Japan: plans for Almond Eye, Contrail – plus Breeders’ Cup bid for dirt star Mozu Ascot

Horse Racing Mozu Ascot
Mozu Ascot: February Stakes winner will be targeted at Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. Photo: JRA

By Nicholas Godfrey

Japan: The Japan Racing Association has released news of running plans for several of the nation’s leading performers – among them Triple Crown contender Contrail, superstar racemare Almond Eye and dirt star Mozu Ascot, who is being aimed at the Breeders’ Cup.

Newmarket’s favourite equine guest Deirdre remains the only possible runner in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Running plans for leading Japanese horses

Almond Eye: after runner-up effort on soft ground in Yasuda Kinen, will go back up in trip to 1m2f as she bids for a record-breaking eighth G1 victory on turf in Tenno Sho (Autumn) on November 1 at Tokyo racecourse; she won the race in 2019.

Chrono Genesis: Six-length winner of Takarazuka Kinen set to return in either Tenno Sho (Autumn) or Queen Elizabeth II Cup (Nov 15), transferred this year to Hanshin from Kyoto.

Contrail: superstar three-year-old will attempt to become Japan’s eighth Triple Crown winner in Kikuka Sho (Japanese St Leger) after returning to action in G2 Kobe Shimbun Hai (Sept 27). Japan Cup a likely target later on.

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Daring Tact: unbeaten dual Classic-winning filly returns in G2 Rose Stakes (Sept 20) before attempting to complete fillies’ Triple Crown in Shuka Sho (Oct 18).

Fierement: Tenno Sho (Spring) winner will head to Japan Cup after the G2 All-Comers at Nakayama (Sept 27).

Gran Alegria: stunned Almond Eye in Yasuda Kinen and now set to be campaigned at between 1,200 metres and a mile, with the Sprinters Stakes (Oct 4) at Nakayama on the agenda.

Lauda Sion: NHK Mile Cup victor being readied for Mile Championship (Nov 22) in G2 Fuji Stakes (Oct 24).

Mozu Ascot: February Stakes winner is set to run in the Nambu Hai (Oct 12) at Morioka on the NAR circuit as a prep race for the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Keeneland (Nov 7).

Mozu Superflare: Takamatsunomiya Kinen winner comes back in the G3 Kitakyushu Kinen (Aug 23) before G1 Sprinters Stakes (Oct 4).

• Find out more about Japanese racing at the JRA website

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