2022 News

December 9, 2022


Hanshin Juvenile Fillies (G1) - Comments from runners' connections

NOTE: All runners are 2-year-old fillies

Aim in Life

Yosuke Kono, assistant trainer
“It’s great she made it in to the lineup. She couldn’t even race on the woodchip course before her debut and, on Wednesday this week, she was working alongside another horse and making it look easy. After that workout, she really switched on and I could feel just how much she has improved. She lost her last start because she just wasn’t strong enough. She is difficult in a way that’s hard to get a reading on but jockey Manabu Sakai has been very patient with her and knows how to ride her in a way that doesn’t get her upset.”

Aroma de Rosa

Manabu Ikezoe, trainer
“With her aimed for a Grade 1, I was expecting a good performance in the Fantasy Stakes. I don’t know what went wrong (finished 10th). But maybe it didn’t do good to send her forward too aggressively. Letting her travel more at her own pace from the break might have worked out better. She went to the farm for a bit after that and, after returning to the stable, things have gone as planned. She had a fast workout last week over the woodchip flat course. I had Christophe Lemaire ride (David Egan will ride in the race) and he told me that she had felt good. She starts well and I have no worries about her keeping an even keel and running balanced. Yuichi Fukunaga had said to me that he thought she’d do fine even over more than a mile. The distance shouldn’t pose a problem. I’m hoping she can somehow rally.”

Hakodate Nisai Stakes (G3)
Bouton d’Or

Bouton d’Or

Manabu Ikezoe, trainer
 “After she won the Hakodate Nisai Stakes, she went to the farm in Hokkaido. But she got a lot of work at the farm and didn’t get slack, which was very good. We had our eyes on this race and were able to confirm in the Fantasy Stakes in November that she was well in tune with the rider and ran well over the final stage, just as she would do in training. She stayed at the training center after that and on Nov. 30, she worked alone over the woodchip course. There haven’t been any big changes. I don’t know how she’ll do over the Hanshin course, but the fact that she has gotten good results should surely stand her well. She has a very quick turn of foot and you can see her sharpness in everything she does. She’ll have to cover more ground this time but I’ll be counting on her late speed as usual. If she can keep something in reserve, I think we’ll see her flying down the stretch on the outside again.”

Doe Eyes

Yasushi Shono, trainer
“She is still very young and that shows in how she takes the bit and how she runs, but she travels very nicely. Last out in the Sapporo Nisai Stakes, when she lined up with others, she reached down and found more. Even in a graded-stakes race, she showed her tenacity. After that, her shins were giving her a bit of trouble, but after a bit of time at the farm, she returned to the training center and is looking good. So even though she raced three times over the summer, she is fresh and I think she has had a good rest. She still is growing but you can see how nicely she has put on muscle and, with it, she has a lot more power. She is definitely maturing, but she can still get agitated quite easily so I think the drop in distance will be good for her.”

Sapporo Nisai Stakes (G3)


Atsushi Nishioka, assistant trainer
“She’ll be going into the race without a sharpener and we’re preparing her with that in mind. She has gotten all the base work in and all has gone according to plan. This was the first time she has been stabled at the training center and she’s used to the surroundings now. Being 2 years old, she is maturing but she really is looking better each day. And her getting stronger is really going to stand her well in the future. On Nov. 23, she was looking lighter on her feet than we’d thought she would be, and last week, she worked alongside two other horses and really moved well. Her breathing and how she takes the bit are both better compared to how they were in the summer. There are no worries with how she works with the rider and she has good versatility. For now, I see no weak points. She has a big stride and I think the spacious course will suit her. The rest will depend on the competition.”


Masahiro Yokoi, assistant trainer
“She went to the farm after her last race and she came back in the same condition she’d been when we sent her. Compared to how she was in her debut race, she is moving much better in work now. She has matured as well. We won’t know if she can handle the distance until we try it, but she is a very strong horse mentally and that should help. She was great over the mile and just broke her maiden. But she was only 408 kg last race but was able to go up against colts and beat them. She’s small but has guts. I’m hoping she’ll give it her all.”


Kodai Hasegawa, trainer
“At the break in the Rindo Sho, she really showed great sense. And being able to travel nicely balanced at her own pace was good. She only tipped the scale at about 400 kg but, after that race, she went to the farm and came back looking very good and totally recovered. Her muscle tone and the sheen on her coat have greatly improved since she’s been back at the training center. In her workout up the hill course on Nov. 30, she was carrying herself a little high. I had the jockey ride and her acceleration wasn’t bad and the workout was good. She’s been raced regularly and unless she’s looking really slack, there’s no real good reason to get after her in work too much. If she can get into a rhythm that suits her, I think she’ll be able to handle the mile. It’s a Grade 1 and the competition takes a leap up. I’m eager to see how well she can do.”

Niigata Nisai Stakes (G3)
Kita Wing

Kita Wing

Shigeyuki Kojima, trainer
“After she broke her maiden she showed no drop in appetite. And she was physically in very good shape, so we then took her to the Niigata Nisai Stakes. The jockey gave her a very good ride and I think the race also unfolded nicely in her favor. After that, at the owner’s request, we decided, without feeling it would be too much for her, to go directly to this race. After returning from the farm to the training center, she was clocked once up the hill course at Miho before going to Ritto on Nov. 11. And things have gone according to plan after that. She worked alongside another horse on the hill course last week and finished ahead of him. Ryuji Wada rode and liked what he felt and said, ‘She’s very easy to ride and responds well.’ This time it’s a Grade 1 and rather than focusing on the others, I just intend to get her to the gate in top shape. So, with that in mind, all has gone well. Of course, this isn’t the end point. The big aim is, of course, next year’s Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas). I’m eager to see how she’ll do here.”

Liberty Island
Liberty Island

Liberty Island

Taku Fukunaga, assistant trainer
“The Artemis Stakes was a tough race for her and she couldn’t get a clear run in the stretch, but that couldn’t be helped. She went to the farm for a bit after that, then returned to Ritto on Nov. 16. On Nov. 30, due to the rain, we had her work over the turf course. Yuga Kawada rode her for a time of 64.8 seconds over 5 furlongs and he was able to do everything we’d asked him to. She had also worked on the Sunday before that and we clocked her up the hill course in what was a hard workout. She has been able to do all the work we’ve asked of her. She’s never been a hearty eater, but she weighed 477 kg last week and I don’t think we’ll see any great change in her weight. I don’t think there will be any problems with it being a right-handed track or with Hanshin itself. She’s still quite immature physically and also has some quirks that make riding a bit difficult, but we plan to have her in good shape for Sunday.”

Miss Yokohama

Makoto Saito, trainer
“It was a small field in the Akamatsu Sho but it was a strong field, and she handled her first mile race well, and came out on top in what was a very close finish. I had changed her bit and she was well in tune with the rider. She really is a tough filly, a very solid filly, and has weighed about 460 kg from her debut. Her strongpoint is that she holds her condition well and comes out of a race well. There’s not much time in between races so, with that and the long trip to the track in mind, I had her work alone up the hill course Nov. 30 at a 15-15 pace. Her preparation has gone well and she hasn’t gotten worked up. I don’t think there will be any problems travelling her to the track. And, looking at the horses she has competed against before, I don’t think her performance will be at all embarrassing.”

Mississippi Tesoro

Yoshihiro Hatakeyama, trainer
“She easily won her debut and her second start, but in the Artemis Stakes, as I’d figured, the others were strong and it was difficult for her. She had gotten stronger but for a graded-stakes race she was going to have to get a lot more hard work. So, preparing her for this race, I’ve upped the level of her work. Last week she worked alongside an older horse and clocked 11.4 seconds over the last lap. Her overall time was 65 something. Overall, she’s more toned and I think she’ll weigh around 420 kg for this race. She handled the trip from Miho to Niigata OK, so I think she’ll be fine hauling to Hanshin. I’ve got her just a hair shy of tiptop shape. She’s the type that responds well to hard training and with this lineup, I think there will be a decent pace, which would be a plus. If it comes down to a speed battle in the final stage, I’m eager to see just how well she can do.”

Moon Probe

Hiroyuki Uemura, trainer
“She broke well in the Shiragiku Sho, so like in the race before that, we made a forward attack. The others were strong but she beat them. She was in good shape and that helped bring results. After she’d broken her maiden, she had gone to the farm for a bit and, after her last race, since she came out of it well, I’m not worried about the rotation. She’ll go to the gate in good condition this time as well. Having two races in a row over the Hanshin mile is what gives me the most encouragement. And it’s one of the reasons I decided to take on a Grade 1. We’re seeing improvement with each race and she has also gotten better at racing each time out.”



Yoshinori Muto, trainer
“The field was small in her last start, the Cosmos Sho (Aug. 13), and she had an outside gate. I really wanted her to add to her earnings so we had her race aggressively from a forward position. With her temperament, I figured that how well she could travel over the extra ground would be key. But she was well in tune with the rider after the first turn and after he moved her out in the stretch, every time he’d use the whip she’d flip her tail around and seemed to be playing around. I think she ran a much stronger race than her finishing order (first) indicated. After that race we decided right away to bring her here. She came back from the farm in good shape. She’s bigger now so, with the trip to the track, I think she’ll go to the gate at around 470 kg. It’s OK that she’s had this much time in between races. Last start, the jockey moved her out early on, but I think she concentrates better for longer with a horse in front of her. And closers do well over the Hanshin outer course, so I think a race like she had in her debut would be good. Of course, how she’ll measure up against a different level of competition is going to be key, but I’m very much looking forward to it.”

Artemis Stakes (G3)


Takahide Ando, assistant trainer
“After her first start, she became very keen to run and I was concerned about that. But, in the Artemis Stakes, despite the slow pace, she stayed very much well in hand, and that was huge. As I’ve always said, she has never been a good eater. But she has improved. Se still could do a little better, but compared to earlier, she’s better. We were able to give her a good hard workout as planned last week, but we still are aiming to get more muscle on her. Last week, she worked on the woodchip course alongside another horse. It was a good solid workout. In the gate of the Artemis Stakes, she did seem to be afraid of the doors, but she ran well in the final stage and considering how well she works with the rider, her present start is OK. If she can run at her own pace I think she will surely show us some good footwork.”



Mizuki Takayanagi, trainer
“She broke her maiden over 1,200 meters and I had figured 1,400 would be within her reach. She was quick out of the gate in the Fantasy Stakes and the race really brought out her speed. The jockey did a real good job. She stayed at the training center afterward and has gotten a lot of work. Last week we could see the results of that. She got good results in her last race but after the trip to the track her weight was up and I did think she might be a little heavy. Compared to that, this time I think she’ll be a bit leaner. Her movement last week and her condition were good. She did handle 1,400 meters well but 1,600 may be a bit long and this time it’s the outer course with the long stretch. She does have good speed and I hope she’ll do well, which will in turn stand her well for the future.”

Santee Tesoro

Toru Kurita, trainer
“She worked on the woodchip course with two other horses and we turned up the heat a bit. We had the two older horses in front of her at first and had her wait over the first half, and just checked her responses in the finish. She moved well and her time was good too. Her weight hadn’t changed that much from her last race but she’s not a type whose weight fluctuates much. She took the lead in both her maiden and the race after that and won both. She doesn’t get upset in the gate at all, breaks well, and can immediately go to the front with great speed. Despite her speed, she’s not difficult to ride. She’s cool-headed and listens to the rider. In her last two starts it was easy for her to take the lead but with the rise in class it won’t be quite as easy.”


Masahiro Takeuchi, trainer
“She’s not a good eater at all and so we can’t give her too much work, but we have been able to get her in the same condition she was for her debut race. Her footwork last week was really good. If she can keep this up, it’ll be good. In her last start she did really well executing the course. She maintained her balance running in amid the others and she picked it up in the stretch nicely as well. She was able to do well over slightly heavy ground and I’d say, right now as far as her movement goes, there are no particular concerns. I think she has great potential. But I do hope to get her weight up to around 440 kg. The way she takes the bit, I think racing to the right will be easy for her. I would like the stretch to be even longer but at 1,600 it should be OK. She can do well even if the pace is brisk.”



Yu Ota, assistant trainer
“She has had two very strong races and we are having to deal with some mental after-effects of those. She was very keen in the pre-race warmup last time out, but then she didn’t want to race, so I think this is still going to be a topic of concern. She had a bit of time off at the farm and returned to the training center on Nov. 17. For her last start, we weren’t able to push her hard in training until the week just before the race. This time we’re trying to not have her avoid the work she needs. She has matured quite a bit and has gotten a lot of work, so she should be about 480 kg. I think her coat is looking much better now than it was before her last race and I’m hoping to see her improve further. She handled the long trip to Hanshin well last time and I’m not concerned about the race distance being a mile. She has a lot of potential and if she can concentrate on her racing, things should go well.”


Sources: Keiba Book, Net Keiba, Gallop

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