Sophomore Milers Square Off in NHK Mile Cup

Resistencia | JRA photo

2019 Japanese Champion 2-Year-Old Filly Resistencia (Jpn) (Daiwa Major {Jpn}), fresh off a solid second in the G1 Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) over yielding ground on Apr. 12, lines up against males for the first time in the G1 NHK Mile Cup at Tokyo on Sunday. A winner of the G1 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies and G3 Fantasy S. as a juvenile, the U Carrot Farm runner opened her 3-year-old year with a third in the G2 Tulip Sho in March prior to her second in the 1000 Guineas.

“The track was heavy in the Oka Sho, but she did her best,” explained trainer Takeshi Matsushita. “Because of the ground I was a bit concerned about her recovery so I sent her to the farm where she was well taken care of and is fully recovered now. Christophe Lemaire rode her on Apr. 29 and her time was faster than I'd expected. This week, with the trip to the track, I didn't clock her but just gave her light work. She was nice and relaxed. It'll be her first long haul to a track and she loses weight even when traveling from Ritto to Hanshin, so the question is how much she'll lose this time. We'll bring her in on Saturday, so I'm hoping that'll help. She'll be up against colts for the first time but has the -2kg allowance so should be competitive. It's her first time racing to the left but she changes leads well so that shouldn't be a problem either.”

MGSW Taisei Vision (Jpn) (Turtle Bowl {Ire}) makes his second foray into Group 1 company after signing off 2019 with a runner-up effort in the G1 Asahi Hai Futurity S. He defeated the re-opposing two-three Gilded Mirror (Jpn) (Orfevre {Jpn}) and Prince Return (Jpn) (Strong Return {Jpn}) in the G3 Arlington Cup on Apr. 18.

“The Arlington Cup was his first race since the Asahi Hai Futurity S.,” said conditioner Toshihide Kikumoto. “He has matured a lot so his weight was up for the Arlington, but it was a good race. There hasn't been much time between races so he got only light work but his movement has improved. This week we just focused on the final stage and didn't worry about getting a time. It was a good workout and he's eating well. It's a furlong longer this time but the rider knows the horse. The horse is quiet usually but when he races he switches on quite noticeably. His preparations have gone well. He's had no problems so all that's left to do is get him to the gate safely.”

Shine Garnet (Jpn) (Orfevre {Jpn}) is three-for-four in her young career, with a pair of wins followed by a fourth in the G3 Fairy S. on Jan. 13. Back on top in the G3 Falcon S., she had Listed Crocus S. winner Lauda Sion (Jpn) (Real Impact {Jpn}) back in second that day.

“She was keen in he Falcon S. but the jockey held her back nicely and she gave a nice display of willpower,” said trainer Toru Kurita. “She also looks to be good over softer ground. She came back from the farm on Apr. 16 and the jockey rode her fast work last week. Her movement was good, as it usually is, and jockey Hironobu Tanabe got a good reading on her. She did well in the Falcon S., so considering those conditions to be the best for her, I brought her here. She has both power and speed and can do well even with softer ground. She's eating well and is very even-keeled. I'm looking forward to seeing how well she can do up against colts on the Grade 1 level.”

A pair of unbeaten group winners also face the starter, with G2 New Zealand Trophy victor Luftstrom (Jpn) (Kinshasa no Kiseki {Aus}) set to break from gate 14 and G3 Mainichi Hai hero Satono Impresa (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) farthest out bar one in the 17 post.


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