Qualification: 3yr old and up by invitation. Comprises 18 runners with up to 10 Internationals.
Distance: 2400 metres
Course Record: 2:22.10 Alkaased 2005
Track: Turf, left handed.
Track Bias: The track consists of a long front and back straight joined by 2 fairly tight corners and a circumference of 2,083m. The 2400m start is in the front straight and runners pass the winning post for the first time before heading round the 1st corner into the long back straight. Runners will often be strung out in the back straight but as the field heads into the last turn they start to compact, there is little or no bias to racing on pace or well back, or to the inside or outside barriers.
History: First run in 1981 The Japan Cup was conceived as the richest staying race on turf and the special bonuses on top of the very generous prize money make it an attractive event for international performers. Winners of this race who have also succeeded in other classic races such as the Prix de L’Arc du Triomphe (France), the Arlington Million (USA) and the Cox Plate (Australia) can expect up to ¥130 million (approx. US$1.5million) bonus on top of their prize money. In recent years Japanese horses have dominated the event, following the growing depth of staying talent being developed there.
Past Winners: 1981 Mairzy Doates (USA), 1990 Better Loosen Up (Aust) 1989 Horlicks (NZ), 1996 Singspiel (IRE) 2009 Vodka (JPN)
Lead Up Form: Tenno Sho, Cox Plate, Prix de L’Arc du Triomphe, Arlington Million.
Related Races: Mile Championship, Japan Cup Dirt.
Statistics & Trends: This is a tough race usually run in fast times with an undulating track that might not suit all runners. The winner will be a horse whose training has been geared to run fast final sectional times at the end of a hard 2400m race. Frankie Detorri is the most successful jockey, recording 3 wins to date.
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