The Japan Racing Association
Exclusive Topics for JAPAN AUTUMN INTERNATIONAL 2022 - 4th Edition -
Japan’s top dirt specialists are getting ready to launch their fall seasons as they begin to prepare in full swing for the Champions Cup (G1, dirt, 1,800m) at Chukyo Racecourse on December 4.
Defending champion T O Keynes (JPN, H5, by Sinister Minister) made an overseas endeavor earlier this year in the Saudi Cup (G1, dirt, 1,800m), which resulted in a disappointing eighth. After returning to Japan, he bounced back to claim the Heian Stakes (G3, dirt, 1,900m) but failed to defend his Teio Sho (dirt, 2,000m) title in June. The chestnut kicked off his autumn campaign with the JBC Classic (dirt, 2,000m) where he gradually made headway from eighth position to take command 100 meters out and pulled away for a 2-1/2-length victory. Other JBC Classic contenders entered in the Champions Cup are Crown Pride (JPN, C3, by Reach the Crown), victor of the UAE derby (G2, dirt, 1,900m), who set the pace and, though unable to hold the winner, showed tenacity to secure the runner-up seat by crossing the wire 1-1/4 lengths in front of the other rivals; and two-time graded winner Auvergne (JPN, H6, by Smart Falcon), who finished sixth in the race.
Contenders coming off the Miyako Stakes (dirt, 1,800m, Nov. 6), one of the trial races for the Champions Cup, are winner Sunrise Hope (JPN, H5, by Majestic Warrior), who claimed his second graded title in the race, and fourth-place finisher Hapi (JPN, C3, by Kizuna), who has been consistent in his four graded starts. From the other trial, the Musashino Stakes (G3, dirt, 1,600m), Smashing Hearts (JPN, H6, by Henny Hughes), Tagano Beauty (JPN, H5, by Henny Hughes) and 2019 Mile Championship Nambu Hai (dirt, 1,600m) winner Sunrise Nova (JPN, H8, by Gold Allure), who finished fourth, sixth and ninth, respectively, are scheduled to head to the Champions Cup, but winner Gilded Mirror (JPN, M5, by Orfevre), the first female runner to claim the Musashino Stakes, is expected to pass.
This year’s Champions Cup field will also include Gloria Mundi (JPN, C4, by King Kamehameha), runner-up in the Antares Stakes (G3, dirt, 1,800m), Notturno (JPN, C3, by Heart’s Cry), Badenweiler (JPN, C4, by Duramente) and Jun Light Bolt (JPN, H5, by King Kamehameha), respective winners of the Japan Dirt Derby (dirt, 2,000m), the Mercury Cup (dirt, 2,000m) and the Sirius Stakes (G3, dirt, 1,900m). Other expected runners in the Champions Cup are Keiai Purple (JPN, H6, by Pyro) and Lagom (JPN, C4, by Orfevre), the top two finishers in the Hakusan Daishoten (dirt, 2,100m), Shamal (JPN, C4, by Smart Falcon), a three-time graded winner who came off a third in the Mile Championship Nambu Hai, and Red Galant (JPN, H7, by Lord Kanaloa), a two-time grade-race winner over turf.
Horses registered as substitutes in the Champions Cup include Red Soldado (JPN, G4, by Majestic Warrior) and Sakura Allure (JPN, H7, by Gold Allure).
Meanwhile, fourteen Japanese horses are slated to race in Hong Kong International Races on December 11. Those aiming to follow last year’s Japanese winner Loves Only You in the Hong Kong Cup are:
- Danon the Kid (JPN, C4, by Just a Way), 2020 Best Two-Year-Old Colt who finished second in his latest start, the Mile Championship (G1, 1,600m) on November 20.
- Lei Papale (JPN, M5, by Deep Impact), last year’s Osaka Hai (G1, 2,000m) champion who is coming off a fourth in the Mainichi Okan (G2, 1,800m).
- Panthalassa (JPN, H5, by Lord Kanaloa), this year’s Dubai Turf (G1, 1,800m) victor who missed the Tenno Sho (Autumn) (G1, 2,000m, Oct. 30) title by a length but secured runner-up.
- Jack d'Or (JPN, C4, by Maurice), two-time G2 winner who finished fourth in the Tenno Sho (Autumn).
- Geoglyph (JPN, C3, by Drefong), the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas, G1, 2,000m) champion who also ran in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) but was ninth.
Three horses are scheduled to race in the Hong Kong Mile (G1, 1,600m):
- Schnell Meister (GER, C4, by Kingman), last year’s NHK Mile Cup (G1, 1,600m) champion who finished fifth in the Mile Championship.
- Danon Scorpion (JPN, C3, by Lord Kanaloa), winner of this year’s NHK Mile Cup who is coming off an 11th in the Mile Championship.
- Salios (JPN, H5, by Heart’s Cry), the 2019 Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes (G1, 1,600m) champion who also ran in the Mile Championship and finished 14th.
Those aiming for another Japanese victory in the Hong Kong Sprint (G1, 1,200m) title include:
- Gendarme (USA, H7, by Kitten’s Joy) who came off a win for his first G1 title in the Sprinters Stakes (G1, 1,200m) on October 2.
- Naran Huleg (JPN, H6, by Gold Allure), the Takamatsunomiya Kinen (G1, 1,200m) champion who finished third in the Sprinters Stakes.
- Meikei Yell (JPN, F4, by Mikki Isle), a six-time graded winner who finished a disappointing 14th in the Sprinters Stakes.
- Resistencia (JPN, M5, by Daiwa Major), runner-up in last year’s race who will return to racing after recovering from a fractured first phalanx in her left foreleg.
The Hong Kong Vase (G1, 1,200m) will be challenged by two Japanese runners hoping to repeat Glory Vase’s wins in 2019 and 2021:
- Glory Vase (JPN, H7, by Deep Impact), a two-time victor in the race who is coming off a sixth in the Sapporo Kinen (G2, 2,000m) on August 21.
- Win Marilyn (JPN, M5, by Screen Hero), a three-time G2 winner who came off a second in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1, 2,200m) on November 13.
2021 Champions Cup
winner of 2022 UAE derby
winner of the 2021 Tokai Stakes
winner of 2022 Miyako Stakes
winner of 2021 Keyaki Stakes
winner of 2020 Musashino Stakes
winner of 2022 Nagoyajo Stakes
winner of 2022 Sobu Stakes
winner of 2022 Sirius Stakes
winner of 2021 Radio Nippon Sho
winner of 2022 Azumakofuji Stakes
winner of 2022 Niigata Daishoten
winner of 2020 Hopeful Stakes
winner of 2021 Osaka Hai
winner of 2022 Dubai Turf
winner of 2022 Sapporo Kinen
winner of 2022 Satsuki Sho
winner of 2021 NHK Mile Cup
winner of 2022 NHK Mile Cup
2019 Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes
winner of 2022 Sprinter Stakes
2022 Takamatsunomiya Kinen
winner of 2022 Centaur Stakes
winner of 2019 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies
winner of 2021 Hong Kong Vase
winner of 2021 All Comers