東京盃&レディスプレリュード of 2014 by Kate Hunter


This week we will be hosting two races in the 2014 Road to the JBC series, the JPN-2 Tokyo Hai and the JPN-2 Ladies’ Prelude. The winners get instant berth into the 2014 Japan Breeding Farm Cup’s JBC Sprint and JBC Ladies’ Classic at Morioka Racecourse on November 3rd.

今週は、Road to JBC(JBCの出走枠をめぐる熱い戦い)に指定されている東京盃(JpnⅡ)とレディスプレリュード(JpnⅡ)の2レースが大井競馬場で行われます。これらのレースの勝者には、盛岡競馬場で11月3日に行われるJBCスプリントとJBCレディスクラシックへの優先出走権が与えられます。

The JBC, which emulates the US’s Breeders Cup, was founded in 2001 at Ohi Racecourse to give both NAR and JRA dirt horses a championship to aspire to. There are currently three group one races in the series, the JBC Classic, Sprint, and Ladies’ Classic. The races in the Road to the JBC series offer the winners a free opportunity to chase group one glory.

JBC競走は、米国のブリーダーズカップを範として、地方競馬と中央競馬の中でダート王を決める戦いとして2001年に初めて大井競馬場で実施されました。現在、JBCクラシック、JBCスプリント、そしてJBCレディスクラシックという3つのJpnⅠレースが行われます。Road to JBCは、JBCへのトライアルレースとして実施されています。

The Tokyo Hai was first held in 1967 and was the first graded sprint race in the NAR circuit. In 1997, the 1200m race was elevated to JPN-2 status and then was adopted into the Road to the JBC series in 2001.

東京盃は、地方競馬初の短距離重賞競走として1967年に施行されました。1997年にはGⅡ(現JpnⅡ)に格付けされ、2001年にRoad to JBCのレースに指定されました。



Taisei Legend, winner of the 2013 Tokyo Hai and the 2012 JBC Sprint, is a formidable opponent when he wants to be. The seven-year-old son of King Kamehameha should be familiar to followers of international racing, as a contender in the 2013 Godolphin Shaheen, but has been lightly raced this year. After a disappointing 7th place finish in last year’s JBC Sprint, the colt took a nine-month break. He has only made one start this year, finishing 6th in the Cluster Cup after setting the pace. With his regular rider, Hiroki Uchida, out with an injury, Hironobu Tanabe will be taking over.


Northern River, has had a decent year on the track, despite not winning in the JRA. He finished 4th in the JRA’s G1 February stakes before running successfully in the NAR with a pair of sprint wins, the JPN-3 Tokyo Sprint at Ohi in April and the JPN-2 Sakitama Hai at Urawa in May. In his most recent outing, the six-year-old son of the late Agnes Tachyon ran another game 4th in the JRA’s G3 Procyon Stakes. He might be 4th best in the JRA but not when it comes to races in the NAR. Masayoshi Ebina, his regular rider, will be in the irons.




Sei Crimson is a consistent performer in dirt sprints in both the NAR and JRA. The eight-year-old son of Eishin Sandy will have the JRA’s leading rider, Keita Tosaki, taking the reins. Tosaki, up until last year was based at Ohi Racecourse and perennially the NAR’s leading rider. Sei Crimson has been in the money 22 times out of 36 group starts. He has raced three times in the JBC Sprint finishing second twice and third last year.


Silk Fortune is the oldest member of the Silk Horse Club and has brought them plenty of success during his seven seasons on the track. He has been kept mostly in the JRA for his career and is only now venturing into the world of NAR racing. The change up seems to have helped as he finished 3rd in his last start, the JPN-3 Cluster Cup. The old timer has a chance to relive his glory days on the NAR circuit.



Satono Tiger seemed like a promising middle class turf horse earlier in his career before losing his form in the middle of his four-year-old season. After an increasingly disappointing five-year-old campaign, the son of King Kamehameha was transferred to the NAR. He seems to like his new home, scoring his first win in 18 months this April in the Primrose Sho at Urawa. In his last outing, he managed to score his first NAR stakes victory in the After Five Star Sho at Ohi Racecourse.


Thursday will be the 11th running of the Ladies’ Prelude, a 1800m JPN2 race for three-year-old and up fillies and mares. Up until 2004 there were no group races for fillies and mares of this age group in the NAR. This race was adopted into the Road to the JBC series in 2011 before being upgraded to JPN-2 level in 2013.

10月2日の木曜日には、第11回レディスプレリュード(JpnⅡ:3歳以上牝馬、1800m)が実施されます。2003年以前、地方競馬では3歳以上の牝馬限定の重賞競走はありませんでした。2011年にRoad to JBCに指定され、2013年からはJpnⅡに格付けされました。



Acti Beauty is a long-term veteran of the track, and over the past two years has been a regular contender in the NAR group circuit with very positive results. She was 2nd in this race last year and followed that with a second in the JPN1 JBC Ladies’ Classic. The seven-year-old daughter of Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Bago seems only to be getting better with age.


Katyusha had exhausted her option in the JRA dirt circuit this summer when her trainer decided to try her in NAR group races. The Ladies’ Prelude will be the five-year-old mare’s second NAR start. Based on her run in the JPN3 Super King Ladies’ Cup, where she finished second, just a neck behind Sound Gaga. She could be a rising star.




Sambista is another mare who has recently tapped out her opportunities are a dirt mare in the JRA and is venturing it to the NAR to expand her options. The five-year-old daughter of Suzuka Mambo has been enjoying herself so far, finishing third and first in her two NAR races so far. The distance should particularly suit this mare.


Wild Flapper, a daughter of Ghostzapper, is looking to take over the role of NAR queen now that Medeia has retired. She was a late bloomer by Japanese standards and didn’t debut till late April as a three-year-old. It wasn’t until the filly was closing in on five that she found herself and it has been a very rewarding season. She has not been out of the money in either the NAR or JRA since September 2013. With her regular rider, Yuichi Fukunaga in France to ride Just A Way in the upcoming Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Masayoshi Ebina will be taking over the reins.




Sound Gaga will be trying to stretch out to 1800m successfully. Usually, she performs her best in races under a mile. However, the filly’s talent cannot be denied, and she will have her regular rider, Japan most well known jockey, Yutaka Take. She made her NAR debut this summer in the JPN-3 Super King Ladies’ Cup and despite setting the pace in the mile race was able to narrowly hang on to win.


Asuka Libre, the 2012 Kanto Oaks winner and 2013 Granddam Japan Mare Series champion, will be hoping to keep the glory for the NAR registered horses in this race. She is very commanding in the NAR listed races, but when it comes to the group races, she seems to come up short. In a slightly longer race, she’d have an edge on her JRA opponents.


Kate Hunter(ケイト ハンター) 略歴
1983年 米国テネシー州生まれ
1997年 競馬に心惹かれる
1998年 日本に興味がわく
2001年 日本語の勉強を開始
2004年 早稲田大学に留学
2006年 米国インディアナ州アーラム大学日本研究学部卒業
2008年 日本の競馬ジャーナリストとなる
2013年 パカパカファーム入社
現在 パカパカファーム コミュニケーション・マネージャー就任