2022 Japan Cup

2022 Japan Cup

November 27, 2022 - 1 ½ miles (2,400 meters), Tokyo, Japan

Pl. Dist.
Age Weight
Trainer Jockey Odds

Vela Azul 5 57,0
K. Watanabe R. Moore 4.5

2. ¾ Shahryar 4 57,0
H. Fujiwara C. Demuro 3.4

3. Nk Weltreisende 5 57,0
Y. Ikee D. Lane 9.5

4. ½ Daring Tact 5 55,0
H. Sugiyama T. Marquand 13.0

5. 2 ½ Danon Beluga 3 55,0
N. Hori Y. Kawada 4.2

6. Nk Grand Glory 6 55,0
G. Bietolini M. Guyon 57.0

7. Nk Onesto 3 57,0
F. Chappet C. Lemaire 13.3

8. Nk Karate 6 57,0
Y. Tsujino A. Sugawara 55.7

9. 1 ¾ Tünnes 3 55,0
P. Schiergen B. Murzabayev 25.5

10. Ns Uberleben 4 55,0
T. Tezuka M. Demuro 35.5

11. Nk Heart's Histoire 6 57,0
S. Kunieda Y. Take 42.7

12. ½ Shadow Diva 6 55,0
M. Saito K. Matsuyama 259.0

13. ¾ Trust Kenshin 7 57,0
F. Takahashi K. Maruta 424.6

14. 1 ¾ T O Royal 4 57,0
I. Okada Y. Hishida 26.1

15. Ns Simca Mille 3 55,0
S. Wattel G. Benoist 41.5

16. Nk Unicorn Lion 6 57,0
Y. Yahagi Y. Kokubun 67.2

17. 2 ½ Boccherini 6 57,0
Y. Ikee S. Hamanaka 32.3

18. 4 Ridge Man 9 57,0
K. Chiba Y. Ishikawa 374.1

Preview: November 22, 2022

No foreign horse made in under the top three in the Japan Cup (7:40 am CET) the last fifteen years. That might change this year, as many of the best Japanese race horses will not line up, while four starters arrive from Europe.

From a Japanese view, this year's Japan Cup seems the weakest for a long time. Derby winner Do Deuce, Derby runner-up and Tenno Sho (Autumn) winner Equinox, Oaks winner Stars On Earth, Shuka Sho winner Stunning Rose, Copa Republica Argentina winner Breakup, the Arc participants Titleholder and Deep Bond, or last year's runner-up Authority, they all do not start. So that might be a big chance for the European horses, even though history has shown, foreign horses had always problems to run on Japanese tracks.

  Promising Japanese starters:
Shahryar gained last year's Japanese Derby, finished third in the 2021 Japan Cup and won the Dubai Sheema Classic in March. He was then intended to run in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe but disappointed on his first start in Europe, ended only second to last in the Prince Of Wales's Stakes at Ascot, why his Arc plans were cancelled. Back to Japan, the son of Deep Impact ended only fifth in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) on October 30, had come from 137 days break though.

Danon Beluga finished third in the Tenno Sho (Autumn), two-and-a-half length ahead of Shahryar, came from a long break too. On the last meters of the stretch, he was at least as quick as winner Equinox. Danon Beluga had been favourite on his previous start, the Japanese Derby on May 29, but ended only fourth there.

Daring Tact had been one of the big Japanese hopes. Two years ago she won the Japanese Filly Triple Tiara, something famous horses like Gentildonna or Almond Eye did before. She came third in the 2020 Japan Cup, due to an injury could run only twice in 2021 and could not find back to earlier form this year. Still, the daughter of Epiphaneia entered the Queen Elizabeth II Cup as favourite on November 13, disappointed on the sixth place again.

Vela Azul raced on sand tracks until he was four, moved to turf at the beginning of the year. A good decision, as he won an important Japan Cup trial, the Kyoto Daishoten (G2, 2,400 m), with two-and-a-half length on October 10. However, he will face much tougher opponents in the 2022 Japan Cup.

Boccherini finished two-and-a-half length behind Vela Azul as runner-up in the Kyoto Daishoten. The six-year-old had gained the biggest success of his career in May by winning the Meguro Kinen (G2). He has found to form in late years, but never run in a group one race and might be overvalued in the betting market.

Uberleben won the Japanese Oaks last year, never really establish in the highest class, though. Following a minor injury, she became sixth in the Japan Cup and fifth in the Dubai Sheema Classic. She could not turn the tables in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) most recently, finished eighth there.

Weltreisende came third in the Japanese Derby two years ago. As a four-year-old he could only run a single race due to a tendon injury, was then off the track for sixteen months. Impressive his comeback in the Naruo Kinen (G3, 2,000 m) in June, which he won ahead of the later Queen Elizabeth II Cup winner Geraldina. After this success, he entered the Sankei Sho All Comers as one of the favourites, but disappointed like Daring Tact and T O Royal.

T O Royal won four races last year, therefore jumped to group level this season, where he finished third in the Tenno Sho (Spring) in May. Having been off the track for almost five months, he came fifth in the Sankei Sho All Comers on September 25 and only sixth in the Copa Republica Argentina. Still, he is supposed to run the Japan Cup and then the Arima Kinen on December 25.

Heart's Histoire came runner-up in the Copa Republica Argentina on November 6, a race that supplied the later Japan Cup winners several times. It was only the second group race for the six-year-old son of Heart's Cry, he finished sixteenth in the Tenno Sho (Spring) in May. His rider is the legendary Yutaka Take, who has won the Japan Cup four times. Trainer Sakae Kunieda won two of the last four holdings.

Tünnes will be the first horse from Germany in the Japan Cup for five years. He had been favourite to win this year's German Derby for a long time, but then missed out most of the year due to an injury. He came back to the track at the end of August, directly won a 52,000 Euro race, then the 138th German St Leger by eight length and most recently the Große Preis von Bayern (G1, 2,400 m) with ten length, a race Alpinista had won last year. Tünnes run only three races this year, so you have something left in his tank. He is a son of Tijuana, who is also the mother of former Arc winner Torquator Tasso. Neither him nor German champion jockey Bauyrzhan Murzabayev have ever started in Japan

Grand Glory already gained experience in Japan, which could be an advantage. The six-year-old French mare finished on a strong fifth position in last year's Japan Cup, Most recently she came fifth again in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, clearly defeated all four Japanese horses there, why she might be in the mix on decent odds. The daughter of Olympic Glory already faced Shahryar this season, beat him by a head when came third in the Prince Of Wales's Stakes at Ascot. Jockey Maxime Guyon run his last race in Japan six years ago.

Onesto is another interesting horse from Europe. The son of Frankel came only tenth in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on soft ground, five length behind Grand Glory. But he had won the Grand Prix de Paris in July and came runner-up in the Irish Champion Stakes afterwards. The expected good ground on Sunday should suit him. His jockey Christophe Lemaire is riding in Japan since twenty years, won several group one races, including three victories in the Japan Cup.

Simca Mille is a three-year-old colt from France, like Onesto. He was second to Onesto in the Grand Prix de Paris, then won the Prix Niel in September, four length ahead of the current Japanese Derby winner Do Deuce. Apart from his debut, the son of Tamayuz never finished worse than runner-up, still will only be outsider in Tokyo. French jockey Gregory Benoist won 21 races in Japan so far.

Fixed odds for the 2022 Japan Cup are available at RaceBets.com

The Japan Cup takes place on Sunday morning, 7:40 am (CET). A replay of the race, where the result is NOT displayed in advance, is provided with English commentary by Horse Racing Japan. Press the video button in the Japan Cup row.

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