By Nicholas Godfrey
Japan: According to reports in Japan, last year’s Triple Crown hero Contrail is set to return to action after a six-month layoff in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) at Tokyo racecourse on October 31.
The brilliant four-year-old son of Deep Impact, a former world #1 on Thoroughbred Racing Commentary’s global rankings, has been absent since finishing only third behind Lei Papale in the Osaka Hai after the rain hit Hanshin in April.
News about the horse’s future had been notable only for its absence after he was ruled out of the Takarazuka Kinen in June, but trainer Yoshito Yahagi has now outlined a three-race plan before retirement via Japan’s ‘Autumn Triple Crown’ of the Tenno Sho, Japan Cup and Arima Kinen, the end-of-season grand prix.
Among other horses being lined up for a blockbuster edition of the 1m2f Tenno Sho are five-time G1 scorer Gran Alegria and her Yasuda Kinen conqueror Danon Kingly plus top three-year-old Efforia.
In other Japanese news, a proposed Breeders’ Cup Mile tilt for Grenadier Guards, a G1-winning son of Frankel, has been abandoned. The three-year-old will stay at home for the Mile Championship on November 21.
• Visit the Japan Racing Association website