The number of breeding mares imported to Japan so far this year stands at 30, continuing from the 136 imported in 2022. Of the total 531 mares imported in the four years from 2019 to 2022, 41 percent were imported from the US, 40 percent from Europe, and just 2.6 percent from Australia.
That distribution has seen variations year on year – in 2018 the 12 Australians accounted for nine percent of imported mares – but for the 15 years from 2008 to 2022, Australian mares made up 3.7 per cent of the 1,696 overseas broodmares imported, US mares were 40 percent of the total and Europeans 43 percent.
But the Australian mares are making their presence felt despite being a minority. In July 2022 the four-time Australian G1 winner Mosheen headlined the Japan Racing Horse Association’s Select Sale when her Maurice yearling colt sold for ¥450,000,000 (AU$4.8 million) and her colt foal by Epiphaneia sold for ¥300,000,000 (AU$3.25 million).
The list of elite Australian-raced mares in Japan includes, but is not exclusive to, the Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign, Shamrocker, Gypsy Goddess, Funstar, Mystic Journey, Southern Speed, Single Gaze, Kirramosa, Amphitrite, as well as the Australian-bred New Zealand Oaks heroine More Than Sacred and the New Zealand-bred but Australian raced King’s Rose.
All three of King’s Rose’s offspring to have raced have won, including the dual Group 3 winner Satono Arthur, while More Than Sacred has an exciting son of Duramente catching the eye at present, Durezza, winner of his last two this spring from three career starts.