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May 28, 2024


Yasuda Kinen (G1) - Training Report of Foreign Entries (as of May 28)

May 28, 2024 (Tuesday)

<At Tokyo Racecourse>

Weather: Rainy
Going: Good to Firm (turf course), Standard (dirt course)


- jogged 2 laps left-handed on exercise track surrounding the international stables, walked 1/4 lap, cantered 1/2 lap, galloped 1/2 lap left-handed, walked 1/2 lap right-handed on turf course
(exercised from 7:36 AM to 8:01 AM, ridden by James McDonald)

“The horse did a gallop with the jockey, James McDonald, this morning. He’s pretty good, he’s healthy, he’s happy and enjoying the environment.
It was the decision of the owner to come to Japan—he has been connected to Japan business wise for a long time and wanted to bring his horse here—the Yasuda Kinen was the best option.
The Tokyo course is beautiful, it’s fantastic. I don’t see any problem for him running left-handed because he won in the Cox Plate in Australia, so I’m confident that he can handle the track.
The strong point of the horse is that the world’s champion jockey James McDonald will be on board. He loves the horse and the horse loves him.
All the Japanese horses are very good, they conquer everywhere, in Dubai and in Hong Kong, so I was very happy that the JRA gave us the invitation to bring Romantic Warrior here.
Whether he will run in the Takarazuka Kinen all depends on how he performs in the Yasuda Kinen.
He is six years old but the Hong Kong people, even the Australians, all love Romantic Warrior so if he’s healthy and keeps performing well, I’d like to keep him in racing. He has given me and my family, the Hong Kong people a lot of fun and I thank him from the bottom of my heart so I just want him to be healthy, happy and enjoy racing till he retires. I understand that the owner has a commitment to send Romantic Warrior back to Ireland, where he was born, after he retires.”

(comments taken from Chap Shing Shum)

“Romantic Warrior this morning felt very good. He’s taken no harm from his race from three weeks ago. Danny (Shum) and his team have done a tremendous job—he’s the best I think Romantic Warrior has looked for a very long time. He’s in a really good frame of mind and he’ll run an extremely good race on Sunday.
I’m a very big fan of Japanese racing. Whenever Japanese horses travel around the world, they are extremely tough to beat, their racing is very competitive and very strong. From the experience I had here ten years ago (2014 World Super Jockeys Series), it was very eye-opening and I was lucky to compete in that series. The Tokyo course was beautiful, very fair and every horse seemed to have its chance, so from a jockey’s perspective, it’s a jockey’s dream to ride at Tokyo.
Regarding the mile distance, he’s a very adaptable horse, he’s got a lot of pace so I don’t think the mile will be too much of an issue, especially here at Tokyo in such a stiff track. And the fast pace will really suit this horse—his best wins have been when the tempo of the race has been very strong. He’s got a great racing style that puts himself in a winnable position all the time and I think it will be no different over the 1,600 meters here in Tokyo.
He’s just a champion racehorse and I think his greatest attributes is sustained speed, a fantastic will to win and he’s got a big heart—he loves fighting out finishes and he’s never let us down yet so I can’t see him do otherwise in the Yasuda Kinen in which he is going there in the best possible condition. He’s showcased his skills in Australia and Hong Kong and we’re hoping that he will run a good race on Sunday and hopefully he can showcase how good he is to the Japanese fans.
All the Japanese horses are going to be hard to beat but obviously Soul Rush was very impressive so if he turns up in his best possible form, he’ll be very hard to beat.
I’d love an opportunity to ride for the JRA under a short-term license if it turns up for sure, it’s such a prestigious place to ride in.”

(comments taken from James McDonald)


- walked 2 laps, jogged 5 laps left-handed on exercise track surrounding international stables, cantered 1-1/4 laps left-handed, walked 1/4 lap right-handed on dirt course
(exercised from 7:16 AM to 7:47 AM, ridden by Yan Kin Lau)

“I did a slow canter with him this morning on the dirt and I think he’s much better than he was last week and he felt very good. Tomorrow we will be going on the turf and do a slow canter, just feel the turf—the uphill and downhill—compare it with Sha Tin.
When he arrived in Japan, his weight dropped a little bit but everything looks good, he’s eating well and sleeping well and his weight is going up, so we’re not worried about that. He’s quieter than in Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, he feels like he’s the boss in the box, it’s not easy to get in, but in Japan he’s very relaxed and quiet.
He did not do so well in Dubai. I didn’t go with him then but heard he was settled and eating well in Dubai, nothing changed, so I don’t think the issue is about the long travel time. He broke from an inside draw, the jockey couldn’t find room in the straight, another horse fell in the last 100 meters, so that may have been the reason.
I think he’s a very smart horse, very clever, very strong and he knows what he’s doing in the training. He can fight and is not scared of anything.
I studied some of the Japanese horses and they are all strong and have experience running in this Japanese racecourse, but the main contenders should be Namur, Soul Rush and Elton Barows, and also of course Romantic Warrior. This course is bigger than Sha Tin and the turn is very wide. I haven’t gone to the turf yet today but we’ll see how the turf is tomorrow. Voyage Bubble can handle the left-handed course but for me, it’s the first time to gallop left-handed so maybe I’m the one who needs more time.”

(comments taken from Yan Kin Lau)

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