Desert Icon took out the 2022 JRA Cup

Japan Racing Association's new link to the Ladbrokes Cox Plate Carnival

There’s an added connection between the Japan Racing Association and the Ladbrokes Cox Plate Carnival in 2023. 

A relationship has existed between the JRA and the Moonee Valley Racing Club for a number of years, with the winner of the Ladbrokes Cox Plate eligible for a bonus in the Japan Cup. 

It’s one of four races in Australia where the winner qualifies for the bonus. 

If a horse was to win the 2023 Ladbrokes Cox Plate and the 2023 Japan Cup, connections would receive a bonus of AUD $4.67 million on top of the $5.23 million winners’ cheque. 

The Ladbrokes Cox Plate winner would be guaranteed a minimum bonus of $313,000 for competing in the Japan Cup. 

There are two Australian-trained horses among the first overseas nominations for the Group 1 on November 26, with the Chris Waller pair of Soulcombe, and 2022 Moonee Valley Gold Cup winner Francesco Guardi, while the winner of Ladbrokes Cox Plate can still be considered by the JRA Selection Committee as a nominated horse due to the race taking place post the closing of nominations. 

Only one Australian-trained galloper has managed to win the Japan Cup. Better Loosen Up for David Hayes took out the 1990 W.S. Cox Plate, before heading to Japan the following month for a historic victory. 

This year, the Ladbrokes Cox Plate Carnival also features the Schweppes Japan Racing Association Cup, with the Group 3 run over the Ladbrokes Cox Plate distance of 2040m one of the drawcards on Ladbrokes Cox Plate Eve (October 27). 

The race has moved from its recent position on Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes night in September.

It will be the 31st edition of the JRA Cup, with Native Zam successful in the inaugural running of the race back in 1993. 

Past JRA Cup winners have gone on to experience Cox Plate success. 

El Segundo took out the JRA Cup in 2005 for Colin Little and Darren Gauci. The following year he was beaten a nose by Fields Of Omagh in the Cox Plate, but would go one better in 2007 when a two-length winner. 

Maldivian meanwhile took out the JRA Cup in 2007 before claiming the 2008 Cox Plate. 

Other popular winners of the JRA Cup include Alcopop (2009), Precedence (2010), Mourinho (2013) and The Cleaner (2014). 

The Schweppes JRA Cup will undoubtedly be one of the highlights on the opening night of the Ladbrokes Cox Plate Carnival.