The connections of Japanese racing superstars Almond Eye and Rey De Oro have confirmed the pair will be racing in Dubai. The former, the top rated darling of Japanese racing, exits a resounding victory in the Group 1 Japan Cup and won the fillies’ Triple Crown in her native land. Rey De Oro was fourth in last year’s Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic and was Champion 3yo in Japan in 2017. She finished second in both the 2017 Group 1 Japan Cup and 2018 Group 1 Arima Kinen. At the end of season JRA Award Ceremony in Tokyo, Masashi Yonemoto, owner of Silk Racing, her owner, confirmed that Almond Eye will go for the $6 million Dubai Turf over 1800m and later take aim at the Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
“I spoke with her trainer Sakae Kunieda and her next run will be the Dubai Turf over 1800m,” Yonemoto said. “I think she will improve physically and mentally and expect amazing performances in 2019.” Meanwhile, Hiroaki Akita, owner of U Carrot Farm, confirmed that Rey De Oro will get another shot at the $6 million Dubai Sheema Classic. Akita said of Rey De Oro: “It is a Group One we could have won last year, so I would like to have him run again and get revenge. He has grown up over the past year.” Jockey Christophe Lemaire, record setting Champion Rider of Japan in 2018, will ride both Almond Eye and Rey De Oro in Dubai. And he added: “Almond Eye is a special horse for me. She is like (professional tennis player) Naomi Osaka, clever and powerful. If we go to the Arc, I want to win. I am French and I have not won the Arc, so I really hope to.”