Without Derby winners, everyone can win the 42nd Cup

It was back in 1981 when the Japan Cup was first held at the Tokyo Racecourse to see how Japanese horses would fare against foreign competitors. This first race was entered by a 5-year-old mare from America, Myrzi Doats, ridden by Cash Asmussen.

The horse was eliminated as the fifth favorite, but not only won, but also set a new course record for the 2400 meters in 2:25.3 seconds. This time has since been shortened over the years, showing how much better horses have become in racing. But at the time, the Japanese racing community was very worried about whether local runners would ever reach world-class standards.

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