05/12/2017 3:42PM

Japan: Resurgent mare Mikki Queen primed for Victoria Mile

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Mikki Queen, the winner of the Grade 1 Japanese Oaks in 2015, had a quiet 2016 season at 4, going winless in four starts, all Grade 1 or Grade 2 races in Japan.

Her 2017 season at 5 is off to a much brighter start, with a win in the Group 2 Hanshin Himba Stakes on April 8. The victory has led to hopes Mikki Queen can win her fourth graded stakes in Sunday’s Grade 1 Victoria Mile for fillies and mares at Tokyo Racecourse.

Mikki Queen is likely to be favored in a field of 18 in the $1,599,365 Victoria Mile. Mikki Queen won the Hanshin Himba Stakes for her first win in 17 months.

“Her work before the Hanshin Himba Stakes was some of the best yet,” trainer Yasutoshi Ikee told Japan Racing Association publicity. “In the race, she had a decent start and was able to get into position.

“We once thought we would have to retire her, but I think she has made a complete comeback.”

Mikki Queen was second in the 2016 Victoria Mile and later third in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup last November to Queens Ring, who is part of Sunday’s Victoria Mile field.

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Queens Ring was 15th in the Hanshin Himba Stakes.

Let’s Go Donki races against females after finishing second against males in the Grade 1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen at Chukyo Racecourse on March 26. Let’s Go Donki won the Grade 1 Japanese 1000 Guineas in 2015.

All 18 fillies and mares in the field were bred in Japan.