Homan Ho



Homan’s JRA horses to follow – August 30

Yutaka Take combined with his brother on a smart newcomer and a potential dirt star emerged on All-Star weekend in Sapporo.

Photon Blue (R5 Sapporo, Newcomer, 1800m, August 28)

Yutaka Take has combined with his younger brother, 43-year-old fifth year trainer Koshiro Take, for stakes success before but Photon Blue could be bound for even bigger things judging by the smooth style of this victory. 

Yutaka and Koshiro teamed up to take out last year’s Group 3 Fantasy Stakes with Water Navillera, who then placed in the Group 1 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies later in the year and then was second behind Stars On Earth in the Group 1 Oka Sho. 

Photon Blue cost 148 million Yen as a yearling at the 2021 Select Sale and boasts some strong bloodlines; he is by Heart’s Cry and is a half brother to Water Navillera’s sire Silver State. 

Yutaka said he had concerns about Photon Blue on his way to the gates but once in running the colt cruised just behind the slow tempo set by Christophe Lemaire on race favourite Eldest Son. 

Take peeled off the leader’s heels upon turning and even though it took a little while to click through the gears – and the winning margin was only a neck – Photon Blue won without too many urgings. 

“It should be a tough race for Photon Blue as he looks loose before the race,” said the legendary jockey post race. “However, he finally wins by his quality. I am looking forward to his future.”

Koshiro said post race that Photon Blue’s best would be shown as a three-year-old as he aims for the classics. 

Men at Work (R10 Sapporo, 1700m dirt, August 28)

A surface switch has unleashed a dirt beast in the form of Men at Work, who has taken the inner-tracks by storm. 

Until trainer Makoto Saito changed things up, the clock was ticking on Men At Work’s JRA career: he was zero for ten and had failed to place in four starts as a three-year-old. 

On dirt he has been a revelation and made it three wins in a row with an authoritative display in what was the third leg of the World All-Star Jockeys series.


Men At Work has proven a revelation on the dirt. (Photo by @harechantou via Twitter)

After sitting just forward of midfield, Men At Work showed an explosive turn of foot for young jockey Kohei Matsuyama, who was effusive in his praise of the horse. 

“His ability leads me to win in this race,” the 32-year-old said. “I was helped by him to win. He is an up-and-coming horse.” 



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