By Jon Lees
Japan: Japan’s newest international G1 winner Loves Only You has been set the Cox Plate or the Breeders’ Cup as possible overseas targets later this year.
The five-year-old mare continued Japan’s domination of Hong Kong’s Queen Elizabeth II Cup when becoming her nation’s sixth winner of the HK$25 million feature in which Japanese horses claimed a 1-2-3-4 at Sha Tin on Sunday.
Trainer Yoshito Yahagi, the trainer of Contrail, mounted a successful raid on Australia’s most important weight-for-age race when Lys Gracieux won the Cox Plate in 2019 and revealed similar aspirations for Loves Only You.
“I’m watching her condition but in the fall, the Breeders’ Cup (Turf or Filly & Mare Turf) and Cox Plate will come into view,” he told racing media in Japan.
A Classic-winning daughter of the legendary Deep Impact, Loves Only You had clocked the fastest time in the history of the race when landing the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) in 2019.
She did not win another graded stakes until the G2 Kyoto Kinen in February, after which she was narrowly beaten into third behind Mishriff and Chrono Genesis in a three-way battle for the Dubai Sheema Classic, in which she was ridden by Oisin Murphy.
The five-year-old is a full sister to 2016 Dubai Turf winner Real Steel.