2021 News

December 3, 2021


Champions Cup (G1) - Comments from runners' connections
Air Spinel
Air Spinel

Air Spinel (horse, 8)

Kazuhide Sasada, trainer
“He might be 8 years old, but he’s well, and his breathing’s fine. He ran on from behind in last year’s race, but showed a good turn of foot finally. In some ways it comes down to how he’s ridden over this distance, but I feel he can run well racing left-handed. He’ll need to get a smooth run.”

Kota Fujioka, jockey
“I’ve just confirmed things with him in training, but he’s an easy horse to ride and he moves well. He doesn’t show any signs of being an older horse.”

Another Truth
Another Truth

Another Truth (gelding, 7)

Noboru Takagi, trainer
“Despite the ground being bad, his trackwork’s been good. He’s been able to keep his condition since his last race, and he’s better for that run. He was fine running right-handed at Hanshin, but he’s probably better going left-handed when his cornering is smoother. He’s best running with a constant rhythm, and it would be good to get an outside gate where he can go forward and run according to what suits him.”

Heian Stakes (G3)

Auvergne (horse, 5)

Eiko Umeuchi, assistant trainer
“It was good for him to release some energy in his last race, and he seems to be in the right state of mind now, matching his condition. I don’t think the ground is as much as a worry as it might be for some of the other horses, but some rain would be preferable. He’ll be back at the track where he’s won two graded races this year, and although it’s a stronger looking race this time, I’ll look forward to his performance here.”

Yuichi Fukunaga, jockey
“It feels like he’s in good shape and wants to run. He’s a bit more like a turf horse the way he moves, and there is a difficult side to him, but he’s never lost at Chukyo, and if he handles the draw he’s given, and the ground on the day, he must have a chance.”

February Stakes (G1)
Cafe Pharoah

Cafe Pharoah (colt, 4)

Noriyuki Hori, trainer
“We’ve been monitoring his training, and fitting different types of blinkers, he’s looked good and has been running well, picking up speed naturally by himself. It’s also been important to check his start and make sure he gets into a good rhythm. As a horse with speed, he should respond well to the sharp turns at Chukyo, and the blinkers should help, but over the 1,800 meters and running with the blinkers, he might just pull a bit.”

Casino Fountain
Casino Fountain

Casino Fountain (horse, 5)

Takayuki Yamashita, trainer
“Since his return from the farm, things have been as usual with him, and he’s in pretty good shape. His final piece of work this week was good. There shouldn’t be any trouble with transporting him to the track. It’ll be about getting him to run with a good rhythm in the race, but I think he’ll be suited to the 1,800 meters racing left-handed. Against the strong opposition, I think he can give a good account of himself as the NAR representative here.”

Chuwa Wizard
Chuwa Wizard

Chuwa Wizard (horse, 6)

Ryuji Okubo, trainer
“He’s been training with his race jockey (Keita Tosaki) up, and the horse seems his usual self and has been moving well. There’s no real change with him, even after his overseas trips. It’ll be much better for him switching from the small oval of the NAR track last time to Chukyo this time, and it’s where he won last year, so things look good for him. Like last year, I hope he can get a good position and use his power at the finish. An average to fast pace would suit. After his first run back from injury last time, he’ll be better for that run and he should run well here.”


Clincher (horse, 7)

Hiroshi Miyamoto, trainer
“He doesn’t need fast times in training, and his condition is similar to how it was for his last race. He finished 11th in the race last year, and he hasn’t had such good results racing left-handed, but I think with jockey Yuga Kawada riding, things will be fine. He’s three wins from three rides on the horse, so I can trust in his ability to do well with him.”

Danon Pharaoh (colt, 4)

Shigeki Miyauchi, assistant trainer
“His workload has been good enough, working with two other horses on the woodchip course. He should be better returning to race at a JRA track, as opposed to the NAR races, where sometimes at the gate things haven’t been smooth with him. Together with that, and racing left-handed on a bigger track, he should perform well.”


Inti (horse, 7)

Kenji Nonaka, trainer
“I was pleased with the way he got into his last race, and that’s been something to take into this next one. He’s not a horse to post quick times in work. He’s been his usual self and has been running well in training, so hopefully things will stay like this as the race approaches. He’s proved that he runs well over the 1,800 meters at Chukyo, by putting in good runs every year. Looking to the race, I feel he can run well, especially if he finds his natural rhythm, which is what it’s all about with him.”

K T Brave
K T Brave

K T Brave (horse, 8)

Hidekatsu Shimizu, trainer
“He ran well last time, and that race has sharpened him up, so he looks in good order. This will be his fourth race since being at this stable, and he’ll probably be in the best shape this time compared to those other runs. It hasn’t been easy as an older horse and changing stables, however his last race was good and that sets him up nicely for this one. To some extent it’ll depend on his behavior on the day, but as a powerful horse, I don’t think he’ll be at any real disadvantage.”

Hiroyuki Uchida, jockey
“The trainer has him in good shape. Last time the horse ran well, showing his good footwork. He’s having a long career and has won some good races. He might not have got results at Chukyo, but he’s strong and powerful, and there’s no reason why he shouldn’t. The stable staff have done a great job, and I want to get the best out of the horse.”

Miyako Stakes (G3)
Meisho Hario

Meisho Hario (colt, 4)

Inao Okada, trainer
“His training’s been as usual, and he shows a lot of strength in what he does. I think he can put in a good run at Chukyo this time.”

Masahiro Yokoi, assistant trainer
“He’s kept his condition since his last race, and has been running well in trackwork. He’s still young, but is becoming more mature. He has a good stride, and in a race I don’t think it matters whether he runs on the inside or the outside. It’ll be a good experience for him in this strong field, and it’ll be interesting to see how he gets on.”

Sapporo Kinen (G2)

Sodashi (filly, 3)

Naosuke Sugai, trainer
“She’s been relaxed in training and hasn’t used everything she’s got. On her pedigree, it looks like she’ll be able to perform on dirt, and in her training uphill she’s been running well and posting good times. I think she’s well prepared for her first run on dirt over 1,800 meters, and all looks to be good, including the weight she’ll carry. She’s a challenger in this next race, but I want to see her put in a good run. From the start, I hope she can be well forward and not use up too much too soon.”

Hayato Yoshida, jockey
“She came back from the farm refreshed and relaxed. I’ve thought about how she might run on dirt since her debut. This week she’s run with a good rhythm in training and there’s no change with her. I need to think about things once I know the draw, and also to keep her relaxed before the race. I’m really looking forward to things though, in this her first race on dirt.”

Elm Stakes (G3)
Suave Aramis

Suave Aramis (horse, 6)

Naosuke Sugai, trainer
“As a younger horse, his hindquarters were not so strong, but that’s not the case now. He’s done well since his last race. In that run he stumbled at the start, so his result was not so good. He’s a bold type, but the jockey knows how to handle him well. In his last piece of work, the horse looked good. I think he can run well in a Grade 1, and I’d like him to show his full potential here.”

Daisaku Matsuda, jockey
“While riding him in work, it feels like he’s in good condition. There’s a difficult side to him, and it’ll be important to get him to run in a way that gets the best out of him.”

Sirius Stakes (G3)
Sunrise Hope

Sunrise Hope (colt, 4)

Tomohiko Hatsuki, trainer
“He’s in good condition and goes into the race as I would expect. His last piece of work was light, but he went faster than I thought he would, and there’s no tiredness about him. He wants to run and is sharp. I don’t think he has to lead in the race, and any pattern of race should be fine for him. He’ll be at the same track where he put in a strong run last time, so that’s good. He should be able to run another good race with the condition he’s in, and we can look to the future with him.”

Sunrise Nova
Sunrise Nova

Sunrise Nova (horse, 7)

Hidetaka Otonashi, trainer
“He’s been running well in training. I wonder about the distance of 1,800 meters in the race itself this time. It’ll depend on how things unfold and how he’s able to adjust to what the other horses do.”

Kenichi Shono, assistant trainer
“I think after his last race, there’s a feeling that he’s better for it, and he’s done well in trackwork. He ran in this race in 2018 and 2020, and even though he didn’t get good results, 1,800 meters is a distance that he should be able to run well over.”

Antares Stakes (G3)
T O Keynes

T O Keynes (colt, 4)

Daisuke Takayanagi, trainer
“The training staff are used to him, and his race jockey is pleased with the horse’s responses. This week and last week, he has worked well in training. He doesn’t have any bad habits. He’s had experience at the track, and he should improve for his last race.”

Juntaro Taira, assistant trainer
“There’s a fresh feel to him after his spell at the farm. The Chukyo course, where he has won, will suit him better than the course he ran at last time with its small oval. He won the Teio Sho, but wasn’t really all out in that win. Since his last race, he’s had gate practice, and all being well he’ll get a good start and run smoothly.”

Kohei Matsuyama, jockey
“There’s no problem over 1,800 meters at Chukyo for him. In his last race he was slowly away, but he’s done well with his recent gate training, so it should help him. As the first favorite last time, he didn’t get a result, but the small track wasn’t really to his liking. I hope things will go smoothly this time, and I want to do my best with him here.”


Sources: Keiba Book, Net Keiba, Sports Hochi

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