February Stakes G1 Guide

The G1 February Stakes may be one of only two elite level JRA races run on dirt, but Japan's first Group 1 event of the season also boasts several outstanding turf performers on its honour roll.



Venue: Tokyo

Distance: 1800 metres

Prize money: ¥259,200,000

The February Stakes is one of only two Group 1 races on dirt organised by the JRA. 

The race, which starts on the turf course before soon joining the dirt course, has been won by top-class turf runners in its time, notably the Grade 1 Yasuda Kinen winners Mozu Ascot and Agnes Digital. The latter took the 2002 February Stakes on the back of a famous win in the Group 1 Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin. 

The second JRA dirt track major is the Champions Cup in December and three horses, Wing Arrow, Transcend and Gold Dream, have won both races in the same year. Transcend is also one of four horses to have won the end-of-year Champions Cup and then followed up in the February Stakes two months later. The February Stakes was first run in 1984 as a Group 3 handicap and became an international Group 1 race in 2007. 

Featured winner:  Copano Rickey

The Yanagawa Bokujo-bred Copano Rickey was a dirt track specialist with an impressive collection of major wins. His two biggest successes were achieved in the JRA’s February Stakes, which he won in 2014 and 2015 to become the race’s first two-time winner. 

He also landed the Group 2 Tokai TV Hai Tokai Stakes at Chukyo under JRA jurisdiction. But the Akira Murayama-trained entire won many more majors on the NAR circuit, taking out the Hyogo Championship, the Teio Sho, three editions of the Kashiwa Kinen, the JBC Classic twice, the Mile Championship Nambu Hai twice, and a career-capping victory in the 2017 Tokyo Daishoten. 

In all, Copano Rickey won 11 races designated as Grade 1 or JPN Group 1, giving him a record of sorts as the most prolific ‘Grade 1’ winner in Japan’s history.     

Copano Rickey goes back-to-back in the 2015 February Stakes. (Photo by JRA)

February Stakes Past Winners

2022Cafe PharoahYuichi FukunagaNoriyuki HoriKoichi Nishikawa1:33.8
2021Cafe PharoahChristophe LemaireNoriyuki HoriKoichi Nishikawa1:34.4
2020Mozu AscotChristophe LemaireYoshito YahagiCapital System1:35.2
2019IntiYutaka TakeKenji NonakaShigeo Takeda1:35.6
2018Nonkono YumeHiroyuki UchidaYukihiro KatoKazumasa Yamada1:36.0
2017Gold DreamMirco DemuroOsamu HirataKatsumi Yoshida1:35.1
2016MoaninMirco DemuroSei IshizakaYukio Baba1:34.0
2015Copano RickeyYutaka TakeAkira MurayamaSachiaki Kobayashi1:36.3
2014Copano RickeyHironobu TanabeAkira MurayamaSachiaki Kobayashi1:36.0
2013Grape BrandySuguru HamanakaTakayuki YasudaShadai Race Horse Co.1:35.1
2012Testa MattaYasunari IwataAkira MurayamaKazumi Yoshida1:35.4
2011TranscendShinji FujitaTakayuki YasudaKoji Maeda1:36.4
2010Espoir CityTetsuzo SatoAkio AdachiYushun Horse Club1:34.9
2009Success BrokenHiroyuki UchidaHideaki FujiwaraTetsu Takashima1:34.6
2008VermilionYutaka TakeSei IshizakaSunday Racing1:35.3
2007Sunrise BacchusKatsumi AndoHidetaka OtonashiTakao Matsuoka1:34.8



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