The Japan Cup first race to feature three Triple Crown winners, was claimed by the then dual Japan Cup-winning Almond Eye.
This year’s Triple Crown winner Contrail ran in mid-field a couple of lengths behind rival Daring Tact and was on her heels at the final turn. Sent off second favorite, the undefeated colt unleashed an explosive kick down the middle of the straight pinning Glory Vase andCurren Bouquetd Curren Bouquetd’or in the final strides, while holding off the strong challenge by Daring Tact and finished second, his first defeat in his eighth career start.
Third favorite and fillies’ Triple Crown champion Daring Tact was settled in mid-field up to the last corner, was bumped by Contrail 300 meters out and was forced to alter her path to squeeze between rivals but accelerated strongly thereon, tagging Glory Vase in the final strides and nosing out Curren Bouquetd’or at the wire for a neck third.
Reluctant to load, French contender Way To Paris broke from stall eight, sat at the far rear and improved position in the stretch but never reached contention, finishing 10th.
“Everything was different from what he’s used to when racing at home, so he was very nervous and took a lot of time to get into the stall. He broke poorly and even though the pace was so fast, he did respond in the last 300 meters. He was used up trying to get into the stall and the bad break also affected the outcome,” commented Zoe Pfeil after the race.
“The horse seemed laid back up to the gate. He just didn’t want to get in and got worked up,: said Italian jockey Mirco Demuro.