2020 News

May 8, 2020


NHK Mile Cup (G1) - Comments from runners' connections

Note: All horses are 3-year-olds

Bon Om Touk
Bon Om Touk

Bon Om Touk (filly)

Ryo Takahashi, trainer
“She was able to keep up with the pace last out in the Grade 3 Arlington Stakes and I think it was a good race for her. Though the times are likely to be faster for the Grade 1, I think her experience from that last start should stand her well. She doesn’t lose a lot of weight after a race and even with the long trip to the track, I think she’ll maintain her condition. She’s had regular races so there was no need to give her too much work going in to this race, but she did get the work I’d wanted her to. She’s relaxed and looking good.”

Gilded Mirror
Gilded Mirror

Gilded Mirror (filly)

Mikio Matsunaga, trainer
“The winner in the Arlington Cup was strong but this one clinched her ticket to the main event, the NHK Mile Cup. The jockey was up for the first time and I think he rode her well. To be able to settle the way she did is something that will stand her well in the future. She quickly recovered from the race and nothing out of the ordinary has happened since. Most importantly, her preparation has gone as planned and as expected. Last week she breezed up the hill course and looked good. The pace is usually pretty good in a Grade 1 and that should make things easier for her. The competition goes up a notch but she has good racing sense and if she can settle well I think she’ll be able to do well even at Tokyo. I’m hoping she’ll give it her best.”

Harmony Magellan
Harmony Magellan

Harmony Magellan (colt)

Koji Maki, trainer
“In his last start, The New Zealand Trophy at Nakayama on April 11, the horse out in front of him made for a difficult trip. This one has had good results at Tokyo so the change in venue shouldn’t pose a problem. Since his last race, as his usual, he’s been moving well in track work. There have been no particular changes, nothing out of the ordinary. We were waiting on the draw and hoping for this chance.”

Lauda Sion
Lauda Sion

Lauda Sion (colt)

Takashi Saito, trainer
“He has problems standing quietly in the gate, but in the Falcon Stakes, like in the Crocus Stakes the race before, he’d started well and finished second. He kept up with the pace and I think he did a real good job. He went to the farm after that, then returned to the training center targeted here. His track work has gone according to plan. If you were to compare numbers, his weight hasn’t changed much but I have the impression that he has filled out considerably. He is getting gate schooling just to be sure he’s got it down. It’s a stretch, but I think he can handle 1,600 meters. He’s more settled than he was before, a lot more mature and his balance is good now too. I think he can wait patiently enough. The competition is tough but I’m hoping he’ll run a good race.”

New Zealand Trophy (NHK Mile Cup Trial) (G2)

Luftstrom (colt)

Yuki Uehara, assistant trainer
“His last race, the New Zealand Trophy, did take a bit out of him, so we were only giving him light work and just seeing how things went. He didn’t get any hard work through last week but this week, since he was looking good, he did. Damian Lane rode work on May 6 and though the horse has had problems settling, Lane said he was fine and that he’d gotten a good reading on him. In the New Zealand Trophy, he traveled toward the rear, which was something new for him. He got pushed wide coming in to the straight and it wasn’t a smooth trip. But he accessed his late speed well. Considering he gained experience, I’d say it was a good race. He has always been hot-headed, difficult to control at times, and he has difficulty changing leads and difficulty with the bit. But, he is much better now and looked good this week. His strong point is that he has good racing sense. It’s his first time racing to the left but I’ve seen no problems in morning work.”

Meisho Titan (colt)

Masaru Honda, trainer
“He won on speed last out. He had a really nice break, got a good position, and it was all good from there. Traveling in fifth position and moving up from there going in to the straight worked nicely for him. It’ll be a furlong longer this time but he isn’t lacking for stamina. It’ll depend on how much cover he can get. It’s his first time racing to the left but he doesn’t have any peculiarities, so there shouldn’t be a problem. If he gets a smooth trip, it should be a good race. He worked hard last week so this week I just breezed him. He is a bit fickle. Sometimes he moves well, sometime he doesn’t. He does have speed though.”

Nishino Storm (colt)

Hiroaki Sugiura, trainer
“In his last two starts, both over 1,200 meters, he has raced from further back, but with it being a mile this time, I don’t think he’ll be able to hold back and win on speed. So, he’ll most likely race from a forward position and we’ll see how long he can hold his ground. He’s been lugging out to the right since his last race, so I don’t know how he’ll be there. But I thought it would be best to give it a try. His movement is decent and he has gotten regular work. It’d be good if we got a bit of rain and the track had some spring to it.”

Hiromasa Tamogi, assistant trainer
“His preparations have all gone well since he returned to the training center. However, the field is a strong one. I’m hoping the times will be a bit slow.”

Prince Return
Prince Return

Prince Return (colt)

Tadashi Kayo, trainer
“I think the jockey was especially keen to win in the Arlington Cup but moving to the front going into the straight just caused the horse to lose concentration. The field was small and letting him run at his own pace was good but at a critical point a horse came up on his outside and he was just running along with him. It’s time like this where experience in the saddle makes all the difference. Still, concerning that the ground was bad, I think his time was pretty good and he showed his strength. After that, I aimed him here. He had a solo fast workout on April 29 and all went all. This time it’s Tokyo, a big, spacious track. The homestretch is long and the field will be strong. The ride he gets is going to be a big factor.”

Hanshin Juvenile Fillies (G1)

Resistencia (filly)

Takeshi Matsushita, trainer
“The track was heavy in the Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) but she did her best. Because of the ground I was a bit concerned about her recovery so I sent her to the farm where she was well taken care of and is fully recovered now. She was in very good shape for her last start, so the focus has been on maintaining her condition. Christophe Lemaire rode her on April 29 and her time was faster than I’d expected. It was a good workout and Lemaire said she was well in hand. This week, with the trip to the track, I didn’t clock her but just gave her light work. She was nice and relaxed. It’ll be her first long haul to a track and she loses weight even when traveling from Ritto to Hanshin so the question is how much she’ll lose this time. We’ll bring her in on Saturday, so I’m hoping that’ll help. She’ll be up against colts for the first time but has the -2kg allowance so should be competitive. It’s her first time racing to the left but she changes leads well so that shouldn’t be a problem either.”


Rhinebeck (colt)

Yasuo Tomomichi, trainer
“He had the stamina for the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) but I think he didn’t have the concentration to deal with four turns. It was the same in the race prior to that. There are only two full weeks between races this time so, not wanting to push him too much, I had him work on the artificial surface on April 30. He looks to have kept his condition from his last race. He won his first two starts racing to the left at Chukyo so I think the Tokyo 1,600 meters with its one turn should suit him and he’ll go to the gate in good shape. He breaks well so he should have no trouble keeping up with the pace. If he can keep his focus from when he makes his move through until the end, he should have a chance.”

Mainichi Hai (G3)
Satono Impresa

Satono Impresa (colt)

Shigeki Miyauchi, assistant trainer
“His second start was outstanding so I’d had my hopes up for the Mainichi Hai last out. I think the conditions were right for him. He has somewhat of a difficult temperament and we saw that last time. He was late at the break but had a smooth trip. But with the field being small and the race over the outer Hanshin racecourse, the conditions made it easy for him to recover from the slow break. Oddly, he’s had only races over heavy or slightly heavy ground and has yet to experience a fast track. It’ll be interesting to see how well he can do if that’s what he has on Sunday. His movement is very good and I don’t see any difference in his balance racing to the left or right. I think the Tokyo 1,600 meters will suit him and the unknowns make it interesting. Most important thing is that he starts well. He should run nicely balanced, so after that I have no particular concerns. It’s a Grade 1 and the field is strong but he’s unbeaten and I think he has a chance.”

Shachi (colt)

Satoru Kobiyama, trainer
“He has come this far without any problems and he’s a good finisher. He took a long time to break his maiden and had another win at the one-win level, but things are a lot harder at the levels above. He’s going to need everything to work in his favor.”

Shun Takano, assistant trainer
“After his run in the New Zealand Trophy, we gave him a bit of time off at the farm. He was a bit dull still in his fast work on April 30 but with his work this week he should be improved. He missed the break last out and that will be key again. If he’s sharp out of the gate, he should be able to travel well.”

Chunichi Sports Sho Falcon Stakes (G3)
Shine Garnet

Shine Garnet (filly)

Toru Kurita, trainer
“She was keen in he Falcon Stakes but the jockey held her back nicely and she gave a nice display of willpower. She also looks to be good over softer ground. She came back from the farm on April 16 and the jockey rode her fast work last week. I didn’t want her to overdo it so I told him not to get after her but to ride with a light touch. Her movement was good, as it usually is, and jockey Hironobu Tanabe got a good reading on her. She did well in the Falcon Stakes, so considering those conditions to be the best for her, I brought her here. She has both power and speed and can do well even with softer ground. She’s eating well and is very even-keeled. I’m looking forward to seeing how well she can do up against colts on the Grade 1 level.”

Soul Train
Soul Train

Soul Train (colt)

Masayuki Nishimura, trainer
“If you consider that the New Zealand Trophy favored those horses racing off the pace, you’d have to say that he did a good job to finish where he did. We gave him a hard workout last week and his stamina has improved and his muscling looks good. The competition will be stiff but if he concentrates he can run well. His career is still young but I’m looking forward to seeing how well he can do for where he is now. He’s in the best shape he’s been since his debut and he can clock 33-something seconds over the final three furlongs, so I want him to put the focus on the final stage this time.”

Stone Ridge
Stone Ridge

Stone Ridge (colt)

Nobuyuki Tashiro, assistant trainer
“Last out in the Mainichi Hai, he gradually gained ground but the difference in finishing order came hinged on what position he’d raced from. But, it was good he experienced a race where things got tight and busy. He stayed at the training center after that. On April 29 he worked with another horse over the woodchip course and caught and passed him in a good solid workout. He was light on his feet and I think he’s in good shape. He has speed so I think the shorter distance is good for him. It will be his first long haul to the track, but he’s not a restless type. He has good racing sense so he’ll be able to keep up with the pace and I think he’ll do even better if he has a fast track. His career is still young but I think he still has a lot to give and I’m looking forward to it.”


Succession (colt)

Sakae Kunieda, trainer
“The Spring Stakes last out was his first time over the distance so I’d wanted the jockey to take it easy over the first half and save him for the final stage. But, the pace was a lot slower than I’d anticipated and he was keen to run at places. So, that contributed to his not being able to gain enough ground in the end. He had a bit off time off at the farm after that and returned to Miho on April 22. On April 29, Norihiro Yokoyama, who’ll be up on raceday, worked him and it was a good smooth workout. The jockey said he was easy to ride. And, he was on his toes as usual and feeling fresh. Even though he won two starts ago in the Junior Cup, he’d made his move early and ran a pretty aggressive race. I think things would be easier for him if he got some cover and save it for the final stage.”

Arlington Cup (NHK Mile Cup Trial) (G3)
Taisei Vision

Taisei Vision (colt)

Toshihide Kikumoto, assistant trainer
“The Arlington Cup was his first race since the Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes. He has matured a lot so his weight was up for the Arlington, but it was a good race. There hasn’t been much time between races so he got only light work but his movement has improved. This week we just focused on the final stage and didn’t worry about getting a time. It was a good workout and he’s eating well. Before his previous race at Tokyo he’d been staying at Hakodate where he was relaxed, but at Tokyo he was so full of beans he was giving the jockey problems in the preliminaries. I was worried he was going to be too keen but he was better than expected and won. It’s a furlong longer this time but the rider knows the horse. The horse is quiet usually but when he races he switches on quite noticeably. His preparations have gone well. He’s had no problems so all that’s left to do is get him to the gate safely.”

Win Greatest
Win Greatest

Win Greatest (colt)

Takafumi Aoki, trainer
“Last out in the New Zealand Trophy, he got forced wide circling into the straight. Still, he broke well and his focus was good under way. It was a good race. We worked on getting him recovered from that race up until April 24 and then worked him on the hill course and the woodchip and dirt courses. His time in the New Zealand Trophy was fast, but he recovered relatively well from the race and there have been no concerns about his legs. On April 29 he worked with another horse on the flat with the focus on the final stage. His training partner started ahead of him and the pace was perfect and his time was as expected. He uses his body well when running. The most important thing is that his preparations have gone well without any concerns. The fact that he has run at a number of different racetracks is also a strongpoint. I’m not worried at all that he won’t give us a good race at Tokyo. I would like him to have a fast track.”


Sources: Keiba Book, Netkeiba

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