horse racing

Shonan Pandora pulls off shock Japan Cup win

6 Comments

Long-shot Shonan Pandora stunned favorite Lovely Day to win the Japan Cup by a nose Sunday, keeping the trophy out of the hands of foreigners for a 10th successive year.

The four-year-old 9/1 bet produced an electrifying finish in the home straight to beat Last Impact and Lovely Day and become the seventh filly to win Japan's richest race, run over 2,400 meters on turf in Tokyo.

Shonan Pandora and Last Impact are both offspring of the beloved Japanese horse Deep Impact, a triple crown winner and winner of the Japan Cup in 2006.

Not since Frankie Dettori rode the British-trained Alkaased to victory in 2005 has a foreign horse won the cup, which has a total purse of around $5.2 million.

"The horse was in fantastic shape so I just tried to give it everything in the saddle," victorious jockey Kenichi Ikezoe told reporters after completing victory in two minutes, 24.7 seconds.

"Pandora was perfect today. We'd lost to Lovely Day before so we wanted revenge for that. It's an amazing feeling."

A serious overseas challenge failed to materialise from a field of 18, with the Irish colt Erupt, winner of the Grand Prix de Paris, the top foreign finisher in sixth.

Lovely Day came agonisingly close to capping a breakout 2015 likely to result in him being named Japanese horse of the year, before fading under intense late pressure from Shonan Pandora and Last Impact.

© (c) 2015 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

6 Comments
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Long-shot Shonan Pandora stunned favorite Lovely Day to win the Japan Cup by a nose Sunday, keeping the trophy out of the hands of foreigners for a 10th successive year.

Even horse racing? Let's see these horses take a trip overseas and see how they compete in races around the world!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"keeping the trophy out of the hands of foreigners" Come on Japan Today. At least pretend not to be so xenophobic.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Only a matter of time until Mongolian horses take over.

That phrase about keeping the trophy out of the hands of foreigners must be a "lost in translation" moment. How many times was this translated to go from a racetrack in Japan to a foreign news service (AFP) and then back to an English website in Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

a very enjoyable Japan Cup this year ,, only about 7/8 lengths between the first 10 home , the winner won with a hands and heels Ride. Ryan Moore showed his brilliance throughout the day riding a 4 timer and only getting pipped in the cup itself.. the Japanese horses, Jockeys certainly have improved tremendously over the last 20 years ,, congradts to the winning connections

1 ( +1 / -0 )

How many times was this translated to go from a racetrack in Japan to a foreign news service (AFP) and then back to an English website in Japan.

Right, Japanese to French to English to French to Japanese to English....easy to understand the translation problems!

Oh not to mention the fact that Japanese horses think they are better than foreign born and trained ones.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The main reason Japan keeps winning is the race doesnt attract the BEST from overseas..and this year was hardly a high quality field,but dont be mistaken the Japanese produce outstanding world class stayers who have won some of the richest races in the world..and they will continue to dominate this race unless real champions can be enticed over here.. Ryan Moore was great for sure

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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