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Japan Cup

The Japan Cup is a race run over one-and-a-half miles at Tokyo racecourse and is open to horses aged three years or older and is the most prestigious race in Japan.

Established in 1981, the inaugural race was won by the United States-trained Mairzy Doates who won for John Fulton.  Since then the race has grown in stature and now attracts some of the leading middle distance horses from all over the world and offers a prize in excess of three million dollars to the winner, which has become the second richest race in the world behind the Dubai World Cup.

As the Japan Cup began to attract more and more interest from all over the world it wasn't long before the UK and Irish trainers had it on their radar and in 1983 the Frank Dunne-trained Stanerra took the crown for Ireland, which capped off a year that saw the five-year-old win the Hardwicke Stakes and the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot.

It wasn't long before the UK bagged their first winner and it came in 1986 when Pat Eddery rode the Clive Brittain-trained Jupiter Island to success in an expert ride from the Irishman.

There was to be a decade before the Brits could bag another success in the race and it was the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Singspiel who followed up a plethora of Group wins in the UK to win the 1996 Japan Cup.

Amazingly, Stoute retained his title a year later as Irish Champion Stakes and Eclipse Stakes winner Pilsudski won the Japan Cup in 1997 ridden by Frankie Dettori to keep the crown in Britain.

Dettori bagged his second Japan Cup in 2002 as he partnered the Luciano d'Auria-trained Falbrav before notching up the hat-trick aboard Luca Cumani's Alkaased in 2005 to sit as the most successful jockey in the race. 

Yutake Take's win aboard Rose Kingdom propelled him to three victorires at a jockey to join Dettori at the top of the leading jockey's standings in 2010.

Recent Winners of Japan Cup

  • 2000 - T M Opera O
  • 2001 - Jungle Pocket
  • 2002 - Falbrav
  • 2003 - Tap Dance City
  • 2004 - Zenno Rob Roy
  • 2005 - Alkaased
  • 2006 - Deep Impact
  • 2007 - Admire Moon
  • 2008 - Screen Hero
  • 2009 - Vodka
  • 2010 - Rose Kingdom
  • 2011 - Buena Vista
  • 2012 - Gentildonna

 


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