Arc trip not ideal for Just A Way but rider excited

Just A Way

Just A Way: yet to win beyond 1m2f

  PICTURE: Masakazu Takahashi  

YUICHI FUKUNAGA, in Britain to compete on the Rest of the World team in the Shergar Cup, is relishing the opportunity to partner runaway Meydan winner Just A Way in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, but concedes the distance of Europe’s richest race is not ideal for the talented five-year-old.

Trained by Naosuke Sugai, Just A Way produced one of the best performances of the year when slamming Vercingetorix by six and a quarter lengths in the Dubai Duty Free in March under Fukunaga, who was suspended when the son of Heart’s Cry captured another Grade 1 at Tokyo in June.

The rider, the son of former champion jockey Yoichi Fukunaga, will be back on board at Longchamp in October, when Just A Way will bid to break Japan’s duck in the Arc.

He can be backed at 10-1, although Paddy Power go just 7-1, and Fukunaga said: “To win the Arc is a dream of Japanese people so I am very excited to ride in the race for the first time. Just A Way prefers fast ground. It’s true it was soft ground last time, but as you could see in Dubai he prefers it quick.

“The trip is not ideal and it will be the first time for the horse to run in a race of that distance, but rather than feeling nervous about it I’m more excited. His ideal distance is nine or ten furlongs. Just A Way’s strength is at the finish, where he can quicken – he passes the line really strongly.”


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