2022 News

June 3, 2022


Yasuda Kinen (G1) - Comments from runners' connections
Air Lolonois
Air Lolonois

Air Lolonois (horse, 5)

Kazuhide Sasada, trainer
“He was in good shape for the Yomiuri Milers Cup, but he went up the inside and wasn’t able to bring out his best. He has always shrunk back when running among the pack. After that, we targeted him for here. Last week and this week, he had hard workouts and he moved well. He has won when he was able to accelerate slowly from the outside. This will be his first time at Tokyo, and I’m thinking the spacious track will be good for him. He has slowly but surely gotten stronger. If he can run his own race, I think he can measure up to the others, even at the Grade 1 level.”

February Stakes (G1)
Cafe Pharoah

Cafe Pharoah (horse, 5)

Noriyuki Hori, trainer
“After his last race (February Stakes), he stayed at the stable and we’ve worked on improving his basic physical strength. His foundation is solid, so getting him ready for the race has gone smoothly. His workout two weeks ago was harder than the one before that, and I had him run in second position and accelerate in the stretch. His wind was good, but he was a bit slow picking up the speed. Last week, he was moving well around the bend and went full speed in the stretch. I am putting cheekpieces on him to help him be more assertive when he’s working alone. From the looks of his run in the Hakodate Kinen, I’d say he can handle the turf and he is suited to Tokyo. He weighed 526kg on May 26. His coat and muscle tone are good. Physically and mentally, he’s got it all together.”


Catedral (horse, 6)

Manabu Ikezoe, trainer
“It wasn’t just last time out in the Lord Derby Challenge Trophy, but recently he’s been slow out of the gate. He is using what he has in the final stage, but because it’s harder for him to get a good position, he’s not reaching the top soon enough. He had a bit of time off and came back to the stable on May 11. Work has gone as planned. His condition is usually better once the weather starts to warm up and he is looking good. He doesn’t have enough final speed in the stretch to get ahead of others in a Grade 1, so I want him to race from about midfield. If he can concentrate at the break and under way, maybe he can do better. This time I plan to put blinkers on him.”

Danon the Kid
Danon the Kid

Danon the Kid (colt, 4)

Takayuki Yasuda, trainer
“I think he was well-prepared for his last start, the Nakayama Kinen, but it wasn’t a good run for him. Even though he did win the Hopeful Stakes, he tanked in the Satsuki Sho last year and I get the impression he doesn’t like Nakayama. After the Nakayama Kinen, we gave up on Dubai and decided to let him refresh and recuperate before coming here. His time up the hill course on May 26 was 50.8 seconds over the four furlongs, which was his personal best and he still had something left. This week, it’ll be just fine-tuning. Considering his break last out, I’ve been having him practice standing in the gate. He can change leads more smoothly when he’s racing to the left, so I do think the Tokyo 1,600 meters suits him. I think he can do better at the Grade 1 level, so I look forward to how he runs here.”

Hankyu Hai (G3)

Diatonic (horse, 7)

Takayuki Yasuda, trainer
“In the Takamatsunomiya Kinen, he was too worked up in the gate and he jumped up when it opened. As we all know, a late break is tough in a 1,200-meter race. From his rear position, he couldn’t keep up. On Wednesday last week, he worked up the hill and timed at 51 seconds flat over the four furlongs, but the rider thought he was a bit heavy. He improved after that workout, and this week we just fine-tuned him with a breeze up the hill course. As he grows older, he’s solid phisically. He won the Hankyu Hai two starts ago and having matured late. His condition doesn’t look any the worse, so we’ll see how the mile suits him. If you look at the Kyoto Kinpai three starts ago, the mile may be a bit long. I am hoping he’ll handle it.”

Tokyo Shimbun Hai (G3)
Elusive Panther

Elusive Panther (colt, 4)

Kazutaka Ikeuchi, assistant trainer
“He showed a good turn of foot from the outside and won the Tokyo Shimbun Hai last out. After switching to the mile, he has really turned in some great performances. His balance has improved and he’s better with every race. There were also plans to go to the Keio Hai Spring Cup or elsewhere, but rather than race him in the 1,400 meters, we decided to come directly here. He doesn’t have problems coming off a layoff and his work has all gone well since returning to the stable on May 6. Last week, we put two horses in front of him and focused on keeping him well-balanced. The overall speed was 80-some seconds over the six furlongs and the last furlong was in 11.3 seconds. His footwork has gradually gotten better. The Tokyo mile is his best trip. Though it will be his first time up against older horses at the top level, I’d like to see him give a classy performance.”

Fine Rouge
Fine Rouge

Fine Rouge (filly, 4)

Yu Ota, assistant trainer
“The winner in the Victoria Mile did a fine job, but this filly had a rough spot in the stretch. Even so, I was very happy to see her rally and come back strongly. She came out of the race quite well and I was relieved that there is no apparent damage. There are only two full weeks between races, but we’re giving her regular scans to make sure all is well. She is looking good and was able to be back in work from about the middle of last week. She hasn’t been able to give it all she has in her last two starts, but she’s run consistently. I think she can compete well against male horses. If she can go to the gate in good shape and get a smooth trip, things should go well.”

Ho O Amazon
Ho O Amazon

Ho O Amazon (colt, 4)

Yusaku Oka, assistant trainer
“In the Yomiuri Milers Cup, he was back from a layoff. Though we’d thought he might still have a bit of excess weight on him, he was leaner than we’d expected. In the end, he was no match for the winner’s final moves but I think this one did really well for the first time in a while. He had some time off at the farm and, after making this race our next target following his last race, everything has gone smoothly. He worked together with another horse last week and didn’t catch up to him, but I think it was a good, hard workout. Before the Tokyo Shimbun Hai two starts ago, he’d been on edge while still back in his stall. He easily gets worked up and that’s a point of concern. He is showing improvement with his last race, and key will be how relaxed he can be after the trip to the track.”


Karate (horse, 6)

Yasuyuki Tsujino, trainer
“In the Yomiuri Milers Cup, he lost a shoe off his left fore just out of the gate. In addition, he was under pressure from the horses on the inside and out, so it was a tough trip. As for his preparation, it was his first race after having moved from Miho Training Center to Ritto Training Center and he wasn’t used to the surroundings, so there were a number of factors that made things difficult for him. He went to the farm after that and returned to the stable on May 11. He is used to things at Ritto now and last week on May 25, he had a real good workout up the hill course. This week, I just had him breeze up the hill with the focus on the finish. His footwork looked sharp and his breathing was good. He runs in long strides, so the course should suit him.”

Kyoto Himba Stakes (G3)
Lotus Land

Lotus Land (mare, 5)

Yasuyuki Tsujino, trainer
“The Takatmatsunomiya Kinen was her first trip over 1,200 meters. It was really too busy for her and she wasn’t able to get within striking distance in time. I think if she had had even one race at the distance before that for experience, the results would have been different. Still, to finish a close second in a Grade 1 is something. I think she’s gotten a lot stronger since last fall. After that race, we also had considered the Victoria Mile as her next target, but after discussing it with the owner, we decided to race her here, as more rain is expected in this season and considering that she doesn’t mind bad going. I think she can do well even up against male horses. Since coming back to the stable, we’ve worked on her foundation strength and she worked hard over the course last week. It was an excellent bit of work, and the jockey (Mirco Demuro) got a good reading on her.”

Takamatsunomiya Kinen (G1)
Naran Huleg

Naran Huleg (horse, 6)

Yoshitada Munakata, trainer
“I hadn’t given the jockey (Kyosuke Maruta) any special directions in the Takamatsunomiya Kinen. He had the inside gate and our plan was just going up the inside track. Maruta gave him a really good ride and it went well. With a long time to the Sprinters Stakes, I wanted to give him one more race and we decided to race him here. Maruta breezed him on Wednesday and he worked with another horse over the woodchip flat course. He started behind and finished together. It was a good workout. He has a fast workout every week over the course, so he’s mostly ready. He doesn’t tense up or get too strong in hand and has gotten a lot easier to handle. He is mature and with his present state of mind, I thought it would be good to try him at a mile. The Tokyo course, racing to the left, and the long stretch were all factors that made me think to try him here. I haven’t made any particular changes to his training, but he’s in good shape and that’s what I’m pinning my hopes on.”


Resistencia (mare, 5)

Takeshi Matsushita, trainer
“In the Victoria Mile, we let the frontrunner take the lead and this horse raced in second position. It was her first mile in a long time, but she traveled well and amid a close battle, was patient to the end. After that, we did a lot of thinking about how to get her recovered. She came back quickly and her weight is up to 528kg again. She breezed up the hill course last week with a time of 56-some seconds over the four furlongs. She moved well and there was nothing out of the ordinary. We have the trip to the track too with only two full weeks between races. She is looking good, but I’ll be watching her closely to see what kind of tuning she needs this week. If no one else wants to go to the front, then we will, but she can also race from further back. I think the change to the C course will be good. I expect her to get a good result with the mile again.


Salios (horse, 5)

Noriyuki Hori, trainer
“He came back to the stable on May 7 and lost nearly 20kg during the trip. Additionally, he lost more weight after training and was down to 538kg on May 19. When he first got back to the stable, he was leaving food in his bucket but slowly started eating again. It is not enough for his weight to go up. His muscle tone and coat aren’t very good neither. He has been carrying himself stiffly, so I’ve had to think of ways to help him improve and have changed his training routine. After fast work on the 26th, jockey Damian Lane told us that he’s stiffer than before while trotting and the warmup, but it’s not a problem while he’s actually working. Lane also said that his responses, footwork, and breathing were good. He has definitely improved from when he first got back to the stable. On May 26, he weighed 536kg.”

Mainichi Okan (G2)
Schnell Meister

Schnell Meister (colt, 4)

Takahisa Tezuka, trainer
“The results were unfortunate in Dubai. They weren’t representative of his ability. After the race, I sent him to the farm for two months. He recovered right away, and things have all gone smoothly since returning to the stable. He has always had a weak spot in his left hind, so we took good care of that. Last week, Christophe Lemaire rode to get a reading on the horse. The jockey said that the horse was a bit stiff as usual at the start, but there was no problem after he picked up the speed and was running nicely. It wasn’t that fast, but he did move well. He always moves well in work, so it’s difficult to regulate just how much work he gets. He is a bit weak in areas, so it’s a problem if he does too much. His breathing has been good and he’s definitely more on his game this week. His physique has changed since he turned 4-year-old and he’s much more of a miler now. The change to the Tokyo 1,600 meters should be a plus.”

Daily Hai Nisai Stakes (G2)

Serifos (colt, 3)

Taku Fukunaga, assistant trainer
“In the NHK Mile Cup, he clamped down on the bit in places but was still controllable. Things didn’t go smoothly, however, at the crucial point when he got to the front and was forced to run up the inside, which made things very difficult. After that, he stayed at the stable and the jockey (Yusuke Fujioka) rode work on May 26 over the woodchip flat course. He clocked 79.5 seconds over the six furlongs with the last furlong in 11.4 seconds. He came out of the Grade 1 well and he’s gotten solid work. He is a little bit on edge, but that’s also from having just raced recently. Things are going as planned. This will be his first time competing against older horses, and we don’t know how he’ll do until we try it. Being able to carry only 54kg as a 3-year-old is quite attractive though. We have been able to get him ready as planned and I’d like to think he can be competitive.”


Songline (filly, 4)

Toru Hayashi, trainer
“The pace was slow in the Victoria Mile and those racing toward the front had the advantage. Even so, I think she did a good job gaining ground in the final stage. She was back working the week after that race. Last Friday, jockey Akihide Tsumura helped out and checked if she could be patient and how well she responded when asked to pick it up. She worked on the woodchip flat course with another horse and showed good concentration passing the finish line too. I don’t see any problem coming right back after her last race and most important thing is that she keeps her condition. Jockey Kenichi Ikezoe rode the course this week and she looked good. The competition will be even stronger this time and we’re going in as a challenger. She put up a good fight and finished second in the NHK Mile Cup last year, and I do think she can do well against male horses.”

Yomiuri Milers Cup (G2)
Soul Rush

Soul Rush (colt, 4)

Yasutoshi Ikee, trainer
“He has always been good at the break, but in the Yomiuri Milers Cup, he was slow away and got a position further back than I’d expected. The ground was heavy and it was hard to close from behind and the pace picked up so things didn’t look good. However, he moved far above my expectations. He came out of the race well and went to the farm, and came back to the stable about three weeks ago. Jockey Suguru Hamanaka rode some hard workouts on the flat last week and the week before and I felt the horse was already ready. This week, one of the staff just breezed him up the hill alone. He was in good shape for his last race and I think he’s about the same now. He is on a four-way winning streak and I’d always thought he had a lot of potential. His constitution used to be a bit weak and he couldn’t run that hard, but now he has put on muscle and any weakness has been gone from last fall. It was then that I started to race him at a mile and, partnered with Hamanaka, things came together well. Since this horse has excellent racing sense, I am not worried about the Tokyo mile. He is good at the start, in between and in the finish.”

Vin de Garde
Vin de Garde

Vin de Garde (horse, 6)

Nobuyuki Tashiro, assistant trainer
“In the Dubai Turf, he really ran well in the final stage and just needed one step more. He really did a great job. Though he is returning from overseas, he hasn’t seemed particularly tired since coming back to the stable. As he is used to it and is also a tough horse, his recovery was quick. He worked up the hill course on May 26 and we were able to push him pretty hard. He is leaner and I think he knows that the race is coming up. All has gone smoothly and he’ll be in good shape for the race. He is much calmer now, so I think he’ll be able to give it all he has. Also, he’s won a graded race at Tokyo, so the venue suits him. He is 6 years old but since he hasn’t had that many races, he’s still young. I am hoping he’ll give us a good run here.”


Comments: Keiba Book, Netkeiba, Radio Nikkei

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