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Japan Cup

Japan | FEATURE RACE GUIDE

History

almond eye winning the japan cup in tokyo japan
ALMOND EYE winning the Japan Cup in Tokyo, Japan. Picture: Japan Racing Association

The Japan Cup is a Grade 1 race run under Weight For Age conditions for open class stayers at Tokyo racecourse conducted by the Japan Racing Association.
The Japan Cup is run over 2400m. It was first run in 1981 and was won by Mairzy Doates.
It is an invitational race for horses all around the world. Restricted initially to only Japan, USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and India, it was quickly opened up.
The Japan Cup is worth JPY648,000,000 in 2019 (approx. AUD7.8million) plus bonuses awarded for certain international race winners.
Tokyo racecourse is a left handed course with the mile and a half start in the home straight. There is some undulation on the track but home running is relatively flat.
The 2002 Japan Cup was run at Nakayama over 2200m.
Gentildonna is the only horse to win two Japan Cups. Buena Vista won in 2010 but lost on protest. She would get revenge 12 months later.
Numerous countries have trained the winner of the Japan Cup. USA, Ireland, Britain, France, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, Italy and of course Japan have all tasted success.
Three year olds have won the race seven times.
The most successful jockey is Yutaka Take who has four wins on TM Opera O, Deep Impact, Rose Kingdom and Kitasan Black. Next with three are Frankie Dettori and Yasunari Iawata.
Several trainers have two wins including Sir Michael Stoute.
In consecutive years, Australasia had two grand stayers win the Japan Cup.
Horlicks was a top kiwi mare who won G1s at home and in Australia. She won the Mackinnon then went to Tokyo where she won in 1989. She was left in front a long way from home but held on in a world record time of 2.22.20.
A year later, in front of a crowd 164,000 deep, Better Loosen Up was so brave for Michael Clarke and David Hayes.
Another Aussie in the race, Stylish Century, led early.
Coming to the turn Better Loosen Up was midfield but ten lengths off the front. Clarke made his move at the turn but Cacoethes to his inside and Ode out wider were in for the fight. He drove through the centre and once in a battle, Better Loosen Up rarely lost them. His win was one to savour.
After him others tried and ran top races. Shaftesbury Avenue placed in 1991 for Bart Cummings and then twelve months on, Lee Freedman’s Naturalism overcame some terrible hoof issues to be beaten a head into second. Let’s Elope was also in that race.
Australia’s leading jockey Hugh Bowman continued his amazing 2017 season by taking the Japan Cup on Cheval Grand.
A brilliant Japanese filly Almond Eye etched her name into history winning a great race in 2018 and running an incredible time of 2:20.60 for the mile and a half.
Notable winners of the Japan Cup include Almond Eye (2018), Kitasan Black (2016), Gentildonna (2012/2013), Buena Vista (2011), Vodka (2009), Deep Impact (2006), Zenno Rob Roy (2004), Falbrav (2002), Pilsudski (1997), Singspiel (1996), Better Loosen Up (1990), Horlicks (1989) and Le Glorieux (1987).
The 2018 Japan Cup was won by Almond Eye from Kiseki and Suave Richard.


Racing and Sports

Previous Japan Cup Winners

Date Horse Jockey WT Trainer BP
ALMOND EYE (JPN) 3F
LORD KANALOA (JPN) - FUSAICHI PANDORA (JPN) SUNDAY SILENCE (USA)
C P LEMAIRE 53.0 SAKAE KUNIEDA 1
CHEVAL GRAND (JPN) 5H
HEART'S CRY (JPN) - HALWA SWEET (JPN) MACHIAVELLIAN (USA)
J BOWMAN 57.0 Y TOMOMICHI 1
KITASAN BLACK (JPN) 4H
BLACK TIDE (JPN) - SUGAR HEART (JPN) SAKURA BAKUSHIN O (JPN)
YUTAKA TAKE 57.0 H SHIMIZU 1
SHONAN PANDORA (JPN) 4M
DEEP IMPACT (JPN) - CUTIE GOLD (JPN) FRENCH DEPUTY (USA)
K IKEZOE 55.0 TOMOKAZU TAKANO 15
EPIPHANEIA (JPN) 4H
SYMBOLI KRIS S (USA) - CESARIO (JPN) SPECIAL WEEK (JPN)
C SOUMILLON 57.0 KATSUHIKO SUMII 4
GENTILDONNA (JPN) 4M
DEEP IMPACT (JPN) - DONNA BLINI (GB) BERTOLINI (USA)
RYAN MOORE 55.0 S ISHIZAKA 7
GENTILDONNA (JPN) 3F
DEEP IMPACT (JPN) - DONNA BLINI (GB) BERTOLINI (USA)
Y IWATA 53.0 S ISHIZAKA 15
BUENA VISTA (JPN) 5M
SPECIAL WEEK (JPN) - BIWA HEIDI (JPN) CAERLEON (USA)
Y IWATA 55.0 H MATSUDA 2
ROSE KINGDOM (JPN) 3C
KING KAMEHAMEHA (JPN) - ROSEBUD (JPN) SUNDAY SILENCE (USA)
YUTAKA TAKE 55.0 K HASHIGUCHI 6
VODKA (JPN) 5M
TANINO GIMLET (JPN) - TANINO SISTER (JPN) ROUSILLON (USA)
C P LEMAIRE 55.0 KATSUHIKO SUMII 5
SCREEN HERO (JPN) 4H
GRASS WONDER (USA) - RUNNING HEROINE (JPN) SUNDAY SILENCE (USA)
M DEMURO 57.0 Y SHIKATO 16
ADMIRE MOON (JPN) 4H
END SWEEP (USA) - MY KATIES (JPN) SUNDAY SILENCE (USA)
Y IWATA 57.0 H MATSUDA 4
DEEP IMPACT (JPN) 4H
SUNDAY SILENCE (USA) - WIND IN HER HAIR (IRE) ALZAO (USA)
YUTAKA TAKE 57.0 YASUO IKEE 6
ALKAASED (USA) 5H
KINGMAMBO (USA) - CHESA PLANA (GB) NINISKI (USA)
L DETTORI 57.0 L M CUMANI 14
ZENNO ROB ROY (JPN) 4H
SUNDAY SILENCE (USA) - ROAMIN RACHEL (USA) MINING (USA)
O PESLIER 57.0 K FUJISAWA 9
TAP DANCE CITY (USA) 6H
PLEASANT TAP (USA) - ALL DANCE (USA) NORTHERN DANCER (CAN)
TETSUZO SATO 57.0 SHUICHI SASAKI 1
FALBRAV (IRE) 4H
FAIRY KING (USA) - GIFT OF THE NIGHT (USA) SLEWPY (USA)
L DETTORI 57.0 L D' AURIA 1
JUNGLE POCKET (JPN) 3C
TONY BIN (IRE) - DANCE CHARMER (USA) NUREYEV (USA)
O PESLIER 55.5 S WATANABE
T M OPERA O (JPN) 4H
OPERA HOUSE (GB) - ONCE WED (USA) BLUSHING GROOM (FR)
R WADA 57.0 I IWAMOTO

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