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Japan Cup 2009 - Hyperion's pre-race article

"Hyperion" is in Tokyo for Sunday''s running of the 29th Japan Cup.

Last years surprise 40-1 winner Screen Hero will bid to become the first horse to win two Japan Cups but will have to overcome an outside draw having been drawn 18 of the 18 runners.

Local heroine Vodka may rival Conduit for course favouritism on the day. A brilliant winner of the Yasuda Kinen in June, Vodka has run twice before in the Japan Cup finishing fourth behind Admire Moon, Pop Rock and Meisho Samson in 2007 and third behind Screen Hero and Deep Sky last year. "I''m a great fan of Vodka", said Hyperion, "but I feel 2,400 may not be her best distance, although she should be in the frame and still owns the course record for 2,000 metres here in Tokyo".

The field includes English raider Conduit who recently won his second successive Breeders Cup Turf for trainer Sir Michael Stoute and if he has overcome his exertions from that race the four year old should go close. Conduit was recently bought by Japanese owner Mr. Okada as a stallion for the Big Red Farm.

Hyperion also likes interesting runners Red Desire, Marsh Side and Oken Bruce Lee.

Local 3 y o filly Red Desire has had an impressive year, recently winning the Group 1 Shuka Sho and coming second behind brilliant Buena Vista in both the Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) and Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks). The Yushun Himba was over the same course and distance as the Japan Cup.

Six year old Marsh Side was the 29-1 upset winner of the 2008 Canadian International and was a scratching from last year''s Japan Cup. He is well travelled again this year and could get a place but does not look good enough to win.

Oken Bruce Lee was fifth in last years Japan Cup when a three year old. A winner of the Kyoto Daishoten in October over 2400 metres, Oken Bruce Lee is a former winner of the Kikuka Sho (Japanese St Leger) and will be running on at the end.

Australia is represented by four year old Scintillo, owned by Len Lucas.

"I expect a fast run race, with Conduit and Vodka, the class horses in the race, to finish first and second", said Hyperion, " with Oken Bruce Lee or Red Desire in third".

(Robert Bishop)

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