2023 News

June 23, 2023


Takarazuka Kinen (G1) - Comments from runners' connections
Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) (G1)
Ask Victor More

Ask Victor More (colt, 4)

Yasuhito Tamura, trainer
“He’s been moving well and his breathing is good too, so I’m satisfied with his condition and the workload he’s had. We don’t know how the ground might be on race day, but the 2,200 meters at Hanshin should suit him. He hasn’t had good results in his last two races, but everything’s been fine with him at the stable, and he should be in top condition for this race, so I hope he can produce his best this time.”

Naruo Kinen (G3)

Boccherini (horse, 7)

Yasutoshi Ikee, trainer
“He’s been racing over 2,400 to 2,500 meters in handicaps and carrying a lot of weight, but the jockey (Suguru Hamanaka) has been doing well with him. The horse is still sharp, and despite there being just two weeks in between races, he’s not showing any signs of tiredness.”

Yuki Iwasaki, assistant trainer
“There’s no damage from his last race, and he should be in good shape once again going into this next one. The conditions of this next race will be similar to his last one, where he ran well on the inner track at Hanshin. The difference this time will be the extra furlong. The opposition’s strong, but if he runs like he did last time, things should go well for him again.”

Copa Republica Argentina (G2)

Breakup (horse, 5)

Tatsuya Yoshioka, trainer
“We’ve concentrated on his rhythm in training, and the jockey (Yuga Kawada) has worked the horse and found a good rhythm with him. He feels that he can go well in a Grade 1 race.”

Sho Tajima, assistant trainer
“A couple of races ago, he tended to hang a little to the right, but he’s running straighter now. He’ll be coming back in distance in this next race over 2,200 meters, but he’s a horse that starts well and can get a good early position, so he should be able to get into the flow of the race. I think he should do well.”

Danon the Kid
Danon the Kid

Danon the Kid (horse, 5)

Takayuki Yasuda, trainer
“He did his hard work last week, and we just concentrated on his finish. He’s in about the same condition as he was when he finished third in the Osaka Hai earlier this year. I think 2,200 meters at Hanshin is good for him.”

Keiichiro Yasuda, assistant trainer
“He’s been doing his usual work and moving well. It’ll be his first time to race over 2,200 meters, so until we try, we’re not sure about it, although he has had good results at Hanshin. He’s pretty good at keeping things going in a race, and with a jockey (Yuichi Kitamura) that knows him well, we’re hoping things will go smoothly for him.”

Deep Bond
Deep Bond

Deep Bond (horse, 6)

Ryuji Okubo, trainer
“There’s no problem with the way he’s been moving, and the jockey knows all about him and what to do in training. It’s good to see the horse moving so well. It’s the rainy season and it could rain a lot and affect the going, but I’m not worried about that with him. He has three consecutive runner-up finishes in the Tenno Sho (Spring), and he’s also finished second in the Arima Kinen, so it’s clear that he has ability. I just really want to win a Grade 1 title with him.”

Ryuji Wada, jockey
“He’s relaxed and has been working well, and he always has more to give. He’s definitely in good condition.”

Hopeful Stakes (G1)
Dura Erede

Dura Erede (colt, 3)

Manabu Ikezoe, trainer
“He’s in good condition and looks well. His breathing is also good. As a big horse, there’s been no problem getting him ready again for a race. I think he has enough stamina to see out 2,200 meters. Given the situation in the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby), I want to run him again here and I hope he can show his best this time. Some cut in the ground with a not too quick tempo would suit him. He doesn’t have to lead in the race, and just off the leader would be good, so I’d like him to be well up with the pace early.”

Hideaki Miyuki, jockey
“He’s quite calm and runs well. He’s a horse that’s easy to control and responds well when asked for an effort.”

Arima Kinen (The Grand Prix) (G1)

Equinox (colt, 4)

Tetsuya Kimura, trainer
“He’s become accustomed to being at Ritto and is not so nervous now. He’s been running well when pressured in training. The jockey (Christophe Lemaire) has been working him and the horse looks good going into the race. He was in good condition for last year’s Arima Kinen, and he’s about the same as that now. It did take him some time to recover from his trip to Dubai. As he develops though, he’s showing a lot more power, and that should help him prove himself here.”

Christophe Lemaire, jockey
“He’s in good condition, and at Ritto he’s been relaxed when going onto the track. Mentally he’s calm too. His reactions are good, and I hope to get a position somewhere in midfield during the race and take things from there. His footwork and balance are good, so even if it’s wet, I don’t think it’s a problem.”

Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) (G1)

Geoglyph (colt, 4)

Tetsuya Kimura, trainer
“There’s a fresh feel to him, similar to how he was before he went to Saudi Arabia. He’s developed more, and since a week or so ago his condition has improved a lot. Even though it’s been a while since he’s raced on turf, he does have good results on the surface. Racing right-handed is fine for him, and the state of the track in the last week at Hanshin should be a good match.”

Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1)

Geraldina (mare, 5)

Takashi Saito, trainer
“She’s worked with jockey Yutaka Take and things have been fine. I think with a fair run to the first corner in the 2,200 meters race, it makes for an easy start. There shouldn’t be any problem if it rains. I’d like her to show something similar to how she ran last autumn.”

Yutaka Take, jockey
“She doesn’t pull as much as I thought she might. She can lean in slightly, but she’s relaxed and has moved well in training, and there are no negatives about her. It’s good to have the chance to ride her here.”

Tenno Sho (Spring) (G1)
Justin Palace

Justin Palace (colt, 4)

Haruki Sugiyama, trainer
“His responses and times have been good in training, and he looks better than I had imagined. It seems like he’s developed more even since his last race and he’s well-balanced now, so I hope he can show even more this time.”

Katsuma Sameshima, jockey
“It’s great to have the Grade 1 ride on him as he’s a strong horse. Looking at his last two races, he’s gotten better at getting a position in a race. His racing sense is very good and there’s no problem at the gate. He’s won at Chukyo over this distance, so I have a good image of things for him this time too. I want to get him to run in his usual relaxed way and get the best result possible.”

Niigata Daishoten (G3)

Karate (horse, 7)

Yasuyuki Tsujino, trainer
“His workload has been just right and he’s in good shape. He’s moving with a good rhythm and his breathing is fine. He came out of his last race well and we’ve been patient with him since. The pace in this next race should be good, so he should get into the flow of things well and be able to save himself in the run. The weather and going on the day will come into consideration. Hopefully it won’t be too hot and some rain would be welcome.”

Fairy Stakes (G3)

Lilac (filly, 4)

Ikuo Aizawa, trainer
“She’s been at the stable with this race in mind for her, and she came out of her last race fine, so her condition is good, as she has shown in training, and she’s running in her usual way. She doesn’t have any problems when transporting long distance, as we saw when she traveled over for the Queen Elizabeth II Cup, so she’ll travel over on Saturday. She’s a horse that can run on well at the finish of a race. It’s a strong field, but I’m hoping for rain to help her chances and that she’ll show her best.”

Mozu Bello
Mozu Bello

Mozu Bello (horse, 7)

Naoyuki Morita, trainer
“I don’t think he’s needed such strong workouts with his training, as there hasn’t been long between races. I’d like him to get a good start in this next race. The opposition’s strong this time, but the home straight’s quite short, and as a horse that runs on from behind, that shouldn’t be a problem if he’s not too far back. It would be better to have some rain and softer ground for him.”

TV Tokyo Hai Aoba Sho (Japanese Derby Trial) (G2)

Pradaria (colt, 4)

Manabu Ikezoe, trainer
“He’s in good condition and has done some fast work. I think he’s in better shape now than he was before his last race, and the jockey (Yuji Hishida) felt good about him last week. The horse is switched on, and he’s like he was when he finished third in the Kyoto Kinen this year.”

Laurel R.C. Sho Nakayama Himba Stakes (G3)
Through Seven Seas

Through Seven Seas (mare, 5)

Tomohito Ozeki, trainer
“She’s had a break at the farm, and after returning to Miho, she then transferred to Ritto. In her fastwork on June 15, she moved well and closed out the final furlong in the 11-second range. We haven’t overdone things in this last week, but she’s switched on. She’ll meet strong opponents this time, but I think the 2,200 meters is fine, and tracks like Nakayama and Hanshin suit her, so the race conditions should be good for her.”

Fukushima Kinen (G3)
Unicorn Lion

Unicorn Lion (horse, 7)

Takahide Ando, assistant trainer
“He’s picked up well in recent training and his times have been good, so there’s a good feel to him. There’s no real change with him, and he’ll probably start quickly again in the race. He’s in better condition than he was before going overseas last time, so I hope he’ll do his best in this next race.”

Ryusei Sakai, jockey
“He stretched out really well at the end of his latest work, and there doesn’t seem to be any change with him. I’ll discuss things with the trainer once the draw comes out.”

Japan Cup in association with LONGINES (International Invitational) (G1)
Vela Azul

Vela Azul (horse, 6)

Kunihiko Watanabe, trainer
“He wasn’t suited to the dirt in Dubai, but he wasn’t tired after that trip. Since last summer, and through the autumn last year, he’s really come on a lot. Back home in training this time, he’s done his fast work for a couple of weeks now, so he hasn’t needed to do too much closer to the race. He weighs 528kg and is still a bit loose, but he should be just right before the race. The inner course of the race is a slight worry, but his track record is good and the distance is fine. I’d like him to save his run for the end as he’s able to do on the wider tracks.”

Kohei Matsuyama, jockey
“I haven’t overdone things with him in training, but his times have been good. Hopefully he’ll find a good rhythm in the race.”


Sources: Keiba Book, Net Keiba, Sports Hochi

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