2022 News

November 16, 2022


November 2022
The Japan Racing Association

Exclusive Topics for JAPAN AUTUMN INTERNATIONAL 2022 - 3rd Edition -

This year's lineup for the Japan Cup (G1, 2,400m) on November 27 is beginning to take shape following the conclusion of prep races including the Tenno Sho (Autumn) (G1, 2,000m) on October 30 and the Copa Republica Argentina (G2, 2,500m) on November 6.

Connections of Shahryar (JPN, C4, by Deep Impact), who was fifth in the Tenno Sho, have announced their intention to enter the Deep Impact colt. Third behind Contrail (JPN, by Deep Impact) and Authority (JPN, by Orfevre) in last year's 1.5-mile Japan Cup, Shahryar kicked off the 2022 season with an overseas success in the Dubai Sheema Classic (G1, 2,410m), where the four-year-old made an early bid from a forward position and held off a furious chase by Yibir (GB, by Dubawi) by a neck.

Continuing with another overseas challenge in June, this time at Royal Ascot in the Prince of Wales's Stakes (G1, 1,990m), the dark bay colt failed to impress by finishing fourth in a field of five. In his comeback start in Japan, the Tenno Sho (Autumn), he was below form again as he failed to pick up speed from mid-field and finished fifth. The 2021 derby winner was highly expected to contend in Contrail's final start before retirement, but he lost decisively by 3-1/2 lengths to Contrail, the subsequent 2021 Best Older Colt or Horse. Nevertheless, Shahryar proved himself by beating Authority in Dubai this year, so his performance in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) following a long break will be a good indicator of his form heading into the Japan Cup.

Uberleben (JPN, F4, by Gold Ship), eighth in the Tenno Sho (Autumn), is also slated to run in the Japan Cup. The winner of the 2021 Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks, G1, 2,400m) ran in the Cup last year and finished sixth. The Gold Ship filly also entered the Dubai Sheema Classic and was fifth by 1-1/4 lengths to Shahryar. In her comeback start in August, the Sapporo Kinen (G2, 2,000m), weighing 36 kg more than when she won the Oaks, she was heavily beaten to 11th. However, she looked much more fit in her last start, the Tenno Sho (Autumn), and should benefit from the Japan Cup's extended distance.

Danon Beluga (JPN, C3, by Heart's Cry), third in the Tenno Sho (Autumn), won the Kyodo News Hai (G3, 1,800m) in February before finishing fourth in both the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas, G1, 2,000m) and the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby, G1, 2,400m). In the Tenno Sho (Autumn), he closed in with the second fastest finishing speed to cross the wire 2-1/2 lengths in front of 2021 derby winner and 2022 Dubai Sheema Classic victor Shahryar. Although invited to run in the Hong Kong Cup, the three-year-old is expected to face older G1 foes in the Japan Cup.

Tenno Sho (Autumn) six-place finisher Karate (JPN, H6, by To the Glory) raced mainly at middle distances until the spring of his four-year-old season, during which time he scored just one win. But since stepping down to a mile, the son of To the Glory has registered five wins, including a graded title in the 2021 Tokyo Shimbun Hai (G3). After finishing 16th in the Yasuda Kinen (G1, 1,600m) in June, he returned to middle distances and scored his second graded victory in the Niigata Kinen (G3, 2,000m), and then was impressive in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) with a 1-length sixth behind Shahryar. His next challenge will be another step up in distance in the coming Japan Cup.

The two top finishers of the Kyoto Daishoten (G2, 2,400m) on October 10 are also expected to be in the lineup. The winner, Vela Azul (JPN, H5, by Eishin Flash), switched to turf in March—after 16 career starts on dirt since his three-year-old debut in 2020—and proved an immediate success with a come-from-behind victory in the Awaji Stakes (2 Wins Class, 2,600m). Two third-place finishes followed before another victory in the June Stakes (3 Wins Class) at Tokyo Racecourse, the Stakes being the same distance as the Japan Cup. The son of 2010 derby winner Eishin Flash (JPN, by King's Best) then landed his first grade-race title in his fall debut, the Kyoto Daishoten. Although the Japan Cup will be his first G1 challenge, the improving five-year-old appears to be a strong candidate.

Kyoto Daishoten runner-up Boccherini (JPN, H6, by King Kamehameha) is a late-developer like his full brother Lovely Day, winner of six grade-race titles including the Takarazuka Kinen and the Tenno Sho (Autumn), all as a five-year-old. The son of King Kamehamaha scored his first grade-race win late in his four-year-old season in the Chunichi Shimbun Hai (G3, 2,000m). During his five-year-old campaign he has blossomed with one win, two seconds and a third from four G2 starts, including his second graded victory in May in the Meguro Kinen (G2, 2,500m) at Tokyo Racecourse.

The Copa Republica Argentina was won by sixth-favorite Breakup (JPN, C4, by Novellist), who rallied from third position early in the stretch to surpass everyone on the uphill stretch for a 1-1/4-length victory. Nevertheless, the Novellist colt's connections have opted to start him in the Arima Kinen. Conversely, two other Copa Republica Argentina runners who are scheduled to start in the Japan Cup are runner-up Heart's Histoire (JPN, H6, by Heart's Cry), who has had impressive results at Tokyo Racecourse where he is 3-6-0 out of 10 starts, and sixth-place finisher T O Royal (JPN, C4, by Leontes), who was this year's Diamond Stakes (G3, 3,400m) winner and Tenno Sho (Spring) (G1, 3,200m) third-place finisher.


Other nominated horses include:

  • Weltreisende (JPN, H5, by Dream Journey), the third-place finisher in the 2020 Tokyo Yushun who returned from a long break due to a tendon injury and won the Naruo Kinen (G3, 2,000m) in June, but then was seventh in his latest start, the All Comers (G2, 2,200m) on September 25.
  • Shadow Diva (JPN, M6, by Heart's Cry), last year's Fuchu Himba Stakes (G2, 1,800m) winner and seventh in the Japan Cup, has disappointed this season, finishing below sixth in four starts.
  • Unicorn Lion (IRE, H6, No Nay Never), last year's Takarazuka Kinen (G1, 2,200m) runner-up who registered his second grade-race title in the Fukushima Kinen (G3, 2,000m) on November 13.

  • Ridge Man (JPN, H9, by Swept Overboard), a former JRA-based horse now trained at NAR's Iwate, who won the 2018 Stayers Stakes (G2, 3,600m) before shifting to Iwate.
  • Goldsmith (JPN, G8, by Stay Gold), who won the October Stakes (Listed, 2,000m) and then was seventh in the Fukushima Kinen.
  • Trust Kenshin (JPN, H7, by Heart's Cry), who has four career victories, all at Tokyo Racecourse, but this year has been winless and is coming off an 11th in the October Stakes.

Nominated females coming from the Queen Elizabeth II Cup are:

  • Win Marilyn (JPN, M5, by Screen Hero), a three-time G2 winner who finished in second by 1 3/4 lengths after racing in sixth position.
  • Daring Tact (JPN, M5, by Epiphaneia), the 2020 fillies' Triple Crown winner who lacked the needed kick while traveling in mid-division and finished sixth.
  • Win Mighty (JPN, M5, by Gold Ship), this year's Mermaid Stakes (G3, 2,000m) victor, who was prominent early but faded at the stretch to finish 16th.

This year's Japan Cup has attracted more foreign participants than in previous years, thanks to the winners' prize money being raised to 400 million yen and a new quarantine stable located conveniently within Tokyo Racecourse. From Ireland, Broome (IRE, H6, by Australia) will make his second Japan Cup challenge. The 2021 winner of the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (G1, 2,400m) added another group-race title to his resume this year with a victory in the Hardwicke Stakes (G2, 2,400m) in June. Another Irish raider, Magical Lagoon (IRE, F3, by Galileo), this year's winner of the Irish Oaks (G1, 2,400m), made an early entry into Japan to start in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1, 2,200m) at Hanshin Racecourse on November 13. The Galileo filly struggled on a wet track after chasing the pace in second and then faded to last, based on which her connections decided to withdraw from the Japan Cup.

Three runners will come from France. Grand Glory (GB, M6, by Olympic Glory), fifth in her first Japan Cup last year, kicked off this season with two wins, including in the Prix Allez France (G3, 2,000m), and was 4 1/4 lengths behind Alpinista (GB, M5, by Frankel) in fifth in her last start, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. Onesto (IRE, C3, by Frankel) won the Grand Prix de Paris (G1, 2,400m) in July but struggled on heavy turf in the Arc, finishing 10th. Another three-year-old colt, Simca Mille (IRE, C3, by Tamayuz), who came off a group-race victory in the Prix du Lys (G3, 2,400m), missed by a neck in second to Onesto in the Grand Prix de Paris, and then added another victory in the Prix Niel (G2, 2,400m) before coming to Japan. Representing Germany will be Tunnes (GER, C3, by Guiliani), who was second in his two-year-old debut and now has a 5-race winning streak, including two G3 events and his first G1 victory in his latest start, the Grosser Preis von Bayern (G1, 2,400m).

Japan's derby victor Do Deuce (JPN, C3, by Heart's Cry), one of four Japanese runners who disappointed in this year's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, was hoped to avenge the poor showing in the Japan Cup but his connections have decided to rest him and start anew next spring, beginning with the Dubai Turf (G1, 1,800m).

winner of 2022 Dubai Sheema Classic
winner of 2021 Yushun Himba
Danon Beluga,
winner of 2022 Kyodo News Hai
winner of 2022 Niigata Kinen
Vela Azul,
winner of 2022 Kyoto Daishoten
winner of 2022 Meguro Kinen
Heart's Histoire,
winner of 2022 Sapporo Nikkei Open
T O Royal,
winner of 2022 Diamond Stakes
winner of 2022 Naruo Kinen
Shadow Diva,
winner of 2021 Fuchu Himba Stakes
Unicorn Lion,
winner of 2022 Fukushima Kinen
Ridge Man,
winner of 2018 Stayers Stakes
winner of 2022 October Stakes
Win Marilyn,
winner of 2021 All Comers
Daring Tact,
winner of 2020 Yushun Himba
Win Mighty,
winner of 2022 Mermaid Stakes
winner of 2021 Mooresbridge Stakes
(Photo: Caroline Norris)
Grand Glory,
winner of 2022 Prix Allez France
(Photo: Scoopdyga)
winner of 2022 Grand Prix de Paris
(Photo: Scoopdyga)
Simca Mille,
winner of 2022 Prix Niel
(Photo: Scoopdyga)
Tunnes, winner of
2022 Grosser Preis von Bayern
(Photo: Marc Rùel)