Melbourne Cup placegetter Jakkalberry continues on his world trip when trainer Marco Botti saddles up the six year old in the Group 1 US$6.5m Japan Cup (2400m) at Tokyo on Sunday.
Jakkalberry will be competing in his seventh country in the last two years and Botti is hopeful the widely travelled entire can be competitive again in a tough international line up in the Japan Cup.
“I’m very pleased with his condition. I spoke to the lad looking after him this morning and he seems well and fresh,” Botti said.
“It was a good performance in the Melbourne Cup. We were very pleased, he finished well and he’s a tough horse who has taken the trip well so we’re looking forward to the Japan Cup.”
Jakkalbery has resumed normal training after a short stint in quarantine and Botti has no concerns coming back from 3200m to 2400m but would like a firm surface to give the tough stayer every chance.
“He had a couple of days quarantine, but is in normal exercise now. The opposition is very tough and the Japanese horses are top class. It’s going to be very competitive, but coming back to a mile and a half will not be a problem.”
“Hopefully the ground will be fine – he wants good ground. We are hoping he’ll run a nice race.”
Jakkalberry flew out to Japan after two runs in Australia which saw him finish down the track when thirteenth to Dunaden in the Group 1 $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 20 before an eye catching third to Green Moon in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 6.
Since April in 2011, Jakkalberry has raced in Italy for two wins, unplaced in Hong Kong in December 2011, then off to Dubai for two thirds in March this year and was then unplaced in Great Britain before winning the US$234,476 American St. Leger Stakes (2700m) at Arlington in the USA in August at his final run before coming to Australia.
Jakkalberry will again be up against the Luca Cumani trained Mount Athos and Ed Dunlop’s Red Cadeaux in Japan after beating the two English stayers home in the Melbourne Cup.
Mount Athos put in a mighty effort after being caught wide for the majority of the race but was still able to finish strongly at the end of the 3200m to wind up in fifth spot while Red Cadeaux was never a threat to finish eighth.
Top Japanese galloper Orfevre returns home after going down to Solemia in the Group 1 €4m QATAR Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe (1 mile 4 furlongs) at Longchamp, France on October 7 and has been installed the short priced favourite at 13-8 with the French trained mare at 7-1.
Mount Athos has been posted at 12-1 with Jakkalberry and Red Cadeaux hovering around the 20-1 mark.