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Japan’s Obamburumai now bids to stun Hong Kong

April 25, 2024 at 7:27:16 AM

Japan’s Obamburumai and his trainer Keiji Yoshimura stunned the Australian racing world when they won the recently instituted and valuable Golden Eagle (1500m), a race worth AU$10 million (approx. HK$50.5 million), at Rosehill in Sydney last November.

Japan’s Obamburumai and his trainer Keiji Yoshimura stunned the Australian racing world when they won the recently instituted and valuable Golden Eagle (1500m), a race worth AU$10 million (approx. HK$50.5 million), at Rosehill in Sydney last November.

Not only did he become the first international to win the race, first held in 2019, he did so with a devastating late burst at his first run outside Japan and his first in almost six months.

Now the bid is to stun Hong Kong in the G1 FWD Champions Mile (1600m) and Yoshimura’s confidence is not unduly dented despite the four-year-old’s failure to repeat his Rosehill heroics when beaten by over three lengths on his return to racing, and Australia, in the G1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) on 6 April.

Yoshimura, who arrived in Hong Kong on Tuesday, is pleased with how his horse has coped with the multinational schedule and believes he might be all the better for his most recent run.

“There was not much time between the Doncaster Mile and this race but he is a very good traveller and it was always the plan to progress from Sydney to the Champions Mile and the horse looks well.

“I think his condition will be better for this race than for the Doncaster Mile which was his first run for five months,” Yoshimura said.


Obamburumai is well beaten in the Doncaster Mile.

The trainer said he was prepared to forgive Obamburumai’s performance in the Doncaster Mile with a number of factors against him.

“In the Doncaster Mile, the rain affected track condition was one of the factors that he was not able to run his race, but the other thing was he was trapped behind horses even when he wanted to make ground. If he had found the clear path, he would’ve been able to show more of his turn of foot and we might have had a different result,” he said.

Australian jockey Damian Lane, a prolific winner in Japan and successful on Japan’s Win Marilyn in the 2022 G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Vase (2400m), will again partner Obamburumai after assessing that the Doncaster Mile simply didn’t unfold to suit.

“He just didn’t get the rub of the green on straightening, didn’t have enough space to allow him to fully accelerate and once we did get the room, the race had passed him by,” Lane said after that race.

Yoshimura remains hopeful the best is still to come from Obamburumai. “He’s still early in his career and I expect the experiences from Sydney to pay dividends further down the road,” he added.

Obamburumai loosely translates as ‘let’s have a party’ and that will be the case for Japan if he can become that country’s first FWD Champions Mile winner since Maurice in 2016 end a run of seven straight wins for Hong Kong.

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