2022 News

April 1, 2022


Osaka Hai (G1) - Comments from runners' connections
Kyoto Kinen (G2)
African Gold

African Gold (gelding, 7)

Masato Nishizono, trainer
“It was a good win last time out, and after giving him a break at the farm, we’ve had this race in mind for him. His recent work on the woodchip course has been good, and he’s run well right up to the end in training. He doesn’t have such good closing speed in a race, so it’s best if he gets a good forward position, just like he did last time. He is a lot calmer now he’s been gelded. The Hanshin inner course should suit him, and if he runs like he did in his last race, it’ll be interesting to see what he can do.”

Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1)
Akai Ito

Akai Ito (mare, 5)

Kazuya Nakatake, trainer
“She ran well last time out, and she’s been fine in training since. Last week she worked smoothly, and in her final piece of training this week she moved well, posting a good time too. The jockey is also able to get the best out of her.”

Masaaki Shibata, assistant trainer
“She has been fine after her last race, and has worked well uphill in recent training with the race jockey. Despite the strong opposition in this next race, I feel she’ll come on for her last run. The Hanshin track is to her liking, and hopefully all will go smoothly with her as the race approaches.”

Hideaki Miyuki, jockey
“She is in good enough condition to take on the strong opposition here, thanks to the good work by the stable staff. She should jump well, which enables me to get a good position with her, and I’ll decide more once we know the draw. I think she has a chance, and I want to bring out the best in her.”


Arrivo (colt, 4)

Haruki Sugiyama, trainer
“He has coped well with his training load, and despite the rain affected training track, he managed to post a final furlong time of 11.1 seconds, which shows how well he’s been moving. We can rely on his race jockey. This time the race weights are set, and he’ll find himself up against some strong horses, but I hope he can put in a bold run, and I look forward to what he can do.”

Arima Kinen (The Grand Prix) (G1)

Efforia (colt, 4)

Yuichi Shikato, trainer
“He is maturing nicely, and becoming a lot more relaxed, especially when he has to transport to places. He showed how he could take on other strong horses as a 3-year-old and beat them, but now he’ll be challenged again by good horses this year. As last year’s top horse, I hope he can continue in the same way and get more good results. His workload has been good, and this last week he’s worked well with two other horses in training and has impressed me. I think he’ll be able to handle the inner course at Hanshin well, as he has good racing sense. I can also rely on the jockey, who has ridden him since his debut. An inside draw would be preferable.”

Takeshi Yokoyama, jockey
“It will be his first time to transport over to the Kansai area, so we’ll have to see how he is with that. In his final work on the woodchip course this week, he’s been sharp, and went nicely between the two other horses training with him. He is an easy horse to ride and he knows how to race. I haven’t really thought about where he might be drawn, but I think he can run well regardless of that. I want to get the best out of him, despite the strong challenges that will come from the other horses.”

Hishi Iguazu
Hishi Iguazu

Hishi Iguazu (horse, 6)

Noriyuki Hori, trainer
“Last autumn, his right hindquarters were not so good, particularly after his winning streak last year. In his recent work, he put in a fast lap, but the ground condition wasn’t so good, so he didn’t appear too switched on. His breathing was quite good, and overall his stature is fine. This week, he’s worked solo on the woodchip course, and he’s just a little slower when changing leads, but soon after that he quickens up and takes the bit. Generally, he seems refreshed. We have also taken care to get him to run straight. His balance is better than it was at the end of last year, and with his ability, I think the 2,000 meters at Hanshin will be fine. All in all, he’ll be in good shape going into the race.”


Humidor (gelding, 6)

Hitoshi Kotegawa, trainer
“Bearing in mind he has a long trip to the track, we’ve just gone steady with him and have focused on his balance. His footwork is very good. I want him to be able to cope with things as the race itself unfolds.”

Masahiro Yokota, assistant trainer
“His responses have been good in training, and he’s just had a bit left at the end of his work. Rather than focusing on times, it’s best if he just takes on his training partners and shows what he can do, and he has been moving well. It is a strong field in the race this time, but I want him to do his best when it comes to getting in a finish, and it’ll be interesting to see what he can achieve.”

Kinko Sho (G2)
Jack d'Or

Jack d'Or (colt, 4)

Kenichi Fujioka, trainer
“We have had him set good times in training, and he’s given it his best in this last week before the race. He is a horse with a lot of speed, and it’s fine if he asserts himself in this way. He is honest in what he does and is easy to control. He won a maiden race at Hanshin, and I think the track and distance suits his footwork. In his last piece of work this week, he was his usual self in work on the woodchip course. Having won his last five races, it’s clear he’s improving, and he deserves his chance in a Grade 1. The jockey is also good at getting the best out of him.”

Yusuke Fujioka, jockey
“I am not worried about him racing right-handed. The horse has shown a lot of improvement since last summer and through the autumn last year. He has a lot of natural speed and can take advantage of going off in front. I hope to get a good start and make the most of these things.”

American Jockey Club Cup (G2)
King of Koji

King of Koji (horse, 6)

Shogo Yasuda, trainer
“There has been a good vibe about him since his return to the stable. He is quite calm, and able to find a good rhythm in his training, so things have gone as I would have hoped. Looking to this Grade 1, he’s in about the same condition as he was for his last race, so it will be interesting to see how he gets on this time. Hopefully things will go smoothly right up until the race.”

Lei Papale
Lei Papale

Lei Papale (mare, 5)

Tomokazu Takano, trainer
“It is the first time she’s had such a short interval between races, but she’s recovered well and is in good condition. She ran well in her last race, finding a good rhythm and finishing well. She will be up against last year’s top horse, so in a way she’s a challenger here, although as last year’s winner of the race, I can still take pride in that. In her last work this week, we’ve been careful not to overdo things, but have still made sure there’s some good energy about her going into the race.

Yuga Kawada, jockey
“I don’t feel there’s too much change in her since last year. She ran a good race last time out. This time again the distance of the race is 2,000 meters, and it’s important to ride her patiently, but it should be easier than 2,200 meters. She ran a great race last year, and with her ability, I want her to show her strength once again this time.”


Makahiki (horse, 9)

Yasuo Tomomichi, trainer
“He has mostly been working solo on the training track, as he’s a horse that can take care of himself, and I think this is good enough for him. It might be difficult for him to really excel at the end of a race now, but with the Hanshin turf likely to be a bit rough, this is the sort of condition that will certainly help his chances.”


Potager (horse, 5)

Yasuo Tomomichi, trainer
“There has only been a short time between races, so his recent uphill run in training, where he clocked 56.5 seconds over four furlongs, is good enough, and he doesn’t show any tiredness after his last race. He tends to be better in an actual race compared to his work in training, and he doesn’t give up easily when the pressure is on. I think he can run a good race among the strong opposition here.”

Red Genesis
Red Genesis

Red Genesis (colt, 4)

Yasuo Tomomichi, trainer
“He has had a break at the farm, and everything’s been fine with him. In some work at the farm, he’s had blinkers on, as the 2,000 meters of the Osaka Hai on the inner turf course will require him to concentrate more and just run more smoothly. If he’s just able to find a bit more over this shorter distance, I think he can do well.”

Scar Face
Scar Face

Scar Face (horse, 6)

Mitsuru Hashida, trainer
“With his best work at the finish in training, he’s just right going into the race now. He has won three times at Hanshin, and so you have to say the course suits him, particularly having won over 2,000 meters there. He will carry more weight this time, and the other horses are Grade 1 level, but if he finds his rhythm and runs well, it should make for a good race for him.”

Shonan Bardi
Shonan Bardi

Shonan Bardi (horse, 6)

Takeshi Matsushita, trainer
“He has been the same as usual, and I’m pleased he’s been able to keep his condition. He has worked well uphill in the short period between races. I think he’ll be fine having had a race and now taking on this Grade 1 with strong opponents. There is no problem with him racing right-handed, so it’ll be interesting to see how he does if he puts in his best effort here.”


Stellaria (filly, 4)

Takashi Saito, trainer
“She has been working with the jockey, and things have gone well with her. She definitely improves with her races, and that’s been the case this time after her last run. As for the Hanshin inner course, she ran well in the Wasurenagusa Sho and the Queen Elizabeth II Cup previously, so I think it suits her, and I’d like to see her run a strong race here too.”

Win Marilyn
Win Marilyn

Win Marilyn (mare, 5)

Daiki Yajima, assistant trainer
“After her last race, when she wasn’t able to produce her best, we sent her to the farm, and she came back to the stable at Miho at the end of February. Essentially, she’s a horse that always tries her best, and even after a break, if her breathing’s good, she usually performs well. As she invariably gets off to a good start in a race, the inner track at Hanshin should be to her liking.”

Masami Matsuoka, jockey
“I have ridden her since she was a 3-year-old, and even then I thought she was a good horse. During the interval, there’s been some flexibility with her, and in training her times have been faster than I would have expected. Her responses are good and her breathing is fine. She worked by herself on the woodchip course this week, and right up to the end she could sustain her run.”


Sources: Keiba Book, Net Keiba, Sports Hochi

Osaka Hai related contents