The Championships attracts Japanese interest

Japan could have it’s first Australian runners since the 2006 Melbourne Cup if plans to send several gallopers to Sydney for ‘The Championships’ during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Carnival eventuate.

Japanese stayers Delta Blues and Pop Rock ran the quinella in the 2006 Group 1 $5m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington but no more gallopers from Japan have ventured south since.

But this could change with chief executive of the newly introduced ‘The Championshps’ Ian Mackay saying that Japanese interest in strong following the announcement of the huge prizemoney increases.

Weight for age horse Lelouch could be aimed at the Group 1 $2.25m The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill on April 5 and the Group 1 $4m Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 19.

And smart mare Hana’s Goal is likely to be aimed at the Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill on March 22 and the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 12.

“We are still working through quarantine and travel issues but they are very likely to attend,” Mackay told Racing Network.

The overseas horses would have to spend time in quarantine at Werribee in the International Horse Centre before travelling back to Sydney for the Carnival.

And connections of Lelouch have already indicated that they were interested in running in the Group 1 $1m Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington in March.

Mackay also said that there was also some interest from Hong Kong and Europe but nothing was definite at this stage.

“There are others that are nibbling but not to the point that we are confident enough to name them,” Mackay said.

“There is interest out of Hong Kong, interest out of Europe, a warm level of interest, rather than the confidence that is being showed from Japan.”

Racing’s Victoria’s international scout Leigh Jordon is trying hard to coordinate flights and quarantine arrangements for the Japanese horses and said that Lelouch is the right class of horse to bring for the weight for age races during the Autumn.

“Werribee (quarantine) is right to go so it’s all systems go,” Jordon said.

“He is more a 2000-2400m horse than Pop Rock and Delta Blues but he is certainly in their class.”

Lelouch recently performed well when sixth to Gentildonna in the Group 1 US$5.88m Japan Cup (2400m) at Fuchu, Tokyo on November 24 while Hana’s Goal finished sixth to Meisho Mambo in the Group 1 US$2m The 38th Queen Elizabeth II Cup (2200m) at Kyoto on November 10.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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