This weekend on November 28th, Tokyo Racecourse is set to host the 2010 Japan Cup and a final field of 18 local and international gallopers are ready to face off in the richest turf race in the world.
The Grade 1 Japan Cup (2400m) is worth 528 million Yen this year, which is the 30th edition of the famed event, and it is shaping up as a close and competitive showdown where eight internationals will attempt to steal the glory from the local Japanese contingent.
Buena Vista is the clear favourite in the Japan Cup betting, the star Special Week filly boasting an imposing recent record.
However, with 17 other hopefuls she faces her toughest test to date and below we have a look at the full field and form for the main Japan Cup runners.
Remember, Australian punters can get in on the Japan Cup betting action too simply by signing up with leading online bookmaker Luxbet!
Japanese Horses in 2010 Japan Cup Field:
Buena Vista – Definitely the main contender and a favourite with the punters leading the Japan Cup odds, the Hiroyoshi Matsuda-trained Bunea Vista is a classy four-year-old who won the Tenno Sho (Autumn) in outstanding style. The Tenno Sho was Bunea Vista’s fifth Grade 1 victory and she is now just two wins away from equalling last year’s Japan Cup winner Vodka’s record for the most Grade 1 victories by a female horse. Can she give the punters a win and step one race closer on Sunday?
Nakayama Festa – The other leading Japanese contender, Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe runner-up Nakayama Fest narrowly defeated Buena Vista in the Takaraszuka Kinen back in June and fans have been eagerly awaiting the rematch between the two champions. The Stay Gold colt is in line to win the Japanese Horse of the Year and success in the Japan Cup will all but seal the honours.
Eishin Flash – Another local runner with genuine claims, the Hideaki Fujiwara-trained colt having won the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) this year. Had a slight injury scare last month but is reportedly back to peak fitness and will give it everything in the Japan Cup, run at the same track and distance as the Derby.
Oken Bruce Lee – Hidetaka Otonashi’s Jungle Pocket five-year-old Oken Bruce Lee is back after going down in a heart-stopping second in the Japan Cup last year, beaten by a mere nose by Vodka 12 months ago in a photo finish. Preparation hasn’t been ideal, Oken Bruce Lee having raced just once since their Japan Cup defeat finishing second to Meisho Beluga in the Kyoto Daishoten in October.
Pelusa – The Kazuo Fujisawa-trained three-year-old colt Pelusa is out to emulate their Japan Cup winning sire Zenno Rob Roy on Sunday. The talented galloper has the speed but perhaps not the concentration to beat a field of champions. Known for his poor gate manners, Pelusa is capable of greatness but may be a little green this year.
Rose Kingdom – King Kamehameha colt Rose Kingdom could be the value pick of the Japan Cup field. At longer odds, this in-form three-year-old has produced some very promising results over the season and trainer Kojiro Hashiguchi is very confident in their ability. Fit and ready to fight, Rose Kingdom has risen from strength to strength in recent starts, showing maturity and growing from a number of Grade race starts including a close second in the Derby.
Jaguar Mail – Winner of the Tenno Sho (Spring), one of Japan’s most testing staying races.
Meisho Beluga – Runner-up to Snow Fairy in the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup last start, can rise and finish in the placings with a bit of luck.
International Horses in 2010 Japan Cup Field:
Marinous (France) – Considered one of the strongest international raiders in this year’s Japan Cup field. Took out the Grand Prix de Deauville earlier in the year, but needs a soft track to perform at his best.
Voila Ici (Italy) – Big race specialist in Italy with two Grade 1 seconds this year in the Premio Roma and the Premio Presidente, but the Japan Cup will be their first start on a left-handed track which could be a concern in the face of so many classy Japanese contenders with plenty of experience here.
Timos (France) – Five-year-old champion in France, has great experience on the left-handed tracks with all four of his career wins this way of going. Also proven at the distance having won three times over 2400m, but without a grade victory looks a little outclassed her.
Joshua Tree (Ireland) – Trained by one of the best in the business, Coolmore Stud’s Aidan O’Brien. Won the G1 Canadian International Stakes this year, the lightly raced Montjeu colt having now won three of their six starts. Loves the straight, so Tokyo track an advantage, and always hits the line hard so don’t rule them out just yet.
Fifty Proof (Canada) – Strong four-year-old gelding that has performed well over his nine starts scoring four wins. Was a gallant second in the G1 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes at his first graded race start and is a front runner that will likely set the pace, but whether they can hang on to finish in the top three is questionable.
Cirrus des Aigles (France) – Super consistent runner that has only finished out of the money in three of his 26 career starts. Very versatile having won over both right and left handed courses so should adapt to the Tokyo way of going well.
Mores Wells (France)
Dandiono (Great Britain)
The 2010 Japan Cup is scheduled as Race 10 at Tokyo Racecourse on Sunday November 28, due to jump at 3:20pm (local time).
Visit Luxbet for the full Japan Cup odds and check out what’s happening on the Australian racing scene this weekend including markets for the Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot.
2010 Japan Cup Field
|1||VOILA ICE (IRE)||Mirco Demuro||Vittorio Caruso||57.0|
|2||VICTOIRE PISA (JPN)||Maxime Guyon||Katsuhiko Sumii||55.0|
|3||DANDINO (GB)||Paul Mulrennan||James Given||55.0|
|4||SHINGEN (JPN)||Shinji Fujita||Hirofumi Toda||57.0|
|5||MORES WELLS (GB)||Sebastien Maillot||Richard Gibson||57.0|
|6||ROSE KINGDOM (JPN)||Yutaka Take||Kojiro Hashiguchi||55.0|
|7||PELUSA (JPN)||Katsumi Ando||Kazuo Fujisawa||55.0|
|8||JAGUAR MAIL (JPN)||Ryan Moore||Noriyuki Hori||57.0|
|9||TIMOS (GER)||Olivier Peslier||Thierry Doumen||57.0|
|10||EISHIN FLASH (JPN)||Hiroyuki Uchida||Hideaki Fujiwara||55.0|
|11||NAKAYAMA FESTA (JPN)||Masayoshi Ebina||Yoshitaka Ninomiya||57.0|
|12||JOSHUA TREE (IRE)||Colm O’Donoghue||Aidan O’Brien||55.0|
|13||MEISHO BELUGA (JPN)||Kenichi Ikezoe||Kaneo Ikezoe||55.0|
|14||OKEN BRUCE LEE (JPN)||Christophe Lemaire||Hidetaka Otonashi||57.0|
|15||FIFTY PROOF (CAN)||Justin Stein||Ian Black||57.0|
|16||BUENA VISTA (JPN)||Christophe Soumillon||Hiroyoshi Matsuda||55.0|
|17||MARINOUS (FR)||Davy Bonilla||Frederic Head||57.0|
|18||CIRRUS DES AIGLES (FR)||Franck Blondel||Corinne Barande-Barbe||57.0|