Japanese Horse Racing in 2020

2021-01-06 | By jpkeiba | Filed in: History.


  • The COVID-19 epidemic has caused a variety of effects on the horse racing industry.
    In particular, races were held with no crowd or limited number of spectators at the racecourse.
  • Two years and five months of renovation work has begun at Kyoto Racecourse.
    Because of this, the Queen Elizabeth II Cup and the Mile Championship were held at Hanshin Racecourse that year.
  • Contrail became a undefeated Triple Crown horse.
  • Daring Tact became an undefeated Triple Crown filly.
  • It was a year with many “For the first time in history”.
    Deep Impact and Contrail became the first sire and crop to become the first undefeated Triple Crown winners in history.
    Daring Tact is the first undefeated Triple Crown filly.
    It was the first time in history that a colt and filly Triple Crown winner were born in the same year.
    Of course, it’s also the first time in history that two horses have gone undefeated.
    In the Tenno Sho (Autumn), Almond Eye became the first JRA horse ever to win eight G1 races on turf.
    Almond Eye, Contrail and Daring Tact were the three Triple Crown winners in the Japan Cup.
    It was the first time in history that three Triple Crown horses had run in the same race.
    In the race, Almond Eye won her ninth G1 race on turf and retired.
    In the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies, Sodashi became the first white-haired horse in history to win a G1 race.
    This is probably the first time in the history of the world that a white horse has won a G1 race.
    (The difference between a white-haired horse and a gray-haired horse is whether or not the horse was born with white hair.)
    Also in the race, Yoka Yoka, a horse born in Kumamoto Prefecture, ran and finished 5th.
    This is the first time in history that a racehorse born in Kumamoto Prefecture has run in a G1 race, and the first time in history that a racehorse born in the Kyushu region has finished in the top five in a G1 race.
    (Kumamoto Prefecture Wikipedia) (Kyushu Region Wikipedia)
  • Contrail, Daring Tact, Gran Alegria and Almond Eye won three G1 races.
    Almond Eye won the Horse of the Year.
  • Fillies and Mares was very active.
    Almond Eye, Gran Alegria, Chrono Genesis, Lucky Lilac and etc…
  • This is my opinion from here.
    This year’s races were often won by horses with the ability to do so.
    I also think that COVID-19 is the reason for this, as some others have said.
    I think the horses were able to show off their abilities without any unnecessary stress because of the limited access to crowds on the Racecourses and people in the stables and training centers.
    Japanese horse racing fans are very enthusiastic and many of them cheer loudly.
    There is no doubt that it is these passionate fans that have made Japan the best-selling horse-tickets country in the world and have made the Japanese horse racing industry so huge.
    However, many people say that Japanese horse racing fans have the worst spectator etiquette in the world.
    It’s been a year where I think the attitude of the fans and the coverage of the horse racing press may have had a lot of negative effects on the horses.
    I hope that as many people as possible will think about how their actions will affect the horses and act accordingly.

Flat-G1 races held by JRA

Races Track age / (Colt Filly Gelding) 1st
February Stakes Tokyo
over 4 / CFG Mozu Ascot E
Takamatsunomiya Kinen Chukyo
over 4 / CFG Mozu Superflare E
Osaka Hai Hanshin
over 4 / CFG Lucky Lilac E
Oka Sho Hanshin
3 / F Daring Tact E
Satsuki Sho Nakayama
3 / CF Contrail E
Tenno Sho (Spring) Kyoto
over 4 / CFG Fierement E
NHK Mile Cup Tokyo
3 / CF Lauda Sion E
Victoria Mile Tokyo
over 4 / F Almond Eye E
Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) Tokyo
3 / F Daring Tact E
Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) Tokyo
3 / CF Contrail E
Yasuda Kinen Tokyo
over 3 / CFG Gran Alegria E
Takarazuka Kinen Hanshin
over 3 / CFG Chrono Genesis E
Sprinters Stakes Nakayama
over 3 / CFG Gran Alegria E
Shuka Sho Kyoto
3 / F Daring Tact E
Kikuka Sho Kyoto
3 / CF Contrail E
Tenno Sho (Autumn) Tokyo
over 3 / CFG Almond Eye E
Queen Elizabeth II Cup Hanshin
over 3 / F Lucky Lilac E
Mile Championship Hanshin
over 3 / CFG Gran Alegria E
Japan Cup Tokyo
over 3 / CFG Almond Eye E
Champions Cup Chukyo
over 3 /CFG Chuwa Wizard E
Hanshin Juvenile Fillies Hanshin
2 / F Sodashi E
Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes Hanshin
2 / CF Grenadier Guards E
Hopeful Stakes Nakayama
2 / CF Danon the Kid E
Arima Kinen Nakayama
over 3 / CFG Chrono Genesis E

J・G1 races (Steeplechase)

Races Track age / (Colt Filly Gelding) 1st
Nakayama Grand Jump Nakayama
over 4 / CFG Oju Chosan
Nakayama Daishogai Nakayama
over 4 / CFG Meisho Dassai

G1 races held by NAR

Races Track age / (Colt Filly Gelding) 1st
Kawasaki Kinen Kawasaki
over 4 / CFG Chuwa Wizard G
Kashiwa Kinen Funabashi
over 4 / CFG Wide Pharaoh G
Teio Sho Ohi
over 4 / CFG Chrysoberyle G
Japan Dirt Derby Ohi
3 / CFG Danon Pharaoh G
Mile Championship Nambu Hai Morioka
over 3 / CFG Arctos
JBC Ladies’ Classic Ohi
over 3 / F Fashionista
JBC Sprint Ohi
over 3 / CFG Sabuno Junior
JBC Classic Ohi
over 3 / CFG Chrysoberyle
Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun Kawasaki
2 / CFG Alain Barows G
Tokyo Daishoten Ohi
over 3 / CFG Omega Perfume G

JRA Award

Horse of the Year Almond Eye
Best Two-Year-Old Colt Danon the Kid
Best Two-Year-Old Filly Sodashi
Best Three-Year-Old Colt Contrail
Best Three-Year-Old Filly Daring Tact
Best Older Male Horse Fierement
Best Older Filly or Mare Almond Eye
Best Sprinter or Miler Gran Alegria
Best Dirt Horse Chuwa Wizard
Best Steeplechase Horse Meisho Dassai
Special Award Chrono Genesis


Leading sire in Japan Deep Impact


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