Chukyo Racecourse is a premium horse racing facility in Toyoake, near Nagoya, in the Aichi Prefecture in Japan. It is one of the select racecourses in the country that host flat and steeplechase racing both.
Chukyo racecourse is also one of eleven facilities where national racing events are held.
The other racecourses that host central races include Hakodate, Niigata, Fukushima, Sapporo, Kokura, Hanshin, Kyoto, Tokyo, and Nakayama.
The racecourse is also one of the ten horse racing facilities owned by the JRA (Japan Racing Association).
It also hosts Grade I races which occur in March and December. Generally, Chukyo holds three race meetings in a year and each race meeting has a duration of six to twelve days, similar to other racecourses in the country.
Here is a brief insight into the history of Chukyo Racecourse and its facilities.
Chukyo Racecourse History
Chukyo Racecourse was opened to the public in 1953 when the first Chukyo Kinen was held. Owned by the Japan Racing Association, it is currently next to the four major courses in terms of prominence owned by the central governing body. The JRA was established in 1954 as the leading body for managing horse racing in the country through the Japan Racing Association Law on behalf of the Japanese national government.
Chukyo Racecourse underwent a major renovation project in 1992 and 2010. As part of the renovation project in 1992-1993, the grandstand facility was renovated, while during the 2010-2012 renovation, the main modification was done in the race tracks, and a grandstand was also added. The length of the racing tracks was altered to increase their length.
Over the years, Chukyo has established a firm place as one of the most significant racecourses in the country. In 2006 when the Hanshin Racecourse was being renovated, its featured races were shifted to Chukyo and Kyoto. Moreover, during the 2020-2023 renovation at Kyoto Racecourse, its featured races shifted to Chukyo and Hanshin.
The 1,200-meter Takamatsunomiya Kinen (GI) is held on the turf, and the 1,800-meter Champions Cup (G1) is held on the dirt.
Chukyo Racecourse Facilities
Chukyo Racecourse is located in Nagoya, which is the largest metropolitan area between Osaka and Tokyo.
Chukyo Racecourse comprises a left-handed course and features a turf track and a dirt track. The bigger turf course has a circumference of 1705.9m, while the homestretch is 412.5m. The course was originally 1600m and lengthened during 2010-2012 by over 100m. Rails are used on the turf course to alter the track’s dimensions. The track is called Course A when the rails are on the hedge. It is referred to as the B course and C course when the rail is out 3m and 7m, respectively.
The dirt course has a circumference of 1530m and a homestretch that measures 410.7m. The dirt track at Chukyo has the longest dirt stretch in western Japan.
The racecourse currently has two spectator stands, the Pegasus Stand and the Twin Hat Stand, which were built in 2010-2012. Chukyo Racecourse currently has 8975 seats and a capacity of 58,400 individuals.
House boxes were added to the facilities, and catering services were introduced. In addition, modern betting facilities were also added to the venue.
Chukyo Racecourse also has an amusement park that is free on days other than racing events, making Chukyo a great place for families to visit.
Major races at Chukyo Racecourse
Chukyo Racecourse ranks next to the four major racecourses owned by the JRA and features three race meetings every year. It is home to the prominent Grade I races, the Champions Cup, and the Takamatsunomiya Kinen.
Besides the Grade I races, Chukyo also hosts various Grade II and III races, including the Kinko Sho, Tokai Stakes, Chukyo Kinen, Falcon Stakes, and Procyon Stakes, among others.
What is the Takamatsunomiya Kinen?
The Takamatsunomiya Kinen is one of the most prominent races held at Chukyo Racecourse. It is a Grade I race thoroughbred race reserved for horses four years old and above and has weight for age conditions.
Takamatsunomiya Kinen was first held in 1971. The race is conducted by the Japanese Racing Association and runs over a distance of 1200m on the turf track at Chukyo Racecourse. In 2022, the race had prize money of ¥ 368,200,000.
What is the Champions Cup?
The Champions Cup is another notable Grade I race held at Chukyo. Earlier the race was known as Japan Cup Dirt and took place at Tokyo Racecourse. It was shifted to Hanshin Racecourse in 2008, and in 2014, it was shifted to Chukyo Racecourse and named Champions Cup.
Champions Cup is reserved for horses aged three years and above and runs over a distance of 1800m on the dirt track at Chukyo. In 2022, it had prize money of ¥ 259,200,000.