All You Need to Know About G1 Horse Racing
  • # Keiba blog
Here are the G1 horse racing types you should know.

Horse racing G1, also known as Group one or Grade 1 horse racing is used to describe the highest level of standardbred and thoroughbred stakes. 

Here are the most common types of G1 horse racing: 

 

February Stakes

 

Race Type: Thoroughbred

Surface: Dirt 

Location: Tokyo Racecourse 

It is a G1 flat horse race in Japan specifically for four-year-old thoroughbreds and older. It has a total distance of 1,600 metres. 

At first, it was known as the February Handicap. However, it was changed to February Stakes in 1994 wherein horses from the National Association of Horse Racing (NAR) that are not trained in the country are allowed to join. 

It is also regarded as the stepping race to qualify for the Dubai World Cup Night. 

Here are the recent winners of this race: 

Year    

Winner      

Jockey 

Trainer 

Owner 

2020

Mozu Ascot

Christophe Lemaire. 

Yoshito Yahagi

Capital System

2019

Inti

Yutaka Take

Kenji Nonaka

Shigeo Takeda

2018

Nonkono Yume     

Hiroyuki Uchida

Yukihiro Kato

Kazumasa Yamada

2017

Gold Dream

Mirco Demuro

Osamu Hirata

Katsumi Yoshida

 

Takamatsunomiya Kinen

 

Race Type: Thoroughbred

Surface: Turf 

Location: Chukyo Racecourse 

It is a race of four-year-old thoroughbreds and older. It has a total distance of 1,200 metres. Since 2011, this race has become the Japanese leg of the Global Sprint Challenge Series. It is also the only race headed by the Japan Racing Association (JRA) which is not held in their four major racecourses.  

Here are the recent winners of this race: 

Year 

Winner 

Jockey 

Trainer 

Owner 

2020 

Mozu Superflare 

Fuma Matsuwaka

Hidetaka Otonashi

Capital System Co. Ltd.

2019

Mr Melody

Yuichi Fukunaga

Hideaki Fujiwara

Green Fields Co. Ltd.

2018

Fine Needle

Yuga Kawada

Yoshitada Takahashi

Godolphin

2017

Seiun Kosei

Hideaki Miyuki

Hiroyuki Uehara

Shigeyuki Nishiyama

 

Ōsaka Hai

 

Race Type: Thoroughbred

Surface: Turf

Location: Hanshin Racecourse, Takarazuka, Hyogo

It is a flat horse race for thoroughbred colts and fillies aged four and older. It has a total distance of 2,000 metres. Before its status was promoted, it was known as the Sankei Osaka Hai. 

Since 2017, the winners of this race are guaranteed to have a qualifying status to join the Irish Champion Stakes. 

Here are the recent winners of this race: 

Year 

Winner 

Jockey 

Trainer 

2020

Lucky Lilac

Mirco Demuro

Mikio Matsunaga

2019

Al Ain

Yuichi Kitamura

Yasutoshi Ikee

2018

Suave Richard

Mirco Demuro

Yasushi Shono

2017

Kitasan Black

Yutaka Take

Hisashi Shimizu

 

Oka Sho 

 

Race Type: Thoroughbred

Surface: Turf

Location: Hanshin Racecourse, Takarazuka, Hyogo

It is a Japanese G1 flat horse race that is restricted to three-year-old thoroughbred fillies. It has a total distance of 1,600 metres. It is also equivalent to Great Britain’s 1,000 Guineas. 

The winners in this race are eligible to join Yushun Himba and Japanese Fillies’ Triple Crown. 

Here are the recent winners of this race: 

Year 

Winner 

Jockey 

Trainer 

Owner 

2020   

Daring Tact

Kohei Matsuyama

Haruki Sugiyama  

Normandy Thoroughbred Racing

2019

Gran Alegria

Christophe Lemaire  

Kazuo Fujisawa

Sunday Racing

2018

Almond Eye

Christophe Lemaire

Sakae Kunieda

Silk Racing

2017

Reine Minoru  

Kenichi Ikezoe

Masaru Honda

Minoru Yoshioka

 

Satsuki Sho 

Race Type: Thoroughbred

Surface: Turf

Location: Nakayama Racecourse, Funabashi, Chiba

It is a flat horse race for three-year-old thoroughbred colts and fillies. It has a total distance of 2,000 metres. It is also equivalent to Great Britain’s 2,000 Guineas. 

Here are the recent winners of this race: 

Year 

Winner 

Jockey 

Trainer 

Owner 

2020  

Contrail

Yuichi Fukunaga

Yoshito Yahagi

Shinji Maeda

2019

Saturnalia

Christophe Lemaire

Katsuhiko Sumii

U Carrot Farm

2018

Epoca d'Oro

Keita Tosaki

Hideaki Fujiwara

K Hidaka Breeders Union

2017

Al Ain

Kohei Matsuyama

Yasutoshi Ikee

Sunday Racing Co. Ltd.

 

NHK Mile Cup 

 

Race Type: Thoroughbred

Surface: Turf

Location: Tokyo Racecourse, Fuchu, Tokyo

It is a flat horse race for thoroughbreds and fillies. It has a total distance of 1,600 metres. What’s amazing about this race is that it is sponsored by the Japanese public broadcasting organization. Because of this, the race is broadcasted on Fuji TV and other NHK channels.

It is also considered as a prep race for those who will join the Yushun Himba and Tokyo Yushun. 

Here are the recent winners of this race: 

Year 

Winner 

Jockey 

Trainer 

Owner 

2020   

Lauda Sion

Mirco Demuro

Takashi Saito

Silk Racing

2019

Admire Mars

Mirco Demuro

Yasuo Tomomichi

Riichi Kondo

2018

Keiai Nautique   

Yusuke Fujioka

Osamu Hirata

Kazuhiro Kameda

2017

Aerolithe

Norihiro Yokoyama

Takanori Kikuzawa

Sunday Racing

 

Victoria Mile 

 

Race Type: Thoroughbred

Surface: Turf

Location: Tokyo Racecourse, Fuchu, Tokyo

It is a flat horse race for four-year-old fillies and mares. It has a total distance of 1,600 metres. 

Here are the recent winners of this race: 

Year 

Winner 

Jockey 

Trainer 

Owner 

2020

Almond Eye

Christophe Lemaire

Sakae Kunieda

Silk Racing

2019

Normcore

Damian Lane

Kiyoshi Hagiwara

Seiichi Iketani

2018

Jour Polaire

Hideaki Miyuki

Masato Nishizono

G1 Racing

2017

Admire Lead

Christophe Lemaire

Naosuke Suga

Riichi Kondo

 

Yushun Himba 

 

Race Type: Thoroughbred

Surface: Turf

Location: Tokyo Racecourse, Fuchu, Tokyo

It is a flat horse race for three-year-old thoroughbred fillies. It has a total distance of 2,400 metres. This race is also equivalent to England’s Epsom Oaks or Oaks Stakes. 

The most legendary win during this race is when Apapane and Saint Emilion hit the finish line at the same time. It is also regarded as a ‘dead heat’ win. 

Here are the recent winners of this race: 

Year 

Winner 

Jockey 

Trainer 

Owner 

2020   

Daring Tact

Kohei Matsuyama

Haruki Sugiyama

Normandy Thoroughbred Racing

2019

Loves Only You

Mirco Demuro

Yoshito Yahagi

DMM Dream Club

2018

Almond Eye

Christophe Lemaire

Sakae Kunieda

Silk Racing

2017

Soul Stirring

Christophe Lemaire

Kazuo Fujisawa

Shadai Horse Race Co

 

Tokyo Yushun 

 

Race Type: Thoroughbred

Surface: Turf

Location: Tokyo Racecourse, Fuchu, Tokyo

It is a flat horse race for three-year-old thoroughbred colts and fillies. It has a total distance of 2,400 metres. This race is also equivalent to England’s Epsom Derby. 

It is also regarded as the second leg of the Japanese Triple Crown preceded by Satsuki Sho. Unlike other races, it is open to international competitions because Japan is included in the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities’ ICS Part I category. 

In 2001, the JRA decided to allow foreign-bred horses to join. 10 years later, it was revoked and is now limited to Japanese-trained horses. However, the current rules allow only seven foreign-bred participants. 

Here are the recent winners of this race: 

Year 

Winner 

Jockey 

Trainer 

Owner 

2020 

Contrail

Yuichi Fukunaga

Yoshita Yahagi

Shinji Maeda

2019

Roger Barows 

Suguru Hamanaka

Katsuhiko Sumii

Hirotsugu Inokuma

2018

Wagnerian

Yuichi Fukunaga

Yasuo Tomomichi

Makoto Kaneko

2017

Rey de Oro

Christophe Lemaire

Kazuo Fujisawa

U Carrot Farm

 

Yasuda Kinen

 

Race Type: Thoroughbred

Surface: Turf

Location: Tokyo Racecourse, Fuchu, Tokyo

It is an international G1 horse race for three-year-old horses. It has a total distance of 1,600 metres. 

It was formerly known as Yasuda Sho to honour Izaemon Yasuda. He is the founding chairman of the Japan Racing Association (JRA). However, it was changed to Yasuda Kinen when he died in 1958. 

This race is also regarded as the final leg of the Asian Mile Challenge in 2005. 

Here are the recent winners of this race: 

Year 

Winner 

Jockey 

Trainer 

Owner 

2020  

Gran Alegria

Kenichi Ikezoe

Kazuo Fujisawa

Sunday Racing

2019

Indy Champ

Yuichi Fukunaga

Hidetaka Otonashi

Silk Racing

2018

Mozu Ascot

Christophe Lemaire

Yoshito Yahagi

Capital System

2017

Satono Aladdin

Yuga Kawada

Yasutoshi Ikee

Hajime Satomi

 

Takarazuka Kinen

 

Race Type: Thoroughbred

Surface: Turf

Location: Hanshin Racecourse, Takarazuka, Hyōgo

It is a flat horse race for three-year-old thoroughbreds and older. It has a total distance of 2,200 metres. 

What’s amazing about this race is that it is one of the two all-star races in Japanese horse racing. The other is Arima Kinen which is usually held every December. 

It was also named after the city of Takarazuka located in Hyogo Prefecture. 

Here are the recent winners of this race: 

Year 

Winner 

Jockey 

Trainer 

Owner 

2020 

Chrono Genesis

Yuichi Kitamura

Takashi Saito

Sunday Racing

2019

Lys Gracieux

Damian Lane

Yoshito Yahagi

U Carrot Farm

2018

Mikki Rocket

Ryuji Wada

Hidetaka Otonashi

Mizuki Noda

2017

Satono Crown

Mirco Demuro

Noriyuki Hori

Hajime Satomi

 

Sprinters Stakes

 

Race Type: Thoroughbred

Surface: Turf

Location: Nakayama Racecourse

It is a flat horse race for three-year-old thoroughbreds and older. It has a total distance of 1,200 metres. 

In 1990, this race was granted a domestic G1 accreditation which allowed foreign-bred horses to join. This race is also the 7th out of the nine races of the Global Sprint Challenge series. 

Here are the recent winners of this race: 

Year 

Winner 

Jockey 

Trainer 

Owner 

2019   

Tower Of London  

Christophe Lemaire  

Kazuo Fujisawa

Godolphin

2018

Fine Needle

Yuga Kawada

Yoshitada Takahashi  

Godolphin

2017

Red Falx

Mirco Demuro

Tomohito Ozeki

TokyoHorseRacing Co. Ltd

2016

Red Falx

Mirco Demuro

Tomohito Ozeki

TokyoHorseRacing Co. Ltd

 

Shuka Sho

 

Race Type: Thoroughbred

Surface: Turf

Location: Kyoto Racecourse, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto

It is a flat horse race for three-year-old thoroughbred fillies. It has a total distance of 2,000 metres. 

This race is also regarded as the final leg of the Japanese Fillies' Triple Crown preceded by the Oka Sho and Yushun Shimba. 

Here are the recent winners of this race: 

Year 

Winner 

Jockey 

Trainer 

Owner 

2019   

Chrono Genesis  

Yuichi Kitamura

Takashi Saito

Sunday Racing

2018

Almond Eye

Christophe Lemaire

Sakae Kunieda

Silk Racing

2017

Deirdre

Christophe Lemaire

Mitsuru Hashida

Toji Morita

2016

Vivlos

Yuichi Fukunaga

Yasuo Tomomichi

Kazuhiro Sasaki

 

Kikuka-sho 

 

Race Type: Thoroughbred

Surface: Turf

Location: Kyoto Racecourse, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto

It is a Japanese flat horse race for three-year-old thoroughbreds and fillies. It has a total distance of 3,000 metres. This race is also regarded as the equivalent of England’s St Leger Stakes. 

Here are the recent winners of this race: 

Year 

Winner 

Jockey 

Trainer 

Owner 

2019 

World Premiere 

Yutaka Take

Yasuo Tomomichi

Ryoichi Otsuka

2018

Fierement

Christophe Lemaire

Takahisa Tezuka

Sunday Racing

2017

Kiseki

Mirco Demuro

Katsuhiko Sumii

Tatsue Ishikawa

2016

Satono Diamond

Christophe Lemaire

Yasutoshi Ikee

Hajime Satomi

 

Queen Elizabeth II Cup 

 

Race Type: Thoroughbred

Surface: Turf

Location: Kyoto Racecourse, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto

It is an international G1 flat horse race for three-year-old thoroughbred fillies and mares. It has a total distance of 2,200 metres. 

It was originally a race for three-year-old fillies only but was opened to older female horses in 1996. It was also the third leg of the Japanese Fillies’ Triple Crown. 

It is also the race where Snow Fairy from England, became the first winner outside Japan in 1999. She also won the following year. 

Here are the recent winners of this race: 

Year 

Winner 

Jockey 

Trainer 

Owner 

2019

Lucky Lilac

Christophe Soumillon

Mikio Matsunaga

Sunday Racing

2018

Lys Gracieux

João Moreira

Yoshito Yahagi

U Carrot Farm

2017

Mozu Katchan

Mirco Demuro

Ippo Sameshima

Capital System Co. Ltd

2016

Queens Ring

Mirco Demuro

Keiji Yoshimura

Chizu Yoshida

 

Mile Championship 

 

Race Type: Thoroughbred

Surface: Turf

Location: Kyoto Racecourse, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto

It is an international G1 flat horse race for three-year-old thoroughbreds and above. It has a total distance of 1,600 metres. 

At first, it was traditionally regarded as a step race for the Hong Kong Mile before the Hanshin Cup was introduced. The best thing about this race is that the winners and runner-ups will compete in Hong Kong to win extra prize money. 

Here are the recent winners of this race: 

Year 

Winner 

Jockey 

Trainer 

Owner 

2019

Indy Champ

Kenichi Ikezoe

Hidetaka Otonashi

Silk Racing

2018

Stelvio

William Buick

Tetsuya Kimura

Sunday Racing

2017

Persian Knight

Mirco Demuro

Yasutoshi Ikee

G1 Racing Co Ltd

2016

Mikki Isle

Suguru Hamanaka

Hidetaka Otonashi

Mizuki Noda

 

Hopeful Stakes 

 

Race Type: Thoroughbred

Surface: Turf

Location: Nakayama Racecourse, Funabashi, Chiba

It is a G1 middle-distance horse race for two-year-old thoroughbreds. Initially, it was known as the Radio Tampa Hai Sansai Hinba Stakes (G3) from 1991 to 2000. From 2001 to 2005, it was named as Radio Tampa Hai Nisai Stakes. Then, from 2006 to 2013, it was named as Radio Nikkei Hai Nisai Stakes. 

This race was considered as one of the most-awaited because no other graded races over 2,000 metres for two-year-olds existed back in the day. 

Here are the recent winners of this race: 

Year 

Winner 

Jockey 

Trainer 

Owner 

2019

Contrail

Yuichi Fukunaga

Yoshito Yahagi

Shinji Maeda

2018

Saturnalia

Mirco Demuro

Kazuya Nakatake

U Carrot Farm

2017

Time Flyer

Christian Demuro

Kunihide Matsuda

Sunday Racing

2016

Rey de Oro

Christophe Lemaire

Kazuo Fujisawa

U Carrot Farm