Homan Ho



JRA Blackbook: Ryan Moore full of praise for imposing new son of Duramente

A hulking youngster and a three-year-old future staying star 'Impress' in this week’s JRA Blackbook.

Touch Wood (R5 Hanshin, Newcomer, 2000m, November 20) 

A 524 kilogram man-child, Touch Wood caught the eye the moment he strode into the Hanshin parade ring for his debut on Mile Championship day and then backed it up on the track. 

Touch Wood took the buzzy atmosphere generated by the big crowd in his stride and dominated his newcomer rivals from start to finish over 2000m. 

Jumping from barrier nine of nine, on what is a tricky starting point for an inexperienced horse, Ryan Moore was able to allow Touch Wood to stride freely to the front. Once there, the colt settled into a rhythm and cruised away to win by six lengths.  

“It was a nice win,” Moore said. “He is obviously big and strong, but his temperament is also good.” 

The win continued Koshiro Take’s good run, the younger brother of star jockey Yutake Take also produced one of last week’s JRA Blackbook runners, Light Quantum


Impress (R10, Hanshin, Amagasaki Stakes, Class 3, 2400m, November 19) 

Impress wasn’t ready in time for the classics but this late blooming three-year-old could be a staying star of the future based on this display. 


Impress is starting to show significant staying potential. (Photo by @minamo_thr via Twitter)

Trainer Shozo Sasaki’s best ever horse was Kizuna, so it is fitting that he now has a son of the 2013 Tokyo Yushun winner with top level potential in his care. 

What caught the eye most from Impress was the electric turn of foot at the end of 2400m in a race that was not run to suit the backmarkers. Jockey Katsuma Sameshima sat back last off a slow tempo but he rounded the field up after unleashing the colt, finishing in 32.8 seconds for his final 600m. 

“The pace was slow but I believe in his turn of foot,” Sasaki said. “The position was difficult after jumping out from the gate, but he showed his racing sense to win this race. I have been riding him since his debut. He keeps improving after races and I am looking forward to his future.” 




    Subscribe now & get exclusive weekly content from Asian Racing Report direct to your inbox

      Expert ratings, tips & analysis for Hong Kong racing