Red Mon Reve earns Ebina a notable first

The Yasuda Kinen is the next target as the former top jockey gets his Group race tally as a trainer up and running in only his second season.

Masayoshi Ebina and Kazuo Yokoyama at Tokyo on Saturday. (Photo by Asian Racing Report)

David Morgan

Chief Journalist


Masayoshi Ebina welcomed his first Group race winner as a trainer when the emergent Red Mon Reve landed the G2 Keio Hai Spring Cup under Kazuo Yokoyama at Tokyo on Saturday.

“I’m relieved right now,” Ebina told the gathered press. “It’s completely different from the feelings I had when I was a jockey, I feel more relief than joy.”

Ebina was a star of the jockeys’ room in his day and rode 2,541 winners between 1987 and February 2021, including a host of Group 1 features including a Fillies’ Triple Crown on Apapane. He is famed internationally for his exhilarating long run for home atop El Condor Pasa in the 1999 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, only to be caught in the final strides by the brilliant European champion Montjeu.

Now 54, the former JRA champion rider had 11 wins in his first season training out of his Miho base, and this year he has five on the board.

Red Mon Reve started out with Kazuo Fujisawa – trainer of such big-time gallopers as Taiki Shuttle, Gran Alegria, Zenno Rob Roy, Symboli Kris  S, Soul Stirring and Dance In The Mood – before switching to Ebina upon his retirement in February 2021. The former jockey spent time learning from Fujisawa at his stables before setting up his own operation. 

“He was inherited from my teacher, and moreover, it’s the Keio Cup, which he was good at winning (eight times), so I’m deeply moved. It’s a connection, perhaps,” Ebina said.


Montjeu gets the better of El Condor Pasa in a desperate drive. (Photo by Jack Guez/Getty Images)

Red Mon Reve wins the G2 Keio Hai Spring Cup. (Photo by @kabosu722)

Red Mon Reve faced a field of 18 in the 1400m contest, which featured two past winners of the G1 NHK Mile Cup, Danon Scorpion and Lauda Sion, as well as the 2021 G1 Sprinters Stakes winner Pixie Knight, a horse on the comeback trail from a serious injury.

Ebina’s charge had posted four wins and two seconds from eight career starts, and had failed to make the frame in his only two attempts at Group company. The Lord Kanaloa colt took a big step forward this time: with Yokoyama composed in the saddle, Red Mon Reve swept down the wide outside from a deep midfield position to score by half a length in a time of 1m 20.3s.

“I’ve tried running (in Group races) several times already, and this horse was supported last time too, so it’s a good result that this time we can win it,” Ebina said.

Asked about the likelihood of returning in three weeks’ time for the G1 Yasuda Kinen, Japan’s spring championship race for milers, Ebina commented: “The horse’s condition comes first, but that’s where I’m going. I think he’s suited to the Tokyo course because he can run this fast with so much in hand.

Meanwhile, Pixie Knight may never recapture the brilliance that took him to victory in the G1 Sprinters Stakes in September 2021 but there was some merit to his effort in finishing eighth, within two lengths of the winner.

Comeback galloper Pixie Knight. (Photo by Asian Racing Report)

The Hidetaka Otanashi-trained five-year-old was off the track for 15 months due to a knee fracture he suffered when brought down in a horror fall during the running of the 2021 Hong Kong Sprint at Sha Tin. The son of Maurice returned with a 13th of 18 in the heavy-ground G1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen in March and was entitled to come on for that.

Pixie Knight tracked the pace in a handy position this time and was not given too hard a race, and, after looking like he might be swallowed up at the 200m pole, he rallied to make up late ground.

On the other hand, Danon Scorpion was looking for redemption on his return to the track after five months, having disappointed in the G1 Mile Championship and the G1 Hong Kong Mile late last year. But Yuga Kawada’s mount, racing behind the front rank, was initially one-paced in the straight and faded to 11th in the final 100 metres.




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