2022 News

February 18, 2022


February Stakes (G1) - Comments from runners' connections
Air Spinel
Air Spinel

Air Spinel (horse, 9)

Kazuhide Sasada, trainer
“The jockey (Mirco Demuro) reports that everything’s fine with the horse. He is easy to ride and moves well, along with posting good times. His condition is good. He can run well over the mile at Fuchu (Tokyo), as could be seen from his second in the race last year. He is another year older now, but we don’t push him too much, so he seems younger than his actual age. I’d like him to try his best this year too.”


Arctos (horse, 7)

Toru Kurita, trainer
“His rotation is different this year, and he comes to the race fresh, but he usually manages to still give his best even after a break. Jockey Tanabe has been working the horse on the woodchip course, and reports him to be moving well, and with this work he’s up to speed. Last week, he ran with a good action, even though his breathing was a bit heavy. All has gone as planned, and with lighter work in this last week, the jockey feels his condition is better now. He usually runs with a good rhythm in his races, and I’m sure the jockey will consider what to do when he knows the draw and the weather on the day.”

Hironobu Tanabe, jockey
“I used to think he was better having had a race, but if he’s at the stable for some time, the staff are able to try different things with him and it’s possibly easier to get him ready for a race. He has done steady work this last week uphill. I’m not worried about the draw as he usually gets away well. I’ll also be looking at the weather and how the flow of the race turns out.”

Cafe Pharoah
Cafe Pharoah

Cafe Pharoah (horse, 5)

Noriyuki Hori, trainer
“It is best if we try and make things as smooth as possible with him in training, particularly when it comes to him taking the bit. We can increase his speed gradually, so all in all his workload has been sufficient. If he can handle the one big turn in the race, he’ll get a smooth run and find a good rhythm. Jockey Yuichi Fukunaga has been getting a feel for the horse, so he’ll know what to do to get him to run to his best.”

Atsunori Hashimoto, assistant trainer
“When he returned to the stable, he was about 536 kg, but he’s lost about 10kg since, and he’ll probably weigh about 520kg going into the race. The jockey says he’s running smoothly. With his record at Tokyo, he should give a good account of himself and I want him to show his full potential.”

Yuichi Fukunaga, jockey
“I have had some good contact with the horse in training, and his footwork and speed have been fine. He is more compact than I’d imagined, but he has good balance to go with it. I don’t think the race will be easier than the Champions Cup, and despite one or two runners being missing, there are still horses with overseas experience in the field. A good position from the start will help him, and his efforts at Tokyo before should also be a plus.”

Daiwa Cagney
Daiwa Cagney

Daiwa Cagney (gelding, 8)

Takanori Kikuzawa, trainer
“After his last race, we gave him a break at the farm, and he’s come back and getting into condition for this next race. Jockey Kosei Miura has been riding him and says the horse is moving well. Running on dirt doesn’t seem to be a problem for him. In his last piece of work, we just checked his responses, but didn’t give him too much to do. He reacted better than I expected him to.”

Kosei Miura, jockey
“I’m getting to know the horse, and he has plenty of power. The start on turf should help him get a good early dash against the other dirt specialists. I’ll need to judge the flow of things and get him into a good position so that he can run smoothly. I don’t have a particular gate in mind, and I’ll just have to see about how things unfold, including the weather.”


Inti (horse, 8)

Kenji Nonaka, trainer
“After his last race, we thought about this one for him, and everything’s gone well on that front. He has had his usual pattern of training and he’s in good condition. He is a horse with a lot of racing experience. The 1,600 meters is probably just right for him, and the Tokyo track with its one turn gives him a chance to find a good rhythm, so he can be expected to run well if things go smoothly for him. He might be eight now, but the staff have done a great job with him, doing their best all the time.”

K T Brave
K T Brave

K T Brave (horse, 9)

Hidekatsu Shimizu, trainer
“I am not worried about the rotation he’s had, and actually it could help him show his best. Looking at his recent races, a mile could be the most suitable distance for him now. There has been no problem with him between races and his condition is good. I want him to do his best among the strong field here.”

Akira Sugawara, jockey
“I have concentrated on his finish in training. He seems fresh and quite full of himself, and once he gets into stride he runs very strongly.”


Mutually (horse, 6)

Yoshiyuki Yano, trainer
“He is in good shape as the race approaches, and he’s more relaxed now he’s older. I don’t think there’s too much in it between him and the other horses in the race. It will be his third time to take on the February Stakes. The first time, he just couldn’t keep up with the pace, and last year he got bumped around a bit when trying to pick up, so I’m hoping it’ll be third time lucky this time. He is probably in the same condition as he was last year, and I’d like to see him run the way he did in the JBC Classic.”

Red le Zele
Red le Zele

Red le Zele (horse, 6)

Takayuki Yasuda, trainer
“Being by Lord Kanaloa, he’s steadily getting stronger. He has been working well uphill, with a final furlong time in between 11 and 12 seconds. He doesn’t mind the winter. All being well, the condition he’s now in takes him to the race as I would want him to be. He is probably better now compared to last year, when he finished fourth in this race. He has developed nicely and I think he can put in another big run.”

Yuga Kawada, jockey
“I think he runs well left or right-handed, and it definitely feels like he’s developed a lot more in a year. He likes the winter season too. We’ll just have to see how things go, but I want to do my best in bringing out his potential.”

Sapporo Kinen (G2)

Sodashi (filly, 4)

Naosuke Sugai, trainer
“There is no problem with the way she’s been working, and she’s been stretching out well and running powerfully right up to the end of her work. I feel she’ll be well suited by the 1,600 meters at Tokyo, with the long turn down the side. It’ll be just her second start on dirt, and to some extent, it’s just what happens on the day of the race. Something like the way she ran in the Sapporo Kinen, getting to the front and running with a good rhythm, would be what I’d like her to do.”

Hayato Yoshida, jockey
“There is a good feel to her, and with this time being her second race on dirt, hopefully she’ll be able to perform well. Such is her character, to some extent, it’s what she feels like doing on the day.”

Tokyo Chunichi Sports Hai Musashino Stakes (G3)
Soliste Thunder

Soliste Thunder (horse, 7)

Juntaro Taira, assistant trainer
“There is a good feel about him, and he’ll come on for his last run, so in the short interval between his races, he hasn’t needed too much work. He ran a strong race at Tokyo two starts ago, which was different from his last race, where it just seemed he needed to let off a bit of steam. I think ability-wise he can match up to the strong Grade 1 field, so he’s capable of running a good race.”

Tokai TV Hai Tokai Stakes (G2)
Suave Aramis

Suave Aramis (horse, 7)

Naosuke Sugai, trainer
“There is no change with him, and his training has been as usual. He doesn’t seem so old, and his hindquarters have improved since his younger days. The distance is shorter this time, and we’ll have to see how he handles things this time at Tokyo. The jockey knows the horse well, so let’s hope it’s a good race for both of them.”

Daisaku Matsuda, jockey
“The horse can be a little temperamental, so I need to consider that. He showed improvement last time in the Tokai Stakes, so that pleased me. He has been running well in training, so I feel his condition is good. I don’t want an outside gate, and would want him to settle well again, so he can respond to things later in the race.”

Sirius Stakes (G3)
Sunrise Hope

Sunrise Hope (horse, 5)

Tomohiko Hatsuki, trainer
“He is fine going into the race after his recent work. He has run at Tokyo before in the Unicorn Stakes, so he should be fine at the track, providing he finds his rhythm. It is important that the race is run to suit him, and if everything goes in his favor, it’ll be interesting to see what he can do.”

Hideaki Miyuki, jockey
“He is in good shape and is moving well. He is a horse with plenty of ability. I don’t want him to get too caught up behind horses, and would hope for a clear run out wider.”

Tokyo Chunichi Sports Hai Musashino Stakes (G3)
Sunrise Nova

Sunrise Nova (horse, 8)

Shinichiro Kobayashi, assistant trainer
“We have had this race in mind for him. Since his last run, he’s been working well over a distance with his training partners on the woodchip course, and he goes to the race in good shape. He will be back at Tokyo, where he’s put in some good runs.”

Fuma Matsuwaka, jockey
“His movement’s good, and he’s improved this last week compared to the week before. He doesn’t show his age, and seems to be in very good condition.”

Negishi Stakes (G3)
T M South Dan

T M South Dan (horse, 5)

Yuzo Iida, trainer
“He was plus 10kg for his last race, but he’s packing on muscle and getting stronger. He has learned to race better in JRA races, and while he took time to recover from a race before, that’s not the case now. In training this week, he’s been as usual, finishing off in a good time and showing he’s in good condition. It’ll be the second time for the jockey to ride him at Tokyo. I think the distance of the race is fine, and two starts ago in the Musashino Stakes, he was unlucky in losing a shoe. The stable is in good form, so I look forward to a good run from him here.”

Yasunari Iwata, jockey
“I think the horse has changed in this last year, being more muscular, filling out more, and racing better in general. He showed his power in this year’s Negishi Stakes, so I feel he can run well this time too. I have communicated well with the stable staff about the horse and how to get rid of any tiredness with him. He worked well in his last piece of training, with just a little heaviness about him, but he’ll be fine by the time of the race.”

Teorema (mare, 6)

Koichi Ishizaka, trainer
“She is a serious horse that always gives her best. After her run in the JBC Ladies’ Classic, I thought she could go for this race as her best chance of winning a JRA Grade 1. The jockey (Christophe Lemaire) was pleased with her training a week ago, reporting her breathing to be good, and this last week also, things were fine with her. She has had experience of transporting to different tracks, so there should be no problem this time as well. The opponents will be strong, but she’s a talented horse who can react to any kind of race.”

Tomonori Kanaori, assistant trainer
“Making sure she doesn’t get too tense has been important, so this has been one of the keys in getting her to train well, and so as the race approaches, she’s in good order to do what we would hope. It is a tough race at the top level, and she’ll be up against male horses, but the mile suits her, and she has won at Tokyo, so I hope she can put in a good performance.”

Time Flyer
Time Flyer

Time Flyer (horse, 7)

Shinsuke Hashiguchi, trainer
“He has had gate practice, and the race jockey, Takeshi Yokoyama, has been putting him through his training. Despite the distance of the race being longer this time, he’s a horse with a lot of power, and I think this will make it easier for him over 1,600 meters.”


Sources: Net Keiba, Keiba Book, Sports Hochi

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