Japanese star Daring Tact ready for Hong Kong debut

A stellar card at Sha Tin on Sunday sees the Hong Kong debut of brilliant Japanese filly Daring Tact – and racegoers in Europe could get to see her in action at some stage in the future.

Winner of the Fillies’ Triple Crown in her homeland in 2020, the Haruki Sugiyama-trained four-year-old is all set for the FWD QEII Cup, where she will be part of a four-pronged Japanese attack on the Group One prize.

Joining her in the 10-furlong feature is Dubai Sheema Classic third Loves Only You, Glory Vase and Kiseki.

Daring Tact – who runs in the colours of Makio Okada’s Normandy Thoroughbred Racing Co Ltd – was third in the Japan Cup to Almond Eye and Contrail in November, and returned with a narrow defeat in March.

Progression is expected from that outing, and Okada said: “Generally speaking, fillies and mares are more difficult to train in winter and early spring than colts.

“Daring Tact is covered by a long coat during the winter break and she was not 100 per cent fit on the day of Kinko Sho in March. And it was a competitive field and the ground was testing, therefore I think she ran well enough for her seasonal debut.

“After the Kinko Sho, her condition has been improving significantly.”

Reflecting on her run in a top-class renewal of the Japan Cup, Okada said: “I am sure it was a great race and Daring Tact ran very bravely. At the top of home stretch, I had a feeling that she might be well beaten, but she bounced back and finished very strongly.

“That performance gave me the conviction that Daring Tact is a class horse.”

On the subject of travelling outside of Japan, Okada said: “Her trainer Haruki Sugiyama is very keen for an international campaign, as he is convinced Daring Tact should be competitive at everywhere in the world. As we talked about the plan for the first half of 2021, we have found the QEII Cup is a suitable race.

“After the QEII Cup, I believe the next start is the Group One Takarazuka Kinen at Hanshin in June. And if Daring Tact runs well both in the QEII Cup and Takarazuka Kinen, I think we have to think about the campaign in Europe and, in my opinion, we should consider major races in United States as well.”

Looking ahead to this weekend’s race, Okada said: “It is a quality field and I know this is not an easy task for Daring Tact. The Japanese team is strong and local runners are tough at Sha Tin.

“But if Daring Tact runs her own race, I believe she should run well.”

He added: “Honestly speaking, I think her best trip is 2400 metres (mile and a half). But she won the Group One Shuka Sho over 2000m and I do not think the distance is a problem.

“She is a versatile horse and I believe Daring Tact can handle the Sha Tin track well.”