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February 3, 2020 (Mon)

2019 JRA Awards Results

The end of another year means it is time for the latest announcement of the championships regarding the best horses in the JRA for 2019.

Champion Two-Year-Old Colt: Contrail(JPN), by Deep Impact(JPN)
The colt had a perfect season, and after a solid win in the G1 Hopeful Stakes at the end of the season, he managed to be the overwhelming favorite over Salios(JPN) by Heart's Cry(JPN) who won the G1 Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes a few weeks before. While both horses were three for three and both had won G3 before their G1 titles, Contrail(JPN) got 197 votes over Salios(JPN)'s 77 votes.

Champion Two-Year-Old Filly: Resistencia(JPN), by Daiwa Major(JPN)
Three runs and three wins, including a G3 win before winning the G1 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies in early December. She was unanimously voted to be the champion of her generation.

Champion Three-Year-Old Colt: Saturnalia(JPN), by Lord Kanaloa(JPN)
The three-year-old category had several contenders facing off for votes, and the two who took home most of the votes was Saturnalia(JPN) and Admire Mars(JPN), by Daiwa Major(JPN). Admire Mars(JPN) proved to be one of the best younger milers in 2019 after being crowned the Champion Two-Year-Old in 2018. Both colts had highs and lows of the year, and despite Admire Mars(JPN) having won two G1s including the G1 NHK Mile Cup and the G1 Hong Kong Mile against older horses, Saturnalia(JPN)'s G1 Satsuki Sho win and G1 Arima Kinen runner up effort took home the most votes. Saturnalia(JPN) received 124 votes while Admire Mars(JPN) received 107 votes. Undefeated G1 winner Chrysoberyl(JPN), by Gold Allure(JPN), received 24 votes, G1 Japanese Derby winner Roger Barows(JPN) by Deep Impact(JPN) received 15 votes, and G1 Kikuka Sho winner World Premiere(JPN) by Deep Impact(JPN) had three votes cast in his favor.

Champion Three-Year-Old Filly: Gran Alegria(JPN), by Deep Impact(JPN)
Gran Alegria(JPN) was Champion Two-Year-Old in 2018, and despite being out of commission, the vast majority of the year took home the G1 Oka Sho in April and the G2 Hanshin Cup in December. She proved her dominance in both, and her issues were not held against her when it came time to vote. She received the majority, 121 in total. G1 Japanese Oaks winner Loves Only You(JPN) by Deep Impact(JPN) received 99 votes, and G1 Shuka Sho winner Chrono Genesis(JPN) by Bago(FR) received 47 votes.

Champion Older Male: Win Bright(JPN), by Stay Gold(JPN)
Despite not having a G1 victory in his home country, Win Bright(JPN) impressed everyone with his two G1 wins in Hong Kong in the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup in April and the G1 Hong Kong Cup in December.

Champion Older Female: Lys Gracieux(JPN), by Heart's Cry(JPN)
Earlier in the year, it looked like the year would belong to Almond Eye(JPN) by Lord Kanaloa(JPN) after her fantastic win in the G1 Dubai Turf in March, while Lys Gracieux(JPN) ran third in the G1 Hong Kong Queen Elizabeth II Cup. As the year progressed, however, Lys Gracieux(JPN) stock rose, winning the G1 Takarazuka Kinen against males when Almond Eye(JPN) finished third in the G1 Yasuda Kinen. Almond Eye(JPN) rebounded to win the G1 Tenno Sho Aki against males, but Lys Gracieux(JPN) went on to win the G1 Cox Plate in Australia. The year saw the two top fillies take each other on in the G1 Arima Kinen, where Almond Eye(JPN) faltered, finishing 9th while Lys Gracieux(JPN) was in full bloom, destroying the field by five lengths. Lys Gracieux(JPN) received 271 votes, while Almond Eye(JPN) received only three.

Champion Sprinter or Miler: Indy Champ(JPN), by Stay Gold(JPN)
The 1600m and under horses in Japan were very strong in 2019. Top honors went to the horse with the best domestic record, Indy Champ(JPN) took home both G1 Mile races in 2019, the G1 Yasuda Kinen and the G1 Mile championship. He received 211 votes in all. Admire Mars(JPN) by Daiwa Major(JPN) won the G1 NHK Mile Cup and defeated Indy Champ(JPN) in the G1 Hong Kong Mile but despite as impressive as 2019 campaign was, voters only awarded him 38 votes. Tower of London(JPN) by Raven's Pass(USA) won the G1 Sprinters Stakes and received 22 votes while G1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen winner Mr Melody(USA) by Scat Daddy(USA) received three votes.

Champion Dirt Horse: Chrysoberyl(JPN), by Gold Allure(JPN)
The dirt champion each year is either very obvious or wide open, in 2019 it was obvious, and Chrysoberyl(JPN) had 270 votes to prove it. While his primary win of the year was the G1 Champions Cup in December but he had also won the JPN1 Japan Dirt Derby and a JPN2 and a JPN3 in the NAR circuit as well. He finished the year undefeated, making him the obvious choice to be champion. Omega Perfume(JPN) by Swept Overboard(USA) won the JPN1 Teio Sho and the G1 Tokyo Daishoten, as well as finished second in the JPN1 JBC Classic, all in the NAR Circuit but proving to be one of the most reliable older dirt horses in the country.

Horse of the Year: Lys Gracieux(JPN), by Heart's Cry(JPN)
Top honors for the year often go to the winner of the G1 Arima Kinen, but there is no way Lys Gracieux(JPN) did not earn this on her sheer talent alone. After years of being so close to G1 titles, she claimed her first G1 win in the 2018 G1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup, and now it is likely the thing she is least remembered for. She not only took home both of Japan's Grand Prix races, the G1 Takarazuka Kinen in June, and the G1 Arima Kinen in December, both in fabulous style. What makes it even more impressive is that she went to Australia in between both of those significant wins to confidently capture the G1 Cox Plate too. No horse in the JRA deserved the title more, and she was almost unanimously chosen with only two votes going to 2018's HOTY Almond Eye(JPN) by Lord Kanaloa(JPN) and one vote going to Chrysoberyl(JPN), by Gold Allure(JPN) from the 274 votes cast.

Trainer & Jockey Awards:
Leading Trainer by wins: Takayuki Yasuda (64 wins)
Leading Trainer by win average: Mitsumasa Nakauchida (0.225)
Leading Trainer by earnings: Yoshito Yahagi (2,214,248,900 Yen)
Leading Jockey by wins: Christophe Lemaire (164 wins)
Leading Jockey by win average: Yuga Kawada (0.260%)
Leading Jockey by earnings: Christophe Lemaire (3,547,238,000 Yen)
Most Valuable Jockey Award: Christophe Lemaire

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Satomi Oka Bloodstock Pty Ltd
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