2021 News

October 1, 2021


Sprinters Stakes (G1) - Comments from runners' connections
A Will a Way
A Will a Way

A Will a Way (mare, 5)

Tomokazu Takano, trainer
“On her return from the farm, she looks to be in good shape and in a condition similar to that before her last race. She was third in the Sprinters Stakes last year and I feel she’s suited to the Nakayama course. It should be a strong pace with the line-up as it looks this year, but that will be best for her. To some extent, it’ll depend on the flow of the race and the track condition.”

Bien Fait
Bien Fait

Bien Fait (gelding, 4)

Kazuya Nakatake, trainer
“Up to my expectations, he’s moving well. Since being gelded, his last two results have been good and he’s easier to ride. I’d like good ground on the day.”

Masaaki Shibata, assistant trainer
“He’s more mature now, is quieter in the gate, and he’s in good condition despite not having had a race for some time. Things have been as expected with him. This time there’ll be horses that want to get on with things early, and one of the keys will be whether he can go with them. Ideally he would lead, but he is able to take a sit just off the pace, and most importantly he needs to find his own rhythm.”

Takamatsunomiya Kinen (G1)
Danon Smash

Danon Smash (horse, 6)

Takayuki Yasuda, trainer
“He’s probably better now as a 6-year-old, and his condition is certainly as good as it was for his other runs in the Sprinters Stakes. He’s becoming like his father (Lord Kanaloa). His appetite has been good and he looks to be in very good order, while working well with his training partner. He was relaxed in his last piece of work uphill, clocking around 54 seconds over four furlongs. He’ll be back once more to where he ran a very good race last year, among strong opposition as well. It’s been a while since he won this year’s Takamatsunomiya Kinen, but he generally shows his best in a Grade 1, and his condition is such that he can do his best again here. I’m expecting a big run from him.”

Yuga Kawada, jockey
“He’s come along nicely, and riding him patiently in training, he’s serious about what he does. I think he’s much stronger than when he was younger, and he’s a horse that gives it his all. He doesn’t really like being in the gate, but he usually gets a good start and settles well, for which I’m grateful. He got a good result in the spring, and things are such that he should run well again this autumn.”

Eighteen Girl
Eighteen Girl

Eighteen Girl (mare, 5)

Yuji Iida, trainer
“She’s maintained her condition quite well after her races in Sapporo. Back at Ritto, she looks well in her coat and has been moving well. We’ve just confirmed her changing leads and responding, but everything’s fine with that. It won’t be easy in this Grade 1 with strong horses and different things to consider. She wouldn’t want too strong a pace, but she might be better than some of the other horses at adjusting to things, if the ground does become a bit looser.”

CBC Sho (G3)
First Force

First Force (horse, 5)

Shoichi Shimokawa, assistant trainer
“His preparation has gone smoothly and he’s worked well uphill in training. He went straight to the front in the CBC Sho, but I think he can run from any position which suits him in a race. He has a good second wind that can sustain him towards the finish. He can handle any ground and the rise at Nakayama shouldn’t be a problem. Obviously it’ll be a tough race, but as the Summer Sprint Champion, he should be able to run well.”


Gendarme (horse, 6)

Yasutoshi Ikee, trainer
“He was running over 1,400 meters for a while before, but just to change things, we switched to 1,200 meters. It should be fine for him as his dam (Believe) did well in sprint races.”

Yuki Iwasaki, assistant trainer
“The jockey has been working the horse and there have been no problems. With the short time between races, the workload has been enough. It’s good that he’s won twice at Nakayama, posting good times as well. A little cut in the ground wouldn’t be a worry. One thing to consider is the draw. He can get a bit restless, so an even number gate would be good.”

Suguru Hamanaka, jockey
“It’s a short time between races, but he’s relaxed and there are no problems with the way he’s moving. I’d hope for a good start and a good position in the race.”

Kurino Gaudi
Kurino Gaudi

Kurino Gaudi (horse, 5)

Norio Fujisawa, trainer
“The horse has been moving well in training under his race jockey (Yasunari Iwata). All being well from now, the horse will get to the race in better condition than he was last time. The jockey knows all about him, and it’s a question of the horse getting to run his best race. He was second racing right-handed in a Grade 1 as a 2-year-old, so I think going clockwise is no problem. I think he’ll perform better than he did in his last race.”

Lord Aqua
Lord Aqua

Lord Aqua (horse, 5)

Keiichi Asami, assistant trainer
“He came out of his race in Sapporo well and was looking sharp again soon after, not showing any tiredness. As for this next race, I think he’ll handle the transportation to the track alright and the course itself. What might be difficult is the way the race unfolds and the going on the day.”

Ken Tanaka, jockey
“It’s been as usual with him and he seems refreshed. It’s a strong field, but if he can use his legs to the best effect, he should do well.”

Loving Answer
Loving Answer

Loving Answer (horse, 7)

Koichi Ishizaka, trainer
“He’s very well, and he’ll be in good enough condition for the race as things have gone satisfactorily with him. His finish in training has been good and he’s improved a lot. He’s a good solid performer with a big stride, and should run well if things go his way. With it being the fourth week of racing at the track, the ground should be fine for him. Hopefully he’ll get into the flow of the race and he’ll give a good showing.”

Tulip Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas Trial) (G2)
Meikei Yell

Meikei Yell (filly, 3)

Hidenori Take, trainer
“She’s worked well since her last race and is making progress. Jockey Kenichi Ikezoe recently rode the horse for the first time to get a feel for her. In the first half of the race, there should be plenty of pace, but I want her to be patient, and that will be the key. In all of her seven races so far, just the once has she been able to hit the homestraight in front and go on and win. It’s obviously a bit frustrating, but if she can use the ability she definitely has, she should be able to produce something better.”

Kenichi Ikezoe, jockey
“I’ve just been saving her and being patient before producing a finish in her work. She’s moving well, and it’s important to keep her calm. I’m told she knows when to switch on in a race. I think I’d prefer an outside gate.”

Mikki Brillante
Mikki Brillante

Mikki Brillante (horse, 5)

Shigeki Miyauchi, assistant trainer
“Things are fine with him, and we haven’t pushed him too hard with his work uphill. It was his first time over 1,200 meters in the Takamatsunomiya Kinen, and before that he’d had plenty of starts, but this time it’s different. It’s a bit difficult for him to come with a late run, so it’s best if he can be handy and then go with an early effort and sustain things from then.”

Ryuji Wada, jockey
“His movement’s good, and he’s in similar condition to when he finished third in the Hakodate Sprint Stakes two starts ago.”

Mozu Superflare
Mozu Superflare

Mozu Superflare (mare, 6)

Hidetaka Otonashi, trainer
“Her rotation is the same as last year, and she’s done light work at the stable and training center since her last race, but there’s no change with her. She just worked solo in this final week, but posted a good time of around 50 seconds over four furlongs uphill, finishing off strongly. We have to consider the long transportation to the track, so we haven’t overdone it. I think the 1,200 meters at Nakayama is fine for her, as long as things go her way in the race. The jockey knows all about her, as he’s ridden her mostly since her debut. In last year’s race, things didn’t really turn out well, so the key is the flow of things and getting her to run in the way that’s best for her. I’d hope for a run like two years ago when she finished second.”

Fuma Matsuwaka, jockey
“It feels like she’s in good shape, and just naturally she’s posting fast times. She’s run well at Nakayama before, and if she gets into her natural rhythm, I think she can keep things up to the finish.”

Pixie Knight
Pixie Knight

Pixie Knight (colt, 3)

Hidetaka Otonashi, trainer
“He just had a short break at the farm after his last race, and on his return he’s worked well in training. He’s just done enough, given the short time between races. The jockey recommended bringing him back to 1,200 meters, with the Sprinters Stakes in mind. He’s done well in his two starts over 1,200 meters so far. He’s experienced the rise at Chukyo, so hopefully Nakayama won’t pose a problem. It’ll be a pretty quick tempo over the same distance this time, as well as the strong opponents in a Grade 1, but I’m interested to see just how things will go for him this time also. Looking to the future, a good result would be pleasing.”

Yuichi Fukunaga, jockey
“He’s still a young horse, and has raced over 1,200 meters just twice, but he’s done well, particularly in a graded race for the first time, it’s never easy. He adjusts well in training, and has been able to post a time of 52.1 seconds over an uphill four furlongs. The Nakayama track is an unknown until he tries. It’ll be a tough challenge, but it’ll be interesting to see how he does, getting into new challenges.”

Sankei Sho Centaur Stakes (G2)

Resistencia (filly, 4)

Takeshi Matsushita, trainer
“She ran well last time over 1,200 meters, and I feel she’s getting stronger mentally. She came out of that last race well, and I think she will be just right going into this next one too. She can handle any ground, but given her speed, fast ground would be best. Given that she hadn’t run for a while when she raced last time, she should improve for that run, and it seems to be that way looking at her condition. Her final work this week was similar to just before the Centaur Stakes, posting a time between 52 and 53 seconds, with a strong final furlong. I don’t think it matters if she races left-handed or right. She’s travelled over to Tokyo twice, so hopefully things will go smoothly with the transportation to the track.”

Silk Road Stakes (G3)

Shivaji (horse, 6)

Kenji Nonaka, trainer
“He’s been showing his strength in training these past two weeks, and we have to bear in mind the transportation over to the track. In the race this time, he’ll need to use his best ability when it comes to his footwork. The fourth week of racing at the track should make the ground suitable, and it’ll be a question of him getting into the flow of things accordingly.”

Hayato Yoshida, jockey
“After his time off, he started back slowly when in work, but these past two weeks have seen him improve his condition. The Nakayama turf is good at the moment, but it might become soft, and this won’t do his chances any harm. I think he can run a good race.”

Taisei Vision
Taisei Vision

Taisei Vision (colt, 4)

Shunei Kikumoto, assistant trainer
“It didn’t take long for him to recover from his last race, and he’s been moving well in training. In the CBC Sho, he was a bit tight for room in the homestraight, and last time he got a bit restless in the gate, so he didn’t break so well. Consequently, he’s been a bit unlucky in these past two races over 1,200 meters. The distance is suitable for him, and he does have the ability to challenge for a Grade 1, but things need to go his way. It should be a fast pace this time, so the hope is he can be in contention and keep things going, and really play a part right up to the end of the race.”


Sources: Keiba Book, Net Keiba, Sports Hochi

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