Logotype beat Maurice last time they met at a mile, Maurice beat Able Friend when they clashed over the trip last year, so therefore Logotype should handle Able Friend in the Group One Hong Kong Mile, right?
Trainer Tsuyoshi Tanaka has seen enough to know racing doesn’t work like that and admits that Logotype’s upset win in this year’s Yasuda Kinen, where he shocked odds-on favourite Maurice, had more to do with surprise tactics to lead than it did class.
On Sunday, Logotype contests a Maurice-less Mile, with Japan’s Horse of the Year stepping up to the Hong Kong Cup instead, but still faces Able Friend on his home turf and, critically, a race with more pace than he found in Tokyo.
“Is this an easier race than the Yasuda Kinen? That’s a good, but difficult, question,” said Tanaka, a former jockey who also serves as Logotype’s trackwork rider. “It’s hard to say which is a bigger challenge, but when we beat Maurice the big advantage was our tactics.
“We thought of the strategy to lead before the race and were very happy it worked. We didn’t think Maurice would take up the running, and everybody would be stalking Maurice and not want to go past him in the run. We saw no other leaders and we controlled the race and we were able to get the tactics exactly right.
“On Sunday it is different, if nothing goes on we could find ourselves in front, we do want him to race handy, but I think there seems to be some local horses that want to sit up front. If we are a spot or two behind them it won’t be a problem, maybe second or third in the run.”
With barrier two, Logotype drew ideally for Italian jockey Mirco Demuro to execute those tactics on a horse that has been unplaced twice over longer trips since that memorable Yasuda Kinen victory at 36-1.
A smart workout on the dirt has the six-year-old looking in good shape ahead of the world’s richest turf mile and Tanaka hinted that this might not be the last time the three-time Group One winner visits Sha Tin.
“There are plans to race on with him, plans can always change in racing, so let’s check after this race but the owner Teruya Yoshida has spoken to me and indicated we will keep racing next year,” he said.