2022 News

October 28, 2022


Tenno Sho (Autumn) (G1) - Comments from runners' connections

Ablaze (mare, 5)

Yuki Iwasaki, assistant trainer
“It was a strong lineup in the Fuchu Himba Stakes and it was a pretty brisk pace. She tried hard to the end, and it shows that if she doesn’t meet with too much trouble under way, she can do pretty well. She came out of the race fairly well and she’s looking good. She was back in work on the Thursday of the week following her race. Though she’ll run here with one full week in between races, I don’t think there are any worries. She is competing against first-class males this time, so it’s quite a step up from her last race. I think she’ll be able to handle 2,000 meters and, with the turn soon after the gate, gate position is going to make a big difference. Too far out and she’ll have to cover more ground, but too far in and there’s the danger of traffic problems.”


Babbitt (horse, 5)

Tamio Hamada, trainer
“In the Sankei Sho All Comers, he was able to gain ground once they turned into the stretch, but he ran out of gas in the end. He tried hard though. His weight was up, but that was because he has grown. Also, since he was racing for the first time in quite a while, I’d been worried he was going to get worked up. But, everything was fine in the preparade ring and the prerace warmup. He worked up the hill course on Oct. 19. My instructions were to push him to some extent. Since the woodchips had just been changed and it was hard getting a foothold, but he ran well. His previous race has brought out his lightness of foot. He is calm, but on his toes. And the jockey (Norihiro Yokoyama) was happy with him and said that he’s really improved a lot. He will have no problem with racing to the left. There are others whose racing styles are the same, but I’ll leave that up to the jockey.”


Cadenas (horse, 8)

Masaaki Shibata, assistant trainer
“In the Kokura Kinen, he raced from the rear and moved up bit by bit, just like in the race before that. He showed a good turn of foot over the last furlong. Even though he’s 8 years old, he’s very even-keeled, runs nicely and steadily. He went to the farm after that to refresh a bit, and things have gone smoothly since returning. He had a brisk workout up the hill course last week. His footwork was good and he was full of pep. At his age, there are no big changes and he is in really good shape. This will be his fifth Tenno Sho (Autumn) and he’s given it his all each time. He always runs well to the end, so if he can run his race this time too, I’m looking forward to seeing how close to the top he can get.”

Kyodo News Hai (Tokinominoru Kinen) (G3)
Danon Beluga

Danon Beluga (colt, 3)

Noriyuki Hori, trainer
“The Classic races were difficult for this horse in the spring and, he didn’t have the kind of growth he needed until the summer. He is now refreshed and prepared to best suit this race. In last week’s work on the flat woodchip course, I had him go into the stretch at top speed. Over the last furlong, he started to lose concentration so the rider gave him a whack and he ran solidly even past the finish. He weighed 504kg after that workout. I was worried he wouldn’t have enough earnings to make it to the gate, but now, he’s up to snuff and will race over a course that’ll bring out his ability. Though he hasn’t changed that much from the spring, his weak point, his right hind, has not worsened and his hocks don’t swell. He is also using his front legs better. His final workout was Thursday and his breathing was good. He is in good shape both mentally and physically. This is the best venue for him but the lineup is strong. I am going in as a challenger with great respect for the competition.”


Equinox (colt, 3)

Tetsuya Kimura, trainer
“Since he still wasn’t that strong in the spring and not strong enough to take on the Kikuka Sho either, I proposed a 2,000-meter race and aimed him for here. He returned from the farm 40 days before race day. Though he isn’t dramatically bigger than he’d been in the spring, he has grown somewhat, is taller and his frame bigger. He has been training regularly and, always giving it his best same as always. Last week, jockey Christophe Lemaire rode fast work and told me all was well. This Wednesday, he breezed with two others on the woodchip flat course, and again, all looked good. His footwork was excellent. The distance shouldn’t be a problem. We will keep preparing him to bring out his best on raceday.”

Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) (G1)

Geoglyph (colt, 3)

Yuichi Fukunaga, jockey
“On Wednesday morning, I breezed him over the woodchip flat course with another horse. As soon as I got on, I noticed how good his balance felt. He has matured exceptionally well and he uses his body well. He is fresh both mentally and physically. He is still making some noise when breathing, but his breathing itself is good and he got his breath back well after the workout. I think he’s in excellent shape. He is very agile, an excellent racer. He is a bit unstable at the break but his last two starts have gone well. That is the only point that we still need to work on. Some horses become unbalanced during their growth spurts but not this one. The far outside gate is a disadvantage in the Tokyo 2,000 meters, but with the size of this field even that wouldn’t be that bad. The start is crucial, but if he breaks well and can get a good position, it’s a course that makes it easy for him to show his best. There is a frontrunner in the field, but this horse can match his pace and I think he can be competitive even with a brisk pace.”

Sapporo Kinen (G2)
Jack d'Or

Jack d'Or (colt, 4)

Kenichi Fujioka, trainer
“The races take a lot out of him and the rotation going in to the Osaka Hai was tight. The ground was worse than I thought it’d be, and the early lap times were faster than I expected. He also lost a shoe, but still finished only half a second off the winner. Last week, I had him close on a horse in front, and he ran well balanced. His overall time was a bit fast, but he got a good hard workout. This week, he worked alone so he wouldn’t overdo it. His time was a bit slow and I was concerned about the finish, but he responded well even though the jockey (Yusuke Fujioka) had to get after him. Considering we have the trip to the track, the workout was just right. Last start, he was a bit heavy, but this time his weight should be down. Physically, he's always been good, and I don't think he’s changed much. Though he’s become calmer, he switches on well. He has had good results at Tokyo 2,000 meters and lots of experience to the left. I would say it’s his best trip.”

Niigata Kinen (G3)

Karate (horse, 6)

Yasuyuki Tsujino, trainer
“The Niigata Kinen was his third start since he changed stables. Up to that race, he’d been raced over the mile, but I had a feeling he could do well over 2,000 meters. I was very relieved to have gotten good results last out. The jockey (Akira Sugawara) did a great job and it was a good race. After that, he went off to the farm for a while and came back here with this race as our target. On Oct. 19, he worked over the flat course. He was relaxed and his responses were good. He had been a little slow on Oct. 13, but this time he was much sharper and is definitely improving. There is a frontrunner in the lineup, so I don’t think the pace will be too slow. His experience over the mile should stand him well there. I’m looking forward to seeing just how well he can do.”

Kokura Kinen (G3)
Maria Elena

Maria Elena (filly, 4)

Toshiyuki Takashima, assistant trainer
“She broke sharply in the Kokura Kinen, stayed nicely atop the pace, and at the final turn had so much more left than the others. Winning by five lengths is no easy feat given the short stretch at Kokura. She went to the farm and returned to the training center early with this race as the target. She was nicely filled out and had a good air about her. Same as for her last race, we wanted to keep her work light on race week because of the trip to the track. I think having raced over the summer will work to her advantage. This is her best distance and she’s agile and able to get a good position. She has gotten good results racing to the left and though this is her first time at Tokyo, I’m not worried. She will be up against top-level male horses with considerably more skill, but I’m looking forward to seeing how well she can hold her own.”

North Bridge
North Bridge

North Bridge (colt, 4)

Takeshi Okumura, trainer
“He can be rather careless and when he’s in good condition, he does make mistakes. I had been afraid of that and, last out he was late out of the gate. He is not particularly bad in the gate - he was just looking around. The jockey was quite frustrated and said it was a problem of timing and that he had had a chance. In earlier races, he wouldn’t have had a chance, but this time he ran a solid race and responded well when the jockey got after him. So overall, it was nothing tragic. He has been at the training center the whole time so he can keep his mind on things. We gave him a nice gallop on Oct. 19, and his time was good, which reminded me that he still has racing ahead of him. There are only two full weeks between races, so he doesn’t need much work. It is a Grade 1 and we’re in a challenger’s position. I don’t think it’s going to be easy.”

Nakayama Kinen (G2)

Panthalassa (horse, 5)

Yoshito Yahagi, trainer
“After the Sapporo Kinen, he went to Hokkaido to refresh. When he returned to Ritto, his weight was down and I suppose it was from the trip. We got the weight back up and he’s been looking better. He had a hard workout last week and his footwork wasn’t bad, but I did think it lacked a little something. This week, I wanted to give him just a regular workout since we have the trip to Tokyo ahead of us. His breathing is good. His overall condition is good, but I had wanted to sharpen him up a little more. The ground on the hill course was a bit slow today, but his time was just what I’d wanted. He used his body well and the rider said the horse felt better. The Tokyo 2,000 meters isn’t easy, and recently the races at the venue are favoring those stalking the pace, not the frontrunners. The competition is stiff and it’s not going to be an easy race. I think we’ll have him run his usual race. That is what the fans are hoping to see too and it suits him.”

Osaka Hai (G1)

Potager (horse, 5)

Yasuo Tomomichi, trainer
“He had spent the summer well, with everything going smoothly and went into the Mainichi Okan in good shape. He was the only horse carrying 58kg and the winner clinched the race in record time, so the results were not surprising. It wasn’t a bad race for at all. The time is tight between races, so there’s no need to push him too hard. On Oct. 20, he clocked 59 seconds over the uphill course, which was what we’d aimed for. He picked it up nicely over the last furlong. He is an easy-going, laidback kind of guy and he improves with a sharpener. He came out of his last race with no damage and I do feel he’s better. I would rather he had a race that started on the straight with four turns, but the 2,000 meters here are a plus. Whatever the conditions are, he runs his heart out. I am looking forward to seeing improvement from him.”

Niigata Daishoten (G3)
Red Galant

Red Galant (horse, 7)

Takayuki Yasuda, trainer
“In the Sapporo Kinen, there seemed to be a problem with his right hind and he suddenly dropped inward. For the Kyoto Daishoten last out, however, that problem was gone and he’s in better shape now. He traveled well with a ground-saving trip and he gave it all he had for the result he got, but to be honest I did feel the difference in class. He has stayed at the training center the whole time and prepared for here. He is 7 years old and has a strong sense of presence. There have been no changes in a good way. He is fresh and he’s eating well. He has had pool work and he looked good this week working up the hill. With the competition as it is, I can’t make any claims, but he does well over the left-handed 2,000 meters and I’m hoping he’ll put in a solid race and show us his best.”


Shahryar (colt, 4)

Hideaki Fujiwara, trainer
“It has been a while since he’s raced, so he worked on the hill course on Oct. 23, because the horse doesn’t concentrate enough on the flat. He looked nice and sharp in the finish. Jockey Yuichi Fukunaga rode him on the flat on Oct. 19, and both riders said that the horse felt very good, both mentally and physically, and was very much in sync with his body. Whenever he races at Tokyo, we do the same things in his final fast trackwork. Get his speed up, push him in the finish, get him switched on, and everything looks good. Because of the considerable time between races, I’ve worked him with other horse to simulate a race somewhat. His times are good and he’s in expected shape. He displayed some sharp footwork. The conditions this time are very good. He has had a lot of experience abroad and I’m not worried about whether he can handle 2,000 meters or 2,400 meters. I know he can.”


Uberleben (filly, 4)

Takahisa Tezuka, trainer
“In her second start of the year, she did a real good job in Dubai and then came back to Japan for a reset. The Sapporo Kinen was her first race after a while. In that race, her weight was up more than I thought it would be and she didn’t have her mind on the race. After that, she went to the farm for a bit before returning to the training center. On Oct. 19, she worked hard over the flat woodchip course and her time was good. Unlike when she’s at the track, she does get leaner when she works at the training center. So, this time won’t be like last time when she was stabled at Sapporo. I think she’ll go to the gate on Sunday at 480-some kg. She has always improved with a sharpener and the change to the spacious Tokyo course will be good for her. I think she’ll finally start showing some improvement.”


Sources: Keiba Book, Netkeiba, Radio Nikkei

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