Japanese out to capture hearts at Ascot

CONNECTIONS of top-class Japanese raider Heart’s Cry are looking forward to unleashing their charge in Saturday’s £750,000 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot.

The five-year-old arrived in Britain on July 16 with a tall reputation as the only horse to have beaten the brilliant Deep Impact.

Having taken that notable scalp on Christmas Day last year, he further underlined his credentials when galloping his rivals into the ground in the Dubai Sheema Classic in March.

And while he has enjoyed an easy time of things since settling into his temporary home at Luca Cumani’s yard in Newmarket, connections are set to sharpen him up today ahead of a final gallop on Wednesday.

“Today he’s had an easy day but on Tuesday we will step up the pace of his work before he has a final gallop on Wednesday,” explained Toshi Kiyota, racing manager to owners Shadai Race Horse Company.

“Christophe (Lemaire) knows him well and will be able to make good judgements in the race,” he added.

“Heart’s Cry is an easy horse to handle – he can go from the front or come from behind, and can handle any situation.”

Despite having every confidence in the horse, Kiyota is under no illusion as to the scale of the task ahead with the likes of Hurricane Run and Electrocutionist among the likely opposition at the weekend.

“Obviously Hurricane Run is a very good horse – he’s one of the best in Europe.

“We just wonder if we’re ready for him!

“We saw Electrocutionist win in Dubai and he’s a very strong horse.

“He was beaten at Royal Ascot but I’m sure the Godolphin team will have him fully prepared for the King George.”

The Ascot going is presently good to firm with watering taking place.

A spokeswoman for the Berkshire course said: “There is no rain forecast for today or Tuesday, but there is a possibility of thunderstorms on Wednesday and Thursday.

“We aim to maintain the good to firm ground for Saturday.”

More in this section


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox