30/11/2020. Almond Eye Crowns Spectacular Career with Japan Cup Victory (29/11/20) // link per vedere la corsa nell’articolo



Race favorite Almond Eye claimed this year’s Japan Cup, the first race in history to feature three Triple Crown winners, while capping off a brilliant career. The 2018 fillies’ Triple Crown winner boasts a JRA record of eight JRA-G1 victories and nine G1 triumphs overall when adding the 2019 Dubai Turf title to the list. Topping Kitasan Black’s record, she has marked the most career earnings of JPY 1,915,263,900 as of today. This Japan Cup victory is trainer Sakae Kunieda’s 19th JRA-G1 title while jockey Christophe Lemaire celebrates his 35th JRA-G1 and third Japan Cup victory—with Vodka (2009) and Almond Eye (2018). Lemaire has also won four G1 titles in a row after the Tenno Sho (Autumn) win with the star mare this year, the Queen Elizabeth II Cup with Lucky Lilac and the Mile Championship with Gran Alegria which adds up to a total of eight G1 wins in a single year, a tie to his own 2018 record.

Breaking smoothly from stall two, Almond Eye traveled in fourth to fifth on the rails in the backstretch while 2018 Japan Cup runner-up Kiseki set a strong pace outdistancing the rest of the field by a good 20 lengths. With Kiseki still up front, the others drifted out rounding the final turn, giving the star mare, who entered the lane in third, a clear path to launch her bid. Under confident handling by Christophe Lemaire, for the last time Almond Eye displayed her signature turn of foot to take command 150 meters out and drew away to triumph by 1-1/4 lengths.

“She looked good since arriving at the racecourse—she has definitely matured mentally. We were worried about the rough going near the rails, but Christophe did a good job in finding a good path. The pace was ideal for Almond Eye and her response was totally different from that in the Tenno Sho (Autumn). Since expectations of an eighth G1 title were enormous in her last Tenno Sho start, we did feel pressure but today, all we wanted was for her to come back safe and sound. The victory is such a bonus, we couldn’t be happier. She has given us so much excitement and joy and it has been fulfilling to be a part of her career. It would be great if I could be involved in training her colt or filly someday,” commented trainer Sakae Kunieda.

“Since this was her final start, it was very special for me and I’m thrilled we were able to win. After winning the Victoria Mile in the spring, we had three weeks to get her prepared for the Yasuda Kinen in which she was second. She had an extra week this time and was tuned up beautifully. She was relaxed in the gate, broke smoothly and was able to sit in a good position. The turf condition near the rails was much better than last week so I don’t think the inner draw was a problem. The pace was just right for her and she responded well in the stretch. The others closing in on us didn’t worry me at all. Almond Eye is a perfect mare and doesn’t have any weak points. Her career as a race horse ended today but I look forward to riding her children,” said jockey Christophe Lemaire.

This year’s Triple Crown winner Contrail ran in mid-field a couple of lengths behind rival Daring Tact and was on her heels at the final turn. Sent off second favorite, the undefeated colt unleashed an explosive kick down the middle of the straight pinning Glory Vase and Curren Bouquetd’or in the final strides, while holding off the strong challenge by Daring Tact and finished second, his first defeat in his eighth career start.

Third favorite and fillies’ Triple Crown champion Daring Tact was settled in mid-field up to the last corner, was bumped by Contrail 300 meters out and was forced to alter her path to squeeze between rivals but accelerated strongly thereon, tagging Glory Vase in the final strides and nosing out Curren Bouquetd’or at the wire for a neck third.

Reluctant to load, ninth favorite and French contender Way To Paris broke from stall eight, sat at the far rear and improved position in the stretch but never reached contention, finishing 10th.

“Everything was different from what he’s used to when racing at home, so he was very nervous and took a lot of time to get into the stall. He broke poorly and even though the pace was so fast, he did respond in the last 300 meters. He was used up trying to get into the stall and the bad break also affected the outcome,” commented Zoe Pfeil after the race.

“The horse seemed laid back up to the gate. He just didn’t want to get in and got worked up,” added Mirco Demuro.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcA4FowPsXs&ab_channel=BellSide100 (clicca sul link per vedere il video della corsa)

Other Horses:
4th: (1) Curren Bouquetd’or—ran inside Daring Tact, angled out for stretch run, chased eventual winner and rallied with two three-year-old Triple Crown winners for runner-up seat, weakened before wire
5th: (15) Glory Vase—traveled in 4th, accelerated at stretch and sustained bid after overtaken by eventual winner, weakened in final strides
6th: (3) World Premiere—hugged rails around 10th, showed effort but no match for top finishers
7th: (7) Mikki Swallow—raced in 12th, passed tired rivals at stretch
8th: (4) Kiseki—set fast pace, led until 150m out, outrun thereafter
9th: (12) Makahiki—saved ground in 13th, showed effort but was checked 200m out
11th: (10) Perform a Promise—sat around 10th, even paced
12th: (13) You Can Smile—settled 2nd from rear, circled wide, unable to reach contention
13th: (11) Crescendo Love—traveled near eventual winner, never fired at stretch
14th: (9) Taurus Gemini—chased leaders in 3rd, ran out of steam at top of stretch
15th: (14) Yoshio—tracked distant leader in 2nd, faded after 3rd corner

The 40th Japan Cup (G1) in association with LONGINES – Japan Autumn International –
3-year-olds & up, 2,400 meters (about 12 furlongs), turf, left-handed
Sunday, November 29, 2020        Tokyo Racecourse        12th Race         Post Time: 15:40
Total prize money: ¥ 648,000,000 (about US$ 6,000,000 <US$1=¥108>)
3-y-o: 55 kg (about 121 lbs), 4-y-o & up: 57 kg (about 126 lbs)
2 kg allowance for Fillies & Mares, 2 kg allowance for Southern Hemisphere-bred born in 2017
Course Record: 2:20.6                Race Record: 2:20.6 [Almond Eye (JPN), 2018]
Safety factor: 18 runners     Going: Firm           Weather: Cloudy

FP BK PP Horse
(Dam’s Sire)
1 2 2 Almond Eye (JPN)
Christophe Lemaire
Lord Kanaloa
Fusaichi Pandora
(Sunday Silence)
Silk Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Racing
Sakae Kunieda
2 4 6 Contrail (JPN)
Yuichi Fukunaga
Deep Impact
(Unbridled’s Song)
Shinji Maeda
North Hills Co,. Ltd.
Yoshito Yahagi
3 3 5 Daring Tact (JPN)
Kohei Matsuyama
Daring Bird
(King Kamehameha)
Normandy Thoroughbred Racing Co., Ltd.
Hasegawa Bokujo
Haruki Sugiyama
4 1 1 Curren Bouquetd’or (JPN)
Akihide Tsumura
Deep Impact
(Scat Daddy)
Takashi Suzuki
Shadai Farm
Sakae Kunieda
5 8 15 Glory Vase (JPN)
Yuga Kawada
Deep Impact
Mejiro Tsubone
(Swept Overboard)
Silk Racing Co., Ltd.
Lake Villa Farm
Tomohito Ozeki
6 2 3 World Premiere (JPN)
Yutaka Take
Deep Impact
Ryoichi Otsuka
Northern Racing
Yasuo Tomomichi
7 4 7 Mikki Swallow (JPN)
Keita Tosaki
Tosen Homareboshi
Madre Bonita
(Jungle Pocket)
Mizuki Noda
Northern Farm
Takanori Kikuzawa
8 3 4 Kiseki (JPN)
Suguru Hamanaka
Blitz Finale
(Deep Impact)
Tatsue Ishikawa
Shimokobe Farm
Katsuhiko Sumii
9 7 12 Makahiki (JPN)
Kosei Miura
Deep Impact
(French Deputy)
Kaneko Makoto Holdings Co., Ltd.
Kaneko Makoto Holdings Inc.
Yasuo Tomomichi
10 5 8 Way To Paris (GB)*
Mirco Demuro
Champs Elysees
Grey Way
Paolo Ferrario
Andrea Marcialis
11 6 10 Perform a Promise (JPN)
Mirai Iwata
Stay Gold
I’ll Be Bound
(Tanino Gimlet)
Sunday Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Farm
Hideaki Fujiwara
12 7 13 You Can Smile (JPN)
Yasunari Iwata
King Kamehameha
Mood Indigo
(Dance in the Dark)
Kaneko Makoto Holdings Co., Ltd.
Kaneko Makoto Holdings Inc.
Yasuo Tomomichi
13 6 11 Crescendo Love (JPN)
Hiroyuki Uchida
Stay Gold
Higher Love
(Sadler’s Wells)
Hiroo Race
Toru Hayashi
14 5 9 Taurus Gemini (JPN)
Hironobu Tanabe
King’s Best
Erimo Etoilee
(Manhattan Cafe)
Kawakami Bokujo
Satoru Kobiyama
15 8 14 Yoshio (JPN)
Masaki Katsuura
Floral Home
(Came Home)
Yusuke Iwami
Japan Racing Association
Hideyuki Mori
FP: Final Position / BK: Bracket Number / PP: Post Position / S&A: Sex & Age / Wgt: Weight (kg) / DH: Dead Heat / L3F: Time of Last 3 Furlongs (600m)
Color: b.=bay / bl.=black / br.=brown / ch.=chestnut / d.b.=dark bay / d.ch.=dark chestnut / g.=gray / w.=white
Note1: No Foreign Contenders
Note2: Figures quoted under Odds are shown in form of decimal odds (single unit is ¥100), and Fav indicates the order of favorites.


Turnover for the Race alone: ¥ 27,274,334,600       Turnover for the Day: ¥ 37,169,195,300       Attendance: 4,604

PAY-OFF (for ¥100)

Win No.2 ¥ 220 Bracket Quinella 2-4 ¥ 350 Quinella 2-6 ¥ 330
Place No.2 ¥ 110 Quinella Place 2-6 ¥ 170 Exacta 2-6 ¥ 610
No.6 ¥ 110 2-5 ¥ 190 Trio 2-5-6 ¥ 300
No.5 ¥ 120 5-6 ¥ 220 Trifecta 2-6-5 ¥ 1,340

Winner= 15 starts, 11 wins, 2 seconds, 1 third / Added money: ¥ 303,234,000 / Career earnings: ¥ 1,915,263,900

Fractional time (sec./furlong): 12.7 – 10.8 – 11.8 – 11.3 – 11.3 – 11.5 – 11.8 – 11.9 – 12.1 – 12.3 – 13.2 – 12.3
  Last 4 furlongs: 49.9            Last 3 furlongs: 37.8


Positions at each corner: 1st corner 4-14-9(2,15)11(1,5)-6(3,10)-7-12,13,8
  2nd corner 4=(9,14)-15(2,11)5,1-6,3,10,7-12,13,8
  3rd corner 4=(15,9)(2,11)14(1,5)-6,3,10,7-(12,13)8
  4th corner 4=(15,9)(2,11)1-(3,5)6(12,7)(14,10,13)8


Note1: Underlined bold number indicates the winning horse.
Note2: Horse numbers are indicated in the order of their positions at each corner, with the first position listed first. Two or more horses inside the same parentheses indicate that they were positioned side by side. Hyphens between the horse numbers indicate that there is distance between the former and the latter. The asterisk indicates a slight lead.


* Japan Cup (G1)

The Japan Cup, in its 40th year, continues to attract some of the top turf horses from around the world—67 runners from North America, 146 from Europe, 26 from Oceania and five from Asia—while a number of runners have made this race their starting point towards further international success in following years.
Last year’s version was won by Suave Richard (JPN, by Heart’s Cry), marking his second G1 victory after claiming the Osaka Hai (G1, 2,000m) in 2018. Behind in second was three-year-old filly Curren Bouquetd’or who registered her third runner-up effort at the G1 level—the other two were the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks, 2,400m) and the Shuka Sho (2,000m)—and was followed by 2018 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby, G1, 2,400m) victor Wagnerian (JPN, by Deep Impact) in third.
This year, the Japan Cup welcomed French contender Way To Paris. After finishing second to subsequent Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1, 2,400m) winner Sottsass (FR, C4, by Siyouni) in the Prix Ganay (G1, 2,100m) in June, the gray registered his first group-one title in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (2,400m) before turning in a ninth in his latest start, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Meanwhile, the focus was centered on the three Triple Crown winners. Three-year-old filly Daring Tact claimed the Shuka Sho (G1, 2,000m; Oct.18) to become the sixth filly to capture the fillies’ Triple Crown title and moreover, the first in JRA history to do so undefeated. Contrail, with his Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger, G1, 3,000m; Oct.25) victory, also added his name in the history book as the third undefeated Triple Crown winner and the eighth colt to sweep all three titles. Both strived in becoming the first undefeated Japan Cup winner.
While capturing a consecutive Tenno Sho (Autumn) (G1, 2,000m; Nov.1) title this year, the fillies’ Triple Crown winner of 2018 Almond Eye became the first JRA horse ever to capture eight G1 turf titles over turf. The legendary mare aimed for her second Japan Cup victory following her 2018 win before capping off her brilliant racing career.
Also, from the Tenno Sho (Autumn), fifth-place finisher Kiseki made his second Japan Cup challenge following a runner-up effort behind Almond Eye in 2018.
Last year’s Japan Cup runner-up Curren Bouquetd’or was second in her previous start, the All Comers (G2, 2,200m; Sep.27) in which two-time G3 winner Crescendo Love and 2018 Japan Cup fifth-place finisher Mikki Swallow finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
2019 Hong Kong Vase (G1, 2,400m) champion Glory Vase came off a win in the Kyoto Daishoten (G2, 2,400m; Oct.11), followed by Kiseki in second and the Naruo Kinen (G3, 2,000m) winner Perform a Promise in sixth.
Last year’s Japan Cup fifth-place finisher You Can Smile came off a fourth in the Copa Republica Argentina (G2, 2,500m; Nov.8), his kick-off start of his fall campaign.
Also among the field were: 2019 Kikuka Sho victor World Premiere who commenced his four-year-old season in the Japan Cup after finishing third in last year’s Arima Kinen; 2016 Tokyo Yushun champion Makahiki, coming off an 11th in his previous Osaka Hai start in April; Taurus Gemini who came off an eighth in the Fukushima Kinen (G3, 2,000m; Nov.15); and Yoshio, making first start on turf since his debut start while registering 6-4-11 out of 67 starts on dirt.

Japan Cup (G1) related contents

fonte : HRJ