Weekend King Racing




REPLAYS: This week’s international Group 1 Races







Doomben Cup AUS DOO 18 May 2019 2000 Meters (T) 3U $A 650,000 (*$458,380) G1
Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes ENG NBY 18 May 2019 8 Furlongs (T) 4U £ 350,000 (*$448,000) G1
Preakness S. USA PIM 18 May 2019 9.5 Furlongs (D) 03 $ 1,500,000 G1
Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) JPN TOK 19 May 2019 2400 Meters (T) 03
¥ 238,600,000 (*$2,178,418) G1



Chautauqua will not pursue the lucrative bonus on offer as part of the Global Sprint Challenge with the star Australian sprinter to remain in Melbourne this spring.

Prominent owner Rupert Legh said the preference was to have a three-run campaign in Melbourne with the rising six-year-old, commencing with the Moir Stakes, before heading back to Hong Kong for the International Sprint in December.

That rules out a trip to Japan for the Sprinters Stakes, on October 2, where he would have been racing for the US$1 million bonus on offer as part of the Global Sprint Challenge.

“At this stage Plan A – and Plan A can change all the time – is we’ve elected to go Moir, Manikato, Darley, Hong Kong,” Legh said.

“We’re going to leave him in Australia (this spring). He’s an Australian horse, so we’ll let the Australian public enjoy a great racehorse.”

Chautauqua edged to within one win of the GSC bonus when he won the Chairman’s Sprint in Hong Kong on May 1.

To win the bonus a horse needs to win a leg of the series in three countries in the same calendar year. In February, the Michael, Wayne and John Hawkes-trained gelding won the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning at Flemington.

The Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) will be run at Moonee Valley on September 30 with the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m), which Chautauqua won last year, to be run three weeks later on the opening night of the Cox Plate Carnival.

The Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m), in which Chautauqua has finished runner-up in the past two years, will be at Flemington on the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

The Group 1 Moir Stakes already looks like a promoter’s dream come true with champion Buffering set to try and win the race a 4th time and gun Mick Price colt Extreme Choice already confirmed as starters all going well.

buff chaut extreme ch.jpg

Comprehensive Preview: Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint fet. Buffering 





Al Quoz Sprint Sponsored By Meydan Hotels & Hospitality


Group I

1000M (5F) – Turf

USD 1,000,000

Weather: Fine

Track Condition:Good

Rail Position:True

1st 600,000 4th 50,000
2nd 200,000 5th 30,000
3rd 100,000

What time is the Al Quoz on?

1810 – Local

0010 – Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart

2340 – Adelaide, Darwin

2210 – Perth



Sh Mohd bin Khalifa Al Maktoum

NAADIRR (IRE) 5 yrs. Bay G 17 (3-5-1)

Owner: Sh Mohd bin Khalifa Al Maktoum

Trainer: M Botti

Jockey: Christophe Soumillon

Weight: 57.0 Kgs

Official Rating: 110




JUNGLE CAT (IRE) 4 yrs. Bay C 12 (2-4-3)

Owner: Godolphin

Trainer: C Appleby

Jockey: William Buick

Weight: 57.0 Kgs

Official Rating: 112


North Hills Co Ltd

BEL CANTO (JPN) 5 yrs. Ch M 16 (5-1-0)

Owner: North Hills Co Ltd

Trainer: K Tsunoda

Jockey: Yutaka Take

Weight: 55.0 Kgs

Official Rating: 108


Matthew Wong Leung Pak

NOT LISTENIN’TOME (AUS) 5 yrs. Bay G 21 (7-3-4)

Owner: Matthew Wong Leung Pak

Trainer: J Moore

Jockey: Ryan Moore

Weight: 57.0 Kgs

Official Rating: 118



Huang Kai Wen

PENIAPHOBIA (IRE) 5 yrs. Bay G 24 (10-6-4)

Owner: Huang Kai Wen

Trainer: T Cruz

Jockey: Joao Moreira

Weight: 57.0 Kgs

Official Rating: 119


Sh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum

ERTIJAAL (IRE) 5 yrs. Bay G 15 (7-1-1)

Owner: Sh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Trainer: A Al Raihe

Jockey: Paul Hanagan

Weight: 57.0 Kgs

Official Rating: 116


Mrs Sabena Power

SOLE POWER (GB) 9 yrs. Br G 55 (12-7-7)

Owner: Mrs Sabena Power

Trainer: E Lynam

Jockey: Christopher Hayes

Weight: 57.0 Kgs

Official Rating: 118



J Sargeant & Mrs J Morley

GOLDREAM (GB) 7 yrs. Br G 34 (7-6-5)

Owner: J Sargeant & Mrs J Morley

Trainer: R Cowell

Jockey: Martin Harley

Weight: 57.0 Kgs

Official Rating: 116


Mrs V Heathcote, S Krslovic, C Moore et al

BUFFERING (AUS) 8 yrs. Bay G 51 (19-9-8)

Owner: Mrs V Heathcote, S Krslovic, C Moore et al

Trainer: R Heathcote

Jockey: Damian Browne

Weight: 57.0 Kgs

Official Rating: 115



Sh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum

MUTHMIR (IRE) 6 yrs. Bay G 16 (5-2-3)

Owner: Sh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Trainer: W Haggas

Jockey: Dane O’Neill

Weight: 57.0 Kgs

Official Rating: 115



Sh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum

FITYAAN (GB) 8 yrs. Bay G 41 (5-10-3)

Owner: Sh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Trainer: M Al Muhairi

Jockey: Silvestre De Sousa

Weight: 57.0 Kgs

Official Rating: 110



Paul Wildes

SIR MAXIMILIAN (IRE) 7 yrs. Bay G 34 (8-5-5)

Owner: Paul Wildes

Trainer: I Williams

Jockey: Patrick Dobbs

Weight: 57.0 Kgs

Official Rating: 112



Ranlo Investments, LLC

LADY SHIPMAN (USA) 4 yrs. Ch F 13 (9-2-2)

Owner: Ranlo Investments, LLC

Trainer: K McLaughlin

Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr


It’s a truly international field that’s been assembled for the 2016 Al Quoz Sprint @ Meydan Racecourse on Dubai World Cup night (26 March). It contains 5x local UAE horses, 2x Hong Kong gallopers, 2x United Kingdom sprinters and one representative each for Australia, USA, Ireland and Japan.

1.NAADIR (UAE)Sh Mohd bin Khalifa Al Maktoum

TIMEFORM COMMENT: Not straightforward, but ran well in good company after being gelded last summer. Better than ever when second in 6f handicap last time, though work cut out in this company back at the minimum trip.


VIDEO COMMENT: Only an average beginner. Gets back in behind the speed and runs on. More a dour type than a horse with a brilliant turn of foot.






2.JUNGLE CAT (UAE)Godolphin 20-1

TIMEFORM COMMENT: Smart juvenile and though didn’t get going last year, proved better than ever when winning 6f handicap here in January. Beaten a nose by Fityaan in C&D Meydan Sprint 3 weeks ago, and not dismissed.


VIDEO COMMENT: On pacer who has a high cruising speed and isn’t afraid of a true staying test. Runs a very strong 5f.



3.BEL CANTO (JAPAN)North Hills Co Ltd 33-1

TIMEFORM COMMENT: Japanese mare, multiple winner at Group level on home soil, including twice last August (5f-6f). Comes here after 4 months off and this test should suit, but significant improvement required still.


VIDEO COMMENT: Bold on-pacer who jumps and runs, before trying to find a kick.




4.NOT LISTENIN’TOME (HK)Matthew Wong Leung Pak 7-1

TIMEFORM COMMENT: Taken form to new levels this season, 3-3 over 5f at Sha Tin, twice in Group 3’s and also handicap latest. Third to Peniaphobia in Hong Kong Sprint in December and big player with Ryan Moore booked.


VIDEO COMMENT: Travels strongly in the run, with a tendency to over-race. Generally settles just backward of mid-field with cover. Has a short sharp sprint, but it is very powerful.



5.PENIAPHOBIA (HK)Huang Kai Wen 13-2

TIMEFORM COMMENT: Runner-up to Sole Power in this last year and typical standing dish at top level in Hong Kong since, better than ever when winning Hong Kong Sprint in December (6f) and third in Group 1 there latest.


VIDEO COMMENT: On pace runner who likes to roll along. Able to find another gear even when leading at good clip.




6.ERTIJAAL (UAE)Sh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum 3-1

TIMEFORM COMMENT: Drop to 5f has worked the oracle this season, and has looked high-class when blitzing rivals in pair of C&D handicaps this Carnival. Plenty of competition for the lead, but entitled to major respect.


VIDEO COMMENT: Fast beginner who takes advantage of his gate speed and races on speed. Has a high cruising speed but ups the anti mid-race to get rivals off the bit and chasing. Able to sustain burst of speed right through the finishing wire.




7.SOLE POWER (IRE) Mrs Sabena Power 13-2

TIMEFORM COMMENT: Ended Dubai hoodoo when winning this last year, and arguably shaped best when narrow third to Fityaan/Jungle Cat in prep for this 3 weeks ago. Will get race run to suit and bold bid likely again.


VIDEO COMMENT: Get back run on type. Always reliant on luck by virtue of his race pattern. Takes plenty of riding but once he finds top gear possesses a powerful turn of foot.




8.GOLDREAM (UK)J Sargeant & Mrs J Morley  14-1

TIMEFORM COMMENT: Had fine 2015, won Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot and Prix De L’Abbaye at Longchamp. Ordinary return in C&D Group 3 won by Fityaan last time, but that should leave him spot on for this


VIDEO COMMENT: Good beginner who likes to race just in behind pace. Has a sustained sprint that allows rider to put the acid on his opponents early.



9.BUFFERING (AUS) Mrs V Heathcote, S Krslovic, C Moore et al 10-1

TIMEFORM COMMENT: High-class Australian sprinter over the years and not far off very best of late, won pair of Group 1’s in October/November and added valuable 6.5f event at Gold Coast latest. Can give a good account.

VIDEO COMMENT: Good beginner. High cruising speed that allows jockey Browne to put the pressure on rivals mid-race and have them off the bit chasing him. Runs a strong 6f. Finds best form when locked in a fight late.



10.MUTHMIR (UAE)Sh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum 8-1

TIMEFORM COMMENT: Won twice at Group 2 level last term and also third to Goldream in King’s Stand/L’Abbaye. Fair return last month and though Hanagan understandably prefers Ertijaal, this test ought to prove ideal.

VIDEO COMMENT: OK beginner. Races off speed. Possesses strong dash when let go in straight.



11.FITTYAAN (UAE)Sh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum 33-1

TIMEFORM COMMENT: Often not far away in Carnival handicaps over the years, but improved out of sight when narrowly getting the better of Jungle Cat/Sole Power in Group 3 last time. Hard to see him confirming the form.

VIDEO COMMENT: On speed galloper who only has one speed but gives all.



12.SIR MAXIMILLIAN (UK) Paul Wildes  33-1

TIMEFORM COMMENT: Group 3 Meydan Sprint winner last term, and after impressively landing handicap was a respectable fourth in same race latest. Will get race run to suit, but majority call is he’ll come up short.

VIDEO COMMENT: Jumps and settles well, usually about midfield. OK turn of foot, but not brilliant.



13.LADY SHIPMAN (USA)Ranlo Investments, LLC  16-1

TIMEFORM COMMENT: Most consistent filly, won 9 of 13 starts in US and placed all other occasions, notably neck runner-up in Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint in November. Easily landed prep last month and should go well.

VIDEO COMMENT: On pacer. Leads at good clip and gives all. No turn of foot.







Plenty of speed engaged meaning it will be a strongly run race. Bar, Sole Power, all the chances are amongst those who will be making the speed. Thus it’ll likely come down to who’s the toughest at the end of 5f. The Australian horse Buffering is notorious for finding when under pressure and engaged in a drive to the line. He has form around Lankan Rupee, Black Caviar and Hay List. If he brings his ‘A’ game he’ll be the one they’ve got too beat. 













joe janiak takeover target.jpeg

It is well documented that when times are tough, the average Aussie looks for something or someone they can look up to, aspire to, live the dream with – because if we don’t have dreams, life can be terribly boring. This tale is just a reminder that racing belongs to the average man on the street and not just to those hanging out in the boardrooms.

The story begins in 1999 at Meringo Stud, near Moruya on the southern coast of New South Wales. A colt by the stallion Celtic Swing, out of a well-bred mare, Shady Stream, hit the ground running. It was an easy decision to syndicate this thoroughbred to three successful businessmen. The boardroom businessmen were all involved in the takeover of Melbourne’s Crown Casino for Kerry Packer, so naming the colt Takeover Target was a logical choice.


The well-respected trainer John Morish, at Randwick, was selected to get their investment ready for the track. As can sometimes be the case, the following two years were full of disappointment. Takeover Target had a problem with his suspensory nerve, which was very painful for the horse and which contributed significantly to him being one very cranky customer.

Because of the injury, there was no chance of a race, so the businessmen decided to cut their losses. Next stop for Takeover Target was a dispersal sale, in 2003.

At the next Inglis Dispersal Sale, there were four bidders. The bidding started at $500 and then escalated to $800; it finally concluded with a cabbie named Joe Janiak, who paid the princely sum of $1250 for the horse. Joe thought at the time that the price he paid for this cranky son of Celtic Swing was a little steep but, nevertheless, what was done was done. Joe and his trusty steed wound their way back to Queanbeyan and to Joe’s home, a caravan.

Takeover Target’s cranky disposition was highlighted the very first day in the stables when he reared, sending Joe packing to the local hospital to get 30 stitches for a head wound. Not a great start.


No-one could possibly imagine that this trip to the hospital was the start of a union that would result in 21 wins and ten placings for 41 starts, with winnings in excess of $6 million across Australia, Great Britain, Singapore and Japan. Here are just some of his Group race wins in Australia and overseas:

• 1st, 2004 – Group 1, Flemington Salinger Stakes

• 1st, 2005 – Group 3, Doomben Summer Stakes

• 1st, 2006 – Group 1, Flemington Lightning Stakes

• 1st, 2006 – Group 1, Flemington Newmarket Handicap

• 1st, 2006 – Group 2, Royal Ascot King’s Stand Stakes, UK

• 1st, 2006 – Group 1, NAKA Sprinters Stakes, Japan

• 1st, 2007 – Group 1, Doomben 10,000

• 1st, 2008 – Group 1, KrisFlyer International Sprint, Singapore

• 1st, 2008 – Group 2, Perth Winterbottom Stakes

• 1st, 2008 – Group 3, Perth AJ Scahill Stakes

• 1st, 2009 – Group 1, Randwick TJ Smith Stakes

• 1st, 2009 – Group 1, Morphetville Goodwood Handicap

Some horses have a preference for particular tracks and conditions, but Takeover Target raced at his peak everywhere and in all conditions. He won on twelve different tracks all over the world. He always gave his best – and all any punter wants is for his horse to put in. ‘Archie’, as he was fondly known, was always in the leading bunch and never let you down. That running style was reminiscent of the great Vo Rogue and Might and Power. To top off this exciting story, there is also something deeply satisfying about cheering on a horse that is owned and trained by a real-life Aussie battler.

Takeover Target has written his name in the annals of Australian history through his ageless ability to win at the highest possible level when many thought that his best was behind him.

To support this ageless theory, it should be known that Takeover Target was the oldest horse on the card on Doncaster Day at Randwick in April 2009. He astounded all and sundry by taking out the TJ Smith Group 1, beating a champion in his own right, the well-credentialed performer Apache Cat.

The crowd erupted that day when ‘Archie’ led them around the turn and just kept on increasing his lead. Joe had a tear in his eye as he admired his champion – nay, the people’s champion. He had always known that the horse could do it, but very few others had believed.

Our great sporting commentator Ken Callander said of Takeover Target on that day, after that win: ‘Well, I’ve never seen anything like him. What a champion.’

Now the drug slur …

joe tt

Joe Janiak’s third Royal Ascot campaign in England with Takeover Target was soured by accusations in the British press that described Takeover Target as ‘the drug runner from Down Under’.

The accusations were made by Mark Johnston, a qualified veterinary surgeon and one of Britain’s leading trainers. He questioned the authorities as to how they could allow this horse to have another stint at the riches of Royal Ascot and why Joe Janiak’s training licence was not suspended.

Johnston was quoted in The Times as saying:

As I understand the rules of racing in this country on drug use, it is an offence to administer a prohibited substance to a horse with intent to affect the racing performance. … It strikes me that Mr Janiak is guilty under those rules and that if I was to admit administering anabolic steroids to one of my horses I would be liable to have my licence to train withdrawn. I cannot, therefore, understand how a horse which has previously tested positive for a prohibited substance and whose trainer has freely admitted administering the drug, can be invited to participate in a race in this country.

This sorry saga began when Takeover Target arrived in Hong Kong in October 2006 to prepare for the HK$14 million Hong Kong Sprint. He had travelled from Japan, where he had recently won the prestigious Sprinters Stakes.

Joe advised the Hong Kong officials that a drug (HPC) had been administered to Takeover Target to assist with his air travel and flight out of Japan. He had been assured by a vet in Japan that the substance would clear out of his system within two weeks.

Minute traces were found in his system on the morning of the Hong Kong Sprint, so stewards had no option but to insist that Joe withdraw his horse, and they also slapped a HK$200,000 fine on him. Despite all the assurances given by veterinarians, these were the strict rules of racing and they had to be adhered to.

In Australia at that time, the drug known as HPC was not a banned substance. It was widely reported to have a calming effect on horses, as well as being a mood stabiliser and appetite stimulant. Reflecting on Mark Johnston’s unprecedented outburst before Royal Ascot, we don’t suppose it had anything to do with Takeover Target being victorious over his runner in Japan’s prestigious Sprinters Stakes the weekend prior.

Mark Johnston’s outburst was viewed with great suspicion by Australians. Australians are still vehemently against anything that smells of a class structure. We do not accept our culture being contaminated by pomp and ceremony, nor do we accept any comment that hints of class distinction, especially when it is seen as a thinly veiled attempt to deride one of our great champions.

Joe Janiak and Takeover Target: the people’s champions.


Post Time : 15:40 local
November 29, 2015, 2400m, Turf
Special Weight, 3-Year-Olds & Up, Gr1 Open Class


1 Lovely Day (JPN) H5 57.0

Five-year-old late developer Lovely Day is enjoying his best season yet as he is coming off a four-grade-race winning streak, which includes two G1 titles—the Takarazuka Kinen in June, in which he took the lead after pressing the pace in second and accelerated strongly in the last 200 meters for his first G1 title, and the Tenno Sho (Autumn), his latest start in November, where the son of King Kamehamehawas rated toward the front and easily stole the lead before the furlong pole to pull away, while repelling a strong challenge from the runner-up, for a half-length victory.

Winning his first two starts as a two-year-old, the Yasutoshi Ikee-trained dark bay scored a runner-up effort in his first graded attempt in the Keio Hai Nisai Stakes and concluded the season with a seventh in the Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes. While his four starts against three-year-olds including two Classic races were not so productive, his best performance being fifth, he scored two consecutive runner-up efforts in the G3 and G2 events against older calibers before concluding his three-year-old season with a disappointing 12th in the year-end “All-Star Grand Prix” Arima Kinen.

Lovely Day kicked off his four-year-old season with a marginal third-place finish in the G3 Chunichi Shimbun Hai and registered his first win in over 19 months in the following Metropolitan Stakes where he took command 200 meters out and clocked the fastest last three furlongs over the same course as the Japan Cup. His four graded starts that followed were not as successful though he was always within contention, finishing between fourth and sixth.

Lovely Day kicked off his five-year-old season with back-to-back victories in the Nakayama Kimpai and the Kyoto Kinen where he won over a fierce duel with Suzuka Devious while defeating multiple grade-race winners Kizuna and Harp Star. While unable to exert his ability in longer distances over 3,000m in the following two starts, he was back on the winner’s podium with four consecutive victories over 2,000-2,400m distances.

2 Trip To Paris (IRE) G4 57.0

Trip To Paris is a progressing four-year-old stayer who has enjoyed a successful season this year, during which he has scored four wins including a G1 victory in the Gold Cup, two seconds and a third while proving extremely consistent in finishing within the first five in all ten starts. Trainer Edward Dunlop, who has brought a number of runners to Japan and has succeeded in a back-to-back victory with Snow Fairy in the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup (2010, 2011), will be saddling his most recent prize stayer in the Japan Cup since Joshua Tree in 2013 (17th).

Trip To Paris kicked off his racing career as a two-year-old with a disappointing 14th in a field of 16 at Sandown but quickly notched his first win a week later under Ryan Moore on an all-weather track. He capped off the season with a runner-up effort at Newmarket but was still unable to show much in the first three starts of his three-year-old campaign. He registered his second career win in the Canisbay Bloodstock Handicap, rated well off the pace early and demonstrating a strong hold once taking command with a little over a furlong to go for a comfortable 1-3/4-length victory.

He concluded his 2014 season with just the win out of seven starts, but his big break came in the following spring coming off a credible fourth in his four-year-old debut, in which he finished strongly despite some disadvantage at the turn, and the talented Champs Elysees gelding found his winning ways and quickly progressed, notching three consecutive wins prior to his runner-up effort in his group-race debut in the 3,270-meter Henry II Stakes. He proceeded to land his first group-race title at the highest level in the Gold Cup, stamping his claim as a prominent turf runner with staying power to cover distances between 2,400 meters to 4,000 meters.

Carrying extra weights in his following group-race starts in Europe, he finished third and fifth in the Goodwood Cup and the Lonsdale Cup, respectively, before embarking on his overseas challenge to Australia for the Caulfield Cup over 2,400 meters and the 3,200-meter Melbourne Cup. With much lighter weight to carry, Trip To Paris turned in a fast closing finish from racing near the rear to miss by 1/2 length to race favorite Mongolian Khan, raising expectations towards his following start in the Melbourne Cup. Well backed and starting from stall 14 in a 24-horse field, the bay gelding was kept in a prominent position from early in the race but was unable to challenge while staying well for fourth, two lengths behind the winner.

3 One and Only (JPN) C4 57.0

Last year’s Japanese Derby (Tokyo Yushun) winner One and Only kicked off this season with his first overseas challenge in the Dubai Sheema Classic in March where he stalked the leaders early, running alongside Dolniya and Flintshire—fifth and second finishers in the 2014 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, respectively—and though not quite able to keep up with the two, finished a credible third. While his performances since coming back home have not been successful, finishing 11th in the Takarazuka Kinen, sixth in the Kyoto Daishoten, and 16th in the Tenno Sho (Autumn), the son of Heart’s Cry hopes to bounce back and demonstrate his true ability at the same track where he claimed his Derby title.

Heavily beaten in his debut race in August of his two-year-old season, the Kojiro Hashiguchi-trained colt broke his maiden in his third start in September and finished a close second in the open class Hagi Stakes before making his first graded attempt in the Tokyo Sports Hai Nisai Stakes, in which he was beaten by Isla Bonita to sixth. He then claimed his first grade-race victory in the following Radio Nikkei Hai Nisai Stakes by displaying a powerful late charge and concluded his debut season with two wins and two seconds out of six starts.

One and Only came back 10kg heavier and kicked off his three-year-old season with a very close second in the G2 Yayoi Sho where he turned in the field’s fastest finish. He again ran the fastest final three furlongs in the following Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas), coming from way back, but belatedly for fourth place behind Isla Bonita. The dark bay colt then captured his first G1 title in the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Tokyo Yushun. The third favorite exerted his strong late charge after traveling around sixth along the rails and won out a fierce duel with archrival and race favorite Isla Bonita to deny the Satsuki Sho victor’s second classic title.

While landing his second successive graded victory in the following G2 Kobe Shimbu Hai, he finished a disappointing ninth in the 3,000-meter Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) and took on his first challenge against older G1 caliber in the Japan Cup then the Arima Kinen, which resulted in seventh and 13th, respectively.

4 Jungle Cruise (JPN) G6 57.0

Jungle Cruise makes a leap in class, challenging the top middle-distance runners both within Japan and from around the globe, in his first grade-race attempt in over three and a half years. Although having never faced G1company before, the six-year-old son of Jungle Pocket has performed well at Tokyo Racecourse where he has raced in half of his entire career, registering 2-4-1 out of eleven starts there.

With one win and a second out of two starts as a two-year-old, Jungle Cruise kicked off his three-year-old campaign with his first grade-race challenge in the Kyodo News Service Hai. Off slow and racing from behind, the bay colt displayed a strong finish but was unable to reach the leaders, finishing seventh to Gold Ship. While turning in two runner-up efforts in allowance races, he was unsuccessful in his other grade-race start in the Aoba Sho, in which he finished eighth, and was winless in seven starts that year.

Gelded prior to his four-year-old season, Jungle Cruise transformed into a consistent runner with two wins, three seconds and three thirds out of nine starts between 2013 and 2014—his only start in which he finished out of the money was over dirt—but disappointed to ninth when stepping up in class in his six-year-old debut, the Soshun Stakes.

With just the start in the first half of the season, he bounced back in August under Joao Moreira who rode him in the second leg of the World All-Star Jockeys at Sapporo to win by a dominating 1-1/4-length margin. Strictly a middle-distance runner, raced over distances between 1,800 and 2,400 meters, Jungle Cruise hopes to show further progress in his first start following a three-month break after his win at Sapporo and just his third start overall.

5 Pelusa (JPN) H8 57.0

Pelusa, who once excited the crowds at graded events with his powerful late kick in his early years, marked his first victory in over five years—the longest interval between wins in the history of JRA—in the Sapporo Nikkei Open this year, his previous being the Aoba Sho in his three-year-old season. Though finishing seventh in his latest start, the Tenno Sho (Autumn), the eight-year-old confirmed his improvement against multiple grade-race winners, accelerating strongly in the last 200 meters from way back to finish within four lengths from the winner.

Breaking his maiden in his first and only race as a two-year-old in 2009, Pelusa scored four consecutive victories including the 2010 Aoba Sho where he registered an impressive four-length victory in the Derby trial. Being posted second favorite in the Derby, the unbeaten chestnut was unable to break well and finished a disappointing sixth. His poor break affected many of his following starts including the Tenno Sho (Autumn), in which he was forced to travel second from last but displayed the strongest late kick to close in on Buena Vista for a two-length second. Missing his break again in the following Japan Cup, he could only close the gap to fifth place though again running the fastest in the last three furlongs. In the year-end Arima Kinen, he was able to break well and was forwardly position but did not stretch at the end to finish fourth.

Kicking off his four-year-old season with a runner-up effort in the 2011 Nikkei Sho, Perusa finished a disappointing eighth in the Tenno Sho (Spring) and was sidelined for six months before his second challenge in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) where the chestnut again exerted the fastest late drive for third-place, a length behind Tosen Jordan who renewed the course record by 1.1 second.

While finishing a close second in his first start the following year in the Shirafuji Stakes, he was under par throughout the season and was raced only one more time in the Yasuda Kinen where he finished last. His six-year-old season was also hindered by a broken wind, and it took him a year and a half and two operations to resume racing and another year and a half to pick up his form to mark his first win in five years.

6 Last Impact (JPN) H5 57.0

A proven runner in middle-long distances and a title-holder of three grade-races, Last Impact is coming off his first Tenno Sho (Autumn) attempt where he raced in mid-pack and with very little room in early stretch, was unable to fire to finish 12th. However, his fourth-place finishes in both the 2013 Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) and this year’s Tenno Sho (Spring) confirms his stamina and staying talent, while his Kinko Sho win in record time last season verifies his undeniable speed. He was within the top three runners that ran the fastest over the last three furlongs in seven consecutive grade-races and these achievements make the Deep Impact horse an outstanding delegate to show his strength in the upcoming Japan Cup.

Last Impact broke his maiden in his first start and was second in his only other start as a two-year-old. He kicked off the following season with a sixth in his grade-race debut in the Kisaragi Sho, and after scoring his second win in an allowance race, he was sent off to the Aoba Sho, the trial race for the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby), where he was a neck short to pin the runner-up despite a good stretch run for third, consequently losing the opportunity to start in the Derby. Another allowance-race win in August earned him a ticket to the Kikuka Sho where, after being sent off eighth pick, he sat off the pace chasing the eventual winner Epiphaneia and finished more than seven lengths behind in fourth.

Given a break after his classics challenge, he won his 2014 season debut and claimed his first graded victory in the Kokura Daishoten, where he stormed to the front from a rearward position for a comfortable 2-1/2-length win. After marking two thirds in four grade-race starts, he landed back-to-back grade-race wins; the Kyoto Daishoten by a neck from racing in third, and the Kinko Sho two months later, where he showed the fastest last three-furlong dash after racing in mid-pack to win by a 1-1/2 length margin in record time. He was at the starting gate in the year-end Arima Kinen in which he fought well from mid-division and finished a promising seventh, only two lengths from winner Gentildonna.

Following a four-month interval, he began the present season in the Hanshin Daishoten in which he angled wide from a second-to-rear position to finish third, 4-1/4 lengths from winner Gold Ship. In the Tenno Sho (Spring), the five-year-old was seen once again coming from way back and ran the fastest in the last three furlongs on the rails to finish less than 1-1/2 lengths from winner Gold Ship for fourth.

7 Shonan Bach (JPN) C4 57.0

Four-year-old Shonan Bach has shown remarkable progress this year and is coming off his November Stakes victory in which he displayed the fastest last three-furlong charge from the far rear to overhaul all of his rivals and draw off to a 1-3/4-length win. The Japan Cup will be his first graded challenge in which he intends to stage his good turn of foot which recorded the fastest over the last three furlongs in eight of his 17 career races.

Unraced as a two-year-old, the Stay Gold colt was winless in his first five races in his debut season last year and was transferred from Yoshito Yahagi’s yard into the hands of Ryohei Hori at Sonoda Racecourse of NAR racing (National Association of Racing; local public racing) after which he immediately scored two wins in a row over dirt.

Changing hands again to be trained by Hiroyuki Uehara of the JRA from the beginning of this season, the bay colt claimed his first JRA win in April in an allowance race where he saved ground in mid-field and stretched well on the rails to win by a neck. Following a sixth in his next start where he finished less than two lengths from the winner, he displayed the fastest late charge after trailing near the rear to notch a neck victory in the Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy.

He landed another win in the following Aganogawa Tokubetsu in August where he accelerated impressively from mid-division to take the lead in the last 100 meters, clocking the fastest finish over the last three furlongs once again to register a 1-1/4 length win. His November Stakes victory came after another two starts—a third-place finish and a fourth, by a length and 6-1/4 lengths margin, respectively.

8 Erupt (IRE) C3 55.0

Erupt has turned in a quite impressive debut season, unbeaten in his first four starts including a group-one victory in the Grand Prix de Paris, and coming off a fifth-place finish in his first test against his seniors in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe for his first overseas challenge in the Japan Cup.

Unraced as a two-year-old, the Dubawi colt was an immediate winner in a maiden over 2,200 meters at Lyon Parilly and proceeded to score his second win in a listed race there before landing his first group-race victory in the Prix du Lys at Chantilly, in which he ran close to the leaders and held off his rivals after taking the lead about 2-1/2 furlongs out and prevailed by a neck.

Trained by Francis-Henri Graffard, the three-year-old colt was recognized as an emerging Arc prospect after his group-one victory in the Grand Prix de Paris, run over the same course and distance as the most prestigious French G1 which attracts some of the best middle-distance horses from around the world.

While he experienced his first defeat in the Prix Niel following a two-month layoff over an extremely soft going which the green colt was unable to handle, finishing fourth in a seven-horse field, the Niarchos Family-owned colt did not disgrace in his fifth-place finish in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe behind the victor and multiple-G1 winner Golden Horn and other proven G1 winners such as Flintshire and Treve.

A progressing colt, improving with every start, he is considered to act best on good to firm going and over 2,400 meters which he has raced in all but one of his six career starts.

9 Derby Fizz (JPN) H5 57.0

Derby Fizz, having grade-race winning siblings, had been falling short of expectations in his early years but finally claimed his first graded title in the Hakodate Kinen in July this year as a five-year-old, in which he was rated in mid-division, improved his position along the backstretch and dueled strongly with Hagino Hybrid in the last furlong for a head win. While coming off a 15th-place finish in the Tenno Sho (Autumn), he will make use of his powerful late kick in the long stretch at Tokyo Racecourse where he has won three with three runner-up efforts out of 12 starts while being among the three fastest in the last three furlongs in nine of them.

Derby Fizz made his debut as a two-year-old, broke his maiden in his next start three weeks later and concluded his debut season with a tenth in his first grade-race challenge. Though kicking off his three-year-old season with a win, he was unable to make the two Classic races in spring, having finished seventh and 12th, respectively, in the two G2 qualifying races, the Yayoi Sho and the Aoba Sho. He was a nose second in the St. Lite Kinen in September, which earned him a spot in the Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger), though finishing a disappointing 16th in his first G1 attempt.

Winless throughout his four-year-old season with two runner-up efforts and a third out of eight starts, he registered his first win in over two years in his second start of this season and scored another win before stepping up to open class, where the second favorite finished sixth in the graded Meguro Kinen.

He showed uplift in his performance during his summer campaign in Hokkaido, registering his first graded win in the G3 Hakodate Kinen in July and finishing a close third behind multiple-graded winner Decipher and Hit The Target in the following G2 Sapporo Kinen.

10 Sounds of Earth (JPN) C4 57.0

Four-year-old Sounds of Earth, while yet to capture a graded victory, has marked multiple runner-up efforts at the graded level including his latest start in the Kyoto Daishoten, in which he closed in on Lovely Day from 4-5th position while producing an impressive burst of speed at the stretch. The Tokyo Racecourse offers a long stretch that can be of advantage to his powerful late charge inherited from his sire Neo Universe.

Winless in his three starts of his two-year-old season while being posted race favorite in all—finishing fifth, second and fourth, respectively—Sounds of Earthlanded his first victory in his three-year-old debut by displaying a strong late kick from racing in midfield. After finishing third in the Wakaba Stakes the following month, he added another win in the Hanamizuki Sho before testing his ability in his following graded races. The dark bay ran persistently in the G2 Kyoto Shimbun Hai, coming in 1-1/4 length short of winner Hagino Hybrid.

Although finishing a disappointing 11th in the following Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby), the Kenichi Fujioka-trained colt returned to racing in the fall in better form, showing no signs of his earlier stiffness. His performance in the Kobe Shimbun Hai was quite impressive as the 11th pick dark bay rallied strongly with race favorite One and Only for a head second while fending off a fierce rally from Toho Jackal. In his second G1 challenge in the Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger), the fourth-pick, running the fastest of the field in the last three furlongs, dueled strongly and finished a 1/2 length behind winner Toho Jackal who renewed the race record and course record by as much as 1.7 seconds.

As the connections opted not to start him in the Japan Cup as planned in consideration of his condition, Sounds of Earth concluded the season with two wins, three seconds and a third out of seven starts. Coming back from a five-month break, the son of Neo Universe kicked off this season with a fourth-place finish in the Nikkei Sho and a ninth in the following Tenno Sho (Spring), then was given another five-month break before marking a close second in the Kyoto Daishoten.

11 Mikki Queen (JPN) F3 53.0

Winner of two legs of this year’s fillies’ Triple Crown, Mikki Queen has chosen to face a mixed field of top G1 company in the Japan Cup instead of competing against an all-female field in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup in her first test against her seniors, with the intent of becoming the first three-year-old filly to claim the title since Gentildonna in 2012.

The Deep Impact filly registered a second in her debut start last year and notched her first win in her next race two weeks later by a promising two-length margin. Her first start of her three-year-old season was her first graded attempt, the G3 Queen Cup, in which she closed well by showing the fastest charge from far behind but was a neck short to finish second.

Although well rested and ready for an Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) challenge, she was unfortunate in missing out in the draw for entry, but landed an open-class win on the same day and same racecourse as the first leg of the fillies’ classics. Qualifying for the second leg, Mikki Queen was sent off third favorite in the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) where she raced wide in mid-pack and pinned front runner Rouge Buck in the last half-furlong for a 3/4-length win. The filly gave her trainer Yasutoshi Ikee his first G1 title for fillies/mares.

The three-year-old was off slow in her Rose Stakes start this autumn, but showed the fastest last three-furlong charge from the far rear, catching all but the winner for a 1-1/2-length second. In the last leg of the fillies’ Triple Crown, the Shuka Sho, the widest-stall start did not hinder her performance whatsoever, as she demonstrated an amazing stretch run after powering through horses at the top of the straight to take command in the last 100 meters and prevail in record breaking speed, holding off a late charge by Queens Ring for a neck victory.

12 Gold Ship (JPN) H6 57.0

Gold Ship’s quirky temperament and unpredictable mood has been every bit the part of his popularity among many racing fans as well as his tremendous talent that has brought him 11 grade-race victories—six at G1 level. He has added two grade-race victories this year including the Tenno Sho (Spring), but on other occasions, he will refuse to perform which was the case in his latest start in the Takarazuka Kinen, in which he was rank at the gate and missed his break, didn’t want to respond and finished second from last. With the Stay Gold horse due to retire at the end of this year, his followers are eager to witness the gray turn in his best performance in his remaining starts.

With two wins out of four starts as a two-year-old, the Gold Ship landed his first grade-race win in the 2012 Kyodo News Service Hai. He then claimed his first classic title in the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) by a comfortable 2-1/2-length margin. Finishing fifth in the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby), he came off another strong victory in his fall comeback start, the Kobe Shimbun Hai, and captured his second Triple Crown title, the Kikuka Sho, with a convincing win that was just 0.2 second short of the race record. Sent to post as the race favorite for his first test against senior rivals of the highest level in the Arima Kinen, he confirmed his outstanding power, which he preserved by passing up the Japan Cup, and exploded from last to first for his third G1 title.

JRA’s Best Three-Year-Old Colt kicked off an impressive four-year-old debut in the Hanshin Daishoten but was rather low-key in the following Tenno Sho (Spring), finishing fifth. He bounced back in the Takarazuka Kinen which he won again in the following 2014 season, but his first Japan Cup challenge was unsuccessful and he was heavily defeated to 15th—the first time to finish worse than fifth.

Gold Ship capped off the 2013 season with a third, more than nine lengths behind winner Orfevre in the Arima Kinen, then appeared to have regained his form with a dominating victory in the 2014 Hanshin Daishoten and the Takarazuka Kinen as well as a runner-up effort in the Sapporo Kinen prior to his overseas endeavor to France. However, he failed to deliver in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and disappointed to 14th. He did not start in the 2014 edition of the Japan Cup but finished a close third to Gentildonnain the Arima Kinen.

13 Hit the Target (JPN) H7 57.0

Hit the Target landed his fourth grade-race title this season in the Meguro Kinen and comes off an extended break following a runner-up effort in the Sapporo Kinen in August. Although yet to capture a G1 title after 42 career-starts over six seasons, the durable seven-year-old has pulled off upsets in big events and hopes to turn in a good performance in his third Japan Cup challenge.

Winless in five starts as a two-year-old, Hit the Target broke his maiden in his seventh career start and registered three wins and a second during 2011. Stepping up in class after winning his kick-off start in 2012, the Keiji Kato-trained four-year-old landed two consecutive wins including his first grade-race victory in the Niigata Daishoten. His second grade-race victory came in the Kokura Kinen in February of 2013 and he had notched a total of seven career wins at that stage but his quirky temperament and tendency to lean also made his chances of winning conditional—generally better from an inside draw—and his mood swings would often prevent him from performing to his ability in major races early in his career.

His shortcomings began to subside with age and the chestnut showed flexibility in his racing tactics in his fourth-place finish in the 2013 Meguro Kinen—angling out and powering through the center lane between rivals to reach contention. The late-developing five-year-old marked his third grade-race victory in the Kyoto Daishoten in which he executed an explosive charge from racing mid-field to pin down proven G1 winners, Tosen Ra and Gold Ship, then holding off Uncoiled for a neck victory. While winless during 2014, he raced against top runners in seven starts, four G1 and three G2 races, which included a close fifth-place finish in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) prior to his 12th-place in the Japan Cup.

He was still below par in his early starts this year but gradually picked up his form in May and he was not too far back, about four lengths, in his 11th-place finish in the Niigata Daishoten. He turned in an upset victory in his next Meguro Kinen which he won from racing off the pace in mid-field, splitting horses for the stretch run along the inside and drawing off for a 1-1/4-length victory. He also demonstrated his powerful late charge in the following Sapporo Kinen in which he was just short of reaching the leader by a head.

14 Ito (GER) C4 57.0

Ito from Germany registered his first G1 victory in the Grosser Preis von Bayern on November 1, in which he took command in the first furlong, widened the lead to two lengths coming into the straight and further quickened for a convincing victory, four lengths clear of odds-on favorite Prince Gibraltar. His owner and trainer who brought Ivanhowe, who also came off a win in the Grosser Preis von Bayern, to the Japan Cup last year, hope for the bay to exceed Ivanhowe’s sixth-place finish in partnership with the same jockey Filip Minarik.

Finishing third in his debut start as a three-year-old in April last year, Ito broke his maiden a month later in the following Kampler-Cup under Filip Minarik with whom he has partnered in all his races since. The son of Adlerflug marked another win in the following Preis von Engal & Volkers Commercial Mulheim with an impressive six-length victory before concluding the season with a disappointing eighth despite being posted race favorite.

Ito kicked off this season with an overwhelming 16-length victory in the Preis des Winzervereins Oberrotweil, which was only the beginning of his strong performances that followed. He scored another wire-to-wire five-length victory in the following listed race, the Grosser Preis der Gesundheitswirtschaft, before his first group race in the Grosser Preis der Badischen Unternehmer, which he claimed with another wire-to-wire victory, this time with a four-length margin.

In his first attempt at G1 level in the Grosser Preis von Berlin, Ito again led the field, widening the gap to five lengths at one point, but was overtaken by Second Step in the closing strides to finish three-quarters of a length behind in second. While his second G1 challenge resulted in fourth in the Preis von Europa, where he again took command but was outrun by Nightflower 200 meters out then by two more horses in the last 100 meters, the bay colt captured his G1 title in his third attempt in the Grosser Preis von Bayern a month later.

15 Shonan Pandora (JPN) F4 55.0

2014 Shuka Sho winner Shonan Pandora, instead of heading for the all-female Queen Elizabeth II Cup, faced a field of big-league contenders in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) this year as the only female runner and scored an impressive fourth-place finish. Sent off fifth choice, the filly lost ground from a wide-stall break but cleared the wire less than 1-1/2 lengths from the winner by demonstrating a powerful charge that tied the fastest finish. The Japan Cup will be her first start at the 2,400-meter distance but with proven results against tough competition in races at the highest level, an extra furlong should not be an issue in her sixth G1 challenge.

Following a runner-up finish in her only start as a two-year-old, Shonan Pandora broke her maiden in her kick-off start the next season. A fifth-place finish in her first grade-race attempt in the Flower Cup shattered her hopes of qualifying for the Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas), as it turned out was the case again in the Sweet Pea Stakes in May, the trial race for the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks), where she finished fifth and was denied the chance to start in a spring classics.

However, after marking her second career win during her summer campaign, the Deep Impact filly earned her much awaited ticket to the Shuka Sho by marking a neck second in the trial Shion Stakes, where she closed well from far behind to take the lead at the furlong marker although pinned at the wire. Sent off third favorite in her first G1 challenge, the bay filly pushed through the leaders in the stretch and held off the fast-closing Oaks winner Nuovo Record to prevail by a neck. Up against more experienced rivals in the following Queen Elizabeth II Cup, she met traffic at the top of the straight and registered a sixth.

After scoring a ninth and an eighth in her first two starts of the season, the Sankei Osaka Hai and the Victoria Mile, respectively, Shonan Pandora tested her strength in the “all-star Grand Prix” Takarazuka Kinen as 11th favorite and, while she found herself in tight quarters in early stretch in the middle of the field, charged well on the rails in the last furlong to finish less than two lengths from the winner in third. Refreshed from a three-month break, she gave her all against a mixed field of graded winners in the G2 All Comers in which she angled wide from a mid-division position and was the fastest over the last three furlongs to claim a striking 1-1/2-length victory.

16 Curren Mirotic (JPN) G7 57.0

Curren Mirotic is a seven-year-old late developer who began racing at the graded level from the end of his five-year-old season but has shown prominent results since then. Although winless this year, he has fared well against top G1 caliber such as Lovely Day and Gold Ship in his five starts. His runner-up effort in the 2,200-meter Takarazuka Kinen in 2014 and third-place finish in the 3,200-meter Tenno Sho (Spring) this year, not to mention holding a course record in a 1,800-meter race, confirms his speed and versatility over various distances and the extensive experience he obtains should work to his advantage in his first Japan Cup challenge.

The son of Heart’s Cry landed a fourth in his only start as a two-year-old and claimed his first win in his third start at three, capping off the season with 2-0-1 in eight starts. Kicking off his next 2012 campaign as a gelding, he was consistent in his performances, finishing within the money in all of his six starts. He stepped up in class following his victory in the Tarumi Stakes in record time and claimed his first graded win in the G2 Kinko Sho where he chased the leader in second and pulled away from the rest of the field at the top of the stretch to win over subsequent multiple-G1 winner Lovely Day by a convincing 2-1/2-length margin. His first G1 challenge was in the year-end Arima Kinen in which he finished a promising sixth after being sent off sixth choice.

In 2014, he registered two fourth-place finishes in three graded races before demonstrating a good runner-up effort, crossing the wire three lengths behind Gold Ship in the Takarazuka Kinen. Well rested, the six-year-old made his first overseas endeavor in the Hong Kong Vase where he battled for the lead briefly in early stretch however finished fifth, 2-3/4 lengths from the winner.

Lightly regarded as tenth favorite in the Tenno Sho (Spring) in his second start of this season, he took the lead entering the lane and held well but succumbed to the speed of the fast closing Gold Ship and Fame Game in the final 100 meters to finish third. Although his two other G1 starts were not as noteworthy, he was 1-3/4-length third to Lovely Day in the G2 Kyoto Daishoten over 2,400 meters.

17 Admire Deus (JPN) C4 57.0

Admire Deus continues to progress and turn in impressive performances between injuries that have interrupted his career. Although he has yet to become a G1 winner, the quality of the field he won against in the Nikkei Sho this spring included two-time Tenno Sho victor and multiple grade-race winner Fenomeno, and other proven grade-race winners and past Japan Cup starters such as Win Variation and Hokko Brave as well as 2014 Kikuka Sho runner-up Sounds of Earth. The Japan Cup will be his second start this fall following the Tenno Sho (Autumn)—his first start in six months since the Tenno Sho (Spring)—in which he finished 11th after a belated charge that marked the fastest time over the last three furlongs from way behind.

The Admire Don colt scored a win out of three starts as a two-year-old and kicked off his three-year-old campaign towards the Triple Crown Classics with a third and two wins including a victory in the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) trial, the Wakaba Stakes. He did not disgrace himself in his ninth and seventh-place finish in the Satsuki Sho and Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby), respectively, but sustained a minor fracture in his left foreleg after the latter which ruled him out from racing for the rest of the season.

The four-year-old chestnut made a remarkable comeback after a seven-month layoff to register his first grade-race victory in the Nikkei Shinshun Hai, exerting a powerful turn of speed at Kyoto. He proceeded to score another grade-race victory by a comfortable 1-3/4-length margin while renewing the race record by a second in the Nikkei Sho. Sent to post third favorite for the Tenno Sho (Spring), Admire Deus missed his break from stall 17 and his jockey struggled to settle him in a good position then was bumped turning the last corner. Losing his momentum, he failed to fire and finished 15th, then pulled up with a fractured pastern.

18 Nightflower (IRE) F3 53.0

Three-year-old Nightflower celebrated her first G1 victory this fall in the Preis von Europa, in which she ruled over a mixed field of older horses gallantly by a good two-length margin. Her trainer Peter Schiergen, teamed with jockey Andrasch Starke, will be aiming to improve the sixth-place Japan Cup finish they marked with Arc winner Danedream four years ago.

Partnered with Andrasch Starke, who is currently racing under a short-term license in Japan from the end of October, the Dylan Thomas filly was sent to post favorite in her only race as a two-year-old last year where she inherited the lead after entering the lane, but was tagged just before the finish line for a 3/4-length second. She commenced her three-year-old season in France with two runner-up efforts; the first at Maisons-lafitte to subsequent Prix de Diane third-place finisher Little Nightingale by four lengths, and then at Chantilly where this time she finished 1-1/2 lengths behind Desiree Clary, who later registered a fourth in the Prix de Diane.

Back in Germany, the chestnut filly captured her first win in the G2 Diana-Trial in her fourth career start where, as race-favorite, she took over the lead at the furlong marker after chasing the leaders in third to land a comfortable 2-1/2 length victory. Sent to France again to make her first bid at the highest level in the G1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks), she was keen early and had nothing to give at the critical stages after making headway along the outside, finishing eighth. Sent off third favorite in the Preis der Diana (German Oaks) in August, she settled on the rails in sixth after breaking from a wide stall and closed well to catch all but was 3/4-lengths short of the winner Turfdonna.

As second pick in the Grosser Preis von Baden, Nightflower tracked the leader in second and assumed the lead two furlongs out but was caught by a fast closing Prince Gibraltar in the last 100 meters for a 1-3/4 length second. Three weeks later, sent off as third favorite in the Preis von Europa, the filly traveled wide throughout the 2,400-meter trip in around sixth and advanced well to grasp the lead a furlong out to best the field of G1 runners in a perfect two-length G1 win.






The 2015 Caulfield Cup In-Depth: Final Field, Barriers, Betting Odds, History, Stats, Tips, Punters Poll & Best Bets + More…

The final field of horses for the 2015 BMW Caulfield Cup to be run at Caulfield racecourse, Melbourne, Victoria this Saturday has been finalised with 18 horses to run in the classic race over 2400m.

Many experts have described the 2015 Caulfield Cup as the best instalment they’ve ever seen of the great race that serves as the major lead up to Australia’s great race, the Melbourne Cup always run 16 days later, which this year will be the 3rd of November. 11 horses have completed the Caulfield Melbourne Cup double in the same year, they are;

  1. Poseidon (1906)
  2. The Trump (1937)
  3. Rivette (1939)
  4. Rising Fast (1954)
  5. Even Stevens (1962)
  6. Galilee (1966)
  7. Gurner’s Lane (1982)
  8. Let’s Elope (1991)
  9. Doriemus (1995)
  10. Might and Power (1997)
  11. Ethereal (2001)
Uncle Sam won the Caulfield Cup in 1912 & then again in 1914. 7 horses have won the race on two occassion, none have ever won 3.
Uncle Sam won the Caulfield Cup in 1912 & then again in 1914. 7 horses have won the race on two occassion, none have ever won 3.


  • Scobie Breasley – 5 wins
  • Damien Oliver – 4  wins
  • Frank Demsey – 3 wins
  • Neville Sellwood – 3 wins
  • Mick Mallyon – 3 wins


  • 1998 Lady Herries – Taufan’s Melody
  • 2001 Sheila Laxon – Ethereal
  • 2010 Gai Waterhouse – Descarado


  • Bart Cummings – 7 wins
  • Tommy Smith – 4 wins
  • Jack Holt – 3 wins
  • CT Godby – 3 wins
  • H McCalman – 3 wins


  • George Hanlontrained 2nd place getter 3 times (by narrow margins)


  • 1884 Blink Bonny – 50-1
  • 1902 Lieutenant Bill – 40-1
  • 1936 Northwind – 66-1
  • 1943 Saint Warden – 100-1
  • 1988 Imposera – 50-1
  • 1998 Taufan’s Melody – 66-1


  • first : 4-6 ($1.67) Tulloch
  • ran 6th: 8-11 ($1.73) Tobin Bronze
  • first : 5-4 ($2.25) Manfred
  • first : 7-4 ($2.75) Eurythmic
  • first : 7-4 ($2.75) Rising Fast
  • ran 3rd: 7-4 ($2.75) Comic Court
  • ran 3rd: 7-4 ($2.75) Sir Simpe
  • ran 8th: 7-4 ($2.75) Pink Un
Tulloch won the 1957 Caulfield Cup becoming the shortest priced favourite in the history of the race.
Tulloch won the 1957 Caulfield Cup becoming the shortest priced favourite in the history of the race.


  • 1885 17 of 44 horses fell at the turn into the straight, resulting in the death of jockey Donald Nicholson (considered Australia’s worst race fall)
  • 1906 7 horses


  • 1893 Tim Swiveller won, but was disqualified for pushing another horse out of the race
  • 1969 Nausori came in first, a protest by jockey Roy Higgins on Big Philou for interference at the furlong pole (200m) was upheld


  • It is interesting to note that since 1983 no Caulfield Cup winner has won from barrier one.
    The 2400m start at Caulfield is situated at the top of the straight at the home turn so there is a good 400m run before the capacity field negotiates the turn out of the straight. Horses caught wide cover plenty of extra ground because of the sharp turns so luck in running, like any big race, is critical. Gates two to five have won 10 of the past 30 Cups but the rails is a maiden during that period. But if the pace is on in the Caulfield Cup, then all runners will get their chance as the field will break up.
  • Up until the past few years the race has been strictly won by Austalian & New Zealand horses (with the only anomaly being Taufan’s Melody’s win in 1998, when he floored punters by winning at 66-1), but with the globalisation of the Melbourne Spring carnival over recent years thanks to the massive prize pools on offer, we have now had winners from all over the globe. All the Good was prepared in Dubai by Saeed bin Surour won he won the race in 2008. Dunaden, who also won the Melbourne Cup in 2011 came back and carried 58kg the victory in 2012, he was trained and bred in France. In 2014 Admire Rakti won the great race for Japan, also carrying 58kg to victory. In the 2015 Caulfield Cup there are runners from Japan, Ireland, Germany, UK, NZ & Australia taking part.
  • In 2015 the Caulfield Cup will be contested for a purse of AUS$3,000,000 which makes it the world’s richest mile & a half race that is run under handicap conditions. Runners down to 10th cash-in with the breakdown being; 1st $1,750,000, 2nd $425,000, 3rd $225,000, 4th $125,000, 5th $100,000, 6th $75,000, 7th $75,000, 8th $75,000, 9th $75,000, 10th $75,000. 
  • 7 of the past 15 winners have been 4 year olds
  • 3 mares have won the race in the past 2 decades
  • No favourite has won in the last 10 years, but before that 4 favourites won in a row.

The final field for the 2015 Caulfield Cup + barriers & odds are as follows; (with 18 horses to run, there are 4 emergencies in the line-up for the 2400m classic.)


No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey BAR WT Pen. Hcp Rating
1 1x6857x080 PROTECTIONIST (GER) $51 Kris Lees Brenton Avdulla 12 58kg 114
2 123x7x116x SNOW SKY (GB) $15 Sir Michael Stoute Damien Oliver 3 58kg 115
3 6x61x01x2x FAME GAME (JPN) $8 Yoshitada Munakata Zac Purton 1 57kg 113
4 x1016x7x92 OUR IVANHOWE (GER) $15 Lee & Anthony Freedman Ben Melham 17 56kg 112
5 238x05x36x HOKKO BRAVE (JPN) $15 Yasutoshi Matsunaga Craig Williams 19 55.5kg 110
6 111151×743 MONGOLIAN KHAN $4.60 (FAV) Murray Baker Opie Bosson 9 55kg 112
7 4×41112135 TRIP TO PARIS (IRE) $34 Ed Dunlop Tommy Berry 5 55kg 109
8 3x5442x758 WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ) $26 Chris Waller Blake Shinn 21 54.5kg 109
9 889431×075 GRAND MARSHAL (GB) $51 Chris Waller Jim Cassidy 6 53.5kg 106
10 x7433x1322 ROYAL DESCENT $15 Chris Waller Glen Boss 22 53.5kg 112
11 13213×7059 VOLKSTOK’N’BARRELL (NZ) $34 Donna Logan Craig Newitt 11 53.5kg 110
12 x60212x072 HAURAKI $8.50 John O’Shea 14 53kg 104
13 x49376x648 LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ) $34 Kris Lees Dwayne Dunn 20 53kg 110
14 26x122x620 RISING ROMANCE (NZ) $13 David Hayes & Tom Dabernig Damian Lane 2 53kg 110
15 18411×0000 MAGICOOL $121 Mark Kavanagh James Winks 15 52kg 101
16 4x1141x980 GUST OF WIND (NZ) $18 John Sargent Chad Schofield 13 51kg 102
17 11x230x253 SET SQUARE $8.50 Ciaron Maher Kerrin McEvoy 16 51kg 103
18 42494×1112 MAGNAPAL $34 Terry & Karina O’Sullivan Dean Yendall 18 50kg 96
19 (e) 2201x2112x QUEST FOR MORE (IRE) $51 Roger Charlton Tommy Berry 8 53.5kg 106
20 (e) 21112×0131 COMPLACENT $13 John O’Shea 10 53kg 104
21   (e) 3352x0x339 DIBAYANI (IRE) $41 David Hayes & Tom Dabernig 7 53kg 105
22   (e) 955×143121 MAGIC HURRICANE (IRE) $21 John O’Shea 4 52.5kg 2.5kg 107










2015 Doncaster Mile Runner-by-Runner Preview + Tips


Race 9 


Of $3,000,000.1st $1,800,000, 2nd $520,000, 3rd $240,000, 4th $125,000, 5th $90,000, 6th $75,000, 7th $75,000, 8th $75,000 GROUP 1
Handicap, Minimum Weight 50kg, Three-Years-Old and Upwards, Apprentices cannot claim.Field Limit: 20 + 4 EM


At time of preview on Wednesday night the track is rated a Soft (7). Showers are predicted to continue the rest of the week and into Saturday so I think the track will be borderline Slow (7) / Heavy (8)….definitely rain effected.



1.SACRED FALLS $17 — Back now

2013 and 2014 winner of this race, hoping to become the first horse in 150 years of the Doncaster Mile to win the premier Australian mile on 3 occasions (8 have won it twice). Needless to say history is against him.

He comes he 3rd up… and 3rd up last prep he was a very dominant Gr1 George Main Stakes winner over the track and trip but that was at WFA. Here he carries top-weight of 58kg conceding the bottom weight a massive 8kg on the handicap scale.

Last start in the Gr1 1500m George Ryder Stakes on Slipper Day at Rosehill, his run looked very plain finishing 12th of 14 beaten 5.7L, but sectional data shows his run was very good, in-fact he clocked the 3rd fastest last 600m (33.80) of the race – behind only the 3rd placed Kermadec who charged home late (33.44) and runner-up Criterion (33.73). His fitness just gave way late but with that run under his belt he’s sure to be spot on for his tilt at the “Doncaster Mile Hat-trick”.

He loves wet-ground just about as much as he loves Randwick where he’s a three- time Gr1 winner. Will get back from the wide gate for Purton but he’ll be steaming home late and is a definite winning hope, a win that would etch his name into Australian racing immortality as a three time winner of the Doncaster Mile.

Sacred Falls after his 2nd Doncaster win in 2014
Sacred Falls after his 2nd Doncaster win in 2014
2.HAPPY TRAILS $17  — Back Now

Was 10th in the 2013 Doncaster Mile and ran a terrific 6th in it behind More Joyous in 2012.

Has had 3 runs this time in at 1400m, 1800m and 2000m and all have been very typically honest efforts. He’s certainly fit enough for such a high pressure race like the Doncaster Mile is – after having a build up like that.

A query on rain-effected going, having won just 1 of 14 tries on wet ground. That looms as a big danger to his chances.

Prefer others.


weekend king doncaster mile


Japanese raider that has very solid form-lines in Asia over the mile.

His first up run in Australia in the George Ryder was very good. Ala Sacred Falls and plenty others he got back and was no chance of winning when they got an easy enough time in-front. He ran the 6th fastest last 600m of the race.

Completely unknown in the ground that can bring undone many Asian horses accustomed to very firm tracks.

A rough each way hope on what we saw in the Ryder, a very good winning hope on what we’ve seen in Asia – but the question looms how he’ll handle Australian racing conditions.




The second of the Japanese raiders in the race.

Won the Gr1 George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill a fortnight ago beating 8 others who line up here in the Doncaster, so that has to hold plenty of sway when assessing the race.

He led that day, and there was no loafing in-front, his lead time was half a length quicker than average.

I’m prepared to risk as an on-pacer starting from barrier 21 (18 without emergencies) and whose record suggests he’s an out and out dry track horse, especially in a race like the Doncaster Mile.



Gr1 winner in Perth during the Summer in the 1800m Kingston Town Stakes.

Resumed first up in the Ryder of the back of a pair of trials and put in a middling effort that showed he needed the run. I suspect this will be another “fitness builder” in readiness for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes on the 2nd day of the 2015 Championships.

Not for me.



Genuine Group 1 mare who has a win at the top level to her name in the 2013 Oaks (by a lazy 10L!) but who is most renowned for her string of near misses at Gr1. It’s been 2 year’s since she last won a race and many punters have come and gone off her but she continues to run her usual genuine race without winning.

She was runner up in the Doncaster Mile of 2014 after looking all over the winner at the 200m mark. She cruised up under Nash but Sacred Falls snuck up along the fence to nab her. We know she’s a very good horse but performances like that day have made me really wonder if she enjoys a ‘dog-fight’ at the end of a race. Probably not…But that’s what happens at the end of Group 1’s.

Her two runs this prep Canterbury & George Ryder have been very good and she appears to be building up to a peak here and of course the wet track is a huge plus for her having won the Oaks by 10L on a ‘bog’ .

I can’t have her on top, I can’t leave her out. That’s the sort of horse she is. “Magic Moreira” goes on, so maybe he can cast a spell and get the mare home in one of these open Gr1 races she so much deserves to win.




Doesn’t handle wet conditions whatsoever and very much doubt his class in a Doncaster.

Ninth Legion Rhill 161113


OK in listed grade last time. This obviously ten-fold harder. Be surprised if he can manage to scrape into the top 10.




Her run last start in the George Ryder over 1500m was her first go past 1400m and she was an abject failure finishing last in the race. Better suited back to handicap conditions of the Doncaster Mile no doubt with the weight relief but impossible to see her turning around last start 360 degrees.

cosmic endeavour


The boom 3 year old colt who no doubt is the horse they all have to beat. He’s something very special.

Has won 6 of his 8 outings including 2 Group 1’s in the Golden Rose and Randwick Guineas (which was over this track and trip).

The wetter, the better for him. He’s a star on all track surfaces but I think he goes better on heavy ground whilst others aren’t at their very best.

Last time out in the Rosehill Guineas, a 2000m Gr1 3yo race I thought he ran a terrific Doncaster lead-up. He didn’t stay the 2000m quiet as well as 1st and 2nd but it was a run the would ensure he’d be rock hard fit dropping back to the Doncaster Mile.

Had he of drawn a gate I’d almost be declaring him past the post! That’s not to say he can’t win starting from the extreme outside, but it’s a very very tough task that’s been set for him. But then again whose to say out deep on a soggy Randwick track come race time won’t be the best place to be?

He’s well weighted with 52.5kg and if Tommy Berry can reproduce his Golden Slipper heroics that saw him get a position from the outside gate after 100m on Vancouver here, he’ll be the one to beat. Bart & grandson James will have him primed to the second!



Plugged away solidly last start to be beaten less than 3L in the George Ryder but doesn’t have enough of a turn of foot in my opinion to win a big Randwick Mile, such as the Doncaster.



Was every chance in the Ryder where he dropped out late and was disappointing for mine but that was at WFA and he was clearly outclassed on that occasion.

Drops a massive 7kg off that run though which is a huge advantage for him. Having run well in Group races in Europe over 3000m, there’s no doubt about him running a strong mile even though he hasn’t won a race past 1400m.

Drawn well, handles soft going and has in-form jockey C.Williams on. That makes him a very nice each way bet at decent odds if you fancy him. Stable is on fire, can definitely add the Doncaster to the Sheikh’s bulging trophy cabinet.

it's Somewhat-89780-636x424


3 solid runs back this prep have her rock-hard fit to tackle the Doncaster now.

Last start she was terrific in the Coolmore Classic running home in very solid sectional times to just miss behind Plucky Belle and First Seal. Takes on the boys now but does get great weight relief dropping down to just 51kg. The wide draw is no help though leaving Huet only two choices go right back or risk sitting deep the entire trip. Either way it pans out I can’t see her winning the race. Does have solid wet track credentials.

I do like Arabian Gold in the race so on that alone she’s some hope but I’m working around her.

weekend king doncaster mile


Terrific last week winning the Neville Sellwood over 2000m although she was entitled to do so given the dream run she secured.

I don’t like that race as a form guide coming into this on the quick back up and dropping back to the mile of the Doncaster, but I’ve potted many a Gai Waterhouse runner and been left with egg on my face before and this horse is definitely progressive enough to leave me eating my words, but he’ll need to lift another couple of levels to win a Doncaster.

Talented horse but I’m taking a set against him at the odds and making him the best lay in the race…Place only.

weekend king doncaster mile


He’s a mudlark having won 3 of 5 on heavy going. His form this prep is only fair however and he looks well and truly outclassed at his 125/1 odds suggest.

weekend king doncaster mile

Ripper mare who rattled off the best closing sectionals in the Coolmore behind Plucky Belle. Have no doubt she would have won the race or gone very very close to winning given a clearer passage down the home running.

Is an absolute ‘mudder’ who has won all 3 of her attempts on heavy going and 2 out of 3 on slow going. Drawn to get the run of the race from gate 5 and Chad Schofield will pilot giving him plenty of options from the ally to go out or stay in. Only has to carry 50.5kg a drop of 5kg off her Coolmore Stakes effort.

A huge show, great each way value. She’s right in this with a major winning hope.

weekend king doncaster mile

Very plain last week in the Doncaster Prelude. That race was much weaker than this. This is a horse with a decent amount of talent but I think the QLD Carnival is his best chance of cracking in a Gr1.

weekend king doncaster mile
18.RUDY $26  — BACK NOW

Does drop 8kg off last weeks failure in the Doncaster Prelude, but that won’t be anywhere near enough to see him winning a Doncaster Mile.

rudy horse

Is the form Melbourne mare heading north for a well-deserved crack at the big time.

First up she blew away Dissident, the odds on favourite, in the Gr1 Futurity over 1400m at Caulfield before winning again 2nd up, this time at Flemington in the Gr2 Blamey Stakes over the mile. She reeled off terrific sectionals in an easy win – 2nd on sectional times out of the event was Kouram who won the Albury Cup. I know there’s a massive gulf between an Albury Cup and a Doncaster but it still goes to show the forms good and how well this mare is going.

She’s a risk on the wet going having had 3 wet track runs without posting a win. Drawn gate 1 for C.Brown and carries the minimum weight of 50kg I think she’s a rough each way hope if she can handle the going and not get bogged down on the inside.


Big odds for a horse who was a group 1 winner at her last outing that’s for sure! She does take on the boys now though so that probably explains the 30/1 they have on offer about her. I’ve included mares Arabian Gold and Diamond Drille right in the mix who finished behind her in the Coolmore so she has to be some chance with just 50kg on her back. Has drawn well for Kath O’Hara to get another good trail and is a wet track winner. Way over the odds and is a definite blowout in the race for punters so include her in all your multiples.

weekend king doncaster mile

Was very disappointing in the Rosehill Guineas over 2000m but follows the same path as Hallowed Crown now and drops back to the mile. Hallowed Crown beat him in the Randwick Guineas fair and square at this track and trip 2 runs back so impossible in my view anyway to see him turning the tables on Hallowed Crown and beating a crack field.


Was enormous last start in the George Ryder, clearly the run of the race, if not the best run all day. Was the only horse to make up ground off a moderate tempo and his sectionals were by far superior to every other horse in the race.

Before that he was a tragedy beaten in the Australian Guineas when Nash just couldn’t find clear galloping for for love nor money. He does need luck with his patter of racing but who better to have on when you need that the “group 1 Glenn Boss”! Huge show if he gains a start with only a miserly 50kg to carry.

If he doesn’t and runs in race 2 on the card the Carbine Club Stakes for the 3 year olds over a mile he’s an absolute lay down moral!


Unlikely to gain a start, and wouldn’t have any chance even if he did.


Ditto 23.AOMEN.








10.HALLOWED CROWN straight out at $6

with a saver on 16.ARABIAN GOLD (EACH WAY) $17 / $4.25


Fawkner to Uphold Aussie Pride in Cup

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