2021 Japan Cup
November 28, 2021 - 1 ½ miles (2,400 meters), Tokyo, Japan
Preview: November 27, 2021
The 2021 Japan Cup seems hard to predict, not only because several of the top Japanese race horses are not running.
So even the three European guests have faint hope to be the first foreign winners for sixteen years.
entered last year's Japan Cup with high expectations,
he had won the Japanese Triple Crown before, but was then beaten by the big Almond Eye.
As Almond Eye has retired, it could be Contrail's time this year.
His seasonal debut did not turn out as expected, though.
As clear favourite, he came only third in the Osaka Hai on April 4,
why an intended start in the Takarazuka Kinen was cancelled.
He then came runner-up behind Efforia in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) on October 31.
Not a bad performance, considering that Contrail came from a seven-month absence
and that the 400 meters wider distance in the Japan Cup will suit him better.
It will be the last race of his career.
is the current Japanese Derby winner.
With his impressive finishing speed, he defeated Efforia, the horse that beat Contrail in the Tenno Sho (Autumn),
on the Tokyo racetrack in May.
However, Shahryar could not confirm this performance in his next race,
got clearly beaten by other three-year-old colts in the Kobe Shimbun Hai (G2, 2,200 m) on September 26,
probably had problems with the heavy ground.
He had only four starts this year, so arrives well rested to the 2021 Japan Cup.
won the Japanese Oaks in May as an 8:1 outsider,
unfortunately was diagnosed with a tendon injury afterwards.
She returned to the racetrack in the Shuka Sho on October 17,
where she finished only on the 13th place.
Like Shahryar, she will make use of her dynamic late kick.
won the 2016 Japanese Derby and the Prix Niel in France the same year,
afterwards did not win a single race for the next five years.
But the eight-year-old has shown a sign of life now. As 33 to 1 outsider, he won the Kyoto Daishoten on October 10,
beat the former Japan Cup runners-up Kiseki and will make his fourth Japan Cup appearance,
where he will obviously have to show further improvement.
lost against Makahiki by a nose in the Kyoto Daishoten.
He gave Contrail a big fight in last year's St Leger (3,000 m), where he got beaten by only by a neck.
The son of Epiphaneia then won his first race of the new season, the American Jockey Club Cup,
but could not satisfy expectations since.
He will be ridden by 22-year-old Takeshi Yokoyama, who had won the Tenno Sho (Autumn) with Efforia.
was runner-up in the
2018 Japan Cup
but has not won a race since his triumph in the 2017 Japanese St Leger.
He came fifth in the Takarazuka Kinen in May and got third behind Makahiki and Aristoteles in the Kyoto Daishoten most recently.
Kiseki is well known as frontrunner, so will probably try to take the lead in this Japan Cup again.
won the Copa Republica Argentina on November 7.
He did not beat the most dangerous rivals there, but this race has produced several winners,
who did well in the Japan Cup or Arima Kinen afterwards.
However, Authority had won the Copa Republica Argentina already last year,
then disappointed in the Arima Kinen and also in the Tenno Sho (Spring) in May.
He won both Copa Republica titles wire-to-wire and might have an early fight with Kiseki for the lead.
surprised with a fourth place in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) as 113:1 outsider,
left various horses behind, he will face in the Japan Cup again.
Apart from that, the six-year-old has not much to offer, at least won a Group 3 race in May.
Besides Wagnerian and You Can Smile he is the third starter from the Yoshitada Takahashi stable.
had his best time two years ago, when he won the Japanese Derby and came third in the Japan Cup.
But the son of Deep Impact has lost his way afterwards, never was placed better than fifth since, and
can only surprise.
You Can Smile
is in a similar situation like his stablemate Wagnerian.
He had been amongst the favourites in the 2019 Japan Cup, where he ended fifth,
but disappointed since, was chanceless in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) too.
never run against male horses so far, will do so for the first time now in the Japan Cup.
Fuchu Himba Stakes (G2, 2,000 m) at Tokyo on October 16,
the five-year-old daughter of Heart's Cry won her first group race,
still will only be an outsider.
enters the Japan Cup with the experience of six Group 1 races,
came runner-up in the Osaka Hai, a lenght ahead of Contrail, earlier this year.
His other results were a good deal worse, most recently he finished nine lenght behind Contrail in the Tenno Sho (Autumn).
started only twice this year and won both times on the racetrack in Tokyo.
Both races were on dirt, though. And the son of Spielberg never took part in a group race so far,
the last time he run on turf was back in May 2020.
came tenth in the Tenno Sho (Autumn),
finished five length behind Makahiki in the Kyoto Daishoten and
was even without a chance against Sanrei Pocket in May,
why it is questionable, that the seven-year-old will now run in the Japan Cup.
Lord My Way
is a similar case.
He did not finish better than 13the even in the Copa Republica Argentina and will not have any say in the Japan Cup too.
arrives with good form France to Tokyo.
She won the Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville in August, then was waferthin beaten in the Prix de l'Opéra in Paris on October 3.
The five-year-old daughter of Olympic Glory made all six starts this year over 2,000 meters, why it is not clear,
if she can stay the 2,400 meters in the Japan Cup.
Over this distance, she had ended ninth in the Prix Vermeille last year.
It will be the last race for the French mare, before she will be offered as a breeding prospect at Arqana.
is one of two horses from Ireland.
The five-year-old son of Australia has the best season of his life, made it into the top 2 in eight of his ten starts this year,
was only beaten by a length in the Breeders' Cup Turf on November 6.
, like Broome trained by Aidan O'Brien, has a place of honour in the Japan Cup with this name.
He had his best time as a three-year-old, came third in the 2019 Epsom Derby,
won the International Stakes at York and then was fourth in the 2019 Arc.
Afterwards the son of Galileo was not particularly successful,
run his last three races in the USA, where he finished fourth in the Breeders' Cup Turf, three length behind Broome.
With Yutaka Take he has a four times Japan Cup winner in the saddle.
Also for the son of Galileo it will be the last race of his career.
for the 2021 Japan Cup 2021 can be found at
The Japan Cup takes place on Sunday morning, 7:40 am (CET).
of the race, where the result is NOT displayed in advance,
is provided by
Horse Racing Japan
Press the video button in the Japan Cup row.