Champions Cup (horse race)

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Champions Cup
Grade 1 race
LocationChukyo Racecourse, Toyoake, Aichi
Inaugurated2000 (as the Japan Cup Dirt)
Race typeThoroughbred
Race information
Distance1,800 meters (About 9 furlongs)
Qualification3-y-o & Up
Weight3-y-o colts & geldings 55kg/ 3-y-o fillies 53kg / 4-y-o & up horses & geldings 57kg / 4-y-o & up mares 55kg
Purse¥ 179,400,000 (as of 2014)
1st: ¥ 94,000,000
BonusesWinning horse owner will receive a ¥3,000,000 bonus.

The Champions Cup (JPN G-1, formerly the Japan Cup Dirt until 2013) is a thoroughbred horse race contested in Japan in early December. It is run for three-year-olds and older at a distance of 1,800 meters. In recent years, the race has followed the Japan Cup on the Japanese racing calendar.

Race Information[edit]

  • Racecourse: Chukyo Racecourse
  • Distance: 1,800 meters (About 9. furlongs), Dirt, Right-handed
  • Qualification to run: 3-y-o & Up
  • Weight: 3-y-o colts & geldings 55 kg
  • 3-y-o fillies 53 kg
  • 4-y-o & up horses & geldings 57 kg
  • 4-y-o & up mares 55 kg
  • Safety Factor: 16 (There will be a maximum of 8 foreign-trained starters)

2008 Changes[edit]

The race was moved from Tokyo Racecourse to Hanshin Racecourse in 2008. The Japan Cup Dirt had been overshadowed by its turf counterpart (the Japan Cup) in recent years, because turf racing in Japan typically remains more popular and attracts better horses. Attendance for the 2007 Japan Cup Dirt was 56,052, while the attendance for the turf race the following day was 103,545.[1]

With the move to Hanshin, the Japan Cup Dirt was shortened from its original distance of 2,100 meters (about ​10 12 furlongs) to 1,800 meters (about 9 furlongs). Now run one week after the Japan Cup, the Japan Cup Dirt shares the weekend with the "World Super Jockeys Series" featuring jockeys from around the world.

2014 Changes[edit]

The Japan Cup Dirt was moved to Chukyo Racecourse in 2014 and renamed the Champions Cup. According to the Japan Racing Association, the decision to make changes to the race was because of a lack of international participation.[2] The new Champions Cup race will be run left-handed, as opposed to the right turns run since the race moved from Tokyo to Hanshin in 2008. The purse of the race will be reduced to ¥94 million - compared to ¥130 million for the 2013 running - and it will no longer be an invitational race. The 2014 running is scheduled for Sunday, December 7.[3]


(For the 2007 running)[4]

Total JPN ¥277,900,000 (U.S$. 2,416,000)

  • 1st JPN ¥130,000,000 (U.S$. 1,103,000)
  • 2nd JPN ¥52,000,000 (U.S$. 452,000)
  • 3rd JPN ¥33,000,000 (U.S$. 286,000)
  • 4th JPN ¥20,000,000 (U.S$. 173,000)
  • 5th JPN ¥13,000,000 (U.S$. 113,000)

Like counterpart Japan Cup, as being one of the 4 GI races in Japan Autumn International Series since 2008, a bonus is added to the top 3 if they are not trained in Japan, and raced in one of the following races and finished likewise in same year. If multiple bonus applies, only the highest one counts.

Preparatory Event to Japan Cup Dirt Qualification Japan Cup Bonus(JPN ¥)
Dubai World Cup
Breeders' Cup Classic
Kentucky Derby
Current Year Winner Winner:100,000,000
1st runner-up:40,000,000
2nd runner-up:25,000,000
Current Year Runner-Up Winner:40,000,000
1st runner-up:16,000,000
2nd runner-up:10,000,000
Santa Anita Handicap
Metropolitan Handicap
Stephen Foster Handicap
Hollywood Gold Cup
Whitney Handicap
Pacific Classic Stakes
Jockey Club Gold Cup
Woodward Stakes
Preakness Stakes
Belmont Stakes
Travers Stakes
Current Year Winner Winner:70,000,000
1st runner-up:28,000,000
2nd runner-up:18,000,000


2000 Wing Arrow 5 Yukio Okabe Katsumi Minai Minoru Ikeda 2:07.2
2001 Kurofune 3 Yutaka Take Kunihide Matsuda Makoto Kaneko 2:05.9
2002 Eagle Café 5 Frankie Dettori Futoshi Kojima Kiyoshi Nishikawa 1:52.2
2003 Fleetstreet Dancer 5 Jon Court Doug O'Neill Lee & Ty Leatherman 2:09.2
2004 Time Paradox 6 Yutaka Take Hiroyoshi Matsuda Shadai Racehorse Co. 2:08.7
2005 Kane Hekili 3 Yutaka Take Katsuhiko Sumii Makoto Kaneko 2:08.0
2006 Alondite 3 Hiroki Goto Sei Ishizaka Carrot Farm Co. 2:08.5
2007 Vermilion 5 Yutaka Take Sei Ishizaka Sunday Racing Co. Ltd. 2:06.7
2008 Kane Hekili 6 Christophe Lemaire Katsuhiko Sumii Makoto Kaneko 1:49.2
2009 Espoir City 4 Tetsuzo Sato Akio Adachi Yushun Horse 1:49.9
2010 Transcend 4 Shinji Fujita Yasuda Takayuki Koji Maeda 1:48.9
2011 Transcend 5 Shinji Fujita Yasuda Takayuki Koji Maeda 1:50.6
2012 Nihonpiro Ours 5 Manabu Sakai Yuki Ohashi Hyakutaro Kobayashi 1:48.8
2013 Belshazzar 5 Christophe Lemaire Kunihide Matsuda Shadai Race Horse Co. 1:50.4
2014 Hokko Tarumae 5 Hideaki Miyuki Katsuichi Nishiura Michiaki Yabe 1:51.0
2015 Sambista 5 Mirco Demuro Katsuhiko Sumii K Hidaka Breeders Union 1:50.4
2016 Sound True 6 Takuya Ono Noboru Takagi Hiroshi Yamada 1:50.1
2017 Gold Dream 4 Ryan Moore Osamu Hirata Katsumi Yoshida 1:50.1
2018 Le Vent Se Leve 3 Mirco Demuro Kiyoshi Hagiwara G1 Racing Co. Ltd. 1:50.1

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Paulick, Ray (2007-11-25). "Paulick: Japan Cup wrapup". Archived from the original on November 28, 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-10.
  2. ^ Wright, Howard (November 22, 2013). "Hanshin to stage Japan Cup Dirt for last time". Retrieved November 29, 2013.
  3. ^ "List of JRA Graded Races 2014". Japan Racing Association. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
  4. ^ Japan Cup Dirt 2007 The Japan Association for International Horse Racing. Accessed April 24, 2007

External links[edit]