Yasuda Kinen News
Posted by Michele Cullen
Armada and Sight Winner, Hong Kong’s two contestants in the 59th Yasuda Kinen, continue to thrive in Japan having switched to Tokyo racecourse, the scene of the fourth and final leg of the Asian Mile Challenge on Sunday.
John Size was typically hands-on as both his charges prepared for the US$1.89m event at the Fuchu track with the trainer riding Sight Winner, successful last time out in the Champions Mile, and Eric Lin on Armada, runner-up in this race 12 months ago. The work for both horses was very gentle.
Size admitted that a look at the record showed Armada to be in better shape last year, at least when it came to races in Hong Kong and attributed a sub-par performance in the Champions Mile to the wet track on the day.
“But,” the trainer said, “the horse improved after arriving in Japan last year and this year as well, so things are looking good in that respect. He has settled in very well and has regained what small weight he lost in transit.”
As for Sight Winner, Size said “everything came together” when a surprise victor in the Champions Mile in April and the trainer was keen to point out that result was not a one-off occurrence.
“He can go well here if he can settle just off the pace. Regardless of the draw, the horse was likely to take up a spot in fourth or fifth position. He takes his racing very well and he will give a good account of himself at the weekend.”
News on the home-based runners continues to centre on Deep Sky and Vodka and both are reportedly working well.
A possible outsider to note is Laurel Guerreiro, eighth in the Hong Kong Sprint in December. His breakthrough victory came most recently in the Takamatsunomiya Kinen, one of only two Gr.1 sprints on the Japanese calendar, and is expected to bid for a wire-to-wire success in the Yasuda.
The 5-year-old has also turned in good performances over the Tokyo mile, including a second-place finish in the G1 NHK Mile Cup when he was three.