05/17/2007 11:00PM

Pink Cameo looks up to Japanese Oaks task


Pink Cameo came flying home to beat colts in winning the Grade 1 NHK Mile Cup two weeks ago, suggesting that she should be able to handle the return to filly company coupled with a step up to 1 1/2 miles required by the $1.88 million Yushun Himba, or Japanese Oaks, at Tokyo on Sunday.

Trained by Sakae Kunieda for Kaneko Makoto, the man who campaigned the great Deep Impact, Pink Cameo is a French Deputy filly out of a Silver Hawk mare. While it is not written in stone that those bloodlines will enable her to stay 12 furlongs, she may have a slight class edge on her 17 opponents.

Chief among them is Bella Rheia, the winner of Tokyo's Grade 2 Flora Stakes at 1 1/4 miles on April 22.

Also dangerous is Katamachi Botan, the third-place finisher in the one-mile Japanese 1000 Guineas at Hanshin on April 8.

Fillies have emerged from each of the last three Japanese Oaks to finish first or second in Hollywood Park's American Oaks, which will be run this year on July 7.

* A Japanese invader could make off with the $1.96 million Singapore Airlines International Cup at Kranji on Sunday, but it may not be defending champ Cosmo Bulk, who is winless in four starts since having taken last year's 1 1/4-mile Group 1 contest.

Shadow Gaze, second last time to 2006 Japanese Derby winner Meisho Samson in the 1 1/4-mile Grade 2 Osaka Hai, arrives in Singapore in top form. He finished well ahead of the eighth-place Cosmo Bulk in the Osaka Hai and should be good enough to hold off recent Queen Elizabeth II Cup sixth Oracle West, Prix Ganay third Doctor Dino, and local favorites Royal Admiral and Crusoe.