Japan Cup 2016
November 27, 2016 - 1 ½ miles (2,400 meters), Turf, Tokyo, Japan
Preview: November 24, 2016
For different reasons many of the best Japanese race horses will not take part in this year's
Japan Cup (7:40 CET), so it is not easy to spot the favourites.
Likely race favourite Kitasan Black
is expected to dictate the pace in the 2016 Japan Cup,
other strong contenders like Real Steel
, Cheval Grand
, Gold Actor
or Rouge Buck
will probably try to win the race through their impressive finishing speed on the stretch.
In a field, that does not seem to have the quality of prior Japan Cups,
also the European guests Erupt
should have a chance,
even though statistics are not in favour of foreign horses.
Japan Cup title holder Shonan Pandora has retired due to an injury,
so did last year's Derby winner Duramente.
This year's Japanese Derby, Oaks, St Leger and Shuka Sho winners
(Makahiki, Sinhalite, Satono Diamond, Vivlos)
are also not going to run in the Japan Cup.
A Shin Hikari will have his last race in the Hong Kong Cup, Maurice, recent winner of the Tenno Sho (Autumn),
will set his swansong in Hong Kong too.
Furthermore Japanese 2015 Oaks winner Mikki Queen,
Takarazuka Kinen gainer Marialite and last year's race favourite Lovely Day
are not taking part in the 2016 Japan Cup.
, last year's Japanese St Leger winner, has performed consistently well all over 2016.
The son of Black Tide, who is an older brother of Deep Impact,
won the Tenno Sho (Spring) in May, got only marginally beaten in the
Takarazuka Kinen and defeated strong opposition in the Kyoto Daishoten in October.
got beaten by a neck by Kitasan Black in the Japanese 2000 Guineas
as well as in the St Leger last year. The son of Deep Impact managed his first major victory then in March
when gained the Dubai Turf (1,800 m) ahead of Tryster. After a five month break he now came runner-up in
the Tenno Sho (Autumn)(2,000), which makes him another hot candidate for the Japan Cup,
even though he never won beyond 1,800 meters.
At the end of a four month rest Cheval Grand
just managed to get in the spotlight by
winning the Copa Republica Argentina (Group 2, 2,500 m) half a length in front of Albert
The four year old colt had already finished third in the Tenno Sho (Spring) right behind Kitasan Black.
won last year's Copa Republica Argentina before winning the
2015 Arima Kinen
narrowly ahead of Sounds Of Earth
and Kitasan Black.
Since then the son of Screen Hero run only three times, revealed good form
when won the Sabkei Sho against decent opposition in September.
Hayato Yoshida has always ridden him since 2014, it will be the first Japan Cup for him and Gold Actor.
surprised in the
2015 Japan Cup
when became runner-up as a 23/1 outsider under Ryan Moore.
This year his two runs in Japan were not really encouraging,
still the six-year-old managed a third place in the Dubai Sheema Classic,
half a length in front of the current Breeders' Cup Turf winner Highland Real.
entered last year's 1000 Guineas and Oaks as clear favourite,
but did not satisfy expectations. This summer she won the Group 2 Mainichi Okan (1,800 m)
against decent rivals like Ambitious or Staphanos. She then entered the Tenno Sho (Autumn)
as third favourite, but met traffic and finished only seventh.
None of the very best Japanese male or female three-year-old horses will take
part in the 2016 Japan Cup, still three representatives of this generation
are going to run, although only four three-year-olds ever won the Japan Cup.
, who won the Japanese 2000 Guineas (2,000 m) as a 30:1 outsider in May,
finished third in the Derby and got fourth in the St Leger at the end of October.
He will get ridden by world class Jockey Ryan Moore, who won the Japan Cup with Gentildonna in 2013.
run most races of his young career between a mile and 1,800 meters.
Recently the Stay Gold-colt surprised when became runner-up in the St Leger (3,000 m) ahead of Dee Majesty.
came third in the Oaks, recently disappointed
in the Shuka Sho. The fact that she had been 6/4 favourite in this
important race indicates that she should have some potential.
In a field that does not appears especially terrifying,
the three foreign starters should not be without a chance,
considering that Erupt and Nightflower already took part in last year's
Japan Cup and did not end too far behind the winner.
Last year Erupt
won the Grand Prix de Paris and came fifth in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
before he finished sixth in the Japan Cup, less than two length behind the winner.
The four year old Dubawi-colt did not run particularly well most of this year,
but has just won the Canadian International on October 16.
The German filly Nightflower
ended only eleventh in last year's Japan Cup,
but had to start from the widest box 18 and met interference down the home straight,
otherwise would have finished far better.
The daugther of Dylan Thomas will get ridden by Andrasch Starke again,
who has quite extensive experience on Japanese race courses.
It will be Nightflower's the last race of her career.
is another German starter, he got an invitation by winning the
Grosse Preis von Baden
in September, ahead of Nightflower. The son of Adlerflug disappointed afterwards,
but the 'closer' will like the fast run race in the Japan Cup.
However, statistics are not in favour of the guests, no foreign horse managed it under the
first three of the Japan Cup since 2006, including the Arc winners
Danedream and Solemia.
One reason for this remarkable statistic might be the close-cropped grass on the
pretty hard Tokyo racetrack, uncommon for European horses.
The final stretch of the Tokyo racetrack
has a length of 525 meters and increases two meters within the first 225 meters.
, under Frankie Dettori, was the last foreign horse to win the Japan Cup in 2005.
To watch a video
of the race without knowing the result you can go to
look for Japan Cup and click on the video button.
Ante-Post odds for the Japan Cup 2016 can be found at