Favoured Daiwa Major 'in great condition', his trainer says

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 02 June, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 02 June, 2007, 12:00am

Hiroyuki Uehara scoffed at media talk all is not well with Yasuda Kinen favourite Daiwa Major, promising the six-year-old stallion will do the host nation proud.

Daiwa Major has not raced since his brave third in the UAE leg of the Asian Mile Challenge, the Dubai Duty Free (1,777m) at Nad al Sheba on March 31. Media in Japan reported Daiwa Major lost a lot of weight and was badly knocked around by the trip to Dubai, but the trainer vigorously denied this.

'He ran very well but without much luck, and when he came home he ate well and did well, so there was no real loss of weight,' the trainer said. 'He has been keeping well and working well. I think he is in great condition.'

Last night, the early Japan reference odds were weighted strongly toward the trainer's view. Daiwa Major was a 2-1 favourite, with rising star Suzuka Phoenix, to be ridden by Yutaka Take, second favourite at 3-1.

Joyful Winner is the top pick of the four Hong Kong horses at 5-1. Good Ba Ba is priced at 15-1, The Duke at a liberal 18-1 and Able One at 20-1.

Full early market: 2-1 Daiwa Major, 3-1 Suzuka Phoenix, 5-1 Joyful Winner, 8-1 Eishin Dover, 10-1 Air Shady, 12-1 Kongo Rikishio, 15-1 Good Ba Ba, 18-1 The Duke, 20-1 Able One, 25-1 Symboli Escape, 30-1 Meiner Scherzi, 35-1 Jolly Dance, 40-1 Orewa Matteruze, 50-1 Dia de la Novia, 60-1 Kiss To Heaven, 70-1 Admire Kiss, 80-1 Sakura Mega Wonder, 100-1 Super Hornet.