Smart sprinter Japonisme is on a Group 1 build up when he resumes for the Spring Carnival in the Group 3 $125,000 James Boag’s Premium Concorde Stakes (1000m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Leading trainer Chris Waller has earmarked Group 1 $1m Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 21 as Japonisme’s first Group 1 target for the Spring.
Waller is pleased with the way Japonimse has returned from a spell and expects him to show improvement coming off a short campaign during the Brisbane Winter Carnival.
Japonisme had one run in Brisbane as a three year old for a third to Malaguerra in the Group 1 $500,000 UBET BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben before heading to the spelling paddock.
“He was proabaly a step below them in Brisbane in the Winter but I think he has come back great,” Waller told the Sportsman.
“What he has in his favour is he’s a sound horse with a great attitude and he has physically developed.”
“Whether Brisbane has helped that we can always use as talking point but I just think in time horses improve and he looks like he’s set for a good four year old year.”
Waller has given Japonisme two Randwick 850m barrier trials for a fourth and a second in preparation for his return to the race track and the leading trainer said he was ready to go.
“He has been ready to go for a while. I toyed with the idea of running him in the Missile Stakes but we just sat on him and he’s had a nice gradual preparation.”
Under the set weights and penalties conditions of the Concorde Stakes, Japonisme will have to carry the top weight of 60kg, but Waller is not too concerned with the impost.
“I don’t see the weight as a huge disadvantage and if he has come back well he will be in the finish,” Waller said.
The Choisir four year old will have no trouble handling the rain affected track with wins on both the soft and the heavy and Hugh Bowman is certain to give him a nice run from barrier eight in the twelve horse field.
Japonisme claimed a Group 1 victory with his upset win in the $500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington during the 2015 Melbourne Spring Carnival and has been placed at Group 1 level on three occasions since as a three year old against the older sprinters.
As well as running third in the BTC Cup, Japonisme finished third to Chautauqua in the Group 1 $750,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington and third to Flamberge in the Group 1 $500,000 Mitchelton Wines William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley during the Melbourne Autumn Carnival earlier in the year.
Japonisme currently heads the market order for the Concorde Stakes at $3.20 with Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of Hidden Pearl at $5.50 and Kinglike at $6.
Market order for the Concorde Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.20 Japonisme, $5.50 Hidden Pearl, $6 Kinglike, $7 Federal, $8.50 Boss Lane, $12 Craftiness, Felines, $17 Sarjevo, $21 Wouldn’t It Be Nice, $26 Smart Volatility, $151 Hurrara, $301 Gocup Belle.