then. It being a G1, the field is strong, but there’s no one standout. Considering his last start, I think with the long Chukyo stretch, he’ll be able to handle his first 1,200-meter race well. Of course, it depends on his trip and how he carries himself.”

Love Kampf
Love Kampf

Love Kampf (filly, 4)

Naoyuki Morita, trainer
“Normally, she is very eager to run, but the Ocean Stakes was heated from the start and after turning out of the backstretch she just quit running. She’s needed something more these last two races, but her back is strong and her movement is good. She’s eating well too and her weight is at about 450 kg. We worked her hard on Sunday, breezed her on Tuesday and then gave her a good workout on Wednesday. We’re trying all different things to get her switched on again. Though she hasn’t looked good in her last two starts, she’s a strong horse. Unlike before, she’s able to be patient until the very end. She’s on the up and up and all we need is her to get her mojo back.”

  Yukan Fuji Sho Ocean Stakes (G3)
Mozu Superflare

Mozu Superflare (filly, 4)

Hidetaka Otonashi, trainer
“I had actually wanted to travel a bit more slowly in the Ocean Stakes, but she clocked about 32.3 seconds over first half and made it real tough for the others to keep up. It was a strong race and speed is what she does best. After that race we took pains to get her fully recovered. The rotation is tight but with a solid workout this week, she should be ready. The last time she raced at Chukyo it was in a 1,400-meter race. And she’s completely different now. She’s stronger now and I’m not worried about the change of course. And with her running style, I think she’ll be able to handle the course even if the going is a bit rough.”


Chunichi Sports Sho Falcon Stakes (G3) 
Mr Melody

Mr Melody (colt, 4)

Nobuyuki Tashiro, assistant trainer
“In the Hankyu Hai he got bumped going into the straight and that affected the outcome. It happened just when he had to pick up speed. Until then he had been running nicely. So, he wasn’t able to give it all that he has. We took good care of him after that but he had come out of well anyhow. Last week, we put the jockey up in track work and the horse clocked a personal best. He ran solidly to the end. It looks like the last race has sharpened him up. His balance has improved and he has matured as well. He has won a graded stakes race at Chukyo before so the change to a lefthanded track is a plus. He’s a powerful horse so it won’t be a problem if the ground is slow. The competition will be strong but he has more than enough ability. He’ll do well if he gets a good trip.”

Keeneland Cup (G3) 
Nac Venus

Nac Venus (mare, 6)

Hiroaki Sugiura, trainer
“There hasn’t been much time between races, so I figured it was best not to push her too much in track work. Last week, she worked at a 15-15 pace and I thought one more bit of work would be enough to get her switched on. The time was a bit fast perhaps but she didn’t overdo it and she looked good to me. She’s in shape for her age. I ran her in the Ocean Stakes thinking it would be a good sharpener and it was. Still, I thought she would overtake Mozu Superflare in the Ocean Stakes but that horse can really run, even with that long winter coat. She’s shed a lot of that now and she’ll be even more aerodynamic! This horse is in good shape though and a lot will depend on the gate position and the going, but I’ll leave that up to fate. I’d like to draw somewhere right in the middle. I think she’ll run well and I think she’s a bit better than last year. She’s a bit difficult and she used to stop running but she’s better now.”

Peisha Felicita
Peisha Felicita

Peisha Felicita (mare, 6)

Noboru Takagi, trainer
“She is able to hold back and display a nice kick in the finish but in the Ocean Stakes last start she had an inside gate and I was hoping she’d be able to travel more forward than she did. The pace was fast and the frontrunners held their ground so her run was rather frustrating. She has worked solo on the uphill course on March 13 and looks well. She won twice over the Chukyo grass course and it seems to suit her, so I’m not worried about that. But with it being a Grade 1 race, I’m hoping that a lot of things, including the draw, will come together for her and if they do, I think she’ll run a good race.”

Rhein Spirit
Rhein Spirit

Rhein Spirit (horse, 8)

Yoshikazu Nakayama, assistant trainer
“Compared to his recent races, I think his last start’s results only reflected the fact that it was a 1,400-meter race. He seems to have been able to keep pace more easily than he usually does. Even with the strong field, he was able to run his kind of race. He didn’t lose by that much and he ran well until the end. After that race he’s still been getting regular work and he’s full of energy as usual. Last week’s fast work had him looking good and if things continue to go as they have been, I think he’ll go to the gate in great shape. The field will be even stronger this time, but I think he learned how to hold his own in his last race. If he can run his own race this time as well and show us the tenacity I know he has, he’ll be good. With a good start and a ground-saving trip, we’ll see just how well he can do.”

Hakodate Sprint Stakes (G3)
Seiun Kosei

Seiun Kosei (horse, 6)

Hiroyuki Uehara, trainer
“I think the blinkers worked too well in his last start because he was keen from the start. He didn’t take a breather. He was uncontrollable. In track work we’ve been doing something different from the last two years. Normally, we’d start him from the backstretch, but last week and the week before that we’d worked him much longer and the rider said he has felt good. He’s in good shape and isn’t showing signs of age. He doesn’t have the acceleration that he used to have and that’s why we put blinkers on him last time. But now, he’s picking up well so I’m planning to leave the blinkers off but am considering putting cheekpieces on. Last year, he drew the No. 1 gate and had no choice but to take the lead, but there’s no reason to insist on leading. Racing in third or fourth position would be fine. Ideally, he’ll get a gate in the middle.”

Shonan Anthem
Shonan Anthem

Shonan Anthem (horse, 6)

Tsuyoshi Tanaka, trainer
“He’s not the best out of the gate and in the Ocean Stakes last time out he wasn’t able to get a forward position. Still, he handled the race well, even though it was his first 1,200 in a very long time. I had considered giving him more distance but after discussing it with the owner and taking this horse’s rather difficult temperament into consideration, we decided on that distance and I do think he was able to concentrate until the end. Last weekend we worked him at a 15-15 pace. This week, he’s not showing any fatigue and we’ve been able to work him as usual. Rather than a speed race, I’m hoping for rain and conditions that make it more difficult for the other horses. I’m looking forward to seeing just how well he can do.”

Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) (G1)
Snow Dragon

Snow Dragon (horse, 11)

Noboru Takagi, trainer
“He had strained his hip in the CBC Sho and that affected his running in the Sprinters Stakes, the race before last, so we gave him time off so he could recover slowly. He’s always been good over rough ground but in the Ocean Stakes he just couldn’t make headway. That race did take something out of him but I’ve done my best to get him over it. On March 15 he worked at uphill course under jockey Nanako Fujita so she could get a feel for him. We’ll see how much he can improve with that last sharpener. He ran second in the 2014 Takamatsunomiya Kinen. This will be his fifth bid. He’s been given the same rotation and I’m hoping he’ll be able to show us his good points.”


Teehaff (horse, 9)

Katsuichi Nishiura, trainer
“He was in good shape for the Silk Road Stakes. It was his second race after returning from a spell and he quickened nicely racing on the outside in the stretch. In his first race after returning (the Yodo Tankyori Stakes), he ran well too and I think having given him time off after the Sprinters Stakes did him good. He has filled out and I think he’s had two good races. He had a bit of time off after the last race but he’s on target for this one. He worked at uphill course last week with another horse and he had a solid workout. He’s nine years old but you wouldn’t think it at all. If he can get the kind of pace he likes, things should go well.”


Sources: Keiba Book, Netkeiba

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