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Thoroughbred Breeding in Japan


Forty Niner(USA)

Forty Niner(USA)

The power relationships among stallions in Japan's horseracing and breeding industries are about to undergo a massive change. It would appear that in 2008 Sunday Silence (USA), which had been the champion sire for the 13 years since 1995, will surrender his throne to his son, Agnes Tachyon (JPN). Sunday Silence (USA), a U.S. Double Crown winner that had an excellent racing record, had been the most successful stallion in Japanese racing history. He has sired 1,067 race winners and 146 group race winners. Additionally, his son Divine Light (JPN), which was exported to France, produced Natagora (FR), who won the 1,000 Guineas in the U.K. (GI), is proof of the fact that Japanese stallions have now obtained world-class standings. Japan is also hoping to leverage the success of this horse to shift the focus of breeding to domestically produced stallions.

271 stallions were standing in Japan during 2007. 170 were bred in Japan and 101 were bred overseas. Japan-bred stallions covered 6,350 mares, while foreign-bred stallions covered 4,855. As a comparison, in 2001, Japan had 358 stallions, of which 186 were bred in Japan and 172 were bred abroad. The Japan-bred stallions covered 5,327 mares and the foreign-bred stallions covered 7,486. This shows that the percentage of all mares mated with Japan-bred stallions has jumped from 41.6% to 56.7% during this period, which reflects that another major change is underway.

Also, in 2007 the number of JRA flat-race group winners whose sires were also bred in Japan number 47, while the number of those whose fathers were bred outside Japan was 75. However, these figures in 2001were 16 and 102, respectively, showing the emergence of Japan-bred stallions.

During the last 20 years Northern Taste (CAN) yielded the stallion champion spot to Real Shadai (USA), who did the same to Tony Bin (IRE), which then yielded to Sunday Silence (USA). Now, however, the time has finally come for a Japan-bred stallion, Agnes Tachyon, to take center stage. This is another indication that Japan is now in the process of taking a step up from a domestic racing scene dominated by domestic stallions to being strong enough to export stallions to the rest of the world.

Please take a look at the Japanese stallions, as the country has become a treasure trove of stallions with the potential to produce top world-class winners.


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