Kitasan Black Conquers Japan, Ready for Dubai and Paris
The G1 Japan Cup yet again proved a step too far for foreign visitors at Fuchu on Sunday, but it was an opportunity to crown a new local star, Kitasan Black, who is set to become the latest recruit to international racing, and an inevitable challenger for the G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in October.
Yutaka Take, the Japanese riding legend, was winning his fourth Japan Cup, but it is doubtful he ever felt so confident of victory in his country’s biggest race as the field turned for home.
Kitasan Black, owned by popular local singer Saburo Kitajima, had plenty in hand as he travelled strongly to the line, winning by two and a half lengths from Sounds Of Earth, with a neck back to Cheval Grand third.
Proven international horse Real Steel finished fifth, with the German raider Iquitos flashing home for seventh, but the French visitor Erupt was disappointing in 14th, failing to run on in the home straight.
Kitasan Black had won both the 2015 Japanese St Leger and the two-mile Tenno Sho (Spring). He acts on firm ground and has plenty of class. He ran the 2,400m in 2min 25.80secs.
The ambitions of his connections seem feasible in view of Sunday’s impressive win. Trainer Hisashi Shimizu nominated both the Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan in March and the Arc in Paris in October as his big-race targets.
It was an interesting weekend on the Global scene, with Kitasan Black’s happy owner serenading the Japan Cup crowd after the triumph, while post-race activity in Perth (WA) revolved around another flamboyant racing figure.
Those left stunned by the celebratory antics of Sydney-based trainer Gary Moore after Takedown won the G1 Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot (WA) on Saturday, should know that Moore has always been the same – throughout a riding and training career spanning 45 years.
“I think if Dad were alive, he wouldn’t have liked it. He would have told me I’m an idiot,” Moore laughed.
Moore jumped the outside rail and ran on to the track, sprinting more than 600m to lead in his winner Takedown. He waved his arms and threw his Panama hat to the crowd. It was a display that added much colour to the post-race scene.
‘Dad’ is international jockey legend and 11-times Hong Kong champion trainer George Moore, who died in 2008, aged 84.
Now, Gary Moore, 64, is ready to aim Takedown at the Hong Kong International Races meeting at Sha Tin on December 11. “I think he’ll be perfect for Hong Kong, particularly as he is in such great form. I’m looking forward to it,” the trainer said.
Takedown, a gelding by Stratum out of a Zafonic mare, carries the famous ‘Orange, Purple cap’ colours of Widden Stud. Ridden beautifully by Sydney-based Tim Clark, he arrived to challenge on cue, winning comfortably from Sheidel.