Curren Chan boosts HK form
The form behind Hong Kong's top sprinters got a boost ahead of Dubai next weekend with the victory by Japan's star sprinting mare Curren Chan in yesterday's Takamatsunomiya Kinen in Nagoya.
Curren Chan finished fifth as the first foreign starter to arrive in the 2011 Hong Kong Sprint behind Lucky Nine, Entrapment, Joy And Fun and Little Bridge, and gave that form some depth in becoming just the fifth horse to win both of Japan's Group One sprints - the Sprinters' Stakes in the autumn and Takamatsunomiya Kinen in the spring.
The Takamatsunomiya Kinen was the second leg of the Global Sprint Challenge for 2012 and the Caspar Fownes-trained Lucky Nine will take on the newly-added third leg in the Golden Shaheen this Saturday night in Dubai, while Joy And Fun and Eagle Regiment go to the Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan, where all six Hong Kong representatives for the World Cup meeting are reported to have arrived well.
Pre-race, trainer Takayuki Yasuda was saddling up second favourite Curren Chan and the hot-favourite Lord Kanaloa, but had warned Curren Chan would be back to her best after a disappointing run at her only start since returning from the Hong Kong Sprint.
He was proved correct in a race that was a personal triumph for him, finishing with first, third and fourth from four starters in the race.
With the Group One sprint back to its original home again at Chukyo racecourse after two years of refurbishment to the track, Curren Chan jumped quickly from the second half of the draw and was positioned straight outside the leader, A Shin Duck Man, to the home turn.
There she went clear while Lord Kanaloa was probing for runs on the inside and Dasher Go Go fighting on after a torrid-wide run yet again, then Curren Chan held off the late finish of San Carlos to retain her place as Japan's favourite Sprinter-Miler, a title racing fans had given her in a public vote in 2011.
The odds for second favourite Curren Chan in the Takamatsunomiya Kinen