11/11/2010 12:25PM

Ave looking good for Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Ave, winner of the Flower Bowl Invitaitonal, will make her next start in the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup at Kyoto on Sunday.

Roger Attfield reports from Kyoto Racecourse that his Flower Bowl Invitational winner Ave is on course for her Sunday assignment in the $2.3 million Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup. After watching her gallop around the right-handed turf course Thursday, the Woodbine-based Englishman pronounced himself pleased with her condition.

“She is eating well, and I was quite happy with what I saw this morning,” he said. “She is also keeping her weight well, gaining nine pounds since we weighed her last time.”

Ave arrived in Japan at Narita International Airport last Thursday morning, after which she was vanned to the Japan Racing Association quarantine center in Shiroi near Tokyo. The 4-year-old daughter of Danehill Dancer arrived at Kyoto on Wednesday after a seven-hour van ride from Shiroi.

“I was hoping the track would be a little bit softer,” Attfield lamented. “I’ve been looking at the weather forecast for the area, and it looks like there’s been quite a bit of rain, but not here at Kyoto.”

Attfield is keeping his fingers crossed concerning the draw for the 1 3/8-mile, Grade 1 race, which will have a full field of 18, including English and Irish Oaks winner Snow Fairy and Japanese Fillies Triple Crown winner Apapane.

“Looking at the configuration of the track, I’d like a draw in the middle or to the outside, rather than the inside,” he said. “Javier Castellano will ride her Friday morning, when we plan to send her three furlongs in 37 seconds.”

Snow Fairy breezed a half-mile on the Kyoto turf course Thursday morning under the watchful eye of trainer Ed Dunlop.

“She had a little bit of a blow through the stretch and seemed to get it well,” Dunlop reported. “A lot depends on the draw. I don’t want to see her all the way outside.”

A daughter of Intikhab, Snow Fairy will be reunited Sunday with Ryan Moore, who rode her to victory in both the English and Irish Oaks this summer.

In other news, the Ian Black-trained Fifty Proof, second in the Northern Dancer Turf and fifth in the Canadian International, will take on Arc runner-up Nakayama Festa and leading Japanese older filly Buena Vista in the $6.1 million Japan Cup at Tokyo on Nov. 28. On Thursday, the Japan Racing Association announced that two American horses, the Neil Drysdale-trained Bourbon Bay and the Michelle Nihei-trained Prince Will I Am, have been nominated to the $4.2 million Arima Kinen, a 1 9/16-mile, Grade 1 contest run at Nakayama on Dec. 26.

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