Friday, 20 July 2012
: Japanese star Yasunari Iwata will get match practice at Ascot before he ride classic winner Deep Brillante in the Betfair King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes on Saturday.
| Yasunari Iwata|
Photo by Racing and Sports
Iwata rode in the Shergar Cup at Ascot two years ago but will get a refresher with race rides on two horses for Clive Brittain before the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) winner takes on a star studded field in the Group One showpiece over a mile and a half.
Iwata rides the two-year-old Shafaani in a fillies' maiden on Friday's card and then partners Miblish in a one mile handicap on Saturday.
Brittain has been housing Deep Brillante
, a 20-1 chance for the King George, at his Carlburg stables in Newmarket.
"This is my way of giving them something back so we've given them stables and a lead horse," said Brittain, who saddled Jupiter Island to win the 1986 Japan Cup.
"I have been to Japan six or seven times and never had to put my hand into my pocket."
Brittain has been impressed with Deep Brillante since his arrival at his stables.
"I think he's a very, very nice horse," he said.
"I don't know what he'll make of Ascot as it's a bit different from what he's used to but believe me, he'll be well prepared."
Iwata, who won the 2006 Melbourne Cup on Delta Blues, is eagerly anticipating his return to Ascot.
"There was a 12 furlong race at the Shergar Cup when I rode there two years ago so I have the course experience which I hope will be a big advantage for me," said Iwata at Brittain's yard on Thursday.
"I'm confident I have improved as a jockey since the Shergar Cup and I want to show what I can do in the King George.
"We're here to win."
The King George is renowned as the best weight-for-age race of the summer and this edition will be no exception with the winners of such races as the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, Melbourne Cup, Japan Derby, Coronation Cup and Eclipse Stakes among the 12 acceptors.
The betting is headed by St Nicholas Abbey
, a wide-margin winner of the Coronation Cup at Epsom and runaway G2 Hardwicke Stakes hero Sea Moon
John Gosden could be double-handed with Eclipse winner Nathaniel
and last year's G1 St Leger hero Masked Marvel
Last year's Arc heroine Danedream
is set for her first start in the UK-Baden and is expected to improve on her fourth in the G1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud when resuming.
"Nothing went right for her at Saint-Cloud," her trainer commented. "They went very slow early on and that didn't suit. She prefers a strong gallop and that is usually what you get in England. Everything has gone well since her last race.
"Soft ground would not bother her at all. She handles it very well indeed, so if it was very soft that would not change anything."
Michael Owen's Brown Panther
, Melbourne Cup hero Dunaden
and the Alain de Royer-Dupre pair of Reliable Man
add more depth to the field.
The connections of Nathaniel have given the go-ahead for the four-year-old to attempt back-to-back wins, erasing initial doubts that Ascot's feature might come too soon after his win in the July 7 Eclipse at Sandown with pleasing work on Tuesday.
Trainer John Gosden said. "William Buick breezed him and I think it went really well, so I think it would be wimpish not to run."
Buick was singing Nathanial's praises after the work.
"He was a late-maturing horse, both mentally and physically. We always felt that whatever he did last year he was going to be better this year and it all points towards that now," Buick said.
"As the season progresses, I think he will get better."