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Japan Offers World's Richest Prizes To Foreigners

Tuesday, 26th May 2009

An overseas horse winning this year's Gr1 Japan Cup "could theoretically win the richest-ever 1st-place prize in racing history after a lucrative bonus scheme was extended in a bid to attract more foreign visitors," reported racingpost.com. From 2009 onwards, horses who finish 1st (or in some cases 2nd) in certain designated races around the globe (such as the English Derby, Irish Derby & French Arc) "will be eligible for one of a range of bonuses up to almost £900,000 (A$1.832m) if they go on to make the first three in any of the 4 Japan Autumn International races". For example, any visiting horse winning the Japan Cup after landing one of the handful of "qualifying" races would net a total of about £2.6 million (A$5.3m) "which would represent the biggest 1st prize in world racing"; in March, Well Armed's connections won £2.5 million (A$5.09m) for their success in the world's current richest race, the Gr1 Dubai World Cup. Without the bonus, first place in the Japan Cup is worth ¥250m (about £1.65m). The Japan Autumn International Races (purse without bonus) are:

  • Nov 15: US$2m Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup (2200m) Kyoto
  • Nov 22: US$2.2m Mile Championship (1600m) Kyoto
  • Nov 29: US$5.6m Japan Cup (2400m) Tokyo
  • Dec 6: US$2.9m Japan Cup Dirt (1800m) Hanshin
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