Japanese-bred racehorse Yoshida has already enjoyed success in New York and the Bill-Mott-trained charge was expected to feature heavily in the 2018 Fort Marcy Stakes at Belmont Park. The trainer decided to skip the Grade Three event in favour of sending his talented thoroughbred to the UK.
The four-year-old was last seen on Kentucky Derby day when landing the Old Forester Turf Classic at the beginning of May. On a soggy day at Churchill Downs, Jose Ortiz guided the colt to a Grade One success and a tilt at Royal Ascot this summer looks to be his next move.
His previous appearances include triumphing in the $500,000 Hill Prince Stakes in New York and although a return to Belmont looks likely in the future, the experienced handler appears to be setting his sights on the prestigious Berkshire meeting. Mott recently claimed that Yoshida is in “very good order” and that “he couldn’t be happier with him” and although he has run the majority of his races over nine or ten furlongs, he has shown plenty of adaptability.
Yoshida is part of an extremely strong US-contingent at this year’s event with the Wesley-Ward-trained Bound for Nowhere joined by Bucchero who represents the Tim Glyshaw yard. Meanwhile, last year’s winner Lady Aurelia is set to return to the track as she bids for a third Royal Ascot success this summer. Todd Pletcher has enjoyed a profitable 2018 so far and the successful trainer looks set to send Gidu, who represents the Zayat Stables.
The five-day event attracts some of the world’s finest thoroughbreds with representatives from Australia, Japan and France also taking to the turf this year. There are thirty races in total with a number of Grade 1 contests scheduled throughout the week. It all gets underway on June 19th and sites such as Timeform already have dedicated pages which provide news, tips and analysis ahead of the five-day extravaganza and when at Timeform, visitors can also download the app, which is completely free of charge and allows horse racing fans to keep across all of the action from Royal Ascot whilst on the move.
Mott was present at last year’s event but Long on Value could only finish twelfth in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes and he is hoping for better luck this time around. The Queen Anne Stakes, which is contested over a mile appears to be favoured by the trainer, although the handler admits he still has a number of options.
He began his career in New York at Aqueduct when finishing second to Coleman Rocky in a Maiden Special Weight event. It was one of just three times that the four-year-old has competed over the eight furlongs. He has shown a liking for a firmer surface, although, the rain-softened ground at Churchill Downs didn’t noticeably affect his performance.
Yoshida is likely to return to Belmont Park in the future and has shown a liking for the NY track but Royal Ascot appears to be his next destination. With the event being broadcast on NBC, many viewers will be keeping a keen eye on the Bill Mott representative as he looks set to tackle the Berkshire turf at the end of June.