Japan Cup looking good
The globe-trotting Red Cadeaux
(Healy Racing Photos)
The 32nd Japan Cup on November 25 at Tokyo Racecourse is shaping up to be a racing fan's dream, with nine of the 12 horses from the home team a Grade 1 winner including Orfevre, who will get a chance to gain revenge on Solemia for his defeat in last month's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
As the winner of the Arc, Solemia is eligible for an 80 million yen bonus (around £620,000) should she follow up this weekend.
She landed in Japan on November 14 and Stephane Duprey, the groom for trainer Carlos Laffon-Parias, said the daughter of Poliglote handled the 20-hour journey - the first flight of her career - well but would be eased back into form.
On arrival, Duprey told www.japanracing.jp: "This was the first time we've transported her by air. Just after landing I could see signs of fatigue but she seems to have already recovered quite well."
Last year's Prix de l'Arc winner, Danedream, was one of four overseas challengers 12 months ago and she did fare best of the raiders, albeit in a disappointing sixth.
There are due to be five internationals taking their chance this year with Sri Putra, Red Cadeaux, Jakkalberry and Mount Athos expected to join Solemia in the line-up.
The last international winner of the Japan Cup was Alkaased in 2005 and Luca Cumani's charge still holds the race record at 2 minutes, 22.1 seconds.
The final declarations and the barrier draw take place on Thursday.
The horse he beat in a point-to-point at Monksgrange, War On, won a novice hurdle at Wetherby on Saturday so it's hardly surprising to see a bit of interest in the market this morning for Rock Me John at Fakenham.