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There’s a slight gear change this coming Sunday, when the top racing action in Japan moves west from Tokyo to the Chukyo Racecourse near Nagoya for the Grade 1 Champions Cup. The race started out as the Japan Cup Dirt back in the year 2000, when it was run at Tokyo over 2,100 meters. After a few other changes with the venues and the distance of the race, it has been run at Chukyo over 1,800 meters since 2014, when it also got its current name, the Champions Cup.

It’s an international race and makes up the final leg of the Japan Autumn International series of races. There have been 19 nominations for a maximum 16 runner field this year, and all eyes will be on the superstar filly, Sodashi, as she tries to become a Grade 1 winner on both turf and dirt. There was one horse nominated from overseas (American Theorem), but the American 4-year-old will not be among the runners.

The Grade 1 Champions Cup is a race for 3-year-olds and up, with 3-year-olds allotted a weight of 56kg, and 4-year-olds and up carry 57kg, with fillies and mares receiving a 2kg allowance. In the last ten years, only two first favorites have won the race (Le Vent Se Leve the last one in 2018), and 5-year-olds have won five times in that same time period. Horses trained at the Ritto Training Center have dominated in the past decade, taking out the race eight times. Record time for the race was set in 2019, when Chrysoberyl won in a time of 1 minute 48.5 seconds. This year’s winner’s check is JPY100 million (just under USD1 million), with other prize and participation incentive money down to 10th place.

Some races leading into this Sunday’s big one have included a couple of JRA Grade 3 races in November, namely the Miyako Stakes over 1,800 meters at Hanshin, and the Tokyo Chunichi Sports Hai Musashino Stakes at Tokyo over 1,600 meters, as well as the JBC Classic (top-level dirt race), a race run this year at Kanazawa, also in November, over 2,100 meters.

The 22nd Grade 1 Champions Cup will be Race 11 on the Sunday card at Chukyo, with a post time locally of 15:30. The final line-up and the barrier draw will be available later in the week.

Here’s a look at some of the top dirt horses expected to take on the race:

Sodashi: The 3-year-old filly by Kurofune is already something of a legend, being such a stunning looking white horse, and also proving she’s a bit special on the racecourse too. This will be her first start on dirt, however, and she does have to overcome her last result, when she finished tenth in the Grade 1 Shuka Sho in October, but trainer Naosuke Sugai thinks she has what it takes here. “On her breeding, dirt races should be fine, and with the weight of 54kg she’ll carry here against the older horses, she must have a good chance. Her hindquarters have rounded out more, and it looks as if she’ll be suited to racing on dirt,” said the trainer. It’ll be Sodashi’s first time to run at Chukyo, and just one of her six wins has come racing to the left.

Chuwa Wizard: The defending champion of the race has had four races since last year’s victory, including two overseas. In his latest race, he finished third in the JBC Classic at Kanazawa over 2,100 meters in November, and it leads him nicely into this race again, where he defends his crown. Trainer Ryuji Okubo stated: “He was coming back from injury last time, but having taken good care with him, he was able to put in a strong race. Jockey Keita Tosaki also noted that racing from an inside gate, the dirt on the inside was quite deep and this had some effect on the horse’s performance. This next race he’ll be back at the track where he won last year.” The jockey certainly knows the horse well, having ridden him in his last five starts, including last year’s Champions Cup.

Cafe Pharoah: The 4-year-old colt by American Pharoah has an impressive record in dirt races, having won five out of his eight starts on the surface. His last race was the Grade 3 Hakodate Kinen in July, where he finished ninth, in what was his first race on turf. Back on dirt this time, he should be poised for a big run. Trainer Noriyuki Hori said, “We passed on the Sapporo Kinen after his run in the Hakodate Kinen, and gave him a break at the farm. He came back to the stable on October 9, and he’s been working well since. His weight’s around 519kg. He’s eating well and is relaxed, showing that he’s in good overall condition.” Cafe Pharoah finished sixth in last year’s Champions Cup, when starting second favorite.

T O Keynes: It’s a 50% win strike rate for the 4-year-old colt. He was having his first run in a while in the JBC Classic last time since winning the Teio Sho at Oi back in June. He finished fourth in that last race, and trainer Daisuke Takayanagi believes he’s better than that result suggests. “It was his first race for a while last time, and he wasn’t very good at the gate. That and a muddling pace didn’t make for a good race for him, although he still ran quite well. He seems more relaxed now and he’ll be back at Chukyo where he’s shown he can win,” said the trainer recently. The horse by Sinister Minister looks set to be ridden by jockey Kohei Matsuyama.

Casino Fountain: The Funabashi based NAR runner has only ever run in NAR races, but with 23 races in his career, he has won 12 times and racked up prize money of over JPY200 million on the NAR circuit. Trainer Takayuki Yamashita commented: “He was quite worked up in the preliminaries last time before the JBC Classic, and it seemed to cost him the race. Also racing right-handed, he didn’t respond too well and couldn’t keep things up until the finish. He’s come out of the race well though and isn’t tired at all.” Jockey Mirco Demuro has been booked to ride the 5-year-old by Casino Drive, in a bold bid to hit the big time here.

Inti: Now a 7-year-old, Inti is always an interesting horse to watch, and has finished third in the Champions Cup for the past two years. Once again trainer Kenji Nonaka and jockey Yutaka Take team up for another effort to pull off a win in the race. The horse is coming off a fourth place finish in the Mile Championship Nambu Hai over 1,600 meters at Morioka in October, making it the same rotation as last year going into this race. “It was one of his smoothest ever runs last time, and while not perfect in the finish, he used his legs well. He’s had a short break at the farm, with this race as his next target,” said trainer Nonaka.

Sunrise Hope: The 4-year-old by Majestic Warrior is an interesting runner here, having finished first or second in four of his last five starts, which include a win in his most recent race, the Grade 3 Sirius Stakes over 1,900 meters at Chukyo in October. Trainer Tomohiko Hatsuki is pleased with the horse’s progress. “Two starts ago he wasn’t suited by the tight Kokura track, but back at where he’s had success last time, he ran a smooth race, got a good forward position and managed to go on and win. After that I’ve had this race in mind for him,” said the trainer recently. Jockey Hideaki Miyuki, who caused a big upset in the recent Queen Elizabeth II Cup, will once again ride Sunrise Hope.

Meisho Hario: The famous Meisho colors will be carried by the 4-year-old colt by Pyro, and he has now managed to finish in the first two in his last four races, including a narrow win in his latest race, the Grade 3 Miyako Stakes over 1,800 meters at Hanshin in November. Recent comments from assistant training staff at the stable were: “He was challenged late in his last race by the horse on the outside that eventually finished second, but he found a bit extra, so it was a good performance to get the win. He’s come out of the race very well.”

Contrail Signs Off Stellar Career with Strong Japa29 Nov 10:00 am

Odds-on favorite Contrail romped to a two-length victory claiming this year’s Japan Cup and fifth G1 triumph in his career-finale performance. After claiming the 2019 Hopeful Stakes (2,000m) as a two-year-old, the Deep Impact colt went on to sweep the Triple Crown—the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas, 2,000m), the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby, 2,400m) and the Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger, 3,000m) and, with the Japan Cup victory, is now tenth on the JRA list of career earnings with a total of JPY 1,195,294,000. Trainer Yoshito Yahagi is now the proud owner of 14 JRA-G1 wins—his latest victory was with the colt in last season’s Kikuka Sho—while jockey Yuichi Fukunaga, following his recent Sprinters Stakes victory with Pixie Knight in October, has collected a total of 32 JRA-G1 wins.

Breaking well from the second most inner stall, Contrail was settled under Fukunaga in mid-pack and two-wide, while Kiseki made rapid headway in the backstretch from the rear, taking over the front at the third corner, extending his lead by six to seven lengths. By the time the field hit the top of the straight, the brown colt had shifted to the outside with clear running room in front of him and displayed his trademark explosive kick, shaking off Shahryar after a brief rally at the furlong pole then turned up an extra gear to easily put away Authority 100 meters out for a convincing two-length win.

“All I have now is mixed feelings of relief and lonesomeness. In the colt’s latest start (Tenno Sho (Autumn)), he broke poorly so I told him, while he was walking in the paddock earlier, to stay calm at the start. It worried me a bit since the pace was slow and he wasn’t in that good a position, but we had tuned him up to perfection and the colt gave us all he had in the straight. I have to admit I was under a lot of pressure during the two years he was at my stable, but I think it has helped me in becoming more mature, and I can’t thank him enough. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to win the Arc with an offspring of his someday?”, commented trainer Yoshito Yahagi.

“The colt had issues before his debut, so there were always concerns about his form, but I am so proud of how he proved himself today—I’m overwhelmed. All I did today was believe in him. He broke well and everything went just perfectly. He has given me every jockey’s dream and I am utterly grateful. The colt shone a bright light over a gloomy year due to the pandemic last season. I’m relieved that we can send him off to his next career with this victory,” commented jockey Yuichi Fukunaga after the race.

Posted third favorite, four-year-old Authority sat in fourth behind Shadow Diva, turned wide into the lane while passing Wagnerian and ran strongly, inheriting the lead from the tired pacesetter 300 meters out, but was gunned down in the last half furlong by the eventual winner for second.

Second favored three-year-old colt Shahryar ran in fifth down the backstretch, entered the straight right behind Authority and in front of Contrail, ran willingly up the hill but was checked when rallying with the closing winner and had nothing left to tag the runner-up, finishing 1-1/2-lengths behind Authority in third.

French raider Grand Glory was the top finisher among the three foreign contingents. Unhurried after the break, the Olympic Glory mare saved ground along the rails in mid-division in ninth or tenth position.
Angling out off the rails coming into the final turn, Grand Glory exerted an impressive turn of speed going up the long uphill stretch and geared up further from the 200-meter marker to make ground and finish fifth, five-lengths from the winner.

“I am very satisfied with her performance and her result at fifth-place. She appeared to lose a bit of balance and lean to the inside but thankfully Cristian got her back on her feet by the stretch. She’s mentally very strong and the experience to run in the Japan Cup was fantastic for us. It’s a great race and
we would love to come back with another horse,” commented trainer Gianluca Bietolini.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better result—having finished fifth in this competition is almost like winning for us. She was in super form, almost as good as when I rode her in the Prix Jean Romanet—which we won. The pace was very fast for this mare, but she handled it remarkably,” commented Cristian Demuro.

Japan broke sharply from an outside stall but was eased back to mid-field, choosing to move to the inside to save ground behind Grand Glory. Angled out at early stretch for a clear run, the Galileo horse attempted to make his bid with the eventual winner in view but was unable to cause a serious threat but held on for eighth.

“The track may have been a bit too fast for this horse. He was able to secure a good spot but wasn’t able to keep up with the pace,” commented Patrick Keating.

Broome was slow out of the gate and gradually worked his way up to mid-division along the backstretch outside Grand Glory, but struggled to find another gear with 400 meters to go and even paced to finish 11th.

“He missed his break and that cost him,” said Patrick Keating. “He missed his break. The pace was slow but he wasn’t able to pick up speed in the end,” added Ryan Moore.

Other Horses:
4th: (12) Sanrei Pocket—sat in front of winner, angled out, showed effort although unable to threaten top finishers while besting the rest
6th: (14) Uberleben—raced near winner, struggled to find clear path at early stretch, showed 2nd fastest late speed, belatedly
7th: (11) Shadow Diva—chased leaders in third, remained in contention until 100m out, weakened
9th: (9) Aristoteles—disputed lead and made pace, opening gap to 4 to 5 lengths, gave way to Kiseki while keeping second position, unable to sustain bid and overtaken
10th: (5) Kiseki—held back after break, headway along backstretch, led rounding 3rd corner and pulled away to open gap to 6 lengths, soon used up and outrun by foes at furlong pole
12th: (16) You Can Smile—further back than mid-division early, weakened after uphill stretch
13th: (13) Mozu Bello—near rear, raced wide throughout and unable to make up ground
14h: (15) Makahiki—raced second from last, unable to reach contention
15h: (10) Lord My Way—broke a fraction slow and raced behind, unable to make ground from wide turn
16th: (1) Muito Obrigado—trailed in rear, never a factor
17th: (8) Windjammer—mid-division early, even paced and outrun in last furlong
18h: (17) Wagnerian—broke sharply and tracked leader in 2nd, tired and faded

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Japan Cup (G1) - Preview23 Nov 5:00 pm

This Sunday, Nov. 28, Tokyo Racecourse hosts the Grade 1 Japan Cup, the iconic invitational gala that has been instrumental in boosting Japan’s horses and horsemen to the heights of international competitiveness they now enjoy. Some JPY 648 million, over USD 6 million, is up for grabs.

Japan’s horses have monopolized the winner’s circle for the past 15 years, and though dwindling participation by foreign raiders (only one last year and none in 2019) may have turned the odds in their favor, Japan’s domination requires no math. Japan brings its very best to the race and this year is no different.

Eighteen Japan-based runners have been nominated for 15 berths in the 41st running of the 2,400-meter turf event. There are six Grade 1 winners among them, with 2020 Triple Crown champion Contrail ready to join the ranks of Japan’s top 10 money earners ever if he can land the race.

Unlike two years ago, there will be no default victory for Japan this year. Three overseas challengers, all top-level winners, have flown in to attempt to land the JPY300 million winner’s prize. Two of them – Japan and Broome – hail from the stable of Aidan O’Brien. Grand Glory is fielded by French trainer Gianluca Bietolini. All three arrived in Japan on Nov. 19.

The U.K.-bred Grand Glory, a 5-year-old Olympic Glory mare was raced exclusively over 10 furlongs this year, captured the Grade 3 Grand Prix de Vichy in July, and followed that up with a win of the G1 Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville in August. Last out Oct. 3, she came in second under jockey Frankie Dettori in the Prix de L’Opera at Longchamp. Jockey Cristian Demuro, who rode both the mare’s wins this summer, will be her partner on Sunday.

Both Broome and Japan share Japanese connections and are just off a run in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Nov. 6. Broome narrowly missed the win by half a length and Japan finished fourth. Earlier this year, in July, Broome won the Grade 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, then ran fourth later that month at Ascot in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. September saw him barely miss clinching the Prix Foy under Frankie Dettori before disappointing in the Arc in 11th place, partnered with Yutaka Take. This time he’ll have Ryan Moore in the saddle.

Japan won a G3 over 1,800 meters at Leopardstown in July, before traveling to the U.S. for three starts, all over 2,400 meters, and posted 2-6-4. He’ll have four-time winner of the Japan Cup Yutaka Take in the saddle.

The left-handed Tokyo Racecourse is known for its sweeping turns and seemingly endless homestretch with an upward slope starting shortly after the horses turn into the straight. The Japan Cup will be run over the C course, which, with the inner rail moved in 6 meters from the inner rail, measures 25-35 meters across. The same course is just over 2,120 meters around and the Tokyo turf 2,400 meters starts in front of the grandstand at the top of the stretch hill.

Horses will carry 57 kg, with a 2-kg allowance for mares and 3-year-old colts. A 4-kg allowance will be enjoyed by the field’s sole 3-year-old filly – Uberleben, who won the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) over the Tokyo 2,400 meters this May while carrying 2 kg more.

Note that although the Japan Cup post time will be the usual 3:40 p.m. for Grade 1 events at the venue, the Japan Cup will be the 12th and last race on Sunday.

# # #

Here’s a look at some of the standouts from the Japan team.

Contrail: Following in the steps of his sire Deep Impact, Contrail swept the 2020 3-year-old classics to become Japan’s 8th Triple Crown winner. The eighth was also the race that saw him finish out of the winner’s circle for the first time, second by a length and a quarter to Almond Eye in last year’s Japan Cup. He failed to win in his next two outings, but still, has yet to finish further back than third. The Japan Cup is only his third race since last year’s Japan Cup. Next up in April, he encountered heavy ground for the first time and ran third nearly 5 lengths behind winner Lei Papale in the 2,000-meter Grade 1 Osaka Hai. He then returned for a second 1 length behind Efforia in the Tenno Sho (Autumn). The colt’s retirement was announced in early October and the Japan Cup later confirmed as his final race. Trainer Yoshito Yahagi, just back from a Breeders’ Cup double victory, is the current No. 2 trainer for wins in Japan. Yahagi has yet to win a Grade 1 at home this year and has yet to win the Japan Cup. With farewells impending, he has one last mission to accomplish…or two. “The time passed so quickly. Of course, it’s sad. The other day we took on the Breeders’ Cup as challengers and that made things easier. But, this time, while I’m looking for results, at the same time, I have to be sure he finishes without mishap. And this makes me very tense.” Tense or not, Yahagi has the coolheaded jockey Yuichi Fukunaga on his side. Fukunaga has yet to win the Japan Cup, but he has bagged three Grade 1s so far this year. If anyone can, Fukunaga, who has ridden all but one of the colt’s 10 races thus far, can bring Contrail home safely, and a winner.

Shahryar: With only fives starts thus far, the 3-year-old Shahryar by Deep Impact beat Efforia to the finish by a nose in the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) this spring, then started his autumn campaign with a fourth-place finish in the Grade 2 Kobe Shimbun Hai over 2,200 meters at Chukyo, where races are, like Tokyo, run to the left. He finished 5 lengths of the winner, in the rain and over a sloppy track and rider Yuichi Fukunaga said the colt’s responses had been slow and claimed the rain and poor going had prevented him from racing to his best. The Japan Cup will be Shahryar’s third start at the venue. Before the Japanese Derby, he had run third to winner Efforia in the Grade 3 Kyodo News Hai (Tokinominoru Kinen), over Tokyo 1,800 meters in February. With Fukunaga taking the reins of Contrail in the Japan Cup, the ride on Shahryar is going to jockey Yuga Kawada, who has ridden the colt once before, to a win of a G3 at Hanshin. Back once again at the site of his Derby victory, Shahryar will attempt to become only the eighth 3-year-old to conquer the Japan Cup and would top both El Condor Pasa (1998) and Almond Eye (2018) to become the first to ace the race with the shortest career yet.

Authority: On Nov. 7, the 4-year-old Authority returned after six months recovering from a fracture and laid claim by 2 1/2 lengths to his second win in a row of the Grade 2 Copa Republica Argentina over the Tokyo 2,500 meters. It was his first win in three starts this year, following two spring runs over marathon distances of 3,400 and 3,200 meters that brought him a second in the Grade 3 Diamond Stakes, but only a dismal 10th in the Grade 1 Tenno Sho (Spring). Back at Tokyo, however, where he enjoys a 1-1-2-1 record, the hefty son of Triple Crown winner Orfevre will be able to have room to move as well as be closer to his Miho base. There is little time between races, but Yu Ota, assistant to trainer Tetsuya Kimura, says the colt is looking fine. “He came out of the race well and is very much on his toes. After a week off, he’s back at his usual routine. We’re trying not to pressure him by demanding too much but we also haven’t gone too easy on the work.” Jockey Christophe Lemaire, gunning for his fourth Japan Cup win, will be up.

Aristoteles: Aristoteles, a 4-year-old by 2014 Japan Cup winner Epiphaneia, ran second in the Triple Crown final leg, the Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Legers) over Kyoto 3,000 meters. Contrail beat him by a mere neck. He started this year with a win of the Grade 2 American Jockey Club Cup over Nakayama 2,200 meters, then recorded 7-4-9 in his next three, the two most recent Grade 1s. He returned with a promising second by a nose in the Grade 2 Kyoto Daishoten on Oct. 10 under jockey Mirco Demuro. This will be only the second time at Tokyo for the Ritto-based Aristoteles. His first run brought a sixth in the Principal Stakes, a listed race over 2,000 meters last May, but the extra distance this time should be a plus. The colt has had five different riders in his 14 starts thus far, and this time there’s another new face expected aboard, young star Takeshi Yokoyama, who has already ridden the winner in three Grade 1s this year.

# # #

Others to watch include:

With two strong showings in Grade 3 company earlier this year, Shadow Diva returned after two months off to capture the Oct. 16 Ireland Trophy Fuchu Himba Stakes, a Grade 2 over the Tokyo 1,800 meters. Though it will be only her second start over the Japan Cup distance, all but one of her five starts over the Tokyo 2,000 have been in the top 3. With the right trip, the Heart’s Cry 5-year-old could surprise.

Another possible runner is Sanrei Pocket, a 6-year-old by 2001 Japan Cup winner Jungle Pocket. After returning Oct. 10 for a sixth in the Grade 2 Mainichi Okan, he ended the month with a powerful drive that brought him a fourth in the Tenno Sho (Autumn). He’s looking good in trackwork and the extra distance will be welcome.

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The 41st Japan Cup - Japan Autumn International - 23 Nov 9:49 am

The 41st Japan Cup will enjoy a quality international field for the first time in three years with a number of foreign contingents of G1 status as well as our own derby champions from four generations aiming for one of Japan’s most prestigious titles. This is hoped to be only the beginning of many more exciting international events to come in the future with more overseas contenders drawn to taking advantage of the new international stables, being constructed and due to be completed next year, within the Tokyo Racecourse premises which would allow our foreign visitors to travel direct to Tokyo for both the quarantine procedures as well as access to the training tracks where the actual races are held.

Japanese runners taking on the challenges from overseas this year include:

Contrail (JPN, C4, by Deep Impact) is the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby, G1, 2,400m) winner of 2020 who also became the Triple Crown winner, claiming all of the three-year-old classics, that year. While he has not yet scored a win this year, having finished third in the Osaka Hai (G1, 2,000m) and second in his latest start, the Tenno Sho (Autumn) (G1, 2,000m), the reasons for his defeat were in no way due to lack of power—the track condition was not to his advantage in the former while the race development did not go his way in the latter—and with his retirement already announced to be at the end of this season, another G1 title in the Japan Cup would greatly compensate for his defeat to Almond Eye last year and add to his already impressive resume. His trainer Yoshito Yahagi has three G1 titles overseas including two in this year’s Breeders’ Cup. (Rated 121I as of his second place in the Tenno Sho (Autumn))

Shahryar (JPN, C3, by Deep Impact), the derby champion of the current season, was unable to perform to his best on the heavy track under bad weather condition in his fall comeback, the Kobe Shimbun Hai (G2, 2,200m), and finished fourth. However, when winning the derby, he out-dueled Efforia, who would later beat her senior G1 runners including Contrail in the Tenno Sho (Autumn), for a nose victory. The Japan Cup which is held over the same course and distance would give him every reason to finish well up at the wire if the track condition is to work his way. The competition between the two derby colts is expected to draw much attention this year. (Rated 120L as of his victory in the Tokyo Yushun)

Uberleben (JPN, F3, by Gold Ship) is this year’s Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks, G1, 2,400m) champion. The Gold Ship filly came into her next big G1 challenge, the Shuka Sho (G1, 2,000m) direct from her summer break, but had not reached her best condition and was heavily beaten to 13th. However, provided that she has bounced back to form to run under the same race distance and course as the Oaks, she has a good chance in the Japan Cup, being a three-year-old filly and carrying the lightest weight of 53kg, in her competition against the derby winner of her generation. (Rated 113L as of her victory in the Yushun Himba)

Curren Bouquetd’or (JPN, M5, by Deep Impact) was fourth in the 2020 edition of the Japan Cup—just a neck and a nose behind Contrail—and her rating as of then was 119. While continued to be among the front finishers early this year, she has been short of reaching the same standard as last season and was surprisingly well beaten for the otherwise consistent runner in the Tenno Sho (Autumn), although the outside draw may have contributed to this result to a certain extent. If she is to pick a good draw and secure a good forward position and get into a good flow, the Deep Impact mare has a good chance to show her true form in the Japan Cup. (Rated 112E as of her third-place finish in the Tenno Sho (Spring))

Authority (JPN, C4, by Orfevre),while without a G1 victory, has still managed to notch three grade-two titles while hindered with leg injuries twice during his career. The talented Orfevre colt succeeded in winning back-to-back titles in the Copa Republica Argentina (G2, 2,500m) despite under top weight of 57.5kg., showing signs of having established himself as a prominent runner. JRA’s leading jockey, Christophe Lemaire, who rode Authority to victory in his last start, will be partnering him again in the coming race and the race will be his first G1 challenge over a left-handed course—his past G1 challenges have all been run clockwise—which is another favorable factor. (Rated 115L as of his victory in the Copa Republica Argentina)

Aristoteles (JPN, C4, by Epiphaneia) made a strong impression, especially in the last leg of the Triple Crown, the Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger, G1, 3,000m), where the Epiphaneia colt kept pestering eventual winner Contrail right up to the wire before finishing a second. Under high expectations, Aristoteles kicked off his four-year-old campaign with a victory in the American Jockey Club Cup (G2, 2,200m) but was short of living up to the hype in his following four starts although he displayed a hint of returning to his best in his runner-up effort in the latest Kyoto Daishoten (G2, 2,400m) where he was beaten by a nose by 2016 derby champion, Makahiki (JPN, H8, by Deep Impact). He will be partnered by up-and-coming jockey, Takeshi Yokoyama, 22 years old, who has won three G1 titles this year including the Tenno Sho (Autumn) where the talented jockey guided Efforia to victory, beating Contrail. It will be of great interest as to what the pair has in store towards their G1 challenge. (Rated 116E as of his fourth-place finish in the Tenno Sho (Spring))

Kiseki (JPN, H7, by Rulership) has been winless since claiming the 2017 Kikuka Sho but has continued to make his presence be known in top events. He still has plenty of speed to place himself in the front of the field and, if there is no dispute for dictating the pace, the son of Rulership may decide to aim for a wire-to-wire victory as was the case in 2018 and last year—depending on how much advantage he may gain during the trip, he could remain a factor to the very end, adding much excitement for the spectators. (Rated 116I as of his fourth-place finish in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup).
Other notable runners include, of course, the two derby champions Makahiki (Rated 114I as of his victory in the Kyoto Daishoten) and Wagnerian (JPN, H6, by Deep Impact) who won in 2018. Makahiki claimed his first win in five years in the Kyoto Daishoten while Wagnerian, third in the 2019 Japan Cup, is also hoped to turn in a good performance this year.

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Gran Alegria Defends Mile Championship Title in Fi23 Nov 9:38 am

Race favorite Gran Alegria successfully defended her Mile Championship title to become the first back-to-back winner since Daiwa Major (2006-07) and sixth overall. The classy daughter of Deep Impact ended her stellar racing career which saw her win six G1 titles—she won the Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) as a three-year-old; the Yasuda Kinen, the Sprinters Stakes and the Mile Championship when four; the Victoria Mile and the Mile Championship this year as a five-year-old—while also becoming the sixth female runner to exceed a career earning of ¥1.0 billion. Trainer Kazuo Fujisawa scored his 34th JRA-G1 victory—his first since the Victoria Mile with Gran Alegria—while the Mile Championship title was the sixth after with Shinko Lovely (1993), Taiki Shuttle (1997, 98), Zenno El Cid (2001) and Gran Alegria (2020), rewriting his own record for most Mile Championship titles won. Jockey Christophe Lemaire who also enjoyed consecutive Mile Championship victories along with Gran Alegria was last seen winning a G1 title in the Takarazuka Kinen with Chrono Genesis and has today reached a duo of milestones of 40 JRA-G1 victories and 1,500 JRA wins.

Gran Alegria was unhurried early and was rated a little further back than mid-division and just off the rails behind a slower than moderate pace led by Ho O Amazon. Making headway between horses from the 600-meter marker, the Deep Impact mare was angled out rounding the final turn for a clear path. While still having to make up ground along the widest lane, the multiple-G1 winner responded beautifully, edged closer with each stride and exploded into gear with a sharp turn of speed that timed 32.7 seconds in the last three furlongs to cross the wire by a 3/4 length margin.

“I am relieved and happy. The most important mission for me in her last run of her career was to bring out the best performance, her true form and she did just that. We were positioned a little further back but it didn’t worry me much and she has this really good finishing speed at the stretch like she showed today. She’s been a special horse since a two-year-old, winning all those big races and today she showed us again that she’s of a different class. I will miss her,” commented Christophe Lemaire.

Schnell Meister was sharp out of the gate and eased back to mid-field while saving ground along the rails, was caught behind horses at early stretch and was angled out slightly before the Kingman colt picked up to join the eventual winner to rally for the lead passing the furlong pole, overtaking the tired early leaders on the inside and holding gamely for second while missing by less than a length.

Danon the Kid broke smoothly from gate 13 and moved up to along the outside to sit three-wide in mid-division. The Just a Way colt made his move as the eventual winner passed by on his outside and while Gran Alegria shifted further out rounding the final turn, Danon the Kid pushed his way between horses and turned in a sharp turn of speed that was still not good enough to deter Gran Alegria on his outside and Schnell Meister on the inside but enough to out-rally the rest for third place.

Other Horses:
4th: (7) Indy Champ—hugged rails around 5th, rallied for lead, held on well while overtaken by top finishers before wire
5th: (1) Ho O Amazon—set pace and led until 300m out, remained in contention, weakened in last 100m
6th: (4) Salios—settled around 3rd, took a command 300m out, weakened in last 100m
7th: (8) Darlington Hall—sat around 10th, responded well but lacked needed kick in last 200m
8th: (5) Sound Chiara—traveled around 5th, showed effort up to 200m marker
9th: (11) Catedral—was off a slow, ran around 14th, circled wide, lacked needed kick
10th: (6) Cadence Call—saved ground around 13th, angled out, showed belated charge
11th: (16) Rainbow Flag—trailed in rear, passed tired rivals at stretch
12th: (10) Lotus Land—settled 4-wide around seventh, checked 200m out, never threatened
13th: (9) Grenadier Guards—chased leaders around 3rd, ran gamely up to 200m marker, fell back
14th: (2) Kurino Gaudi—tracked leader in 2nd, faded after 200m pole
15th: (14) Ripresa—raced 3-wide around 10th, never fired at stretch
16th: (15) Sound Kanaloa—traveled 3-wide near rear, no factor

[See more]

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Pro Tipster MAX - provides racing tips in the competitive horseracing world, with completely transparent wins/losses -

Pro Tipster MAX is a service that allows you to buy the racing tips of elite Umanity professional tipsters--starting at just 100 yen/race. The racing tips of Umanity-approved professional tipsters aren't just symbols that indicate the outcome, but a proper racing tip that indicates the betting combination and how to allocate funds--racing tips whose wins/losses are completely transparent in this head-to-head world. That's a clear distinction from the racing tips of other sites, which do not publish their wins/losses.

Simply registering as a member (free) allows you to buy the racing tips of professional tipsters.

Last week Results

  • Highest Payout
  • Return Rate
Rank Tipster Race Payoff
1 aomaru aomaru
28 Nov Hanshin8R
3,060 134,640
2 Janne Janne
28 Nov Hanshin9R
1,490 134,100
3 sanada osamu sanada osamu
28 Nov Hanshin9R
23,630 118,150
4 Sugouma Katsuko Sugouma Katsuko
27 Nov Hanshin11R
18,920 113,520
5 Sugadai Sugadai
28 Nov Hanshin12R
32,790 32,790

>>See more

Rank Tipster No.of
1 sanada osamu sanada osamu
9R 202% 22% 69,930 69,165
2 K.Souma K.Souma
29R 193% 41% 92,580 15,948
3 ButaminC ButaminC
16R 146% 25% 20,790 16,447
4 ibukimasaya ibukimasaya
8R 133% 25% 27,160 53,580
5 ireconderupasa ireconderupasa
12R 124% 33% 29,080 37,270
6 Mutsuki Mutsuki
27R 119% 18% 27,760 33,952
7 E.Yamazaki E.Yamazaki
9R 109% 66% 8,650 16,441
8 mayuka mayuka
46R 108% 52% 6,230 3,426
9 Akki Akki
22R 105% 68% 840 1,162

>>See more

Tip Coliseum --Japan's Biggest Racing Tips Arena! Are you Going to Compete? Or just Watch?

Over the course of a year, some 5 million racing tips are registered in the Tip Coliseum, Japan's largest and highest-level racing tip event. Different people use it in different ways--from participating in the tournament and competing for rankings, to watching the tips of top rankers.

Just registering as a member (free) allows you to use the functions of the Tip Coliseum for free.

 Tournament Info:Tournament 187 finished! The high achievers are recognized! Next tournament will be held from 4 Dec!

Tournament 187 Award

Rank Tipster Level
Deviation Return
parukia parukia
81.4 1207%
d8d21bdd55 d8d21bdd55
80.3 483%
5506d663af 5506d663af
80.2 561%
a2a5733acf a2a5733acf
79.6 486%
ka-a-kun ka-a-kun
79.2 457%

>>See more

To Beginners
--Smart Ways to Use Umanity--from Racing Tips to Horse Racing Romance--

Umanity offers all kinds of services to meet the different needs of racing fans, but on the other hand, some people feel "there are so many services, I don't know where to begin." For that reason, we introduce ways to use Umanity according to the type of user. We know you'll find a way that fits you perfectly♪

Data Cruncher

You are the type who assembles information useful for making tips, especially on high-stakes races, such as GI races, and refer to them as you make your own racing tips.
Suitable service

Graded race Page
U index

Recommend using!

[High Stakes Strategies] is packed with useful information for making racing tips, such as the latest information, like pre-race training times on the horses scheduled to run in high stakes races, the expected odds in the racing card, the columns of professional tipster, results from the past 10 years, etc. Then there is Umanity's proprietary racehorse performance index, the U-index, which many people pay to use for its accuracy; members can use it free, but just for high-stakes races, so using it in conjunction with the High Stakes Strategies makes for a perfect combo.

Racing Tip

Likes racing tips better than 3 squares a day! You're the type who makes tips on lots of races per day, not just the main ones!
Suitable service

Tip Coliseum
Race Info

Recommend using!

First off, try registering your tips in the [Tip Coliseum]. Of course there's the fun of competing for rankings and the racing tips bragging rights for all of Japan--but with our auto-tallying tools you can keep track of your results and bump up your racing prediction prowess through objective self-analysis. What's more, Umanity's [Racing Card (for VIP Club members)] is full of tools for increasing the accuracy of your tips, such as our proprietary speed index, the U-index, as well as “Stable Comments” and “Training Evaluation” and so on provided by Horseracing 8.


You see the horses as a vehicle for investing and you don't hold the your purse strings tight when it comes to high-quality information--you're looking for a high return!
Suitable service

Pro tipster "MAX"
Sugouma Robot

Recommend using!

With Pro Tipster MAX over 20 well-known professional tipsters provide their racing tips for a fee (from 100 yen/race). And their tips aren't just symbols that indicate the outcome, but proper racing tips that indicate the betting combination and how to allocate funds--racing tips whose wins/losses are completely transparent in this head-to-head world--a totally different critter from other horseracing tip sites, which only post their wins, but not the balance of wins/losses. The racing tips software [Sugouma Robot] is equipped with expected value theory for automatically buying only betting tickets with high expected yields.


You love the fun of horseracing with all your friends! You're the type who wants friends to go to the track with!
Suitable service

Horseracing Diary
offline get-togethers

Recommend using!

It's surprising how many people have nothing to say about horseracing on SNS, such as on Facebook. Umanity is a community just for horseracing fans, so don't hold back in talking about horseracing, such as in your Horseracing Diary. What's more, Umanity rents guest rooms at the Tokyo Race Course and holds horseracing offline get-togethers in both Spring and Fall. As these get-togethers are of like-minded horseracing fans, you're sure to make friends. Come along and have fun.


You're the type who wants to get into horseracing but you don't know where to start!
Suitable service

Graded race Page
Tip Coliseum

Recommend using!

First of all, you should try focusing on high-stakes races because you can get lots of information. [High Stakes Strategies] is packed with useful information for making racing tips, such as the latest information on the horses scheduled to run, the racing card, columns and results from the past 10 years. Next, try registering your tips in the [Tip Coliseum]. Simply registering a tip on a race will double the fun of watching them run. And up to this point it won't even cost you a single penny. You have nothing to lose as it's all free and you can take part in horseracing without betting any money.


More than for picking races or investing, you like horseracing because the horses are so beautiful! You're the type who wants to start as a partial owner!
Suitable service

Umanity POG

Recommend using!

[POG] stands for Paper Owner Game. Even though it's a virtual game, the horses are all real--several thousand JRA registered thoroughbreds. You select from among them and if your bid wins the auction, it's registered as your POG horse. You can keep up to 20 POG horses in your stable and the game is in competing for prize money with those horses. Apart from the game, pictures of about 400 race horses have been posted, and appreciating their beautiful bodies is one more pleasure.


Does it cost anything to use Umanity?

No, registering with and using Umanity is free. Once you become a member (free), you can participate in the Tip Coliseum, and use functions that are helpful in making tips, such as the U-index (Umanity's proprietary speed index) on high-stakes races, U-Favorites (tip odds ), which show what's popular among Umanity users, register horses to watch, betting ticket purchasing tools, etc.--not to mention enjoying horseracing community functions, such as diaries, messaging and circles--all the basics for free.

What do I have to do to register as a member?

Registering is simple--all it takes is an email address.
Once you register your email address, follow the instructions and you'll be registered as a member in 1 to 2 minutes flat! You can also register as a member via an account, such as your Yahoo! JAPAN ID.

Do I have to register to use the site?

No, some functions (such as news) can be used without registering.
However, most of the functions require becoming a member (free) and then you can use them for free, so we recommend becoming a member.
[Free Functions Available to Umanity Members]
-Participate in the Tip Coliseum (registering tips, rankings and auto tallying of results)
-U-index of high-stakes races (Umanity's proprietary racehorse performance index with some 10,000 regular users)
-U-Favorites (tip odds), which show what's popular among Umanity users
-Plus, functions useful for making tips, such as registering horses to watch and betting ticket purchase support
-Community functions like diaries, messaging and circles

Can I see racing tips for free?

There are both free tips and those you pay for.
You have to pay for the racing tips of professional tipsters.
Doing so requires the Umanity virtual currency, Gold (G).
Gold can be purchased with credit card.
Although you can view the racing tips of non-professional tipsters for "free," in some cases you need to use Umanity points, which you can get for free by being active on the site, such as by logging in, posting tips in the Tip Coliseum, etc.

What is the U-index?

It is an index developed exclusively by Umanity to indicate the performance of a racehorse.
The value is based on the time over the distance of each horse to date, and estimates whether and how well they will perform in this race; as such, the higher the index, the better the race performance is expected to be.
The U-index is provided to Umanity members free for high-stakes races. To use it on all races, you have to become a member of the Umanity VIP Club, which is a paid service.

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