2020 News

March 27, 2020


Takamatsunomiya Kinen (G1) - Comments from runners' connections
Silk Road Stakes (G3)
A Will a Way

A Will a Way (filly, 4)

Tomokazu Takano, trainer
“She was slow out of the gate in the Silk Road Stakes and raced from behind. Considering that and that she was up against male horses, it was as if she’d won carrying 57 kg. She hadn’t been very good at maneuvering in races but she has matured and I think it has all come together and improved her overall ability. I think she’s in a good place for a Grade 1 now. After her last start she recovered right away. She went to the farm and returned with this race as our target. She’s full of energy and really looking good. She had a good hard workout last week and I think the jockey got a handle on her. She’s only had one race at Chukyo, the CBC Sho, and finished eighth but she was a different horse then. She’ll be able to give us a good race now.”

TV Nishinippon Corp. Sho Kitakyushu Kinen (G3)
Daimei Princess

Daimei Princess (mare, 7)

Naoyuki Morita, trainer
“She was in good shape for the Ocean Stakes and I was looking forward to seeing how she’d do. She did run well in the final stage though. Maybe she prefers the warmer weather. I have the impression she can’t maintain top speed as long as she can when it’s warmer. Last week, she worked up the hill course with a partner. She did lag some but her movement wasn’t bad. I think the other horse ran really well. She’s in good shape and hasn’t changed markedly. Even though I think she does better when it’s warmer, she did run well in the Ocean Stakes last out and the plan all along was to go from there to this race. I’m looking forward to seeing how well she can do if she can run her own race.”

Yukan Fuji Sho Ocean Stakes (G3)
Danon Smash

Danon Smash (horse, 5)

Takayuki Yasuda, trainer
“In the Ocean Stakes I was worried for a moment at the break but he picked it up immediately. Going in to the straight he looked to still have a lot left and I thought he had a chance if he got a clean run. With a furlong left he was still going strong. With only two full weeks to train between races, if I work him on the hill course he goes too fast. So, in order to prevent that, he worked on the woodchip flat last week and did a half mile over the same this week. He’s been getting gate practice as well. He’s done well, so I hope he’ll load well at the track too. He used to have a weak back but he got a lot stronger after Hong Kong. He’s looking more and more like his sire Lord Kanaloa. I’m not too worried about the direction of the track. I think his results until now haven’t anything to do with whether it was a left-handed or right-handed track. I wouldn’t say he’s bad on a heavier track but I would prefer to have a fast one.”

Mainichi Broadcast. Swan Stakes (G2)

Diatonic (horse, 5)

Takayuki Yasuda, trainer
“In the Hankyu Hai, he crossed the line in second place but was demoted to third because two horses were battling to fit into a space only big enough for one. If it hadn’t been for that, I’d like to think the results would have been different. I gave him time off to refresh and his preparation since has gone well. The jockey rode him on March 18 and, he said that, as expected, he was showing improvement. The results were unfortunate last race but his ability to run an aggressive race was a big gain for going in to a 1,200-meter race. He debuted late due to a fracture and he’s been slow coming up to speed. Still, he was able to run in the 1,400-1,600 meter range and he’s stronger now and can handle 1,200. I’m hoping he can use what he learned in his last race in this one.”

Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) (G1)
Gran Alegria

Gran Alegria (filly, 4)

Kazuo Fujisawa, trainer
“There were a lot of other horses coming straight off a layoff in the Hanshin Cup, but it was her first time competing against older horses, the distance was down to 1,400 from the mile and the race would be busier, so I was concerned. But she performed splendidly. Yes, she was only carrying 54 kg, but she was fantastic over the final 100 meters. She’s a very good-natured horse and easy to train. In fast work this week, even though she’s returning from a layoff, she was on her game. She’s very perceptive. I had her work up the hill on Wednesday with no urging and she looked good as usual. There are a lot of sprint specialists in the field. She’s an Oka Sho champion and I’ve cut her distance by a furlong each time so I do think she’ll be able to handle it well. She debuted at Tokyo but she’s been to Hanshin a number of times so the trip to Chukyo shouldn’t be a problem. I am concerned about the amount of rain we’ll get but she’s a very positive horse and I think she could handle a heavy track.”

Toyota Sho Chukyo Kinen (G3)
Groove It

Groove It (colt, 4)

Mikio Matsunaga, trainer
“In the New Year Stakes, he was keen and the race was a bit confused. I got the impression he wasted a lot of energy. He went to the farm for a bit and came back looking good. He was quite different from last year, when he’d returned looking like the heat had got him. He has looked good on the hill course. His movement and condition are good. I don’t know he’ll do up against true sprinters but he has the speed and I don’t think he’ll be left behind over 1,200 meters. I did want to see how he would do racing to the left one more time and even though it’s his first time over the distance I feel he can handle it. I’m interested in seeing how well he can measure up to the competition.”

I Love Tailor
I Love Tailor

I Love Tailor (filly, 4)

Hiroshi Kawachi, trainer
“She broke well last out in the Yodo Tankyori Stakes and moved earlier than she normally does. It was a good solid race. She can handle 1,200 meters now and she’s well in hand. Even though her weight hasn’t increased that much, she is stronger now. If I give her too tight a rotation she gets overly excited. Since she won and added to her earnings I gave her time off after the race and then decided to go straight to the Grade 1. After returning to the training center she has improved with each workout. In work on the flat, I’ve been training her to the left, so I don’t think Chukyo will be a problem. Other than that, I hope the winner isn’t decided by the fastest final time. I’m hoping she’ll be able to use her tenacity to her advantage.”

Kurino Gaudi
Kurino Gaudi

Kurino Gaudi (colt, 4)

Norio Fujisawa, trainer
“In the Hankyu Hai last start, he was a bit slow out of the gate and when he was encouraged forward he became a bit unbalanced. After that, he tried to catch up and that meant things were tough in the end. Still, it wasn’t a bad race and I think he did show his ability. We’ve taken good care of him and he has maintained his condition. He had a good workout last week and things continue to go as they have been all will be well. He has always had good speed, so I think he’ll be able to handle the distance. He had a good run in the Chukyo Kinen and if the race if this race unfolds similarly it would be good. If he can settle, he should do well.”

Love Kampf (mare, 5)

Naoyuki Morita, trainer
“She drew pretty wide last out in the Ocean Stakes and having to circle on the outside hurt. Her finishing order wasn’t very good but she raced solidly to the end. She’s had a lot of traffic problems in her recent starts but she’s coming back into form. She worked with another horse up the hill course last week and we had her go ahead and stay ahead and she’s been moving well. There isn’t much time between races so it’ll be enough to just give her a bit of fine-tuning. She hasn’t gotten good results recently but she is slowly coming back into form. I’m eager to see how well she can do if she can get a ground-saving trip.”

February Stakes (G1)
Mozu Ascot

Mozu Ascot (horse, 6)

Yoshito Yahagi, trainer
“I can’t say how he’ll do in his first time over 1,200 meters until we try it. His physique has been changing to one more suited to shorter distances, so I am open to taking on new challenges. The Doncaster Mile was set for April 4, so this is a week earlier and I’d trained him over the dirt course at Tokyo Racecourse while in quarantine. That is about the only difference. His last work was up the hill course at Ritto and the horse he was working with was too fast. Still, this horse’s movement was very good. The stretch at Chukyo is long enough and there’s a hill. I’m not too concerned about it but I do think it being to the left is a plus. I don’t know about the rain. He may be able to handle it and I don’t want to worry about it. The start is the most important. If it’s good I think he won’t get left too far behind.”

Mozu Superflare
Mozu Superflare

Mozu Superflare (mare, 5)

Hidetaka Otonashi, trainer
“She’s not good over a slow track and I think that was a factor in the Silk Road Stakes. I am concerned this time. Last year I ran her in the Ocean Stakes and went to the Takamatsunomiya Kinen with only two full weeks in between to prepare. She wasn’t fully recovered. But, this year I gave her a different rotation and she’s in good shape. The jockey rode fast work last week and again this week. She’s ready. She’s been running well but she’s been on tracks with short straights only. She likes to get way out in front and hold on, so the long stretch of Chukyo with the hill at the end is going to be tough for her. But, the pressure is off as she won’t be a popular pick. Best thing is if she run her own race.”

Nac Venus
Nac Venus

Nac Venus (mare, 7)

Hiroaki Sugiura, trainer
“An inside draw would have been ideal in the Ocean Stakes but she drew No. 10. But, since the frontrunners were largely on the outside, she was able to get a smooth trip in second position and I think it was a good race for her. But, the winner was stronger. She came out of the race well, just as she had for the previous one. She’s on her toes and in no way showing her age. Last Friday, we gave her a light workout and I think she’ll go to the gate in the same condition she was for this race last year. Her strongpoint is her ability to run from a forward position, so it’ll be good if she can use that to her advantage and get a smooth trip, but the draw will play a part. I think a gate right in the middle would make for the easiest race, but more importantly is who is in the gates next to her. I’d like a fast track with a bit of a spring to it.”

Fuji Stakes (G3)

Normcore (mare, 5)

Kiyoshi Hagiwara, trainer
“She went in to the Hong Kong Mile in her usual condition and I think she ran a good race. We sent her to the farm after that, as is the usual routine. There was no major damage and her preparation has gone as planned. Last week she had a good workout working with another horse. Her movement was the usual. Even though it’s her first race of the year I think she’ll be able to do well. I decided on the Takamatsunomiya Kinen considering the assigned and her schedule after this. It’s her first time over this distance so I don’t know how that will go, but she did do well in the Aichi Hai so the Chukyo course itself shouldn’t be a problem.”

Seiun Kosei
Seiun Kosei

Seiun Kosei (horse, 7)

Hiroyuki Uehara, trainer
“In the Silk Road Stakes, he chased the strong frontrunner and ran solidly until the end. He gave it his all, even while carrying the field’s top weight. As is the usual routine, we sent him to the farm after. Last week, we pushed him hard and he got a fantastic time. Two horses from another stable were on his outside and even though he was running on the inside, he clocked 61 some seconds over five furlongs. And his breathing wasn’t bad so he hadn’t overdone it. He’s in really good shape. We’ve been able to prep him as we planned. He does seem to like this season. He breaks well and is able to get into position nicely, but I’d like to see him have something left over for the finish. They’ll all be carrying the same weight and I don’t think he’ll be bothered by a track that has a bit of spring to it. I think any gate will be fine. He’s been doing better this year than he had been before this race last year, when he finished second. So I think he has ample chance.”

Shivaji (horse, 5)

Kenji Nonaka, trainer
“The ground was heavy last start and that most definitely suited him, but I give him high marks for winning like he did on a tight course. Since changing from dirt to turf, I think he’s gained a lot from being able to have a sharper turn of foot. We’ve given him a lot of attention with this race as our target and his preparation has gone well. He was looking good in work last week and I think he’ll go to the gate in good shape. Even though they were over dirt, he’s done well in his races at Tokyo, so the change to the left is welcome. The stretch will be longer than it was last out and the race will be easier for him. I have my hopes up.”


Stelvio (horse, 5)

Yu Ota, assistant trainer
“He lost a lot at the break in the Hankyu Hai and had to race from behind and then things got tight turning into the stretch and he couldn’t really run freely. Still, he gained ground in the end and was able to show his strength. He came out of the race well and recovered easily. Last week, we pushed him hard in the straight and got him to extend in the final stage. He was a bit keen at points but with it being 1,200 meters this time there should be a better pace, so I don’t think we have to worry much. It’s his first time at the distance and a Grade 1, so the break will be key. He’s not going to be able to improve that quickly but we are giving him schooling and if he gives us a decent race, I think he has the potential to be competitive.”

Teehaff (horse, 10)

Katsuichi Nishiura, trainer
“In the Ocean Stakes he was able to run his race. He settled toward the back with an eye to the finish and moved up nicely in the stretch. The jockey said he felt he was improving with each race. Last week he worked up the hill and picked up from a 15-15 pace in the beginning. There’s not much time between races, so we just had him pick it up in the and. Preparations are going well. He’s 10 years old and he has improved with each race. He did well here last year and the course isn’t bad for him. I think we can look forward to a nice run.”

Sprinters Stakes (G1)
Tower of London

Tower of London (horse, 5)

Kazuo Fujisawa, trainer
“He’d been returning from a long layoff in the Ocean Stakes last start and he was carrying 58 kg and broke from the far inside gate. I think third place was a good showing. I kept him at the training center after and he was in light work from that week and then we picked up the pace from there. Last week he was fully recovered and though his work wasn’t that fast it was good for a solo workout. He’s more relaxed now so I can train him alone. His weight hasn’t changed much but we have the trip to the track and he is on his game, even though he’s quiet. I think he’ll give it his best. He’s a big horse and can be sluggish so the long stretch at Chukyo should suit him. He’s an easy horse to ride, so he can handle whatever comes along. I am a bit worried about rain but considering the types of grass he’s run on, I think he can handle a heavy track. He did well last year and he had ample time off before preparing for this race. He has come along well, in good spirits, and his condition looks fine.”


Sources: Keiba Book, Netkeiba

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