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Joshua Tree Japan Cup Raid

Fri 22 November 2013

Joshua Tree Set for Japan Cup Raid

Joshua Tree set off on his second trip across the World on Tuesday 12th November this time his destination being Shiroi Quarantine centre in preparation for his first run in the Japan Cup.

The triple victor of The Canadian International came home briefly for two weeks before jetting off with travelling head lad Andrew Stringer and regular work rider Jason Tate on this far Eastern adventure. The handsome son of Montjeu is a seasoned traveller and takes flying in his stride, much like globe-trotting star Red Cadeaux, they both thrive in a foreign environment.

Travelling head lad Andrew Stringer commented that the track should suit Joshua Tree:

"The track here should be right up his street as he loves to gallop and this stiff mile and a half should bring out all of his fighting qualities. I think he's the real deal at the moment. He looks fantastic; he's at the top of his game."

Mr and Mrs Dunlop flew overnight on Thursday to arrive at the Tokyo track first thing on Friday morning to watch Joshua Tree stretch his legs. Mr Dunlop commented to Racing Post correspondent Nicholas Godfrey;

"Joshua Tree looks to be moving well, his weight's good and he looks well for the time of year. We're all happy, but not happy with the draw. The turf looks very dry and firm so I hope they will water it some more."

Joshua Tree will be partnered for the first time by leading jockey Johnny Murtagh, on his quest to be the first British trained horse to win the Japan Cup since Alkaased in 2005 and the fifth British horse in total after Jupiter Island, Singspiel and Pilsudski. However being drawn 16 of a 17 runner field is not ideal, on 32 previous running's no horse has ever won drawn higher than 16. Mr Dunlop commented:

"An outside draw will change plans, but I hope there is good pace and we'll leave it to the jockey because he's world-class,"

The Canadian International, which Joshua Tree won at the end of October, was one of several qualifying races for the lucrative Japan Cup bonus scheme which offers and additional £571,000 if Joshua Tree manages to be victorious in Tokyo on Sunday 24th November.

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