Racing: Islington set for Johar showdown in Japan

Keith Hamer
Tuesday 11 November 2003 01:00

Islington, the winner of the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf, will be flown from Heathrow Airport to Tokyo on 19 November to run in the Japan Cup 11 days later.

But the mare is sure to face tough opposition, particularly from another Santa Anita victor, Johar. Richard Mandella's colt, who dead-heated with High Chaparral in the Breeders' Cup Turf, is among eight overseas horses whose connections have accepted an invitation to Tokyo.

The Grade One contest is the penultimate leg of the World Series. It carries total prize-money of £2.5m.

Another Japan Cup entry is Fields Of Omagh. Trained in Australia by Tony McEvoy, he won the WS Cox Plate at Moonee Valley last month. The journey to Japan will hold no fears for another American raider, Neil Drysdale's Sarafan, as he proved himself a good traveller when a narrow runner-up to Falbrav in last year's Japan Cup.

France will be represented by both Eric Libaud's Ange Gabriel, who took last December's Hong Kong Vase, and the Philippe Demercastel-trained Ana Marie. The other two overseas entrants are the American-trained Denon and Slew Valley.

* Leicester have cut the price of admission for the start of their National Hunt season on Monday. A single-tier pricing policy is also being introduced, meaning entry to all parts of the track will be £10 instead of £11 for Tattersalls and £15 for the members' enclosure. The £10 fee, which also includes a free racecard, applies to all Leicester's meetings this winter, except for the Christmas fixture on 27 December.

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