Japanese filly on track for Hong Kong Cup

Queens Ring
Japanese filly Queens Ring works during the week in preparation for the Group 1 Hong Kong Cup

JAPANESE filly Queens Ring is the only filly lining up in Sunday’s Group 1 Hong Kong Cup and there is plenty of confidence in the camp.

The Keiji Yoshimura-trained daughter of Manhattan Cafe was bred at Shadai Farm, one of Japans biggest breeding and training operations, and it caught the eye of Yoshimura from an early age.

“When I saw her for the first time in Shadai Farm three years ago, I thought she had a very beautiful face and good conformation,” said Yoshimura.

“I thought she was a very good filly with good balance, neither too big nor too small. When she was at the farm, she had some stiffness and lacked flexibility. But she has never had that issue since she came to my stable.

“She is a May foal, so I did not want to give her too much work at first. After passing the starting gate test, I sent her back to the pre-training farm near Ritto Training Centre to prepare for her debut. When she returned to the training centre in the middle of that October, her movement showed dramatic change.”

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Queens Ring consecutive races as a two-year-old before winning the Group 2 Fillies Revue at Hanshin, which gave Yoshimura his first stakes race win.

“The second consecutive win gave me a lot of confidence, and it confirmed to me that she would be able to compete in higher class,” Yoshimura said.

After a string of defeats which included a fourth in Japan’s 1000 Guineas, Queens Ring ($12 at Sportsbet) came back from a spell in fine form by winning the Group 2 Fuchu Himba at Tokyo and the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup last month.

“Right after the race, the owner (Chizu Yoshida) gave me the idea to send her to the Hong Kong Cup, and I confirmed that she had no issue with her condition, so after the race we decided to enter at the second stage,” Yoshimura said.

It has drawn wide in barrier 11 which isn’t ideal in a 12-horse field, but Yoshimura’s confidence won’t take a hit.

“She raced well from outer barriers in Japan, and Mirco (Demuro, jockey) has been riding her for a long time,” he said. “Mirco knows her and Hong Kong racing very well. I trust the pair and will leave the strategy to him.

“I would like to thank the Hong Kong Jockey Club for providing us a great opportunity and all the people for supporting us. The Hong Kong International Races is a global event and the racing is top class with many good horses and jockeys gathering.

“It is a great honour to be here.”

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