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The Sprinters Stakes is Japan’s number one sprint race and was once part of the Global Sprint Challenge, a defunct concept from the early years of this century.
The Sprinters Stakes is Japan’s number one sprint race and was once part of the Global Sprint Challenge, a defunct concept from the early years of this century. Three overseas challengers have succeeded in defeating the home contingent. The great Silent Witness from Hong Kong set the ball rolling in 2005 and was followed a year later by the Australian world traveller Takeover Target. Four years after that the longshot Hong Kong raider Ultra Fantasy won the race but Japan has dominated ever since.
The Sprinters Stakes was first run in 1967 and at the start of this century it moved from December to its early autumn position in the calendar. The race is run right-handed at Nakayama with its short 320-metre finishing straight, which includes a sharp, stiff climb through the final 200 metres.
Japan was never noted for producing horses with exceptional speed over sprint distances: their top sprinters were for the most part talented without being stellar and certainly did not enjoy the same reputation as their Hong Kong and Australian counterparts.
Then along came Lord Kanaloa, probably the greatest sprinter Japan has ever produced and a bona fide champion in the global context. Trainer Takayuki Yasuda’s charge progressed steadily to earn a Group 1 breakthrough as a four-year-old in the 2012 Sprinters Stakes and followed that with a blistering display to land the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint.
The following year Lord Kanaloa won the Group 1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen, defeated the milers in the Group 1 Yasuda Kinen and then repeated his Sprinters Stakes-Hong Kong Sprint double in emphatic style. He retired to Shadai stallion station with 13 wins and six placings from 19 starts and is the sire of the great mare Almond Eye.
|2021||Pixie Knight||Yuichi Fukunaga||Hidetaka Otanashi||Silk Racing||1:07.1|
|2020||Gran Alegria||Christophe Lemaire||Kazuo Fujisawa||Sunday Racing||1:08.3|
|2019||Tower Of London||Christophe Lemaire||Kazuo Fujisawa||Godolphin||1:07.1|
|2018||Fine Needle||Yuga Kawada||Yoshitada Takahashi||Godolphin||1:08.3|
|2017||Red Falx||Mirco Demuro||Tomohito Ozeki||Tokyo Horse Racing Co. Ltd||1:07.6|
|2016||Red Falx||Mirco Demuro||Tomohito Ozeki||Tokyo Horse Racing Co. Ltd||1:07.6|
|2015||Straight Girl||Keita Tosaki||Hideaki Fujiwara||Hirosaki Toshihior Hd Co Ltd||1:08.1|
|2014||Snow Dragon||Takuya Ono||Noboru Takagi||Makio Okada||1:08.8|
|2013||Lord Kanaloa||Yasunari Iwata||Takayuki Yasuda||Lord Horse Club||1:07.2|
|2012||Lord Kanaloa||Kenichi Ikezoe||Takayaki Yasuda||Lord Horse Club||1:06.7|
|2011||Curren Chan||Sato Tetsuzo||Takayaki Yasuda||Takashi Suzuki||1:07.4|
|2010||Ultra Fantasy||Alex H W Lai||Ricky Yiu||The Hon T F Lam||1:07.4|
|2009||Laurel Guerreiro||Shinji Fujita||Mitsugu Kon||Laurel Racing||1:07.5|
|2008||Sleepless Night||Hiroyuki Uemura||Kojiro Hashiguchi||Sunday Racing||1:08.0|
|2007||Aston Machan||Eiji Nakadate||Sei Ishizaka||Mayumi Tosa||1:09.4|
|2006||Takeover Target||Jay Ford||Joe Janiak||Joe & Ben Janiak||1:08.1|
|2005||Silent Witness||Felix Coetzee||Tony Cruz||Archie & Betty da Silva||1:07.3|
|2004||Calstone Light O||Naohiro Onishi||Hiroyuki Oneda||Sadamitsu Shimizu||1:09.9|
|2003||Durandal||Kenichi Ikezoe||Masahiro Sakaguchi||Teruya Yoshida||1:08.0|
|2002||Believe||Yutaka Take||Shigeki Matsumoto||Koji Maeda||1:07.7|
|2001||Trot Star||Masayoshi Ebina||Eiji Nakano||Minoru Takano||1:07.0|
|2000||Daitaku Yamato||Teruo Eda||Sei Ishizaka||Kazuo Nakamura||1:08.6|