BigDaddy News

Horse Racing News

Namur Stands Out in Victoria Mile on HK and Dubai Form

Namur  stands out among 15 fillies and mares entered for the Victoria Mile (G1) May 12 at Tokyo Racecourse. The Victoria Mile is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series event, granting the winner an automatic berth and fees paid to the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1T) in November at Del Mar.

The 5-year-old Harbinger  mare comes into the race on a roll of international success—not always as the winner but certainly in the best circles. And her trainer, Tomokazu Takano, says the best is yet to come.

The purple patch started after an equally slow period in the middle of 2023 which saw Namur finish seventh in the Victoria Mile, then 16th in the Yasuda Kinen (G1) in June.

After a short break, she returned with a victory in the Fuji Stakes (G2) at Tokyo Oct. 21, then won the Mile Championship (G1) at Kyoto Racecourse Nov. 19. She then went on the road to tackle some of the world’s best.

In December, she was third in the Hong Kong Mile (G1), a race won by the remarkable Golden Sixty. From there, it was off to Dubai and an agonizing second-place finish just a short head behind Facteur Cheval  in the Dubai Turf (G1T) going 1,800 meters (about 1 1/8 miles).

Sign up for

“Finishing second in the Dubai Turf was frustrating,” Takano said. “But the race itself reminded me of her high potential and sense of presence. Her performance left no room for complaint whatsoever.

“I could feel from early on that this horse had a lot to offer, and everything has happened as I’d anticipated—the way she gains strength, the good condition when she goes into a race, thinking that if she would run at her own rhythm, she would be highly competitive in a grade 1,” he added.

Takano noted Namur’s training has been compressed since her return from Dubai because of quarantine requirements. But, he added, “I was able to take the baton, and hopefully I’ve added the finishing touches. I think she’ll go to the gate in good shape.”

She will enter stall 10 in a field of 15 with Yutaka Take set to ride.

Namur’s rivals in the Victoria Mile have less impressive résumés, though a few have bright spots.

Masked Diva has won three of her last five starts, most recently the Hanshin Himba Stakes (G2) at 1,600 meters (about one mile) April 6. She was second to eventual 3-year-old filly champion Liberty Island  in the 2023 Shuka Sho (G1) at 2,000 meters (about 1 1/4 miles) last autumn at Kyoto. She is a 4-year-old daughter of Rulership .

Trainer Yasuyuki Tsujino said of Masked Diva, “From the start of this year, she has continued to mature. She’s well filled out, looking sharp and I think she’s very near to her peak condition.”

Umbrail will try to shake a bad case of “second-itis”. The 4-year-old Lord Kanaloa  filly has finished second in three of her last four starts including the NHK Mile Cup (G1) just more than a year ago. The most recent bridesmaid appearance was behind Masked Diva in the Hanshin Himba.

“She is full of energy, but she doesn’t seem serious about racing,” said trainer Tetsuya Kimura. “I’m working on it though and studying how to remedy that.”

Stunning Rose is the only other grade 1 winner in the field. The 5-year-old captured the 2022 Shuka Sho but has not made the frame while making just four starts since that race.

Leave feedback about this

  • Quality
  • Price
  • Service


Add Field


Add Field
Choose Image
Choose Video

Want To Earn From Skills ?

Bonus On New ID