Trainer Ricky Yiu has given stable star Blizzard his tick of approval after the chestnut completed his preparations for Sunday’s (25 March) G1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen (1200m) with a light piece of work at Chukyo Racecourse on Saturday morning (24 March).
Flanked by an entourage of owners, supporters and media from both Japan and Hong Kong, Yiu and jockey Karis Teetan watched on as Blizzard completed a lap of the Chukyo dirt under work rider Stanley Wong at little more than a canter.
“He’s ready to go,” Yiu said. “Today’s work was very similar to yesterday, a walk and trot at the beginning and then a canter around one lap. I’m looking forward to tomorrow. Hopefully things work out better than the last time he raced in Japan.”
That run came in last October’s G1 Sprinters Stakes (1200m), Japan’s only other top-level sprint. Blizzard missed the start under Gerald Mosse and the Starcraft six-year-old ended up midfield and wide.
“We tried to get a Hong Kong jockey to come across but it was the same day as some big races at home so we turned to Gerald as he had ridden the horse before,” Yiu said. “Gerald is a top jockey but he is not the type to be too aggressive early, so when he missed the start, Blizzard’s race was over. To run fifth under the circumstances, it was very good.
“I think Karis is the right jockey for the job. He is aggressive, he should have the horse in the first five and I am sure he has a plan after walking the track yesterday.”