2021 Japan Cup Betting Guide

Welcome to our Japan Cup betting guide, where you’ll find everything you need to know about betting on the most prestigious horse race in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Besides listing the best Japan Cup betting sites and providing information on this year’s edition of the invitational race, our comprehensive guide includes:

  • 2021 Japan Cup betting odds and predictions
  • A step-by-step guide to betting on the Japan Cup
  • Tips to help you profit from the mile and a half race

Bet on the Japan Cup at one of our top-rated horse racing betting sites:

the USABest Japan Cup Betting Sites in the USA - September 2021
1
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+2 more

Japan Cup: Facts and Race Information

More than 21,000 horse races are held each year in Japan, none of which are bigger than the Japan Cup.

The Japan Cup is held on the last Sunday of November at the Tokyo Racecourse in Fuchu, Tokyo. It’s one of the most prestigious mile and a half races in the world, with a maximum of 18 horses running under weight for age conditions.

Along with the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Melbourne Cup and the Breeders’ Cup, the Japan Cup is one of the great end-of-year events in the horse racing calendar.

First run in 1981, the Japan Racing Association (JRA) introduced the Japan Cup as an invitational race to give local racehorses an opportunity to compete against elite racehorses from the USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and India. Entry restrictions were lifted a year later, with the JRA extending their invitation to the best horses from around the world.

The Japan Cup remains an invitational race, attracting the biggest names in racing with a total prize pool of ¥624,000,000 (about US$5.7 million). It’s the second richest turf race in the world, after the Melbourne Cup, with ¥300,000,000 (about US$2.7 million) set aside for the winner.

Additional prize money is awarded if the winning horse triumphed in other international races in the same calendar year and finishes third or better in the Japan Cup. Qualifying races include the Epsom Derby, Irish Derby, Dubai World Cup, Breeders’ Cup, and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

2021 Japan Cup Betting Odds & Predictions

The 41st running of the Japan Cup will take place on Sunday, 28 November 2021.

Nominations close on Tuesday, 5 October. We’ll update our Japan Cup betting guide when the field has been confirmed and betting sites release odds for the invitational event. We will also reveal our 2021 Japan Cup betting predictions and explain the reasoning behind our selections. Stay tuned!

Features of the Best Japan Cup Betting Sites

With the Japan Cup being one of the most prestigious mile and a half races in the world, it should come as no surprise to learn that all the best sports betting sites accepts bets on the invitational race. But with so many sites to choose from, we understand it can be difficult to decide where to place your bets.

Luckily for you, we know what fellow horse racing betting enthusiasts look for in a bookmaker. That’s why we analyse every aspect of each site we review and share our honest and unbiased opinion on whether it’s worth your time. We consider everything from licensing and security measures to payment methods and customer support, but there’s a few key features we look for in Japan Cup betting sites.

The key features of the best Japan Cup betting sites include:

Best Odds Guaranteed

We only recommend horse racing betting sites which offer Best Odds Guaranteed (BOG). It’s a concession offered by bookmakers to ensure you receive the best price possible. If your selection’s starting price (SP) is bigger than the price you took, you will be paid at the bigger price.

Race Coverage

We only recommend Japan Cup betting sites that offer odds on all the other major flat races, from American racing’s Triple Crown races to the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and Dubai World Cup. But it’s also important that the site covers jumps racing, ensuring you can bet on Cheltenham and the Grand National.

Free Bets & Bonuses

Because the Japan Cup is such a prestigious race, there is always a lot of competition between bookmakers ahead of post time. Sites offer free bets, deposit bonuses and enhanced odds to attract new customers who want to bet on the Japan Cup. And the rewards continue long after you sign up.

How to Bet on the Japan Cup

Whether you’re new to betting on horse racing online or considering betting on the Japan Cup for the first time, we’re here to help.

We’ve already helped thousands of beginners create an online betting account and bet on their favourite sports, so allow us to show you how easy it is to bet on Japan’s most prestigious horse race.

Follow our step-by-step guide below to place your first bet on the Japan Cup:

  1. Open Your Account
    Create a Betting Account
    Step one is joining one of the best Japan Cup betting sites. Take your pick from the sites on this page and click the “visit site” button. Then click “register” and enter your personal details to complete the registration process.
  2. Find the Cashier
    Make Your First Deposit
    Access the cashier or banking section to view a list of accepted payment methods and select your preferred option. Then enter your payment details and confirm how much you want to deposit. In most cases, your funds will be made available instantly.
  3. Choose Your Deposit Method
    Find Japan Cup Betting Markets
    Navigate to the horse racing section. Most betting sites have an A-Z list of sports on their homepage to make navigation quick and easy. You will find the latest Japan Cup betting markets under the “featured races” or “ante post” tab at most sites.
  4. Choose Your Deposit Method
    Confirm Your Bet
    Now it’s time to make your selection. Click the odds associated with the horse you want to back and enter your stake. Then click “confirm” to process your bet and wait for the race to begin.

Recent Japan Cup Winners

Some of the greatest racehorses of all time have competed in the Japan Cup since its inaugural running in 1981, including numerous Triple Crown winners and Horse of the Year winners.

Mairzy Doates, a five-year-old American mare ridden by Cash Asmussen and trained by John Fulton, won the first Japan Cup, finishing a length clear of runner-up Frost King.

More recently, Gentildonna became the first back-to-back winner of the Japan Cup. Ryan Moore rode the filly to victory in the 2013 Japan Cup after trainer Sei Ishizaka made the harsh decision to drop jockey Yasunari Iwata, despite the Japanese jockey guiding her to victory in the 2012 Japan Cup.

And how could we discuss recent winners without addressing the 2020 Japan Cup? It was the biggest clash of champions in the race’s history, with three Japan Triple Crown winners going head-to-head in the 40th edition of the invitational race.

The 2018 Japanese Fillies Triple Crown winner Almond Eye was the betting favourite, ahead of the undefeated 2020 Japanese Triple Crown winner Contrail and the undefeated 2020 Japanese Fillies Triple Crown winner Daring Tact. Almond Eye blazed down the Tokyo Racecourse to claim her second Japan Cup in the final race of her career.

Here’s more information on all Japan Cup winners since 2010:

Year Winner Age Jockey Trainer Time
2020 Almond Eye 5 Christophe Lemaire Sakae Kunieda 2:23.0
2019 Suave Richard 5 Oisin Murphy Yasushi Shono 2:25.9
2018 Almond Eye 3 Christophe Lemaire Sakae Kunieda 2:20.6
2017 Cheval Grand 5 Hugh Bowman Yasuo Tomomichi 2:23.7
2016 Kitasan Black 4 Yutaka Take Hisashi Shimizu 2:25.8
2015 Shonan Pandora 4 Kenichi Ikezoe Tomokazu Takano 2:24.7
2014 Epiphaneia 4 Christophe Soumillon Katsuhiko Sumii 2:23.1
2013 Gentildonna 4 Ryan Moore Sei Ishizaka 2:26.1
2012 Gentildonna 3 Yasunari Iwata Sei Ishizaka 2:23.1
2011 Buena Vista 5 Yasunari Iwata Hiroyoshi Matsuda 2:24.2
2010 Rose Kingdom 3 Yutaka Take Kojiro Hashiguchi 2:25.2

 
Note: In 2010, Rose Kingdom finished second to Buena Vista but was promoted because of disqualification.

Ready to Bet on the 2021 Japan Cup?

The countdown to the 41st running of the Japan Cup is on. We will update our Japan Cup betting guide with the latest odds and share our predictions for the invitational race when the field is confirmed.

In the meantime, join one of the best Japan Cup betting sites listed on this page and claim your bonus to bet on other major horse races.

FAQs

Get started by joining one of the best Japan Cup betting sites listed on this page. Once you fill in your personal details and create your account, make your first deposit and navigate to the horse racing section. Find the latest Japan Cup betting odds, add a selection to your betting slip and confirm your stake.

The 2021 Japan Cup is scheduled to take place on Sunday, 28 November. The field will be confirmed after nominations close on Tuesday, 5 October. Online betting sites will then release their 2021 Japan Cup betting odds and we will share our predictions for the invitational race on this page.

The 2018 Japanese Fillies Triple Crown winner Almond Eye won the 2020 Japan Cup to become a two-time winner after breaking the 2,400-metre speed record in 2018 with a time of 2:20.6. Her victory gave Contrail and Daring Tact their first defeats in one of the most anticipated races in the event’s history.

Absolutely! Japan boasts 25 racing horse racing tracks, with more than 21,000 races held each year. Three types of racing take place at these tracks - flat racing, jump racing, and Ban'ei Racing (also known as Draft Racing). The Japan Cup is one of the biggest days of horse racing in the country.

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