English star Addeybb will try to break Japanese hearts and looked an absolute ball of muscle when he galloped with stablemate and Sydney Cup hope Young Rascal at Canterbury, 20 minutes before Danon Premium took to the track at first light on Tuesday.
Addeybb’s team confirmed their horse wanted a heavy track and the ”soft five” he won on at Rosehill a few weeks ago was ”actually too firm”.
ATC general manager of racing, wagering and international James Ross told the Herald it was exciting to have the Japanese bet on the Queen Elizabeth for the first time.
“Kluger ran respectably in the Doncaster last year, but he was at a far longer price, so we expect turnover to grow significantly with Japanese fans having a joint favourite with Danon Premium,” Ross said. “Turnover last year was in the couple-of-million range in Australian dollars.
“We’ll receive a percentage of the turnover, along with our broadcast partners, and as we put on programs like this and invest in prizemoney, you need revenue streams to complement what you’re doing.”
Racecourses are closed to the pubic on Japan because of COVID-19, but betting shops remain open, and Ross hopes to be ”pleasantly surprised” by the turnover.
The JRA have sent out daily updates back home on Danon Premium’s progress. The same organisation opted at the start of the year to ban betting on the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.
The South China Morning Post reported betting turnover in Hong Kong on last Saturday’s Randwick meeting fetched around $46m, with around $1m returned to the Australian industry.
Danon Premium and track rider Teryhiko Saruhashi completed a couple of laps at Canterbury trotting the Melbourne way, or anti-clockwise, before switching directions and lighting up a soft track over the final 600m.
Saruhashi told the Herald via a translator: “I was very happy with his work this morning, he travelled well for me, I had a lot of horse beneath me and he responded well when I asked.
“He’s worked regularly on a ‘soft seven’ here. Yes, he’d prefer fast ground but he’s got through everything very well so far.
“He’s a very professional athlete. He has a switch and he knows when it’s race day … hopefully we see that switch on Saturday.”
It was impossible to miss how wound up Addeybb looked, with muscle appearing on top of muscle. Addeybb’s travelling foreman Harry Eustace quipped he had started daily ”rain dances” in the hope of a Randwick bog.
“We ran knowing it might be a quick for him the other day, but he needed the run if he was going to be match-fit on Saturday,” Eustace said.
“He’s very tough which is a huge attribute. We’d love anything a bit softer than the previous race day. A ‘heavy 10’ would be the dream.
“He’s tight, he’s fit and mentally he’s really sharp. We’re really happy with his progression.”
Addeybb was headed by Verry Elleegant in the Ranvet Stakes, only to fight back and win. Verry Elleegant backed up the following Saturday and destroyed her rivals.
Young Rascal, who also won on Australian debut in the Manion Cup, drew barrier 10 in the Cup with Tom Marquand to ride.
Christian covers rugby league for The Sydney Morning Herald.