Runner-by-runner guide for all 18 participants


The Japan Cup is a race to be the champion of champions and is valued at well over £ 4 million Broome and Japanwhile Gianluca sent Bietolini over Great fame from France.

The Japan Cup helped build the reputation of horses like Singspiel and Pilsudski, while Japanese racing greats like Deep Impact, Buena Vista and Vodka won the prestigious award.

Only a handful of three-year-olds were ever successful, and two of them – Gentildonna and Almond Eye – became double winners. contrailswho became Japan’s eighth Triple Crown winner last season, but only the third with a perfect career record, was beaten to second by Almond Eye 12 months ago, but returns despite two defeats in as many starts this one Season back as a warm favorite.

Here is a guide for all contenders. A full replay of the race will be shown on Racing TV’s Luck On Sunday.


Age: 4. Trainer: Hidetaka Otonashi. Tie: 9. General odds: 20-1

Just a neck behind Contrail last season in St. Leger and went one place better at his first start this calendar year in an 11-core group two. After that, not so well until he formed well in his preparation last month when he was narrowly beaten by the 2016 Derby winner. There’s not much to be found in the reviews, and logic suggests he’s on the premises when near his Leger form.


Age: 4. Trainer: Tetsuya Kimura. Tie: 7. Odds: 8-1

Authority wins Copa Republica Argentina

Injury has handicapped this son or Orfevre, but he is respected, especially with Christophe Lemaire in the saddle; the French won two of the last three renewals to reinforce its 2009 success aboard vodka. Authority has increased its course record to three wins and a second from four visits last time and is clearly more at home here than right-handed Hanshin. It is likely that he will perform prominently and it will be dangerous to frivolously fire with his coach – who this will be a first-time Japan Cup runner for – who believes he has matured and is easier to train than ever in his Career.


Age: 5. Trainer: Aidan O’Brien. Draw: 3. Odds: 12-1

The verdict: Angus McNae analyzes the Breeders’ Cup Turf, in which Broome finished second and Japan fourth

After two starts in 2020, we’ve seen a new Broome this year, this being the eleventh race of a season where he’s consistently (apart from a flop in a heavy floor arc) without sweeping anything. However, he has won four times including the Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud if he did it all. And the last time he ran a blast and finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Turf. His tactical versatility is positive, as is Ryan Moore in the saddle. The combination should play a leading role from a good draw.


Age: 4. Trainer: Yoshito Yahagi. Tie: 2. Odds: 4-5

Contrail finishes second in the 2020 Japan Cup

Undefeated in his first six starts, he won the Triple Crown (and briefly topped the ante-post lists for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe) before failing in the Japan Cup against Almond Eye. Not at this level in two starts over 10 stadiums this season – most recently in the Tenno Sho (Fall) – but there were valid excuses for both and should appreciate getting back on track. This is his last start and a lucrative stallion career is already ahead, but his Breeders’ Cup winning trainer has high hopes that his star can bend in full swing. He’s gotten more unruly on goals from the season and that might give his team more cause for concern than anything else.

Great fame

Age: 5. Trainer: Gianluca Bietolini. Draw: 6. Odds: 20-1

He was beaten to third place under a length at the 2019 French Oaks but failed to put a glove on Tarnawa in a number of top races last fall. Got a breakthrough when he narrowly contested Audarya with a career best in the Prix Jean Romanet in August and underpinned this with a nose defeat to Rougir at the Arc meeting. Looked like a stalker that day but below her best in two races over 12 stadiums last season.


Age: 5. Trainer: Aidan O’Brien. Draw: 18. Odds: 20-1

For fans of nominative determinism, where else could the globetrotter Galileo end up? He took a pair of Group Three this season, his first wins since the 2019 Juddmonte International, but was beaten at the highest level in his last nine starts, including the last time he was behind Broome in the Breeders’ Cup (had some problems). Overtaken by Ryan Moore – who won this race on board the Gentildonna in 2013 – is ridden by Japan’s most successful jockey, Yutaka Take, who held this trophy four times, most recently in 2016.


Age: 7. Trainer: Yasuyuki Tsujino. Tie: 5. Odds: 50-1

He tried to do it all in 2018 and 2020, finishing second and eight while traveling to Europe in 2019 to contest the Arc where he failed the proving ground by being well beaten behind Waldgeist. Still holds its form and wasn’t far behind Aristotle last time, but has been without a win since 2017. Kiseki translated means miracle and while it may not be necessary for him to win, it would be a surprise.

Lord my way

Age: 5 Trainer: Haruki Sugiyama. Draw: 10. Odds: 300-1

A winner of six of his 22 starts, but there’s nothing in his back catalog to suggest he can find a way to win this.


Age: 8. Trainer: Yasuo Tomomichi. Draw: 15. Odds: 66-1

Last year’s ninth knocked out Aristotle and Kiseki for the last time at Hanshin to mark his first win since winning the Prix Niel in 2016 (after winning the Japanese derby on his previous start). That proved he is not a shirt number, but the veteran of the field will do well to beat his fourth place, which he achieved in 2017 and 2019.

Mozu Bello

Age: 5. Trainer: Naoyuki Morita. Draw: 13. Odds: 100-1

Holds an entry for this season’s Irish Champion Stakes after a fine runner-up of four lengths in the Osaka Hai (in which Contrail was three parts of a length back in third place). Well below this level in three consecutive starts in faster conditions and will do well to interfere even with a good record on the ride.

Muito Obrigado

Age: 7. Trainer: Koichi Tsunoda. Draw: 1. Odds: 100-1

Google Translate has been working overtime, but it’s hard to tell whether or not this exaggerated expression of gratitude is being used sarcastically. Similarly, this son of Rulership deserves respect with his course record of four wins from nine starts and his career record of six wins and four seconds from 29 runs.

Sanrei bag

Age: 6. Trainer: Yoshitada Takahashi. Draw: 12. Odds: 8-1

Another veteran fighter who joins this lap after a good fourth place in the Tenno Sho (fall) and could still improve as he only reached the circuit at three and then retired with an injury on his 16 month long fourth start. Unproven about the trip, but the shape of his last run brings him to the site.

Shadow diva

Age: 5. Trainer: Makoto Saito. Draw: 11. Odds: 33-1

Comes with confidence after driving her best race of the season the last time she won over nine stadiums here but has driven most of her races for this trip and is likely to be dwarfed in this company.


Age: 3. Trainer: Hideaki Fujiwara. Draw: 4. Odds: 11-4

Shahryar wins the Japanese derby

The 2021 Derby winner failed to master the test conditions when he was beaten in Group Two in September, and he is better judged due to his narrow loss to eventual Tenno Sho (fall) winner Efforia in the distance and distance classic, where he made a great turn to get out of trouble and pick up a horse that got the first run. This form makes him highly rated at Contrail and he’s as big a player as the market suggests, with connections excited about his preparation.



Age: 3. Trainer: Takahisa Tezuka. Draw: 14. Odds: 20-1

This year’s Japanese Oaks winner had her first start since that classic in late May when she defeated just three home wins at Hanshin in her first start since her tendon injury last month, and proved just as tenacious on the track in the summer win. Receives all the bonuses like the last two three-year-olds to win the Japan Cup. Usually drives off pace, so cannot be unnecessarily bothered by her high draw.


Age: 6. Trainer: Yasuo Tomomichi. Tie: 17. Odds: 50-1

The 2018 Derby winner didn’t strike the right note this season, but finished fourth in the 2019 Japan Cup and has a good record at this track and distance, so it’s not unbelievable that he could play a role.

Tall ship

Age: 4. Trainer: Kazuo Fujisawa. Draw: 8. Odds: 100-1

A windjammer is a sailing ship and it needs a good wind if it doesn’t want to sink without a trace after 16 months of dirt races (three of its four career wins this season) when it goes back to grass.

You can smile

Age: 6. Trainer: Yasuo Tomomichi. Draw: 16. Odds: 100-1

His name reminded me of a repeated line in Hocus Pocus, “I laughed like hell,” and it will take some remarkable magic to win after his well-held ninth place in the Tenno Sho (Fall). Twelfth place (2020) and fifth (2019) in two previous attempts at this price.


Those who have made it have dominated this race (and the Japanese Derby via C&D) in recent renovations and the coveted runners have done well.

The two principles are clear shape picks. contrails is the most likely winner but is easy to spot at odds-on given his growing tendency to play in goals. There’s little juice in there ShahryarIt’s price and it is tempting to keep looking for any game in any direction or for exotic ones.

Alkaased was the last international runner to win the Japan Cup in 2005, but international jockeys have ridden the last four winners (and six of the last eight) and it would be no surprise if Ryan Moore sounds a good tune Broome but at a similar price is the preference for authority.

The four-year-old is facing a pretty quick turnaround but his coach believes he survived the Copa Republica Argentina well. This shape puts him firmly in the mix for minor honors, and Lemaire should be able to make the most of a reasonable draw in an appropriate place.

1 contrail 2 Shahryar 3 authority


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