Preview of the Japan Cup Sunday 29th November at Tokyo

On Sunday morning, 6.40 our time, there is a Grade One taking place out in Tokyo the 1m4f Japan Cup and it has the potential to be a real cracker of a race. It's being billed as a battle of three Triple Crown winners as Contrail, Almond Eye and Daring Tact take each other on. 
The three-year-old colt Contrail has been a shade odds-on in the build-up having completed the Triple Crown out there this season. The son of 2006 Japan Cup winner Deep Impact completed the Japanese Triple Crown only five weeks ago when winning the Japanese St Leger and I think that must have taken it's toll. I've watched it back and he looked to finish tired, not surprising being 1m7f perhaps, but it can't be an ideal preparation for a race like this against such top-class opposition. Surely this comes too soon.
Daring Tact is good, very good, she has won the Japanese 1,000 Guineas, Oaks and the Shuka Sho this season which is the Fillies version of the Triple Crown out there. As well as a few days extra to recover from her last run her schedule has been less busy that the colts but that said the level of her form doesn't look quite so good to me.
I have had a bet on 2018 winner the mare Almond Eye, she is five now and reportedly this will be her last start. She of course completed the Japanese Fillies Triple Crown two years ago and has a brilliant career record. The 2018 Japanese Horse of the Year has won ten of her fourteen starts, nine at Graded level,  including eight G.1's. She looked as good as ever winning the G.1 Tenno Sho at the start of the month, breaking the record for for the most G1 wins in Japan in the process, and I have a bit of the 15-8 about her signing off in style. Christophe Lemaire will ride her again and he said in the build-up “It will be emotional. My way of life for the last three years has been based on Almond Eye’s schedule.” Of the clash with Contrail, he added “We don’t yet know his limits because most of the time he was won with some margin. I still believe Almond Eye can beat him but it’s going to be some match. It’s definitely the race of the decade. This year is very exceptional. Having these three horses in the same race is something we may never see again. It’s the race that everybody has to watch.”
Be lucky