2023 Japan Cup Odds, Field & Racing Predictions

On Sunday, the racing world will be watching, and all eyes will be on Tokyo for one of the richest races in the world, the 2023 Japan Cup.


With a long history and a race that has been won by some of the greats down the years, this renewal could see the best yet if Equinox, the highest rated racehorse in the world, can win his sixth race in succession

Japan Cup

Grade 1 – Purse $6,425,000 – 1 mile 4 furlongs – Turf – 3-Year-Olds and Up

Equinox has conquered all set before him having won his last five races, all Grade 1 stakes races in scintillating fashion.

He was last seen taking the 2023 Grade 1 Tenno Sho here at Tokyo Racecourse where he stalked the pace early and came with a strong late close to lead a sixteenth from the wire to win easily.

That win came over a mile and a quarter but he has shown ability at a range of distances and won the Grade 1 Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan in March where he just demolished his rivals over a mile and a half (today’s distance) when geared down at the wire.

He is still to race either in US or Europe and some people have questioned his place as the world’s best racehorse but all he can do is win and he is a winning machine.

This may well be his toughest test so far and Liberty Island is one in this field that is going to give the chalk a stern examination.

She is a three-year-old filly so gets an age and sex allowance from Equinox, and that could be a key to this race.

She is undefeated in 2023 having won the Grade 1 Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) in April before showing that this distance will prove no issue when taking the Grade 1 Yusun Himba (Japanese Oaks) in May.

Of course, the layoff is a negative but it’s doubtful connections will have not prepared her well and she offers a foe that Equinox will have not already faced.

She’ll be held up in the rear by Yuga Kawada and will try and swoop late to take Equinox under the wire.

The race looks a match between these two but it is a very deep field and one that could cause a shock is Stars On Earth who won the Grade 1 2022 Japanese Oaks, and has run up a string of fine performances since that assignment.

She has hit the board in three Grade 1 stakes since that win with her last run coming in the 2023 Grade 1 Victoria Mile, a race that would have been far too short.

She now stretches out to a mile and a half for the first time since that Triple Crown race victory and should not be underestimated with top jockey William Buick booked to ride.

2023 Japan Cup Odds & Betting Predictions

HorseJockeyHorse Racing Odds by Jazzsports
Liberty IslandY.Kawada+370
Do DeuceK.Tosaki+1860
Forward AgainH.Mayuzumi+82100
Vela AzulH.Doyle+7300
Danon BelugaJ.Moreira+2260
Kurino Megami AceT.Yoshimura+41000
Deep BondR.Wada+7300
Shonan BashittoM.Demuro+11600
Stars on EarthW.Buick+4200
Win ErfolgN.Fujita+82100

Equinox will be expected to cement his position as the world’s best racehorse but if we are to see him beaten, it could be here and the horse we like across the board is STARS ON EARTH who has a very strong chance to hit the board at huge odds.

It looks impossible to keep Equinox out of a share, and along with Liberty Island, they should both be right there at the finish.

Others for a slice underneath include Do Deuce and Titleholder.

Keihan Hai Stakes

Grade 3 – Purse $523,000 – 6 furlongs – Turf – 3 Year Olds and Up

The early morning line chalk here is Lugal 4/1 in what looks like a very wide open race with a field of 18 runners set to go to the gates at post time.

Lugal is still very unexposed and as one of the three-year-olds, still has plenty of upside. This colt only managed to break the maiden tag at the fourth attempt but has not stopped improving since.

He took his first stakes win back in May when winning a minor listed stakes race and then showed a jolt of improvement to finish second in the 2023 Grade 3 Aoi Stakes in May.

His last run came in the Grade 2 MBS Sho Stakes when finishing fourth against a tougher set of foes, and the class drop and cut back to six furlongs give plenty of upside.

An open race and Kimiwa Queen 5/1 is one of the fillies in the race that has a strong profile.

She broke the maiden tag first time as a two-year-old back in 2021 and has since progressed through her three-year-old and now four-year-old career.

She was a winner of the 2022 Sapporo Sponichi Sho, a minor stakes race in September last year but has taken her sprint form to a new level as a four-year-old winning the 2023 Sunrise Stakes before securing a first career-graded success in the 2023 Grade 3 Hakodate Sponichi Sho in June.

Others that look sure to go well include Big Caesar 8/1 and Tochin Macau 9/1, and it’s the latter who is of most interest here.

Tochin Macau won this race in 2022 and has continued in strong form since that success.

He has hit the board in two Grade 3 races including the 2023 Keeneland Cup two back and the 2023 Grade 3 Hakodate Sponichi Sho behind Kimiwa Queen the time before.

He was outclassed against tougher foes last time but will be well-prepared as he attempts back-to-back wins in the race.

2023 Keihan Hai Stakes Odds & Racing Picks

HorseJockeyHorse Racing Odds by Jazzsports
Big CaesarR.Sakai+1020
Sing That SongK.Sameshima+690
Smart LienY.Shibata+5970
Kimiwa QueenT.Yokoyama+570
A Shin SpotterT.Tsunoda+1510
Shonan HakurakuF.Matsuwaka+2510
Jubilee HeadY.Kitamura+4870
Great GainerH.Matsumoto+2780
Schwarz KaiserK.Ikezoe+1730
Mozu MeimeiM.Nagashima+2010
Groove ItH.Miyuki+18100
Ex CeteraM.Iwata+3810
Toshin MacauA.Sugawara+550

Lugal’s chance is there for all to see and he looks sure to run a big race against a field of slightly easier foes and he can hit the board.

However, the main selection is the filly KIMIWA QUEEN who is now starting to show results from the potential she showed as a juvenile and she gets the vote.

Both Big Caesar and last year’s winner Tochin Macau should be in the firing line for a slice underneath.

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