Seven Days: Bring on the Classic Trials 

I love Paris in the springtime, sang Ella Fitzgerald, and I'm pretty sure it was a thinly-veiled reference to her secret passion for heavy ground three-year-old maidens at Saint-Cloud. What Classic clues may we glean there? Well, maybe none. But I liked the look of Narkez (Fr), who gave his rivals a six-length walloping in the Prix Comrade last Tuesday, picking up where he left off after winning at Clairefontaine last October. Bred by Nurlan Bizakov under his Sumbe banner, the colt represents that magic Siyouni (Fr)-Galileo (Ire) cross, though...

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Japan's Big Guns Take To the Meydan Turf

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES -- In the form of Do Deuce (Jpn) (Heart's Cry {Jpn}) and Liberty Island (Jpn) (Duramente {Jpn}), Japan is liable to field the favourites for the distance turf races at Saturday's Dubai World Cup meeting and those two gallopers, as well as several of their compatriots, did fast work over the Meydan course Wednesday morning. Do Deuce would likely have been at the top of the markets for last year's G1 Dubai Turf, but was withdrawn in the days leading up to the race, helping pave...

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Arima Kinen An Early Christmas Feast

With the recent retirement of the world's top-rated racehorse Equinox (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}) and with Triple Tiara heroine Liberty Island (Jpn) (Duramente {Jpn}) spelling with destinations unknown for 2024, Sunday's G1 Arima Kinen is missing its top two votegetters. But the 2500-metre event, which easily attracts the largest single-race betting in the world on an annual basis, is certainly not lacking for quality. While Equinox is not back to defend his title, a good deal of how to solve the contest from a pari-mutuel perspective goes through him. Do...

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Luxembourg, Highfield Princess Among 16 Group 1 Winners Invited to Longines HKIR

Luxembourg (Ire) (Camelot {GB}) and Highfield Princess (Fr) (Night of Thunder {Ire}) are among 16 elite-level winners and 25 overseas-based horses that have been extended invitations to the Longines Hong Kong International Races meeting at Sha Tin Racecourse Sunday, Dec. 9. Winner of this year's G1 Tattersalls Gold Cup and a narrowly beaten second to his GI Breeders' Cup Turf-winning stable companion Auguste Rodin (Ire) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) in defence of his crown in the G1 Irish Champion S. at Leopardstown Sept. 9, the G1 Longines Hong Kong Cup-bound Luxembourg...

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Auguste Rodin Pretty As a Picture in the BC Turf

Announced as a season-ending target long before such announcements are typically made, the GI Longines Breeders' Cup Turf proved fertile ground for the Coolmore partners' Auguste Rodin (Ire) (Deep Impact {Jpn}), who enjoyed what turned out to be a dream trip beneath Ryan Moore, got through when the real running commenced at the head of the lane and charged to the wire to defeat top U.S. hope Up to the Mark (Not This Time). It was a sixth victory in the mile-and-a-half second-richest race on the card for trainer Aidan...

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Sapporo Kinen An Important Jumping-Off Point For Big Names

The return of Group 1 racing in Japan is officially about six weeks away, but Sunday's 2000-metre Sapporo Kinen--a Group 2 in name only--sees the return to action of some familiar names who are potentially looking to prep for big spots further afield over the coming months. Shahryar (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}), the 2021 G1 Tokyo Yushun hero, makes his first start since finishing fifth to world's top-rated racehorse Equinox (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}) in defence of his title in the G1 Longines Dubai Sheema Classic Mar. 25, with a...

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Home Team Face Sneaky Euro Challenge in Japan Cup

In the first 11 runnings of the G1 Longines Japan Cup, foreign raiders were successful no fewer than nine times, with winners from America, Australia, France, Ireland and New Zealand. But not since Alkaased (Kingmambo) defeated Heart's Cry (Jpn) (Sunday Silence) in 2005 for Frankie Dettori and Luca Cumani has any overseas-based galloper managed to land a winning blow. The locals will be favoured to take that current streak to 17 when a full field loads the gate at Tokyo Sunday afternoon, but Europe has strength in numbers--and class--to make...

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Jack d'Or Has Recency Advantage In Star-Studded Tenno Sho

A formidable trio exiting this year's Japanese Triple Crown returns to the races in Sunday's G1 Tenno Sho (Autumn) at Tokyo Racecourse, but while each makes his first start since the G1 Tokyo Yushun in late May, the flashy Jack d'Or (Jpn) (Maurice {Jpn}) may have a slight advantage over his younger rivals--at least this time around. The recognizable chestnut, whose sire took this race back in 2016, made meteoric progress early on this season, winning in listed company over course and distance in January before besting the classy Lei...

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Contrail Set To Bow Out In Japan Cup

Shinji Maeda's Contrail (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn} matched the feat of his late and much-missed sire by sweeping the three legs of the Japanese Triple Crown last season. Sunday afternoon at Toyko Racecourse, the homebred colt will look to add the G1 Longines Japan Cup to his resume in his final career trip to the races, an event won by Deep Impact in his penultimate start in 2006. The two-time Horse of the Year would go on to avenge his only defeat on Japanese soil in that year's G1 Arima...

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Heavy Hitters Return in Japan

The once-beaten Lei Papale (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) and reigning G1 Tokyo Yushun hero Shahryar (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) each return to begin their autumn preps in Group 2 events Sunday in Japan. Carrot Racing's Lei Papale worked her way through the grades in under-the-radar fashion, missing the 3-year-old filly Classics while running the table in five starts, including a breakthrough success at group level as the lone female in a field of 11 in the G3 Challenge Cup at Hanshin last December. Connections could scarcely have selected a more...

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