Schnell Meister Requires Very Best For Yasuda Kinen

Schnell Meister | JRA


Having gone excruciatingly close in the last two renewals of the G1 Yasuda Kinen, Sunday Racing's Schnell Meister (Ger) (Kingman {GB}) takes a third crack at Japan's premier spring mile event, a 'Win and You're In' challenge race for the GI FanDuel Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita in early November.

The bay, one of 10 elite-level winner in the field, defeated Songline (Jpn) (Kizuna {Jpn}) in the age-restricted G1 NHK Mile Cup over this course and distance two years ago and was narrowly beaten by champion Gran Alegria (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) in this race his next start. He found Songline just a neck too good 12 months ago and was well below par for the remainder of his 4-year-old campaign, but he hinted at a return to form with a close fourth in the G2 Nakayama Kinen over 1800 metres Feb. 26 and most recently cut back to the mile for a victory in the G2 Yomiuri Milers Cup Apr. 23, with Gaia Force (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}) and Soul Rush (Jpn) not far away in second and third. Christophe Lemaire, who took the 2018 Yasuda Kinen aboard Mozu Ascot (Frankel {GB}), will need to work out a trip from barrier 14.

“As a 5-year-old, he's more mature now,” said trainer Takahisa Tezuka. “He runs well at Tokyo, so returning to the track this time makes conditions good for him and he has a chance to win. Things to consider will be the ground and the weather before the race and on the day, as I would like him to run on good ground.”

The Milers Cup also-rans figure to be well-fancied here as well, as Gaia Force was trying the mile for the first time, while Soul Rush has shown he can hold his own at this level.




Songline also carries the Sunday Racing colours and will need to overcome gate 18 if she is to become the first Yasuda Kinen repeater since Vodka (Jpn) (Tamino Gimlet {Jpn}) in 2008-2009. She's raced only sparingly since, finishing fifth to Meikei Yell (Jpn) (Mikki Isle {Jpn}) in the G2 Centaur S. (1200m) last September and 10th to compatriot Bathrat Leon (Jpn) (Kizuna {Jpn}) in defence of her title in the G3 1351 Turf Sprint in Saudi Arabia in February. She bounced back last time to just touch off fan favourite Sodashi (Jpn) (Kurofune) in the G1 Victoria Mile over track and trip May 14.

“She has not only kept her condition since her last race, but she also seems to have improved for it,” trainer Toru Hayashi said of Songline. “It's the same concept as last year with these two races, and we're seeing the real Songline. With another strong field this time, and even after winning the Victoria Mile, I still think she's a challenger again here. I'm hoping she can run another strong race.”

Serifos (Jpn) (Daiwa Major {Jpn}) ran home strongly to be fourth while facing his elders here last June and closed the season with a smart 1 1/4-length success in the G1 Mile Championship. The chestnut has one run under his belt this season, a meritorious fourth behind the three-peating Lord North (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) in the G1 Dubai Turf over a nine-furlong trip that might be a bit longer than optimal. Derby-winning jockey Damian Lane retains the call.

Jack d'Or (Jpn) (Maurice {Jpn}), whose sire won this in 2015, is the likely leader from gate three for Yutaka Take. The flashy chestnut, who has raced exclusively over the 2000 metres to this point in his career, took a thrilling running of the G2 Sapporo Kinen over Panthalassa (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}) last August and was at his front-running best when landing the G1 Osaka Hai on his seasonal return Apr. 2



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