Hokko Tarumae’s win may put him on a path to Dubai in March
Hokko Tarumae could be in line for a second visit to Dubai next year after he bounced back to form to win the Champions Cup at Chukyo Racecourse near Tokyo on Sunday.
The five year old faced nine other Grade 1 winners, but was half a length too good at the line for Namura Victor. Roman Legend was three-quarters of a length back in third.
Hokko Tarumae, ridden once again by Hideaki Miyuki, finished a disappointing 16th in the Dubai World Cup in March, but was found to have colitis, an inflammation of the colon, which kept him off the track for seven months.
He made his racecourse return when fourth in the Grade 1 JBC Classic last month, and this latest victory improved on his two third-place finishes in the past two seasons, when the race was known as the Japan Cup Dirt.
“After falling ill in Dubai, he was able to return to health by the summer for training, but sustained a muscle ache in his hip two months prior to the JBC Classic,” trainer Katsuichi Nishiura said. “I have no words to express how happy, relieved and moved I am.
“His racing schedule from here will be the same as last year – the Tokyo Daishoten, then the Kawasaki Kinen and February Stakes – and I will discuss the possibility of challenging the Dubai World Cup again with his owner, Michiaki Yabe.”
Imperative, the Charles Town Classic winner, was the only foreign raider in the field, and the American challenger finished 15th of the 16 runners, under Kent Desormeaux.
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Published: December 7, 2014 04:00 AM