2017 News

December 3, 2017


Eighth Favorite Gold Dream Revenges Last Year's Defeat by Claiming This Year's Champions Cup
Champions Cup(G1)

Champions Cup(G1)

Four-year-old Gold Dream won this year’s Champions Cup in record-tying speed of 1:50.1, which was set by Sound True last year, to claim his second G1 title following this year’s February Stakes. He is the third horse to capture JRA’s two dirt G1 races in the same year following Wing Arrow in 2000 and Transcend in 2011. Gold Dream debuted in December of his two-year-old season with a three-race winning streak and registered his first graded victory in his fifth career start in the Unicorn Stakes. Posted second favorite but finishing a disappointing 12th in last year’s Champions Cup, he promptly regained his form to score his first G1 title in the February Stakes, his kick-off start this year. However, the son of Gold Allure was below form thereafter, finishing 14th in his first overseas attempt in the Dubai World Cup in March, seventh in the Teio Sho and fifth in the previous Mile Championship Nambu Hai in October.

This win marked trainer Osamu Hirata’s third JRA-G1 title following the February Stakes with Gold Dream and the 2012 NHK Mile Cup with Curren Black Hill. Ryan Moore, who is here on a short-term license, registered his seventh JRA-G1 title following the 2016 Tenno Sho (Autumn) with Maurice. Gold Dream is the second sibling of Gold Allure (JPN, by Sunday Silence) to capture this race following Espoir City who won the race (Japan Cup Dirt) in 2009—the sire has also produced three February Stakes winners. The breeder Northern Farm, who has the record of the most annual JRA-G1 wins of nine which was set in 2005, 2008 and 2015, renewed the number to 10 with this win.

Breaking smoothly from stall nine, Gold Dream settled in the rearward position, around fifth from last, and made bid after rounding the last two corners two wide and taking the outer route entering the lane. The Gold Allure colt responded easily to Ryan Moore’s urgings and produced an impressive late charge that timed the second fastest over the last three furlongs, breezing past tiring rivals and eventually the dueling two frontrunners before the wire for a neck victory.

“It was a pleasure to ride the horse. He was a G1 winner already and he showed his class. He’s won both the two main G1 races on dirt in Japan so he’s rightly a champion. He had a lovely run. He was a little bit upset in the stall but he landed in a good spot, the race was very smooth for him and he showed good acceleration at the end. He’s a very talented horse. It’s a hard thing to do (to win both G1 dirt races in the same year) and hopefully, he can improve and win some more,” commented Ryan Moore.

Odds-on-favorite T M Jinsoku, who surged out from stall 13 to press the pace behind Copano Rickey in second, dueled strongly with the frontrunner in the stretch and, though managing to nail the front 50 meters out, was overtaken by Gold Dream in the last stride. “It was his first G1 attempt but he ran really well to the end and I thought we had won. He was able to show his best against G1 horses so I’m looking forward to his performances going forward,” commented Yoshihiro Furukawa.

Ninth pick Copano Rickey, rushing out from the innermost draw to set the pace, continued to hold on well in the lane and dueled strongly with the race favorite in the stretch but fell back in the last strides while also being overtaken by Gold Dream before the wire to finish a neck behind the runner-up in third. “We were able to set the pace in good rhythm and race in an ideal style,” said Hironobu Tanabe.

Other Horses:
4th: (2) K T Brave―chased leaders in 3rd, failed to catch up with two leaders, outrun by eventual winner 100m out but held off late chargers
“I was able to race him in good position as planned. I thought we could catch the leaders but couldn’t.” (Yuichi Fukunaga)
5th: (11) Awardee―sat 3-wide around 7th, ran willingly inside eventual winner at stretch, weakened in last 100m
“It would have been better for him if the pace was a bit faster. He seemed to race well in the left-handed course and stretched in the lane but lacked the needed last kick.” (Yutaka Take)
6th: (3) Mitsuba―raced 3-wide in 12th, angled wide and showed effort at outer stretch but belated
“We lost ground trying to take the outside route to avoid getting the sand.” (Kohei Matsuyama)
7th: (12) Kafuji Take―traveled in 11th, gradually advanced at backstretch, accelerated in last 200m, passed tired rivals
“He was able to race in good position but couldn’t accelerate smoothly turning the last corner.” (Christophe Lemaire)
8th: (10) King’s Guard―ran near rear, entered last to stretch, quickened along rails, timed fastest over last 3 furlongs
“He was a bit too keen to go in the first stages.” (Kota Fujioka)
9th: (4) Nonkono Yume―settled 3rd from rear, found little room at early stretch, showed belated effort
“We were forced to race towards the rear after a poor break and he lacked response in the stretch.” (Cristian Demuro)
10th: (8) Glanzend―positioned in 6th along rails, switched to outside for clear path at stretch, unable to reach contention
“He stretched well after finding space in the stretch.” (Hugh Bowman)
11th: (14) Sound True―sat near rear, struggled to accelerate until 200m out then quickened but was too late
“He was in good form but the pace was slower than expected and we were unable to find room at the stretch.” (Takuya Ono)
12th: (16) Rose Princedom―raced around 10th, made headway at backstretch, showed response briefly but met traffic 100m out
“I was able to race him in good position despite the widest stall. I hope he will improve going forward.” (Keita Tosaki)
13th: (6) Molto Bene―stalked leaders in 4-5th, ran gamely until 200m marker, gradually outrun by rivals
“I’m sure this experience against strong G1 caliber will improve him in his future performances.” (Shinichiro Akiyama)
14th: (5) Meisho Sumitomo―hugged rails around 8th, never fired at stretch and unable to reach contention
“We were rated in good position but the field was very competitive.” (Hayato Yoshida)
15th: (7) London Town―traveled 3-wide in 4-5th, showed little at stretch
“He was in good condition and was able to race in good position but ran out of steam at the stretch.” (Yasunari Iwata)
Scratched: (15) Apollo Kentucky―lameness on right foreleg
“He must have hit his leg after the exercise. It’s really too bad because he was in good form and the draw was good. He’ll be ok in two to three days so we should be able to race him in the Tokyo Daishoten (Ohi Racecourse, Dec.29) without any problem.” (trainer Kenji Yamauchi)

THE 18TH Champions Cup (G1) – Japan Autumn International -
3-year-olds & up, 1,800 meters (about 9 furlongs), dirt, left-handed
Sunday, December 3, 2017     Chukyo Racecourse         11th Race          Post Time: 15:30
Total prize money: ¥ 209,920,000 (about US$ 1,825,391 <US$1=¥115>)
3-y-o: 56 kg (about 124 lbs), 4-y-o & up: 57 kg (about 126 lbs)
2 kg allowance for Fillies & Mares, 2kg allowance for Southern Hemisphere-bred born in 2014
Safety factor: 16 runners

FP BK PP Horse Sex
1 5 9 Gold Dream
C4 57.0 Gold Allure
Mon Vert
R. Moore
O. Hirata
Katsumi Yoshida
Northern Farm
2 7 13 T M Jinsoku
H5 57.0 Kurofune
My Discovery
Y. Furukawa
K. Kihara
Masatsugu Takezono
Masatsugu Takezono
3 1 1 Copano Rickey
H7 57.0 Gold Allure
Copano Nikita
H. Tanabe
A. Murayama
Sachiaki Kobayashi
Yanagawa Bokujo
4 1 2 K T Brave
C4 57.0 Admire Max
K T Laurel
Y. Fukunaga
T. Meno
Kazuyoshi Takimoto
Kazuyoshi Takimoto
5 6 11
H7 57.0 Jungle Pocket
Heavenly Romance
Y. Take
M. Matsunaga
Koji Maeda
North Hills Management
6 2 3
H5 57.0 Kane Hekili
Saint Christmas
K. Matsuyama
T. Kayo
K. Kyoei
Tabata Farm
7 6 12 Kafuji Take
H5 57.0 Precise End
Take the Cake
C. Lemaire
S. Yukubo
Mamoru Kato
Hidaka Farm
8 5 10 King’s Guard
H6 57.0 Sinister Minister
Kings Berry
K. Fujioka
R. Terashima
Nisshin B.
Nisshin Farm
9 2 4 Nonkono Yume
G5 57.0 Twining
C. Demuro
Y. Kato
Kazumasa Yamada
Shadai Farm
10 4 8 Glanzend
C4 57.0 Neo Universe
H. Bowman
Y. Kato
Silk Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Farm
11 7 14 Sound True
G7 57.0 French Deputy
Kyoei Truth
T. Ono
N. Takagi
Hiroshi Yamada
Okada Stud
12 8 16 Rose Princedom
C3 56.0 Roses in May
Christian Pearl
K. Tosaki
Y. Hatakeyama
Makio Okada
Utopia Bokujo
13 3 6 Molto Bene
H5 57.0 Deep Sky
Noble Eternal
S. Akiyama
M. Matsunaga
Masayoshi Miyake
Kushiketa Bokujo
14 3 5 Meisho Sumitomo
H6 57.0 Gold Allure
H. Yoshida
K. Minai
Yoshio Matsumoto
Fujiwara Farm
15 4 7 London Town
C4 57.0 Kane Hekili
Fairy Banyan
Y. Iwata
K. Makita
Toru Makiura
Yasushi Tsumura
  8 15 Apollo Kentucky
H5 57.0 Langfuhr
Dixiana Delight
H. Uchida
K. Yamauchi
Apollo Thoroughbred Club
Doug Branham

FP=Final Position / BK=Bracket Number / PP=Post Position / B=Blinker / Wgt=Weight / L3F=Time of Last 3 Furlongs (600m)

Note1: No foreign contenders
Note2: Figures quoted under Odds are Win Odds, which show the amount of money you get back per single unit (100yen), and Fav indicates the order of favorites.

WINNING TIME: 1:50.1 GOING: Standard WEATHER: Fine
TURNOVER FOR THE DAY: ¥19,250,291,700 ATTENDANCE: 34,663

PAY-OFF (for ¥100)
WIN No.9 ¥1,300 BRACKET QUINELLA 5-7 ¥1,570 QUINELLA 9-13 ¥4,140
PLACE No.9 ¥500 QUINELLA PLACE 9-13 ¥1,830 EXACTA 9-13 ¥9,400
No.13 ¥230 1-9 ¥4,060 TRIO 1-9-13 ¥27,350
No.1 ¥560 1-13 ¥2,380 TRIFECTA 9-13-1 ¥158,490

  1. 1. Gold Dream (JPN), bay, colt, 4-year-old
    Gold Allure / Mon Vert (French Deputy)
    Owner: Katsumi Yoshida Breeder: Northern Farm
    Trainer: Osamu Hirata Jockey: Ryan Moore
    13 Starts, 6 Wins  
    Added money: ¥100,360,000 Career earnings: ¥302,134,000
    Principal Race Performances: '17 February Stakes (G1, dirt, 1,600m) 1st
    '16 Unicorn Stakes (G3, dirt, 1,600m) 1st
    '16 Hyacinth Stakes (dirt, 1,600m) 1st
    '16 Musashino Stakes (G3, dirt, 1,600m) 2nd
    '16 Hyogo Championship (dirt, 1,870m) 2nd
    '16 Japan Dirt Derby (dirt, 2,000m)) 3rd

  2. 2. T M Jinsoku (JPN), gray, horse, 5-year-old
    Kurofune / My Discovery (Forty Niner)
    Owner: Masatsugu Takezono Breeder: Masatsugu Takezono
    Trainer: Kazuyoshi Kihara Jockey: Yoshihiro Furukawa

  3. 3. Copano Rickey (JPN), chestnut, horse, 7-year-old
    Gold Allure / Copano Nikita (Timber Country)
    Owner: Sachiaki Kobayashi Breeder: Yanagawa Bokujo
    Trainer: Akira Murayama Jockey: Hironobu Tanabe
Fractional Time (sec./furlong): 12.8 - 10.9 - 12.5 - 12.7 - 12.7 - 12.3 - 12.0 - 11.8 - 12.4
Last 4 furlongs: 48.5   Last 3 furlongs: 36.2

Positions at each corner: 1st corner (*1,13)(2,6)7(8,11)5(9,16)12,3,4(10,14)
2nd corner 1,13,2(6,7)8,11,5,16(9,12)3-4,14-10
3rd corner (*1,13)(2,6,7)11,8(16,12)5(9,3)(14,4)-10
4th corner (*1,13)2(6,7)(8,11)16(5,12)(9,3)(14,4)10

Note1: Underlined bold number indicates the winning horse.
Note2: Horse numbers are indicated in the order of their positions at each corner, with the first position listed first. Two or more horses inside the same parentheses indicate that they were positioned side by side. Hyphens between the horse numbers indicate that there is distance between the former and the latter. The asterisk indicates a slight lead.

* Champions Cup (G1)
Formerly run under the name Japan Cup Dirt until 2013, the Champions Cup is no longer an invitational race and takes place at Chukyo Racecourse which is situated in Chubu region between Tokyo and Osaka. The Japan Cup Dirt, which began as the dirt version of the Japan Cup in 2000 at Tokyo Racecourse held over the 2,100-meter left-handed course until 2007, was temporarily shifted to Nakayama Racecourse over the 1,800-meter right-handed course in 2002, then held at Hanshin Racecourse, also a right-handed track and over 1,800 meters, between 2008 and 2013. The G1 dirt race continues as one of four G1 events comprising the Japan Autumn International (JAI) along with the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1, 2,200m), the Mile Championship (G1, 1,600m) and the Japan Cup (G1, 2,400m).
Lord Sterling (USA, by Black Tie Affair), who finished third in the inaugural year, was one of the first foreign contenders, while Fleetstreet Dancer (USA, by Smart Strike) became the first foreign winner in 2003. In the past, 28 runners from not only North America but also from France, Germany, Great Britain and Hong Kong have participated in the race.
The most recent foreign contender was Gun Pit (AUS, by Dubawi) from Hong Kong in 2015 who was unfortunately last to cross the wire. Battle of Midway (USA, C3, by Smart Strike), Cupid (USA, C4, by Tapit) and Mubtaahij (IRE, H5, by Dubawi) from the U.S., Lancaster Bomber (USA, C3, by War Front) and War Decree (USA, C3, by War Front) from Ireland were initially entered to run in the race this year but were withdrawn before the race.
Last year, sixth pick Sound True took an economic route near the rear, unleashed a powerful late charge that timed the fastest last three furlongs and flew passed all his rivals to pin the leader right before the wire for a neck victory.
This year’s contenders included five horses coming off the JBC Classic (dirt, 2,000m) held at NAR (National Association of Racing; local public racing) Ohi Racecourse on November 3: 2016 Best Dirt Horse Sound True who won the race to claim his third title at the highest level; Teio Sho (dirt, 2,000m; Jun.28) victor K T Brave who was one length behind in second; Mercury Cup (dirt, 2,000m) winner Mitsuba who followed in third by a neck; and last year’s Champions Cup runner-up Awardee and Tokai Stakes (G2, dirt, 1,800m; Jan.22) champion Glanzend who finished fourth and fifth, respectively. 2016 Tokyo Daishoten (G1, dirt, 2,000m) victor Apollo Kentucky was eighth in the JBC Classic but was scratched from the Champions Cup on the race day due to lameness on his right foreleg.
Coming off a runner-up effort in the JBC Sprint (dirt, 1,200m), which was held on the same course and same day as the JBC Classic, was 2015 Best Dirt Horse Copano Rickey who added the Kashiwa Kinen (dirt, 1,600m; May.5) and the Mile Championship Nambu Hai (dirt, 1,600m; Oct.9) titles before finishing a neck second in his first sprint challenge.
Four runners came off the Miyako Stakes (G3, dirt, 1,800m) held at Kyoto Racecourse on November 5: T M Jinsoku who won the race to claim his first graded title; Procyon Stakes (G3, dirt, 1,400m; Jul.9) winner King’s Guard who finished third, 3-3/4 lengths behind the winner; Antares Stakes (G3, dirt, 1,800m; Apr.15) champion Molto Bene; and Leopard Stakes (G3, dirt, 1,800m; Aug.6) victor Rose Princedom who were fifth and seventh, respectively.
Two runners that came off a fourth and a fifth in the Musashino Stakes (G3, dirt, 1,600m) held at Tokyo Racecourse on November 11 were 2015 Champions Cup runner-up Nonkono Yume and fourth-place finisher of the 2016 Champions Cup, Kafuji Take, respectively.
This year’s field also included: London Town who claimed back-to-back wins in the Elm Stakes (G3, dirt, 1,700m; Aug.13) and the Korea Cup (dirt, 1,800m); Meisho Sumitomo who won his first graded race in the Sirius Stakes (G3, dirt, 2,000m; Sep.30); and February Stakes (G1, dirt, 1,600m) winner Gold Dream who was fifth in the Mile Championship Nambu Hai.
The race record is held by Sound True who covered the 1,800-meter distance of Chukyo Racecourse in 1:50.1 last year while Nihonpiro Ours (JPN, by White Muzzle) holds the record of 1:48.8 over Hanshin’s 1,800-meter course in the 2012 Japan Cup Dirt.


Champions Cup (G1) related contents