Be Afraid Of The Japanese

Be afraid, be very afraid. It's a warning we should heed with respect when Japanese owners and trainers turn their attention to Australia's premier races.

Japanese bred and trained raiders continue to build an outstanding record in Australia, the impressive stayer Mer De Glace joining the growing list with his dominant win in Saturday's G1 Caulfield Cup.

Mer De Glace, a 5YO son of the high class G1 winner Rulership, became the second Japanese-trained raider to win the Caulfield Cup in the last six years, joining the ill-fated 2014 winner Admire Rakti and adding to an imposing list of Japanese horses who have made an indelible impact on Australian racing since that famous Melbourne Cup quinella by stablemates Delta Blues and Pop Rock in 2006.

Subsequent Japanese horses to make their mark on Australian racing at Group level include Hana's Goal, Real Impact, To The World, Tosen Stardom, Brave Smash, Kluger, Wolfe and Hush Writer, the latter being another son of Rulership who won Saturday's ATC St Leger at Randwick for the Gai Waterhouse/Adrian Bott stable

Mer De Glace winning the Stella Artois Caulfield Cup
Mer De Glace winning the Stella Artois Caulfield Cup Picture: Racing and Sports

The strike rate is excellent given the small number of Japanese horses to race in Australia. However with another Japanese star Lys Gracieux the early favourite for next Saturday's WS Cox Plate at Moonee Valley and Mer De Grace an obvious top contender for the Melbourne Cup, Japanese interest in Australian racing is set to go to an all-time high.

It's exposure that should lead to greater numbers making the trip from Japan for our carnivals now that our big race prizemoney is as good as anywhere in the world and quarantine protocols are no longer a divisive issue.

Mer De Glace is trained by the accomplished Hisashi Shimizu, feted as the trainer of seven-time G1 winner and Japan Horse of The Year Kitasan Black.

Speaking through a translator, Shimizu summed up what the Caulfield Cup win means in japan.

"This win will be very big in Japan, everybody knows about the Melbourne spring carnival so I'm sure there will be a lot of very happy people there," he said.

"One of my main goals was to win a Group 1 race internationally - they're not easy to win."

Trainer Hisachi Shimizu
Trainer Hisachi Shimizu Picture: Racing and Sports

This growing interest among Japanese owners and trainers is complemented by the strong breeding links between Japan and Australia. We have a selection of top class Japanese stallions standing at our leading studs while our breeders are taking up the increasingly popular practice of sending their mares to Japan to be covered by some of the world's best sires to southern hemisphere time.

One of those sires is Rulership, a son of the late Japanese great King Kamehameha and the champion Tony Bin mare Air Groove who has had minimal representation in Australia with his only runners being Mer De Glace and Hush Writer.

Rulership won the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup in Hong Kong and G2 and G3 races in Japan up to 2200m. He was also placed in four G1 races in Japan including the Japan Cup and Arima Kinen before he was retired to stand at the famed Shadai Stallion Station in 2013.

He has since become one of the country's leading stallions, being crowned champion freshman sire in 2016 and sitting comfortably among the top 10 sires in Japan in 2018 with some 240 winners of 490 races coming from his first four crops including 11 stakeswinners.

His leading progeny include the champion stayer Kiseki, winner of the G1 Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) in 2017 and placed in the G1 Japan Cup and G1 Tenno Sho Autumn, the G2 winners Lion Lion and Danburite, G3 winners Hush Writer, Passing Through and Tetradrachm and classic placegetters Sans Rival (2nd G1 Satsuki Sho - Japanese 2000 Guineas) and Lily Noble (2nd G1 Yushun Himba -  Japanese Oaks; 3rd G1 Oka Sho - Japanese 1000 Guineas).

Rulership
Rulership Picture: Japan Racing Association

Mer De Glace became Rulership's second G1 winner with his powerhouse Caulfield Cup win, adding to his reputation as a sire providing an excellent outcross for Sunday Silence line mares.

Mer De Glace, who has now won eight of his 18 starts including his last six in succession, fits that criteria as his dam Glacier Blue is a daughter of the legendary Sunday Silence, the champion sire who became the cornerstone of modern Japanese breeding.

Glacier Blue, who won three time up to 1400m, is the dam of three other winners and is a half-sister to the Listed winner Grass Bomber (Machiavellian). She descends from the Habitat mare Blue Note, a G2 winner and dam of the G1 winners Zieten (Danzig) and Blue Duster (Danzig).

International breeding really stood up in the Caulfield Cup as the first four to finish were bred in Japan, Australia, the UK and Ireland.

The runner-up Vow And Declare, by Declaration Of War, was bred in Australia; third home Mirage Dancer is a UK-bred son of the great Frankel; and the luckless fourth Constantinople is by Ireland's world champion sire Galileo.


Racing and Sports



Caulfield

Saturday, 19th October 2019

9
17:15
(local)

Stella Artois Caulfield Cup (G1)

WT: 50.0kg Type: OPEN
AUD $5,150,000
2400m TURF GOOD
9
17:15
(local)
AUD $5,150,000
2400m GOOD

Stella Artois Caulfield Cup (G1)

WT: 50.0kg Type: OPEN
FP Silk Horse, Age & Sex
Sire & Dam
Jockey
Trainer
SP
WT
1st 3. MER DE GLACE (JPN) 4yo H
RULERSHIP (JPN) - GLACIER BLUE (JPN)
DAMIAN LANE
H SHIMIZU
$8.00
55.5kg
U. Carrot Farm (Mgr: Dr H Akita)
2nd 14. VOW AND DECLARE (AUS) 4yo G
DECLARATION OF WAR (USA) - GEBLITZT (AUS)
CRAIG WILLIAMS
DANNY O'BRIEN
$8.00
52.5kg
G & Mrs S M Corrigan, P J Lanskey, Mrs H R Hueston, T C Lanskey, J P Lanskey, K T Goodman, W R Leitch, A F Lanskey, B T Lanskey, L J Lanskey, S W R Knipe & S A Livingstone

Sales Information

3rd 2. MIRAGE DANCER (GB) 5yo H
FRANKEL (GB) - HEAT HAZE (GB)
BEN MELHAM
TRENT BUSUTTIN & NATALIE YOUNG
$16.00
56.0kg
B Secatore, R Secatore, D Pope, R Loulach, D Lawn, A Kassem, B Rutter, D Juratowitch, C Elkington, W Doughty, G Carmody, B Ford, A Branson, J Frankenhuisen, G Aldridge, S Aldridge, M Pilkington, S M Filipek, Seymour Bloodstock (Mgr: D Thomas) & Cup Racing Crew (Mgr: M J Casey)
4th 11. CONSTANTINOPLE (IRE) 3yo C
GALILEO (IRE) - ONE MOMENT IN TIME (IRE)
LUKE NOLEN
D & B HAYES & T DABERNIG
$6.50
53.0kg
5th 6. FINCHE (GB) 5yo G
FRANKEL (GB) - BINCHE (USA)
MICHAEL WALKER
CHRIS WALLER
$7.50
54.5kg
6th 4. MUSTAJEER (GB) 6yo G
MEDICEAN (GB) - QELAAN (USA)
DAMIEN OLIVER
KRIS LEES
$12.00
55.5kg

Sales Information

7th 1. HARTNELL (GB) 8yo G
AUTHORIZED (IRE) - DEBONNAIRE (GB)
BRAD RAWILLER
JAMES CUMMINGS
$26.00
58.0kg

Sales Information

8th 8. RED VERDON (USA) 6yo G
LEMON DROP KID (USA) - PORTO MARMAY (IRE)
PAT COSGRAVE
ED DUNLOP
$67.00
54.5kg

Sales Information

9th 16. THE CHOSEN ONE (NZ) 4yo H
SAVABEEL (AUS) - THE GLITZY ONE (AUS)
STEPHEN BASTER
MURRAY BAKER & ANDREW FORSMAN
$13.00
52.0kg

Sales Information

10th 19. SOUND (GER) 6yo H
LANDO (GER) - SKY DANCING (IRE)
JAMES WINKS
MICHAEL MORONEY
$101.00
54.0kg

Sales Information

11th 12. MR QUICKIE (AUS) 4yo G
SHAMUS AWARD (AUS) - SPECIAL FAVOUR (AUS)
J ALLEN
PHILLIP STOKES
$8.00
53.0kg

Sales Information

12th 7. GOLD MOUNT (GB) 6yo G
EXCELLENT ART (GB) - DOLCETTO (IRE)
MARK DU PLESSIS
IAN WILLIAMS
$26.00
54.5kg

Sales Information

13th 18. WOLFE (JPN) 4yo G
NOVELLIST (IRE) - PEACE OF WORLD (JPN)
BEAU MERTENS
G WATERHOUSE & A BOTT
$21.00
50.0kg
14th 15. BRIMHAM ROCKS (GB) 5yo G
FASTNET ROCK (AUS) - COLIMA (IRE)
MICHAEL DEE
CHRIS WALLER
$31.00
52.0kg

Sales Information

15th 9. ANGEL OF TRUTH (AUS) 4yo G
ANIMAL KINGDOM (USA) - SCARLETINI (AUS)
DEAN YENDALL
GWENDA MARKWELL
$41.00
54.0kg
16th 5. ROSTROPOVICH (IRE) 4yo G
FRANKEL (GB) - TYRANNY (GB)
DWAYNE DUNN
D & B HAYES & T DABERNIG
$31.00
55.5kg

Sales Information

17th 17. QAFILA (AUS) 4yo M
NOT A SINGLE DOUBT (AUS) - ZIGHY BAY (USA)
CORY PARISH
D & B HAYES & T DABERNIG
$41.00
51.5kg

Sales Information

18th 10. BIG DUKE (IRE) 7yo G
RAVEN'S PASS (USA) - HAZARAYNA (GB)
BRETT PREBBLE
KRIS LEES
$41.00
54.0kg

Sales Information

Chris Scholtz

Managing Director Tronta Media P/L; Contributing Editor Racing & Sports
Chris is an award winning racing media professional working in the print, radio and online mediums since 1971 and managing director of his own racing industry media company since 1988. He has covered all of Australia’s major racing carnivals, numerous international events and is widely recognised as a leading form assessor and race analyst. Chris brings his passion for racing to racingandsports.com.au as its contributing editor since its launch in 2000.