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Japan Cup 2011: Arc And World Cup Winners Square Off

PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 02:  Danedream (GER) wins the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp racecourse on October 2, 2011 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Yves Forestier/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 02: Danedream (GER) wins the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp racecourse on October 2, 2011 in Paris, France. (Photo by Yves Forestier/Getty Images)
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Victoire Pisa (JPN), the winner of the richest race in the world, the Dubai World Cup, and Danedream (GER), winner of the prestigious Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, are among the sixteen horses entered for the Grade 1 Japan Cup at Tokyo Racecourse. The 521 million Yen purse ($6.7 million) makes the Japan Cup the third richest thoroughbred horse race on the planet, right behind the Dubai World Cup and the Melbourne Cup. Post time for the 2011 Japan Cup is 1:20am Eastern on Sunday, Nov. 27th / 10:20pm Pacific on Saturday, Nov. 26th.  You can watch the race on TVG.

World Cup winner Victoire Pisa is making his first start since winning in Meydan last March, after which he suffered a leg injury. His lengthy absence from the track is the reflected in his 12/1 odds with bookmakers in the U.K.

Danedream, the approximate 5/2 favorite with the U.K. bookmakers, rolls into Tokyo off of three straight Group 1 victories, including her runaway win in this year's Arc. Danedream will once again receive a weight allowance when taking on the males in the Japan Cup; she'll carry 117 pounds, nine pounds less than her male rivals. Sahreta (IRE), runner-up to Danedream in the Arc, also made the long journey to Japan and will receive the same nine pound advantage.

Mission Approved, winner of the G1-Manhattan Handicap at Belmont this summer, is the lone American entry in this year's field.  Following his win in the Manhattan, Mission Approved finished 4th in the G1-Man o'War, 7th in the G1-Arlington Million, and 4th in the G1-Hirsch Turf Classic. 

Buena Vista (JPN) is back to defend her Japan Cup title (well, she crossed the finish line first in 2010, but was DQ'd) after a season in which she was unable to score a single victory.  The five-year-old mare was 2nd in both the G1-Victoria Mile and G1-Takarazuka Kinen, but finished 8th in the World Cup at Meydan.  In her most recent start, she finished 4th as the 9/5 favorite in the G1-Tenino Sho (Autum Stakes).

One of the other top competitors for this year's race is Tosen Jordan (JPN), a five-year-old son of Jungle Pocket (JPN) that comes into the Japan Cup off back-to-back victories in the G2-Sapporo Kinen Stakes and the aforementioned G1-Tenino Sho. Tosen Jordan is a four-time graded stakes winner in Japan, with two of those victories coming at Tokyo Racecourse.

Below are the entries for the 2011 Japan Cup.  You can find past performance at the Horse Racing in Japan website.

# Horse Jockey Trainer
1 Jaguar Mail (JPN) H. Shii N. Hori
2 Buena Vista (JPN) Y. Iwata H. Matsuda
3 Rose Kingdom (JPN) I. Mendizabal K. Hashiguchi
4 Oken Bruce Lee (JPN) M. Ebina H. Otaonashi
5 Trailblazer (JPN) Y. Take Y. Ikee
6 To the Glory (JPN) Y. Fukunaga Y. Ikee
7 Pelusa (JPN) N. Yokoyama K. Fujisawa
8 Victoire Pisa (JPN) M. Demuro K. Sumii
9 Sara Lynx (IRE) C. Soumillon J. Hammond
10 King Top Gun (JPN) K. Tosaki I. Sameshima
11 Mission Approved  J. Espinoza N. Chatterpaul
12 Win Variation (JPN) K. Ando M. Matsunaga
13 Danedream (GER) A. Starke P. Schiergen
14 Shareta (IRE) C. Lemaire A. de Royer Dupre
15 Eishin Flash (JPN) K. Ikezoe H. Fujiwara
16 Tosen Jordan (JPN) C. Williams Y. Ikee