This Sunday, November 29, Japan will host its premier thoroughbred race, the Group 1 Japan Cup (2400m).
Tokyo Racecourse is set to come alive as the finest horses from across the globe gather to compete in the richest turf race in the world worth 533.5million yen (approx. $6.46million).
Only one Australian horse has ever claimed victory in the Japan Cup, Better Loosen Up in 1990, and again this year the elite field of hopefuls is missing an Aussie contender.
The inadequate transport protocols for Australian horses travelling to Japan for the event has deterred our trainers from entering our fine runners in the Cup and as yet the Japan Racing Association has done little to resolve the problem.
A full field of 18 stayers are set to contest the Japan Cup next Sunday including five foreign runners. The US will be represented by Marsh Side, Interpatation and Just As Well while Conduit and Scintillo are from stables in England.
Conduit heads the international contenders and has displayed sensational form this year taking out the Group 1 King George VI, Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Breeders Cup Turf in the US. The last US-trained horse to claim victory in the Japan cup was Golden Pheasant in 1991. Current favourite on the betting markets, Sunday?s Japan Cup will be Conduit?s final race before being retired to stud.
Local Japanese horses fancied for the 29th Japan Cup include last year?s winner Screen Hero aiming for an unprecedented second Cup victory, and 2008 third placegetter Vodka attempting to become the first Japanese female contender to win.
Despite the lack of an Australian contender, Aussie punters can still make the most of the exciting betting opportunities the Japan Cup presents. All of the leading online bookmakers offer a top-class variety of odds and bet types on the coveted event.