Mitsumasa Nakauchida aiming to claim his first overseas G1 title

Toshihiro Onikubo

02/12/2023 09:47

Serifos, trained by Mitsumasa Nakauchida, is a major contenders in this year’s LONGINES Hong Kong Mile.
Serifos, trained by Mitsumasa Nakauchida, is a major contenders in this year’s LONGINES Hong Kong Mile.

Mitsumasa Nakauchida began his JRA training career in 2014 after accumulating over 10 years of international experience in four different countries: England, France, America, and Japan. He has, to date, trained five individual G1 winners, with this year’s Japanese Triple Tiara winner Liberty Island being a notable highlight. However, despite his successes, the 44-year-old, still relatively young within the JRA training ranks, has yet to secure a top-tier crown outside of Japan. Serifos and Prognosis represent the Nakauchida Stable in the 2023 LONGINES Hong Kong International Races at Sha Tin.

Four-year-old Group 1 winner Serifos is set to compete in the G1 Hong Kong Mile. The son of Daiwa Major remained unbeaten until he faced subsequent Japanese Derby winner Do Deuce in the G1 Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes as a juvenile. Serifos finished fourth in both G1 races, the NHK Mile Cup and the Yasuda Kinen, during his three-year-old spring campaign. However, later in the year, he secured his first G1 title in the Mile Championship against older and more seasoned rivals.

This year, Serifos traveled to Dubai, finishing fifth in the G1 Dubai Turf and returned to domestic G1 action when he finished runner-up in the Yasuda Kinen behind multiple G1 winner Songline. Unfortunately, his last start was a disappointing eighth place finish in the G1 Mile Championship, failing to defend his title. This below par performance can be forgiven as it was his first race since June.

Prognosis is making his second appearance in Hong Kong.
Prognosis is making his second appearance in Hong Kong.

Nakauchida’s second raider is Prognosis, who is set to compete in the LONGINES Hong Kong Cup. This lightly-raced five-year-old is by champion sire Deep Impact. Prognosis secured his first graded stakes title in the G2 Kinko Sho on just his eighth career start. On April 30th, he finished second in the G1 QEII Cup behind the Hong Kong champion middle distance horse Romantic Warrior, beaten two lengths.

During the summer, Prognosis secured his second G2 victory in the Sapporo Kinen as a preparation race for the Tenno Sho (Autumn). Following this, he hugely enhanced his reputation in JRA G1 company by finishing third behind the world’s highest-rated horse Equinox, with Justin Palace in second.

Nakauchida’s charges face stiff competition as they will compete against the best local horses Hong Kong has to offer. Romantic Warrior and Golden Sixty are running in the Cup and the Mile, respectively. The 11-time Japan Racing Award-winning trainer is hoping to fulfill a huge career milestone on the global stage of the Hong Kong International Races on December 10th on the famous Sha Tin turf.

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