2018 News

December 2, 2018


Three-Year-Old Le Vent Se Leve Marks Clear Victory in Record-Tying time in This Year's Champions Cup
Champions cup(G1)

Champions cup(G1)

Odds-on-favorite Le Vent Se Leve won this year’s Champions Cup in record-tying speed of 1:50.1 and extended his winning streak to four. He is the fourth three-year-old to claim the race (including the Japan Cup Dirt) following Kurofune (2001), Kane Hekili (2005) and Alondite (2006). Scoring three consecutive wins in his three starts as a two-year-old including the Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun (dirt, 1,600m), the son of Symboli Kris S marked a runner-up effort in his first start of this season then won three successive races, the Unicorn Stakes (G3, dirt, 1,600m), the Japan Dirt Derby (dirt, 2,000m) and the Mile Championship Nambu Hai (dirt, 1,600m), before coming into this race. This win marked trainer Kiyoshi Hagiwara’s second JRA-G1 victory following the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) with Logi Universe in 2009. For jockey Mirco Demuro, it was his 26th JRA-G1 win following this year’s Osaka Hai with Suave Richard and second Champions Cup victory following his win with Sambista in 2015.

Breaking smoothly from stall two, odds-on-favorite Le Vent Se Leve was unusually positioned toward the front, second or third behind frontrunner Ange Desir. The three-year-old bay traveled along the rails up to the top of the homestretch then overtook the frontrunner from the outside 200 meters out where he accelerated powerfully with the second fastest late drive, pulling away from the rest of the field for a 2-1/2-length victory.

“I didn’t want to be trapped behind horses starting from an inside draw, and he broke well so we were able to sit in a nice position. I let him cruise at his own pace and he responded with a fantastic turn of speed when I asked him once we found an opening at the stretch. He is a colt with great potential and a bright future ahead,” commented Mirco Demuro.

Eighth choice Westerlund broke well from stall 12 then eased back to travel in the very rear, 4-5 lengths behind the rest of the field. The six-year-old son of Neo Universe hugged the rails rounding the last two corners and slipped behind the eventual winner at the top of the stretch, waited for a clear path to present itself between Sunrise Soar and Ange Desir when he exerted an explosive late charge that timed the fastest last three furlongswhile unable to match the winner in second..

Third pick Sunrise Soar traveled two wide in mid-division, around sixth from the front, made bid from the outside after turning the last corner wide and managed to nail Ange Desir 100 meters out but was overtaken by Westerlund in the last strides to finish third.

U.S.-trained Pavel broke sharply and then allowed to settle in fifth or sixth, held his position up to the last turn but failed to respond when asked after entering the stretch and faded to last.

“It’s so different here, the wait (45min from the saddling area to the starting gate) is so long, the horse lost his motivation, but racing here was a good experience,” commented jockey Mario Gutierrez. “He was good and ran a good race but as Mario said, it was a long wait and when he loaded into the gate, he was all quiet and you could tell that he had lost his racing mood. But that’s racing and I am pleased with him,” added trainer Leandro Mora.

Other Horses:
4th: (1) Ange Desir—set pace, surrendered lead to winner at 200m pole, showed tenacity but overtaken by Sunrise Soar and Westerlund in last 100m
5th: (11) Omega Perfume—traveled 3-wide in mid-division, angled out at early stretch, quickened in last 200m
6th: (7) Sunrise Nova—sat 3rd from rear, circled wide, showed belated charge
7th: (5) Nonkono Yume—unhurried early in 2nd from rear, wide into straight, never a threat
8th: (13) Mitsuba—traveled 3-wide in mid-division, brief effort entering stretch but unable to reach contention
9th: (14) Hiraboku la Tache—rushed out of the gate for front position, ran in 3rd just behind eventual winner, no match with the winning speed and overtaken by late closers
10th: (6) Asukano Roman—saved ground in mid-field, unable to keep up with increasing pace at straight
11th: (8) K T Brave—raced between rivals in mid-pack, 8 lengths from leader, even paced
12th: (10) Centurion—rated in mid-field inside rival, angled out early stretch, unable to launch bid
13th: (15) Incantation—chased leader in front group, tired 300 meters out and faded
14th: (4) Apollo Kentucky—sat 3rd or 4th from rear, brief effort into straight but flattened

THE 19TH CHAMPIONS CUP (G1) – Japan Autumn International -
3-year-olds & up, 1,800 meters (about 9 furlongs), dirt, left-handed
Sunday, December 2, 2018     Chukyo Racecourse         11th Race          Post Time: 15:30
Total prize money: ¥ 216,000,000 (about US$ 1,963,636 <US$1=¥110>)
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 2015
Safety factor: 16 runners

FP BK PP Horse Sex
1 2 2 Le Vent Se Leve
C3 56.0 Symboli Kris S
M. Demuro
K. Hagiwara
G1 Racing Co., Ltd.
Shadai Corporation Inc.
2 7 12 Westerlund
G6 57.0 Neo Universe
Y. Fujioka
S. Sasaki
Sunday Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Racing
3 5 9 Sunrise Soar
C4 57.0 Symboli Kris S
J. Moreira
H. Kawachi
Takao Matsuoka
Tomita Bokujo
4 1 1 Ange Desir
F4 55.0 Deep Impact
Tickle Pink
N. Yokoyama
M. Kon
Koji Yasuhara
Tsuji Bokujo
5 6 11 Omega Perfume
C3 56.0 Swept Overboard
Omega Fragrance
C. Demuro
S. Yasuda
Reiko Hara
Shadai Farm
6 4 7 Sunrise Nova
C4 57.0 Gold Allure
Bright Sapphire
K. Tosaki
H. Otonashi
Takao Matsuoka
Yanagawa Bokujo
7 3 5 Nonkono Yume
G6 57.0 Twining
H. Uchida
Y. Kato
Chizu Yoshida
Shadai Farm
8 7 13 Mitsuba
H6 57.0 Kane Hekili
Saint Christmas
K. Matsuyama
T. Kayo
K. Kyoei
Tabata Farm
9 8 14 Hiraboku la Tache
C3 56.0 Kinshasa no Kiseki
Hiraboku Win
H. Shii
R. Okubo
Hirata Farms Co., Ltd.
Tsuji Bokujo
10 4 6 Asukano Roman
H7 57.0 Agnes Digital
Asukano Himiko
K. Dazai
Y. Kawamura
Chiro Toyoda
Chiro Toyoda
11 5 8 K T Brave
H5 57.0 Admire Max
K T Laurel
Y. Fukunaga
H. Sugiyama
Kazuyoshi Takimoto
Kazuyoshi Takimoto
12 6 10 Centurion
H6 57.0 King Kamehameha
Hundred Score
H. Yoshida
Y. Tamura
Yasushi Kubota
Oiwake Farm
13 8 15 Incantation
H8 57.0 Sinister Minister
Original Spin
K. Miura
T. Hatsuki
Turf Sport
Tanikawa Stud
14 3 4 Apollo Kentucky
H6 57.0 Langfuhr
Dixiana Delight
F. Komaki
K. Yamauchi
Apollo Thoroughbred Club
Doug Branham
15 2 3 Pavel*
C4 57.0 Creative Cause
Mons Venus
M. Gutierrez
L. Mora
Reddam Racing LLC.
Brereton C. Jones & WinStar Farm LLC
FP=Final Position / BK=Bracket Number / PP=Post Position / Wgt=Weight / L3F=Time of Last 3 Furlongs (600m)
Note1: *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: ¥ 20,191,835,400 ATTENDANCE: 32,498

PAY-OFF (for ¥100)
WIN No.2 ¥190 BRACKET QUINELLA 2-7 ¥2,250 QUINELLA 2-12 ¥3,000
PLACE No.2 ¥110 QUINELLA PLACE 2-12 ¥930 EXACTA 2-12 ¥3,890
No.12 ¥440 2-9 ¥320 TRIO 2-9-12 ¥6,090
No.9 ¥200 9-12 ¥2,140 TRIFECTA 2-12-9 ¥27,310

  1. 1. Le Vent Se Leve (JPN), bay, colt, 3-year-old
    Symboli Kris S / Maestrale (Neo Universe)
    Owner: G1 Racing Co., Ltd. Breeder: Shadai Corporation Inc.
    Trainer: Kiyoshi Hagiwara Jockey: Mirco Demuro
    8 Starts, 7 Wins  
    Added money: ¥103,360,000 Career earnings: ¥288,444,000

  2. 2. Westerlund (JPN), chestnut, gelding, 6-year-old
    Neo Universe / Uanme (Marquetry)
    Owner: Sunday Racing Co., Ltd. Breeder: Northern Racing
    Trainer: Shozo Sasaki Jockey: Yusuke Fujioka

  3. 3. Sunrise Soar (JPN), dark bay or brown, colt, 4-year-old
    Symboli Kris S / Amelia (Special Week)
    Owner: Takao Matsuoka Breeder: Tomita Bokujo
    Trainer: Hiroshi Kawachi Jockey: Joao Moreira
Fractional Time (sec./furlong): 12.8 - 11.2 - 13.1 - 12.5 - 12.3 - 12.3 - 12.3 - 11.7 - 11.9
Last 4 furlongs: 48.2 Last 3 furlongs: 35.9

Positions at each corner: 1st corner 1(2,14)15(3,9)13(6,8,11)10-4,7,5-12
2nd corner 1-2(14,15)(3,9)13(6,8,11)10-4,7-5-12
3rd corner 1,14(2,15)9(6,3)(8,13)10(11,4)7,5-12
4th corner 1,14(2,15)9,6(10,3,8,13)11,4(12,7)5

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 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. Thirteen of the past 18 winners of the Champions Cup, which is one of JRA’s two dirt G1 races along with the February Stakes (G1, dirt, 1,600m), have won the season’s JRA Award for Best Dirt Horse.
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 and this year’s race welcomed Stephen Foster Handicap (G1, dirt, 1,800m) winner Pavel from the U.S.
Last year’s champion and Best Dirt Horse Gold Dream (JPN, H5, by Gold Allure) withdrew his entry this year due to a minor muscle strain. Le Vent Se Leve came off a win in the Mile Championship Nambu Hai (dirt, 1,600m; Oct.8) where he beat Gold Dream by two lengths and became the first three-year-old to win the race. Key runners coming off the JBC Classic (dirt, 1,900m; Nov.4) were K T Brave (1st), Omega Perfume (2nd), Sunrise Soar (3rd) and this year’s February Stakes champion Nonkono Yume (4th). The field also included the JBC Ladies’ Classic (dirt, 1,800m; Nov.4) winner Ange Desir and the Musashino Stakes (G3, dirt, 1,600m; Nov.10) winner Sunrise Nova.
The race record is held by Sound True (JPN, by French Deputy) who covered the 1,800-meter distance of Chukyo Racecourse in 1:50.1 in 2016 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.


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