Almond Eye Preparing for Title Defense


Almond Eye | Horsephotos

2018 Japanese Horse of the Year and six-time Group 1 winner Almond Eye (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}) is in good form as she prepares to defend her G1 Dubai Turf title at Meydan on Mar. 28. The Silk Racing colourbearer will return to trainer Sakae Kunieda’s base at Miho this week before contesting the $6-million 1800-metre feature over the grass in Dubai. Successful in the 2018 Japanese Filly Triple Crown and G1 Japan Cup that same year, the 5-year-old was most recently ninth in the G1 Arima Kinen at Nakayama on Dec. 22. She will be joined by stablemate Curren Bouquetd’or (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}), placed three times at the highest level. Racing for Takashi Suzuki, the 4-year-old, a bridesmaid in the G2 Kyoto Kinen in her seasonal bow on Feb. 16, is targetting the 2410-metre $6-million Longines Dubai Sheema Classic also over the Meydan sod.

“Both fillies are planning on coming,” Kunieda said. “Almond Eye was tired after her Arima run, but she has rebounded well and will be coming back to Miho [Training Centre] this week. We never really thought of the Sheema Classic [with her], as the Turf suits her so well. We will prep her the same as we did last year.”

“Curren Bouquetd’or came out of her race last week well,” he continued. “The winner just loved the ground, though our filly can run on any ground. She is best on counter-clockwise courses like Tokyo and Dubai, so I’m not worried about her ability to run well in Dubai. She came out of her race in good order and she will train together with Almond Eye once she gets to the training centre.”

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