2023 Japan Cup

2023 Japan Cup

November 26, 2023 - 1 ½ miles (2,400 meters), Tokyo, Japan

Pl. Dist.
Age Weight
Trainer Jockey Odds

Equinox 4 57,0
T. Kimura C. Lemaire 1.3

2. 4 Liberty Island 3 53,0
M. Nakauchida Y. Kawada 3.7

3. 1 Stars On Earth 4 55,0
M. Takayanagi W. Buick 26.6

4. ¾ Do Deuce 4 57,0
Y. Tomomichi K. Tosaki 13.2

5. 2 Titleholder 5 57,0
T. Kurita K. Yokoyama 19.2

6. 1 Danon Beluga 4 57,0
N. Hori J. Moreira 32.5

7. Nk Vela Azul 6 57,0
K. Watanabe H. Doyle 99.7

8. Nk Studley 5 57,0
Y. Okumura T. Marquand 547.0

9. 1 ½ Iresine 6 57,0
J.-P. Gauvin M. Velon 111.2

10. ½ Deep Bond 6 57,0
R. Okubo R. Wada 83.8

11. 1 Shonan Bashitto 3 55,0
N. Sugai M. Demuro 513.1

12. 1 ¼ Panthalassa 6 57,0
Y. Yahagi Y. Yoshida 46.4

13. 7 Impress 4 57,0
S. Sasaki K. Miura 666.1

14. ¾ Forward Again 6 57,0
E. Nakano H. Mayuzumi 866.4

15. 5 Win Erfolg 6 57,0
Y. Nemoto N. Fujita 430.8

16. 2 Trust Kenshin 8 57,0
F. Takahashi K. Ogino 871.9

17. 2 ½ Chestnut Coat 9 57,0
I. Tanaka M. Tanaka 827.0

18. 5 Kurino Megami Ace 4 55,0
M. Ishibashi T. Yoshimura 878.1

Preview: November 22, 2023

The world's highest ranked racehorse takes part in the most important race of his country for the first time, and obviously, Equinox is the horse to beat. A three-year-old filly, who seems outstanding in her class, might be a serious competitor.

Equinox is undefeated since May 2022 and will be the clear favourite in the 2023 Japan Cup. Last year, he got narrowly beaten in the Japanese 2000 Guineas and the Derby, then won the Tenno Sho (Autumn) and the Arima Kinen, consequently became Japan's Horse Of The Year. In March, he gained the Dubai Sheema Classic in a new record time, three and a half-lengths ahead of the later Arc runner-up Westover. Since then, he leads the World’s Best Racehorse Rankings with a rating of 129. The son of Kitasan Black, 2016 Japan Cup winner, run only twice since, won the Takarazuka Kinen on June 25 and defended his Tenno Sho (Autumn) title on October 29, this time with a new track record over 2,000 meters in Tokio.

Liberty Island is the most hopeful three-year-old in Japan at present. The daughter of Duramente won the 1000 Guineas, the Japanese Oaks and the Shuka Sho on October 15. With this three victories, she gained the Japanese Fillies Triple Crown, something famous horses like Gentildonna or Almond Eye have achieved before. She passed the line six lengths ahead in the Oaks, ran the second-best time ever and was two seconds faster than the colts in the Japanese Derby. For Liberty Island, who has amazing late speed, the Japan Cup is her first clash with older horses and colts. In 46 years only five Japanese three-year-old horses could win the Japan Cup.

Stars On Earth, like Liberty Island a daughter of Duramente, gained the 1000 Guineas and the Oaks last season, but could run only three races since due to several injuries. She was set to start in the Tenno Sho (Autumn), but missed it because of leg problems. So far she never finished worth than third, but now enters the Japan Cup from a six-month lay-off, still should not be underestimated.

Panthalassa already led last year's Tenno Sho (Autumn) by fifteen length when got caught by Equinox on the line. Four month later, the six-year-old son of Lord Kanaloa won the Saudi Cup wire to wire. The former Dubai Turf winner has not been on the track since March, but we can expect him running well ahead of the field during the Japan Cup again.

Titleholder won the Takarazuka Kinen last year and was Japan's biggest hope in the 2022 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, where he disappointed as eleventh. In March, he tried to defend his title in the Tenno Sho (Spring), but was pulled up due to lameness. Six months later, he returned with a second place in the Sankei Sho All Comers on September 24. The five-year-old son of Duramente usually tries to set the pace, but will probably have to line up behind Panthalassa in the 2023 Japan Cup.

Do Deuce won last year's Japanese Derby in a new record time and beat Equinox by a neck, but his career has not carried on as expected. He totally disappointed in the Prix Niel and 2022 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, planned starts in the Japan Cup and Dubai Turf were cancelled due to left foreleg problems, so that Do Deuce has started only twice this year. He won the Kyoto Kinen (G2) at Hanshin in February, came only seventh in the Tenno Sho (Autumn).

Vela Azul won the 2022 Japan Cup, but his four races since have been well disappointing. He finished eleven length behind Equinox in the Arima Kinen, came 13th in the Dubai World Cup and was well beaten also in the Takarazuka Kinen and Kyoto Daishoten. Difficult to imagine, he will defend his title.

Danon Beluga finished fifth in last year's Japan Cup and came runner-up behind Lord North at the Dubai Turf in March. Since then, the four-year-old ran only twice. Most recently, he ended fourth in the Tenno Sho (Autumn), where he displayed his decent late speed again.

Deep Bond is known in Europe for his two starts at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, did not reach more than a 14th place there. He had his greatest moment two years ago, when came runner-up in the 2021 Arima Kinen. In October, he finished third at the Kyoto Daishoten, still will only be outsider in the Japan Cup.

  Foreign starters:
Continuous has come from Ireland to Tokio. The Aidan O'Brien charge won the St Leger Stakes at Doncaster on September 16 and came fifth in the 2023 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe only two weeks later. The son of Japanese colt Heart's Cry is one of the best horses in Europe,

Iresine is this the only starter from abroad in this year's Japan Cup. The six-year-old French gelding won the Prix Foy and the Prix Royal-Oak at Paris-Longchamp last year. This season, he gained the Prix Ganay and the Prix du Conseil de Paris on October 15. However, foreign starters have a frustrating record in the Japan Cup. The last foreign horse that made it under the top three was Ouija Board back in 2006.

Fixed odds for the 2023 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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