The assistant trainer of Deirdre has joked the amended start time of Wednesday’s Group One Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (1,993m) means racing-mad fans in Japan will not have drunk too much sake and will still be awake to watch her run.
The globetrotter has made a splash at Royal Ascot before even taking to the racetrack, with organisers doing away with tradition and bringing the race forward 40 minutes to ensure it kicks off before midnight in Japan.
“We are always fortunate to be supported by the huge passion from Japanese racing fans,” Seiko Hashida said.
“We hope the people at home don’t drink too much sake before midnight and are still awake to watch her run.”
The runner-up in last year’s Group One Longines Hong Kong Cup (2,000m) is considered an outsider in the race at 50-1, but connections are up for the fight and cannot wait to see how the five-year-old, who will be ridden by Yutaka Take, measures up in Europe.
It will be the mare’s third run outside Japan this year after she finished fourth behind compatriot Almond Eye in March’s Dubai Turf at Meydan and sixth behind another Japanese horse – Win Bright – in the QE II Cup at Sha Tin in April.
“It is good to be here. The horse has settled in very well and the people are very kind,” Hashida said. “We would like to see a comfortable surface for Deirdre, not too heavy and not too firm.
“It is the first time for us to contend in a European race and first of all we would like to measure how good we are.
Glorious Forever wins the brotherly battle with elder sibling Time Warp under Silvestre de Sousa and keeps rolling as Deirdre challenges to land the $HK28m Hong Kong Cup. Victory completes a sensational G1 double for Frankie Lor after Mr Stunning's Sprint success #HKracing #HKIR pic.twitter.com/BqWuXyPafl— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) December 9, 2018
“We understand the quality of horses, it’s just amazing and we are looking forward to seeing how our horse can compete.”
Headlining the eight-horse field are Aidan O’Brien’s Magical and William Haggas’ Sea Of Class, while another horse Hong Kong fans will recognise is Waldgeist, the fifth-placed finisher in last year’s Hong Kong Vase on international day.
Tattersalls Gold Cup (G1)— (@WorldRacing_) May 26, 2019
2100m , 400.000 EUR, for 4yo+
(4m Galileo - Halfway To Heaven by Pivotal)
J : Ryan Moore
T :A. P. O'Brien
O : Mr D Smith, Mrs J Magnier, Mr M Tab pic.twitter.com/uJpnwtOmW9
Race favourite Magical, who will have champion jockey Ryan Moore in the saddle, has won all three starts this season and routed her rivals in last month’s Group One Tattersalls Gold Cup (2,100m) at The Curragh, with O’Brien saying the superstar four-year-old filly’s winning spree has come as no great surprise to him.
“We always thought that she had the potential to improve from three to four and that seems to have been reflected in her form this year,” said O’Brien, who has been the leading trainer at Royal Ascot for the past four years and nine times in total.
“She had a setback in the middle of last season but we have had a clear run with her this year and she seems to be thriving.”