2024 News

March 29, 2024


Osaka Hai (G1) - Comments from runners' connections
Challenge Cup (G3)
Bellagio Opera

Bellagio Opera (colt, 4)

Hiroyuki Uemura, trainer
“It seems like he’s in better shape now than he was for his last race, and despite a slightly slower time in recent training, I think come the race, he’ll be nicely tuned up. He’s easy to control, and the jockey (Kazuo Yokoyama) knows him well. The horse has good racing sense and knows what to do. The 2,000 meters of the race this time should suit him, and so too good ground. Amongst his own generation, I don’t think there’s much difference between him and the other horses from the Satsuki Sho and Derby, so I want him to show his ability this time as well.”


Catedral (horse, 8)

Manabu Ikezoe, trainer
“There’s no change in his condition, and he’s been moving well in training. Despite the strong opponents this time, if he can get to run his own race, he’s capable of using his good footwork. There’s no problem with the distance of the race this time. If he can run on from behind down the outside, and if there’s some give in the ground and the race is run to suit him, these things would help.”

Kokura Daishoten (G3)

Epiphany (horse, 5)

Keisuke Miyata, trainer
“He came back to the stable on March 20, after his break at Northern Farm Tenei. He’s moved over to the Ritto Training Center well before this next race, and he’s had the same training pattern as before his last race. There’s no real change with him, but I think he seems a bit more flexible this time. He’s put in some fast work, and is running more smoothly than before his last race. He looks well in his coat too. He ran a good race last time, and now that he’s a 5-year-old, he’s more mature. He has a good closing finish, and I want him to do his best again this time.”


Geoglyph (horse, 5)

Yu Ota, assistant trainer
“After returning from a short break at the farm, the horse traveled over to the Ritto Training Center shortly after. Having worked with jockey Hiroshi Kitamura recently, and receiving feedback from him, we wanted to think about giving the horse a run here. He’s very well despite the change of environment, and we’ve been able to work him according to plan. In his last race, maybe the distance didn’t suit, or he wasn’t so well, we’re not quite sure, but he looks to be regaining his condition for this race.”

Hiroshi Kitamura, jockey
“He moves well, and understands what he has to do, according to instructions I give him. I can feel that he’s a horse with ability.”

Daily Hai Queen Cup (G3)

Harper (filly, 4)

Yasuo Tomomichi, trainer
“She had a break at Northern Farm Shigaraki, with this next race in mind. She’s handled her workload in training well, and her reactions at the finish have been good. Her back seems a lot stronger now. She did alright at Nakayama over 2,500 meters, but this next race’s distance at Hanshin looks ideal for her. She always gives her best in a race. The weather on the day is an issue, but I’m not particularly worried about soft ground for her. She’ll be among the Grade 1 horses this time, but if she gets to run a good race, I think she has a chance.”

Yusuke Oe, assistant trainer
“She feels very good in her work. They took good care of her at the farm, so she’s in very good condition.”


Hayayakko (horse, 8)

Sakae Kunieda, trainer
“There hasn’t been much time between races, but we’re able to aim him at this next race as he’s kept his condition. He’s quite full of himself, and does things his own way in training, without looking too fast. He’s run well in his recent races, and he doesn’t seem like an 8-year-old. He just missed out on a Top 3 finish last time, but it’s possible he can do well again, even amongst the runners here.”

Chunichi Shimbun Hai (G3)
Killer Ability

Killer Ability (horse, 5)

Takashi Saito, trainer
“He ran a good race in Saudi Arabia. After returning to Japan and completing quarantine, he moved to Hanshin Racecourse, where he’s adjusted to his return. He was a little thin when he first came back, but he’s in better shape now and stretching out more. He should be fine come the day of the race, and I think he’s actually better than he was last year.”

Nikkan Sports Sho Nakayama Kimpai (G3)

Licancabur (horse, 5)

Katsunori Tanaka, trainer
“He’s been moving well, and everything’s been as usual after his return from the farm. His uphill work has been good, and we’ve been able to have some flexibility with him. I think he’ll run better than he did last time.”

Hiroyuki Nakata, assistant trainer
“We have had this race in mind for him since he returned to the stable. With the work he’s had, he should be in good condition going into the race. He has plenty of experience over the 2,000 meters at Hanshin, so the race conditions look to suit him. It’ll just depend on how he measures up to the strong opponents, but I want him to put in his best effort again this time.”

Aichi Hai (G3)
Mikki Gorgeous

Mikki Gorgeous (filly, 4)

Shogo Yasuda, trainer
“She looks well in her coat at this time of year. There’s a little difficult side to her character, and it’s good if we can get her to forget about this. I want her to be more balanced when she races. She is getting better mentally, and we make sure we don’t overdo things with her. It will be a good experience for her in a Grade 1, and I hope she’ll show us that she’s capable of racing at this level. Soft ground wouldn’t be too much of a worry.”

Keiichiro Yasuda, assistant trainer
“She’s getting used to the environment after changing stables. We’ve taken the blinkers off her and she’s easier to control.”

Kyoto Kinen (G2)

Pradaria (horse, 5)

Manabu Ikezoe, trainer
“He’s had the same training pattern as before his last race. His rider has been pleased with his work, and says his footwork is good. His times have been fine, including a final furlong time of 11.3 seconds, and he’s improving going into this race. This last week, the ground was wet, so we haven’t worried about times, and have concentrated more on his balance. Recently the horse has been able to get a good position in his races, and he’s no trouble for the jockey, who can control him well. The course isn’t a problem for him either. Soft ground wouldn’t be a worry, and it’s mostly about how he’ll handle the flow of things in the race itself. He has another good chance to win.”

Rouge Eveil
Rouge Eveil

Rouge Eveil (mare, 5)

Yoichi Kuroiwa, trainer
“She was well looked after at the Yamamoto Training Center before returning to the stable on March 5. The jockey (Akira Sugawara) rode her in recent work and said she felt good and well-balanced. The horse has traveled over to the Ritto Training Center prior to the race. The Hanshin inner course will suit her way of racing, and I only have a good image of her over the 2,000 meters there. I’m looking forward to the race.”

Sankei Sho All Comers (G2)
Rousham Park

Rousham Park (horse, 5)

Hiroyasu Tanaka, trainer
“He’s still a horse that’s improving, and since before, I’ve seen him filling out and getting into better shape. His appetite’s been better on his return to the stable this time. His balance, and the way he carries his head, are both much improved, so he looks good for this next race. I’ve been pleased with him physically so far this year, but there’s just a bit more for him to improve on mentally. His Hong Kong trip was good for him, so he’s definitely developing the right way to take on a Grade 1.”

Keita Tosaki, jockey
“I rode him when he won in lower class races, and thought his wins were very good. He seems stronger now. I don’t really feel that the course is any disadvantage, having ridden over many similar tight courses in my time as an NAR jockey. I want to do my best with him this time.”

Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) (G1)
Sol Oriens

Sol Oriens (colt, 4)

Takahisa Tezuka, trainer
“The jockey (Takeshi Yokoyama) has been riding him for the first time in a while, and the horse has been wearing blinkers in training. The effect of the blinkers has been good, and I’m thinking about whether he’ll wear them in the race itself or not. His times have been a little slow, but he’s moving well all the same. He ran well in his last race, and will be better for it, but we still need to think of different things to get the best out of him. He should be able to get a good position racing on the inner course at Hanshin, and I’m hoping it’ll be a smooth race for him, where he can show the power that he has.”

Takeshi Yokoyama, jockey
“Things have gone well with him in training and he feels good. He’s responded well to having the blinkers on. He certainly has ability, and I’m not worried about soft ground. It’s good to get the chance to ride him again, and with him already being a Grade 1 winner, I want to do my best.”

Stella Veloce
Stella Veloce

Stella Veloce (horse, 6)

Naosuke Sugai, trainer
“He’s been at the stable, and his preparation for this race has been fine. He’s moving nicely, so I think he’s in good shape. His times have been good too, and I’ve been pleased with his closing finish on the wet track in training. It was a good win for him last time, especially when you consider he had to carry 58.5kg. It showed he has ability. I think if he relaxes and gets into the flow of the race this time, he can run well in a Grade 1.”

Shuka Sho (G1)
Stunning Rose

Stunning Rose (mare, 5)

Tomokazu Takano, trainer
“After being at the farm, we thought she might run in the Nakayama Kinen, but that wasn’t the case, with her needing a bit longer to return after a long time off. It has meant that her condition has improved more and she now looks very well, despite the interval. She’s been running with a good rhythm. I think as a Grade 1 winner, she’s as strong as the male horses here, and she should run better than she did last time. The Hanshin 2,000 meters should be no problem for her either.”

Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) (G1)

Tastiera (colt, 4)

Noriyuki Hori, trainer
“His appetite has been good, and better than it was before the Arima Kinen, so he’s healthy and in good condition overall. He recently weighed 503kg, but getting bigger is fine for him. He’s been training solo and running well, with some power still in reserve. We’ve been careful not to overwork him, getting him just to stretch out at the finish in training. His breathing is good as well. While his footwork is still a little heavy, I have a good image of him going into this race.”


Sources: Net Keiba, Keiba Book, Sports Hochi

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