2015 News

November 27, 2015


Data Analysis for the “2015 Champions Cup (G1)”

Autumn dirt champion decider

This race was known as “Japan Cup Dirt” until 2013, but was renamed when the venue changed to the 1,800m dirt course at Chukyo last year. That inaugural Champions Cup saw Hokko Tarumae collect a long-awaited first G1 win. The focus this year must be on whether one of the form horses will deliver, or whether a rising star will turn the tables to snatch victory. This time, let’s analyze trends in this race from results over the last 10 years, including the Japan Cup Dirt years (2005–2007 on the 2,100m course at Tokyo and 2008–2013 over 1,800m at Hanshin).

Look out for dark horses

Checking performances by favoritism over the last 10 years, horses backed as “1st favorite” have won this race five times, amassing a top 3 ratio of 80.0% in the process. Compared to that, horses coming to this race as “2nd favorite” and “3rd favorite” have left much to be desired. On the other hand, runners with “6th and 7th favorite” tags have put up a good fight, culling two wins and three runner-up spots. Turning to performances by win odds, horses with odds in the “4.0-6.9”, “7.0-9.9” and “10.0-14.9” ranges have tended to struggle, while those with “15.0-19.9” have achieved good success ratios. So although the “1st favorite” looks a good bet in this race, we should also be on the lookout for dark horses. [Table 1] [Table 2]

[Table 1] Performance by favoritism (last 10 years)
Favoritism Performance
[1st-2nd-3rd-4th or lower]
Win ratio Top 2 ratio Top 3 ratio
1st favorite 5-1-2-2 50.0% 60.0% 80.0%
2nd favorite 1-0-1-8 10.0% 10.0% 20.0%
3rd favorite 1-1-1-7 10.0% 20.0% 30.0%
4th and 5th favorite 1-2-0-17 5.0% 15.0% 15.0%
6th and 7th favorite 2-3-1-14 10.0% 25.0% 30.0%
8th and 9th favorite 0-2-2-16 0% 10.0% 20.0%
10th favorite or lower 0-1-3-64 0% 1.5% 5.9%

[Table 2] Performance by win odds (last 10 years)
Win odds Performance
[1st-2nd-3rd-4th or lower]
Win ratio Top 2 ratio Top 3 ratio
2.9 or lower 3-1-3-1 37.5% 50.0% 87.5%
3.0-3.9 2-0-0-2 50.0% 50.0% 50.0%
4.0-6.9 1-1-0-10 8.3% 16.7% 16.7%
7.0-9.9 2-0-1-10 15.4% 15.4% 23.1%
10.0-14.9 0-1-0-9 0% 10.0% 10.0%
15.0-19.9 2-3-2-8 13.3% 33.3% 46.7%
20.0-49.9 0-3-3-43 0% 6.1% 12.2%
50.0 or higher 0-1-1-45 0% 2.1% 4.3%

Strong showing by 5-year-olds

In performances by age over the last 10 years, “5-year-olds” have the best success ratios. But in the top 3 ratio, specifically, there is no great difference between these and “3-year-olds”, “4-year-olds” and “6-year-olds”, though “7-year-olds and up” tend to have a harder time. Of the 30 top 3 finishers over the last 10 years, 28 were 6-year-olds or lower, while only two “7-year-olds” have finished in the top 3 (Admire Subaru, 3rd in 2010, and 2013 runner-up Wonder Acute). And no “8-year-olds and up” have achieved a top 3 finish in the history of this race. [Table 3]

[Table 3] Performance by age (last 10 years)
Age Performance
[1st-2nd-3rd-4th or lower]
Win ratio Top 2 ratio Top 3 ratio
3-year-olds 2-1-2-19 8.3% 12.5% 20.8%
4-year-olds 2-2-2-31 5.4% 10.8% 16.2%
5-year-olds 5-4-1-32 11.9% 21.4% 23.8%
6-year-olds 1-2-4-24 3.2% 9.7% 22.6%
7-year-olds 0-1-1-14 0% 6.3% 12.5%
8-year-olds and up 0-0-0-8 0% 0% 0%

Check the recent race record

A look at recent race records shows that a horse with two previous starts since returning from the summer break has finished in the top 2 in each of the last six years. This year, too, we should certainly be checking the runners’ autumn records. Any horse coming to the Champions Cup as the 3rd outing of the autumn could well be worth a punt. [Table 4]

[Table 4] Top 2 finishers contesting their 3rd outing of the autumn (last 6 years)
Year Finish Horse
2009 2nd Silk Mobius
2010 1st Transcend
2011 1st Transcend
2012 1st Nihonpiro Ours
2013 2nd Wonder Acute
2014 2nd Namura Victor

Look at the record up to 4 races back

Over the last 10 years, a horse finishing “2nd in top-class races in the last four outings” has made the top 2 of this race every year except 2007. Last year’s winner Hokko Tarumae had finished 2nd in the February Stakes three races back. So we should be looking for runners coming to this year’s race with that kind of record. [Table 5]

[Table 5] Top 2 finishers in the Champions Cup finishing 2nd in top-class races in their last 4 outings (last 10 years)
Year Finish Horse G1/Jpn1 or G2/Jpn2 finished 2nd
2005 2nd Seeking the Dia 2 races back Mile Championship Nambu Hai
2006 2nd Seeking the Dia last race JBC Classic
2008 1st Kane Hekili 2 races back Teio Sho
2009 2nd Silk Mobius 4 races back Japan Dirt Derby
2010 1st Transcend 2 races back Nippon TV Hai
2011 1st Transcend last race JBC Classic
2012 1st Nihonpiro Ours 3 races back Tokai Stakes
2013 2nd Wonder Acute last race JBC Classic
2014 1st Hokko Tarumae 3 races back February Stakes

*When there is more than one race in question, the most recent one is shown.

Seek out the winner!
Key point – record of wins on dirt over 2,100m…?

A statistic shared by each of the last three winners is that they had all “won a 2,100m dirt race within their last four outings”. Especially as 2,100m dirt races are not that numerous (including NAR racing as well as JRA), we might want to check the condition of races recently contested by this year’s runners. [Table 6]

[Table 6] 2,100m dirt races won by the last 3 winners in their previous 4 outings
Year Winning horse Race won
2012 Nihonpiro Ours 2 races back Hakusan Daishoten
2013 Belshazzar 2 races back Brazil Cup
2014 Hokko Tarumae 4 races back Kawasaki Kinen

(Data analysis by Yasunori Asano)

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