After having asked for invitations from trainers around the world to offer to condition the $2.79-million Sunday Silence yearling he bought at the 2003 Hokkaido foal sale, owner Fusao Sekiguchi has decided to keep the colt in Japan.
Sekiguchi, who owned 2000 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Fusaichi Pegasus, had sent out an unusual proposal to the world in September. He offered the colt from the last crop of Sunday Silence to any trainer who had the ambition to train him. The colt is out of the mare Seto Flowerian, a group III stakes winner by Bellotto.
Sekiguchi received more than 25 responses from trainers all over the world, and 30 from Japan. He selected Yasutoshi Ikee, 35, a rookie who's starting his operation this spring under the Japan Racing Association.
Yasutoshi was previously assistant to his father, Yasuo Ikee, trainer of several group I winners including Hong Kong Vase winner Stay Gold, Queen Elizabeth Commemorative Cup winner To The Victory, and Japanese 2000 Guineas winner No Reason. He has also has worked for trainers Sir Michael Stoute in England and Neil Drysdale in the United States.
"This was a difficult process, but I have decided to invest my future on this young trainer," Sekiguchi said in a release. "With his worldwide experience and knowledge, combined with his challenging spirit, I instinctively knew that this was the ingredient to success."