Asakusa Den'en's trainer eyes HK mile after Yasuda triumph Winning trainer Michifumi Kono stamped his way to a first Group One win with Asakusa Den'en in yesterday's US$1.7 million Yasuda Kinen in Tokyo then said the six-year-old would be even better by the time of the Hong Kong Mile in December. Thrilled by his first success at the elite level, Kono was in a comedic frame of mind as he said he would be 'delighted for the horse to run in the Hong Kong Mile and I hope they will invite the trainer as well'. 'There were very strong horses from Hong Kong in this race today but of course my horse didn't know where they were from,' the trainer laughed. 'He won very well over 1,400 metres last time in the Kei Hai Spring Cup and I was very confident the extra 200m distance today would be even better for him. I was confident my horse would give some strong opposition today and it was about time that we showed the Japanese fire again in the Asian racing countries. 'When Asakusa Den'en made his finishing run, I was so excited - I was stamping up and down on the floor.' Ridden for only the second time by 33-year-old Shinji Fujita, Asakusa Den'en pounced in the final 100m to overwhelm Silent Witness and hold off the late-finishing Sweep Tosho, and win the eighth race of his 24-start career. 'Even though he is quite experienced, I think he still has a little room for improvement. He has had a problem with the start but the jockey has been working on that and making progress,' Kono said. 'Now the horse has done enough for this time and he will rest and then prepare for races later in the year and the Hong Kong Mile could be on his schedule.' Asakusa Den'en was also the first Group One winner in Japan this year for runners trained at the Miho training centre. Most of the horses in Japan are trained at either the Miho or Ritto training centres and the two have a rivalry which has been well and truly dominated by Ritto recently. The winner of the Yasuda Kinen started at 11.3-1 after Telegnosis had firmed to start the 5.8 favourite over Daiwa Major and the heavily supported Dane In The Mood. Silent Witness ran as the fifth elect at 8.6 while Bullish Luck started at 10.3. Hong Kong's outsider, Bowman's Crossing, started as a 60-1 chance. As is usual, the betting on the day's feature race dwarfed all other events, with the turnover figures on the Yasuda Kinen in Japan totalling $1.543 billion across all pools, from a total of $2.618 billion bet on the entire 12-race card.