Spielberg will take on Australian hope Criterion in the 2015 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes and connections of the Japanese galloper fancy his chances in the Group 1 event at Royal Ascot on Wednesday night (AEST).
Spielberg will be making his international debut in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes, but in the last 12 months he has stamped himself as one of the best horses in Japan and he beat the likes of Gentildonna, Isla Bonita and Epiphaneia to win the Group 1 Tenno Sho (2000m) in Tokyo in November of last year.
No Japanese horse has ever recorded a race win during the Royal Ascot Meeting, but owner Hidetoshi Yamamoto’s racing manager Nobutaka Tada told The Racing Post that trainer Kazuo Fujisawa is very confident about the chances of the Deep Impact entire.
“Spielberg is one of the best horses in Japan and finished third in the Japan Cup a few years ago, but we feel he’s better over a mile and a quarter and won the Tenno Sho at that distance last November,” Tada said.
“He likes to come from behind and we hope he can be competitive in what looks a strong race.
“We have booked Christophe Soumillon, who is a top-class jockey.”
Spielberg made his racing debut with a win in Tokyo in October of 2011 and he made his debut at Group level the following February when he finished third behind Gold Ship in The Kyodo News Service Hai (1800m) and he went on to make his Group 1 debut with a 14th place finish behind Deep Brillante in the Group 1 Japanese Derby (2400m).
The six-year-old recorded three starts win at the end of 2013 and the start of 2014 and he was narrowly denied in the Group 2 Mainchi Okan (1800m) at Tokyo on October 12 last year before he recorded the biggest win of his racing career to date in the Tenno Sho and finished third behind Epiphaneia and Just A Way in the Group 1 Japan Cup (2400m).
Spielberg returned to racing with a fourth place finish in the Group 2 Sankei Osaka Hai (2000m) at Hanshin on April 5 and he will be going into the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes without a race start for over two months.
Spielberg is currently available at 2015 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes odds of $17 with Ladbrokes, while Free Eagle ($4.50) is a clear favourite from Ectot ($9), The Grey Gatsby ($9), Criterion ($10) and California Chrome ($11).