2024 News

February 16, 2024


February Stakes (G1) - Comments from runners' connections
Alpha Mom
Alpha Mom

Alpha Mom (mare, 5)

Shozo Sasaki, trainer
“She’s a horse that improves for having had a race, and she’s in better condition now than before her last run. Hopefully in this next one, she can get a smooth trip up to the fourth corner. The distance might be a little long, but if she can be produced with some power at the end, that would be best. If she gets into a good rhythm in the race, I think she has a chance.”

NHK Mile Cup (G1)
Champagne Color

Champagne Color (colt, 4)

Tsuyoshi Tanaka, trainer
“We’ve tried various things with him in training to get him used to the dirt surface. Getting him to speed up, take the bit when asked to, and being close to another horse are some of the things, as well as getting him used to the kickback. Overall, he’s been moving well, and I think he should do alright on dirt, given that he has won on soft ground on turf. With all the things we’ve tried, I hope he’ll run a good race, and that we’ll be able to look to a race overseas with him after this.”

Hiroyuki Uchida, jockey
“The horse’s condition is good and he’s been working well. He’s a big horse, and I think he can do well on dirt. Thinking of Dubai, I hope he can get a good result here.”

Procyon Stakes (G3)
Don Frankie

Don Frankie (horse, 5)

Takashi Saito, trainer
“Returning from injury, he’s looked a little heavy, but his work on the polytrack has been fine, with good times, and his condition has improved as this race approaches. He has a good character. His last race over a mile was on turf in the Arlington Cup, but that was a while ago, and he’s a different horse now. His racing style is set and he knows what he has to do in a race these days. We’ll just have to see how he handles the mile this time, and it’ll be interesting to see how he can perform here.”

Kenichi Ikezoe, jockey
“I think Tokyo is no problem for him. The first half of the race will be important. It’s natural for him to be well forward in a race and that’s the way he gets results.”   

Dura Erede
Dura Erede

Dura Erede (colt, 4)

Manabu Ikezoe, trainer
“He’s a powerful horse and I think is suited to dirt. He’s refreshed in between races and has kept his condition. With the transportation to the track, his weight should be about the same as last time, which was 510kg. We’ve had him run over a long distance on the woodchip course in training, and this should be good for him in this next race. It’ll be his first time at a mile, and we honestly don’t know how he’ll do until we try. He should do well against the other strong horses, as he hasn’t had any problems with what he’s experienced so far, including his races over longer distances.”

Bauyrzhan Murzabayev, jockey
“He’s fresh, and in better shape than he was last time. His times have been fast and he’s been moving well. The long home straight this time should be a plus.”

Gaia Force
Gaia Force

Gaia Force (horse, 5)

Haruki Sugiyama, trainer
“He’s in good shape, and things have gone smoothly with him in training. His reactions have been better than I expected, particularly at the finish in his work. It’ll be his first race on dirt, so we’re not quite sure about how he might do, but on his dam’s side there have been horses that have run well on dirt. The mile at Tokyo is suitable for him. If he can get a result here, it will help with things in the future, so I hope he can do his best.”

Yoshihito Nagaoka, jockey
“He’s a horse with a big stride, and he’s shown improvement these last two weeks going into the race. He certainly improves with his training.”  


Igniter (horse, 6)

Masashi Atarashi, trainer
“He’s in very good shape as he returns to racing once more, and he should be just right going into the race. I’d say he’s better than he was for the JBC Sprint. His strength is getting a good early position in a race. He won well on his debut in a JRA race at Tokyo over a mile, and he also ran well in the Nambu Hai at Morioka over the same distance more recently, so I think he’s suited to racing left-handed and can show his ability here too. It would be good if he can get the rail and sit in behind the leaders. It feels like a different February Stakes this year, so things should be interesting.”

Niigata Daishoten (G3)

Karate (horse, 8)

Yasuyuki Tsujino, trainer
“He came out of his last race well, considering the ground. He’s a horse that prefers the winter, and he should be better for having a break. The one turn in this next race should suit him. He hasn’t run on dirt since he was a 2-year-old, so it’s difficult to really have any comparison. His dam’s sire is French Deputy, so that bloodline suggests he can handle dirt races.”

King’s Sword
King’s Sword

King’s Sword (horse, 5)

Ryo Terashima, trainer
“He’s been working well on the woodchip course. It’ll be the first time in a while that he’ll race on a left-handed track with just one turn, but I think he can handle things fine, and with it being a wider track, it should be easier for him. He’s a horse that can get a good position in a race, and it should be no problem over the shorter distance this time. I’d like him to race midfield, and the long home straight should be good for him to really use his legs in the finish.”

Mirai Iwata, jockey
“He’s been moving very nicely, but knows when to be patient. At the end of his work, his responses are good, so things are fine with him.”

Mick Fire
Mick Fire

Mick Fire (colt, 4)

Kazuo Watanabe, trainer
“He didn’t break well in his last race, and that meant that he didn’t really run to his best. I think the surface didn’t help his chances either. He’s a horse with a lot of speed and power, and has already broken two records in his races. He should break better with the start on turf this time, and the lighter dirt surface should be better for him. I’m not anxious about anything as the race approaches.”

Takayuki Yano, jockey
“He’s more mature now, and in training he’s been moving really well. He’s well-balanced, and has responded well when I’ve asked him for a finish in his training. I think a mile is probably his best distance, and he should start well on the turf.”

Omega Guiness
Omega Guiness

Omega Guiness (colt, 4)

Naru Owada, trainer
“The jockey (Christophe Lemaire) has a good feel for the horse and understands his habits. The horse is looking good going into this race. I think he can always get into a good rhythm, and his run two starts ago over a mile at Tokyo, with just the one turn, looked ideal for him, so he should be able to do well again.”

Christophe Lemaire, jockey
“The horse can really run. I’ve seen what he’s like as a rival when up against him on other horses. His condition’s good, and I’m pleased with his reactions. With other top horses having gone overseas, he has a good chance.”

Peptide Nile
Peptide Nile

Peptide Nile (horse, 6)

Hidenori Take, trainer
“With his work last weekend, he hasn’t needed too much more before the race, and his times have been just right considering this. His condition’s good, and a mile with just the one turn looks good for him.”

Kaname Ogino, assistant trainer
“His reactions have been good in training, and he hasn’t been pulling. He should be fine racing left-handed, and with the speed he has, he should be able to get into the flow of the race over a mile. It’ll be a furlong less than his last race. He recovers from his races well, and even with this short time between races, I think he can show his power. With there being no one standout horse in the race, I think he has a good enough chance if he can run his own race.”

Red le Zele
Red le Zele

Red le Zele (horse, 8)

Takayuki Yasuda, trainer
“It’s the best time of year for him, and he should do better than his last race, when he was still feeling the effects of the heat. He needs good ground, and that wasn’t the case two years ago in this race. The mile at Tokyo is best for him.”

Keiichiro Yasuda, assistant trainer
“His breathing and overall condition are better in the winter months. Despite this, we take care with him, but he seems younger than an 8-year-old. He doesn’t need too much preparation, and with the work we’ve given him, he should be just right, so I hope he runs a good race.”

Elm Stakes (G3)

Sekifu (horse, 5)

Koshiro Take, trainer
“He doesn’t like the hot weather, so this season is better for him. He seems to be in good condition and he’s moving well. We haven’t overdone things in training, as his character can be a little difficult. He’ll have to transport a long way to the track this time, so if he’s a little heavy that’s fine. Testing ground is probably better for him. It’s always hard to predict how he might run, but hopefully things will go smoothly and he’ll give it his best shot this time.”  

Speedy Kick (mare, 5)

Tomoyuki Fujihara, trainer
“She’s recovered well from her last race, and we’ve taken care with the right side of her hindquarters, which was something that needed attention. There’s no change in her appetite, and it’s looking like she’ll be in top condition going into the race, as we’ve monitored her closely. Her times in training have been good considering the ground, and there’s a real feeling that she’s ready to run.”  

Tagano Beauty
Tagano Beauty

Tagano Beauty (horse, 7)

Masato Nishizono, trainer
“It’s not long since his last race, but he seems fine and has been working well in the meantime. He gets better with his races, and the blinkers seem to help him. He didn’t get a good result last time, but Tokyo is probably the best track for him. Two starts ago he did well in a graded race, and although it was a tough race for him the time before that, ability-wise he’s up there. Hopefully, he’ll run well right up to the end of the race, as that’s one of the keys with him.”

Wilson Tesoro
Wilson Tesoro

Wilson Tesoro (horse, 5)

Hitoshi Kotegawa, trainer
“His workload’s been good with training uphill, and I think he’s a horse that can still get better. He looks like a dirt horse and he’s really switched on. The stable hasn’t had a winner this year, so I’d really like to win this one.”

Masahiro Yokota, assistant trainer
“He’s a smart horse, and knows what to do when he’s aware that a race is coming. He’s more mature mentally now, and physically he has the shape of a dirt horse. He’s won twice at Tokyo in races with just the one turn, so he’s well suited to the course and distance. He uses his legs well, and I want him to show once again the ability he has in handling any kind of race that he takes on. I don’t want second place again.”


Sources: Keiba Book, Net Keiba, Sports Hochi

February Stakes (G1) related contents