Horse racing events are popular across the world. With the way they showcase the speed and the skills of their local horses on racecourses, there is no doubt that many sports fans are hooked on watching the game.
Among the countries that have a deep love for horse racing is Japan. By looking at their racing calendar, it can be seen that countless races are being held every year. To make it even better, they also have several amazing racecourses spread across their country.
Similar to other countries, it can be seen that Japan also sees prestige in a horse racing campaign. Like many other horse racing countries, they also made sure to have races that will make horses win a Triple Crown. As much as winning one race can be difficult, it is winning three races that horses and jockeys will be applauded for outshining other contenders.
Given that there are two different Triple Crown events in Japan, let us focus on the one that was made for both three-year-old Thoroughbred colts and fillies. With that, here is a closer look at the three Grade 1 races that make up the Japanese Triple Crown.
Satsuki ShoDistance: 2,000 metres
This race is held every April at the turf surface of the Nakayama Racecourse. This race is considered as the Japanese counterpart of the English 2,000 Guineas. Inaugurated in 1939, the race has already been held at the said racecourse. In 2011, however, the race was held at the Tokyo Racecourse following the aftermath of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.
Tokyo YushunDistance: 2,400 metres
The second race that horses would have to win before earning the Japanese Triple Crown is the Tokyo Yushun. This race is also called the Japanese Derby since it is considered to be the Japanese equivalent of the English Epsom Derby. This had its first run in 1932 and was held every late May or early June at the turf surface of the Tokyo Racecourse every year.
Kikuka ShoDistance: 3,000 metres
The final race that horses would have to win to bag home the Japanese Triple Crown is the Kikuka Sho. This race is held every October at the turf surface of the Kyoto Racecourse. It had its first run in 1938 and has been considered as the equivalent of the English St. Leger Stakes.
WinnersSo far, eight horses have already earned the Japanese Triple Crown. Here are their names.
- St Lite (1941)
- Shinzan (1964)
- Mr C.B. (1983)
- Symboli Rudolf (1984)
- Narita Brian (1994)
- Deep Impact (2005)
- Orfevre (2011)
- Contrail (2020)