2019 News

November 24, 2019


Suave Richard Captures Second G1 Title with Japan Cup Victory
Japan Cup (G1)

Japan Cup (G1)

Third favorite Suave Richard claimed this year’s Japan Cup while capturing his much awaited second G1 title since his Osaka Hai victory last year and has now collected five grade-race titles. After the Osaka Hai, he marked four third-place finishes—the Yasuda Kinen (1,600m) and the Japan Cup last year, along with the Dubai Sheema Classic (2,410m) and the Takarazuka Kinen (2,200m) earlier this season. The five-year-old bounced back remarkably today from his recent Tenno Sho (Autumn) (G1, 2,000m) start in which he was seventh. For trainer Yasushi Shono, this is his second JRA-G1 title following the Osaka Hai victory with Suave Richard and jockey Oisin Murphy, who is riding under a short-term license, has now landed his first G1 and second graded victory following the G3 Negishi Stakes he claimed in January this year.

The 15-horse field broke in front of the stands on the soggy track with Daiwa Cagney, Danburite and Win Tenderness disputing for the lead. Apart from four horses trailing far behind, the leading group was tightly bunched up cruising down the backstretch with Suave Richard relaxed in seventh to eighth, four to five lengths from the pace on the rails. As the field fanned out at the top of the stretch, Suave Richard kicked into gear surging through an opening near the rails, inherited the lead from the tiring frontrunner before the furlong marker and dueled briefly with the strong challenge of Curren Bouquetd’or. However, the chestnut easily pulled away, showing a stronger drive to the wire to notch a 3/4-length win.

Breaking from the inner-most stall, fifth favorite Curren Bouquetd’or saved ground in third to fourth, entered the straight in second and fought the eventual winner at the furlong marker but failed to further threaten while putting in a good runner-up effort.

Sent off second favorite, 2018 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) victor Wagnerian travelled in sixth behind Curren Bouquetd’or along the backstretch, dropped back to eighth when the others started making their bids rounding the last turn, but finding a clear path in the middle of the straight, unleashed a furious charge, tagging the pace-setter 100 meters out for a 2-1/4 length third.

Race favorite and 2017 Japan Cup runner-up Rey de Oro, saved ground in eighth or ninth behind the eventual winner and ran willingly but was through by the furlong pole, fading to 11th—his first double-digit finish.

Other Horses:
4th: (14) Makahiki—trailed in rear, switched to the outside 300m out, showed belated charge, timed fastest over last 3 furlongs
5th: (6) You Can Smile—hugged rails in 12th, circled wide, accelerated with too much ground to make to threaten top finishers
6th: (7) Daiwa Cagney—set pace, showed tenacity after surrendering lead, outrun in last 100m
7th: (13) Etario—sat 3-wide in 4th, ran gamely until 200m pole, weakened thereafter
8th: (4) Muito Obrigado—settled behind eventual winner, found little room at early stretch, never fired
9th: (11) Cheval Grand—traveled 3-wide around 7th, showed little at stretch
10th: (9) Look Twice—raced 3rd from rear, never a threat
12th: (3) Win Tenderness—chased pace in third, gradually retreated before last turn
13th: (15) Jinambo—took wide trip in 9th, showed effort in early stretch, even paced thereafter
14th: (10) Danburite—broke well, pressed pace, maintained second in early stretch, faded
15th: (12) Taisei Trail—trailed second from rear, entered lane last, never a factor

The 39th Japan Cup (G1) in association with LONGINES - Deep Impact Memorial – Japan Autumn International –
3-year-olds & up, 2,400 meters (about 12 furlongs), turf, left-handed
Sunday, November 24, 2019    Tokyo Racecourse      11th Race        Post Time: 15:40
Total prize money: ¥ 648,000,000 (about US$ 5,634,783 <US$1=¥115>)
3-y-o: 55 kg (about 121 lbs), 4-y-o & up: 57 kg (about 126 lbs)
2 kg allowance for Fillies & Mares, 2 kg allowance for Southern Hemisphere-bred born in 2016
Safety factor: 18 runners

FP BK PP Horse Sex
1 3 5 Suave Richard
H5 57.0 Heart’s Cry
O. Murphy
Y. Shono
NICKS Co., Ltd.
Northern Racing
2 1 1 Curren Bouquetd’or
F3 53.0 Deep Impact
A. Tsumura
S. Kunieda
Takashi Suzuki
Shadai Farm
3 2 2 Wagnerian
C4 57.0 Deep Impact
Miss Encore
Y. Kawada
Y. Tomomichi
Kaneko Makoto Holdings Co., Ltd.
Kaneko Makoto Holdings Inc.
4 8 14 Makahiki
H6 57.0 Deep Impact
Y. Take
Y. Tomomichi
Kaneko Makoto Holdings Co., Ltd.
Kaneko Makoto Holdings Inc.
5 4 6 You Can Smile
C4 57.0 King Kamehameha
Mood Indigo
Y. Iwata
Y. Tomomichi
Kaneko Makoto Holdings Co., Ltd.
Kaneko Makoto Holdings Inc.
6 4 7
Daiwa Cagney
H5 57.0 King Kamehameha
S. Ishibashi
T. Kikuzawa
Keizo Oshiro
Shadai Farm
7 7 13
C4 57.0 Stay Gold
Hot Cha Cha
N. Yokoyama
Y. Tomomichi
G Riviere·Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Farm
8 3 4 Muito Obrigado
H5 57.0 Rulership
Pisa no Graf
C. Lemaire
K. Tsunoda
Ichikawa Yoshimi Holdings Co., Ltd.
Yoshimi Ichikawa
9 6 11 Cheval Grand
H7 57.0 Heart’s Cry
Halwa Sweet
C. Soumillon
Y. Tomomichi
Kazuhiro Sasaki
Northern Racing
10 5 9 Look Twice
H6 57.0 Stay Gold
L. Dettori
H. Fujiwara
Tomokazu Iizuka
Oiwake Farm
11 5 8 Rey de Oro
H5 57.0 King Kamehameha
La Dorada
W. Buick
K. Fujisawa
U. Carrot Farm
Northern Racing
12 2 3 Win Tenderness
H6 57.0 Company
Moere Merci
H. Tanabe
H. Sugiyama
Win Co., Ltd.
Asahi Bokujo
13 8 15 Jinambo
C4 57.0 Deep Impact
R. Moore
N. Hori
Kaneko Makoto Holdings Co., Ltd.
Kaneko Makoto Holdings Inc.
14 6 10 Danburite
H5 57.0 Rulership
F. Matsuwaka
H. Otonashi
Sunday Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Farm
15 7 12 Taisei Trail
C4 57.0 Heart’s Cry
M. Demuro
Y. Yahagi
Seiho Tanaka
Northern Racing
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: 2:25.9 GOING: Yielding WEATHER: Cloudy
TURNOVER FOR THE DAY: ¥ 26,832,443,400 ATTENDANCE: 80,826

PAY-OFF (for ¥100)
WIN No.5 ¥ 510 BRACKET QUINELLA 1-3 ¥ 2,050 QUINELLA 1-5 ¥ 2,900
PLACE No.5 ¥ 180 QUINELLA PLACE 1-5 ¥ 880 EXACTA 5-1 ¥ 4,810
No.1 ¥ 280 2-5 ¥ 490 TRIO 1-2-5 ¥ 2,900
No.2 ¥ 170 1-2 ¥ 700 TRIFECTA 5-1-2 ¥ 19,850
  1. 1.Suave Richard (JPN), chestnut, horse, 5-year-olds
    Heart’s Cry / Pirramimma (Unbridled’s Song)
    Owner: NICKS Co., Ltd. Breeder: Northern Racing
    Trainer: Yasushi Shono Jockey: Oisin Murphy
    18 Starts, 6 Wins
    Added money: ¥ 303,192,000 Career earnings: ¥ 957,274,100

  2. 2.Curren Bouquetd'or (JPN), bay, filly, 3-year-oldst
    Deep Impact / Solaria (Scat Daddy)
    Owner: Takashi Suzuki Breeder: Shadai Farm
    Trainer: Sakae Kunieda Jockey: Akihide Tsumura

  3. 3.Wagnerian (JPN), bay, colt, 4-year-olds
    Deep Impact / Miss Encore (King Kamehameha)
    Owner: Kaneko Makoto Holdings Co., Ltd. Breeder: Kaneko Makoto Holdings Inc.
    Trainer: Yasuo Tomomichi Jockey: Yuga Kawada
Fractional time (sec./furlong): 12.8 - 11.3 - 12.3 - 12.2 - 11.7 - 12.2 - 12.1 - 12.0 - 12.1 - 12.4 - 12.2 - 12.6
Last 4 furlongs: 49.3          Last 3 furlongs: 37.2

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

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.

Post race interview of winning connections:
[Trainer: Yasushi Shono]
“I’m happy and relieved that he claimed his second G1 title at last—his first since the Osaka Hai. We raced him in the same racing schedule as last year, coming off the Tenno Sho (Autumn), and since this was the autumn of his five-year-old season and he is more matured, we had high expectations as his form became better with every race. In last year’s race, the going was firm and there was the record-breaking Almond Eye. Even though it rained heavily and Suave Richard had never experienced this kind of turf condition before, the heavy going worked in our favor, letting him keep his own pace. I told the jockey that we wanted a good break and that the horse be relaxed not far from the pace and everything turned out perfectly. The horse was relaxed in the gate, broke well, and Oisin fought well to keep him in an ideal position. The horse responded beautifully after the last corner and Oisin bravely shot him through a tight space on the rails—I was just ecstatic after that. This is a huge triumph for us all because we have worked so hard for a year and a half since the Osaka Hai. I cannot say at this point what his plans are for the future—it will all depend on how he comes out of this race.”

[Jockey: Oisin Murphy]
“I suppose it’s a dream come true to have won this race. I was happy with Suave Richard in his gallops and he felt brilliant—Japan Cup is one of the most famous races around the world and it’s very hard to win so I wasn’t confident but very hopeful.
Suave Richard has got a lot of quality, he’s a very good mover with a lot of pace—if you’ve seen his gallops he does incredible times. As for race plans, first of all I looked at the draw and I saw that Curren Bouquetd’or was in one—she’s a very good filly—Wagnerian was in two, (Christophe) Lemaire was in four and Yasunori Iwata was in six. So all the good horses, in my mind, were around me….it was about getting behind one of them, following the right one, getting the horse to relax, and then give him every chance. (As a result) I was following Curren Bouquetd’or—she was the one travelling as well as me, turning into the straight and she had a very good trip (she is trained by my trainer, Sakae Kunieda, maybe if I was not so fat I could do 53 kilos and rode her and might not have won the Japan Cup today (laugh)). Suave Richard has a lot of quality and I was very happy with my positioning into the first turn. The most important thing was for him to relax. The ground was hard work today and when the ground is slow, you can’t waste energy. (At the straight) I had the option of forcing Curren Bouquetd’or out –that would have taken a bit of energy but he’s a big enough horse to do that—but then I saw the inside open, it was easier to go the shortest way. I knew in the last 200 meters that Suave Richard would win. On this ground, horses get very tired and so I just wanted him to keep on going and after a big race it’s very hard to immediately understand how important it is, but sure the Japan Cup for me is one of the best races in the world and I won’t sleep for a week. It’s a big relief (to have won my first big title here in Japan) as I want to win group ones all over the world, and it’s…super. Japanese horses are my friends and I hope they will be my friends for many years to come. The quality in Japan is really high and the world stage will be hearing a lot more about Japanese horses. I would love to win many more G1’s in Japan but it’s very hard to win—I rode in the Epsom Derby when I was 18 but I didn’t win my first G1 until I think I was 21 or 22.”

* Japan Cup (G1)
The Japan Cup, in its 39th year, continues to attract some of the top turf horses from around the world—67 runners from North America, 146 from Europe, 26 from Oceania and five from Asia—while a number of runners have made this race their starting point towards further international success in following years.

In last year’s version, the fillies’ Triple Crown winner Almond Eye (JPN, F4, by Lord Kanaloa) captured the Japan Cup by a record-breaking 2:20.6, 1.5 seconds faster than the previous record set by Alkaased in 2005, becoming the second three-year-old filly to claim the title against older male opponents since Gentildonna (JPN, by Deep Impact) in 2012. The eventual Horse of the Year of 2018 was followed by two four-year-old colts, 2017 Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger, G1, 3,000m) winner Kiseki (JPN, H5, by Rulership) in second and 2018 Osaka Hai (G1, 2,000m) victor Suave Richard who was third while defending champion Cheval Grand was a 5-1/2-length fourth. Two foreign contenders, the Canadian International (G1, 2,400m) runner-up Thundering Blue (USA, by Exchange Rate) from Great Britain, and 2017 Irish Derby (G1, 2,400m) and St. Leger (G1, 2,900m) victor Capri (IRE, by Galileo) from Ireland, finished 10th and 11th, respectively.

This year, a group of 15 runners came into the race from their efforts in various races. For 2017 Japan Cup victor Cheval Grand, this was his first start in Japan this season after registering an eighth in his latest start, the International Stakes (G1, 2,050m; Aug.21) in Great Britain. Jinambo was a neck second to winner You Can Smile in the Niigata Kinen (G3, 2,000m; Sep.1) while 2017 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby, G1, 2,400m) champion and 2017 Japan Cup runner-up Rey de Oro turned in a fourth in his latest All Comers (G2, 2,200m; Sep.22) start. Two-time G2 winner Danburite and last year’s Kikuka Sho runner-up Etario were second and fifth, respectively, in the Kyoto Daishoten (G2, 2,400m; Oct.6). The only three-year-old filly of the field, Curren Bouquetd’or, came off a runner-up effort in the Shuka Sho (G1, 2,000m; Oct.13). From the Tenno Sho (Autumn) (G1, 2,000m; Oct.27) were You Can Smile (4th), 2018 Tokyo Yushun victor Wagnerian (5th), Suave Richard (7th) and 2016 Tokyo Yushun winner Makahiki (10th). The Copa Republica Argentina (G2, 2,500m; Nov.3) finishers in the field were Muito Obrigado (1st), Taisei Trail (2nd) along with Look Twice (4th) and Win Tenderness (10th) who claimed the Meguro Kinen (G2, 2,500m) in 2019 and 2018, respectively. The October Stakes (L, 2,000m; Oct.21) winner Daiwa Cagney was also among the line-up.

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