Lys Gracieux won the Takarazuka Kinen in 2019 on her way to winning the Ladbrokes Cox Plate


The Moonee Valley Racing Club (MVRC) is proud to announce the renewal of its partnership with the JRA (Japanese Racing Association), with the winner of Sunday’s Group 1 Takarazuka Kinen (2200m) at Kyoto again being offered a subsidised invitation into the 2024 Ladbrokes Cox Plate.

The Takarazuka Kinen is the first of two fan-voted All-Star races during the Japanese racing season (the second being the Group 1 Arima Kinen run in December), and boasts a prizemoney pool of ¥ 475,200,000, equivalent to AUD $4.5 million.

In 2019 Japanese Horse of the Year Lys Gracieux won the Takarazuka Kinen, prior to coming to Australia where she made history by becoming the first Japanese horse to win the Ladbrokes Cox Plate. The Yoshito Yahagi trained mare was ridden by Australian jockey Damian Lane in both victories.

Last year the Takarazuka Kinen was won by Equinox, who was judged as the Longines World’s Best Racehorse for 2023 with a remarkable international rating of 135. The two-time Japanese Horse of the Year is one of the finest winners of the race, alongside previous champions Deep Impact and Orfevre.

Headlining nominations for this year’s race include 2023 Arima Kinen winner Do Deuce, 2023 Tenno Sho (Spring) winner Justin Palace and 2024 Osaka Hai quinella Bellagio Opera and Rousham Park.

MVRC Head of Racing Charlotte Mills says the club is excited to build on its relationship with the JRA and are hoping they can attract another Ladbrokes Cox Plate runner this year.

“The Takarazuka Kinen is one of the pinnacle races on the Japanese racing calendar and it was a joy to be there last year to witness Equinox triumph.

“In more recent times we have seen reigning Ladbrokes Cox Plate champion Romantic Warrior venture to Japan and win the Yasuda Kinen, and we commend Peter Lau and Danny Shum for travelling their superstar and taking on the world stage.

“High-quality international competition is what has seen the Ladbrokes Cox Plate truly confirm its position as Australia’s Best Race in recent years and we would love to have a Japanese runner in the race again.”

The 2024 Ladbrokes Cox Plate will take place on Saturday 26th October, with nominations closing on Tuesday 6th August.