Date:2nd October 2022
Race category: Grade 1
Racetrack: Nakayama Racecourse
Race Distance: 1200m (turf track)
Prize Money: ¥368,200,000 (US$3,202,000)
Sprinters Stakes preview
The Sprinters Stakes is a Japanese Grade 1 flat horse race with a weight for age condition, held for thoroughbreds aged three and above. The race is usually held in late September or early October. This year it will take place on 2nd October at Nakayama Racecourse and has a hefty purse worth US$3,202,000. The race winner will be awarded US$1,479,000 from the total prize money. In 2021 Pixie Knight won the Sprinters Stakes.
The Sprinters Stakes was introduced in 1967. In 1984, it was categorised as a Grade 3 race, and 3 years later, it was promoted to a Grade 2 category in 1987. The race category was again raised, and in 1990, it was formally introduced as a domestic Grade 1 race. Today, it is one of the most significant races on the Japanese annual horse racing calendar. Except for 2002 and 2014, when it was held at Niigata, Sprinters Stakes has been held at the right-handed Nakayama turf track since it was first introduced.
Earlier, the race was held in December. Since 2000 it has been brought forward to late September or early October. The Sprinters Stakes is the seventh leg of the Global Sprinters Challenge. Horses trained in foreign lands have been taking part in this race since 1994.
Betting on the favourites has served punters well at the Sprinters Stakes in the past. While last year’s winner Pixie knight was the third hottest candidate to lead the race, sprinters leading the odds table have delivered five times during the last ten years. In other years, the second or third favourites have won the race. The last horse to have saluted for the bettors was Gran Alegria in 2020.
With the exception of the three-year-old Pixie Knight, older horses have dominated the race in the past. A good tip would be to analyse the recent runs at similar graded races with similar distances. 2020’s winner Gran Alegria had come from her recent win at the Yasuda Kinen held earlier that year. She later went on to win the Victorian Mile and Mile Championship that year and was reckoned as an elite runner.
Thus as the trends show, highly favoured runners have performed well at the Sprinter Stakes with very few surprises in recent years. With the exception of Snow Dragon in the 2014 race edition, who was the 13th favourite to win the race, the race winner has not gone beyond the third top favourite. It may serve well to keep these trends in mind when betting on the race favourites.