Staphanos was unmatched as one of Japan’s top ranked horses over four consecutive years as a 3yo,4yo,5yo and 6yo winning in excess of $1m in each season.
Japanese racehorses are known to be top class.
Of late the best foreign horses that compete in Japan but come home with slim pickings. Yet the Japanese bred horses who race outside of Japan have outperformed around the world as shown the documentary “Global Impact.” (available to watch on the Novara website)
So why are the Japanese race horses so good? A number of reasons but let’s take a closer look.
“Black Type’’ is assigned to Group and Listed Races that are published in the International Cataloging Standards in what is know as the “Blue Book”.
The intent of Black Type is to acknowledge those races of the highest quality in the major racing countries of the world and provide a reference that reflects quality performances on the race track.
It is intended to act as a measure of excellence on the race track which can be readily referred to by racing fans, breeders and buyers, in establishing the quality of performance achieved by a horse during its racing career.
The Blue Book is published annually under the auspice of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) and lists the major racing nations of the world divided into essentially three parts for flat racing. Sixteen countries including New Zealand and Australia have all their Group and Listed races in Part One. The IFHA is continuing to work towards ensuring the races that appear in Part One of the Blue Book represent the best races in each of the major racing countries.
Buyers must be discerning when looking through a sale catalogue and understand that not every Group One race run in the world is of the same strength.
Japan has huge prizemoney which means owners can spend big money on breeding or purchasing the very best horses to target this prizemoney. The Black Type races in Japan are run with full fields given the large amount of competition for the big prizemoney.
Japan has 15,857 flat races per year and only 222 of these are Black Type. Incredibly Japan only has 1.4% of its races as Black Type.
Simply put Japan has a very small percentage of Black Type compared to the major racing nations which means getting Black Type is a far more difficult process for a racehorse in Japan.
A Japanese racehorse with top class Group One form is a very serious racehorse!