Japanese Horse Racing Scene
From: Tomohisa Sakata (sprynet.com)
Newsgroups: alt.sport.horse-racing
Subject: Re: # SPOILER # (Result) The Japan Cup
Date: Sun, 01 Dec 1996 19:35:00 GMT

/~~ In < Re: # SPOILER # (Result) The Japan Cup >, Morgana Curley wrote:
> Dear Mr. Sakata:
> I'm sorry I didn't see the race too, there were some great international
> horses running.  I have been following with great interest the impact of
> club owned horses in Japan vx. traditional Japanese breeders who want to
> keep the sport regulated in their favor and putting at a disadvantage the
> internationally bred and trained horses.
> Morgana Curley
> RK Training Farms

  Hello Mr. Curley, thank you for your writing.

  First of all, let me tell you, you know the current Japanese
owners club scene more than I do . Is your farm working with
those Japanese racing clubs? (I might have heard of the name of your

  As to the battle between clubs vs. traditional breeders, time is
obviously on clubs' side. In fact, the biggest breeding farm in
Japan -- Shadai owns the most successful owners club which has been
winning most of the Japanese G1 races. And, Taiki and other clubs
are quite successful too, winning lots of races. Traditional breeders
such as Mejiro Farm are drastically losing their power in the Japanese
racing scene.

> It seems that even the clubs are
> split with the Union Owners club depending on domestic horses while Taiki
> Farm marketing approach is to sell the advantage of the foreign breds.
> I also find it interesting that Terunobu Nakao has purchased Friarstown Stud
> in Ireland and is thinking of expanding in that country in the names of
> his partnership in Omni Racing Club.

  Foreign bred/trained horses are getting more and more popular
among the owners-club owners because of their cost-effectiveness. So,
it has become a real threat to domestic horse breeders.

  I think the Union Owners club is not as successful as Taiki-kind
of foreign-breds-use clubs. Japanese horses are expensive, and
generally grow more slowly than -- say US. bred/trained horse.
The success of US trained horse in Japan must be thanks to efficiency
of you training farms, isn't it :-)? Japanese racing fans are aware of
you guys' work, actually.

  Is result, although foreign bred/trained horses are prohibited to
attend the JP classics (attempting to have owners to chose domestic
bred horses), they earn a lot in their 2 year-old races through their

  So, however JRA is trying to protect small breeders in Japan,
prospect for domestic breeders is not so great, to say the least.
Japanese racing fans are very worried to lose all the domestic
breeding. If all the race horses were imported, and the fans couldn't
see any descendants of Japanese horse, it would be sad.

> I am of the opinion that Japan's
> racing clubs are the wave of the future and international racing is what I
> want to see.

  When the owners clubs arose in 80's, one important Japanese racing
critic said exactly the same thing as you wrote above. He said,
"these clubs will pour new power and energy into the Japanese racing
society". And, in terms of owning a horse, he was veri veri right.
It's now amazing that so many ordinary racing fans in Japan own

  I subscribe to one Japanese horse racing Mailing List (a
discussion group of a few hundred horse lovers), and among the
subscribers of the List there are LOTS of horse owners. Some even
own multiple horses. They are not rich or anything, though.

  Even though Taiki Blizzard lost in the BC badly, his owners must
have been incredibly delighted to have their horse attending one of the
most prestigious races in the world. How many people would be wealthy/
lucky enough to do that without those owners clubs, I don't know :-).

>  Why doesn't Japan simulcast?

  Because there is almost zero demand for Japan Cup in North America,
I guess (cry cry cry). I hope it's gonna be joining to the world

> I believe you are in Canada?  If so, what is your opinion of Talkin Man
> now at stud in the US.  I've seen him run and I'm interested in him as a
> stud for one of my mares, but no one in this country seems to remember his
> canadian victories. I'm seeking running history on this horse.

  Sorry, living in Western Canada, I know nothing about Canadian
racing (Vancouver racing is more likely to be just fun for local people,
rather than international competition).

  The bigger question than about Talkin Man is --- Why did Canada sell
Northern Dancer out :-)???????

   Tomohisa Sakata   (Vancouver)