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2024 February Stakes: Race History

3 minute read

One of the few dirt track majors is the February Stakes run at Tokyo on Sunday.

Lemon Pop.
Lemon Pop. Picture: Japan Bloodhorse Breeders' Association

Lemon Pop won with a bit of ease last year so who takes the 2024 February Stakes (1600m) at Tokyo on Sunday?


The February Stakes is a Grade 1 race run under Weight For Age conditions for four year olds and above at Tokyo racecourse conducted by the Japan Racing Association.

The February Stakes is run over 1600m. It is run on the dirt. It was first run in 1984 and was won by Robaria Amon.

Originally a Domestic Grade 3 race, it was elevated to Domestic Grade 2 in 1994 then Domestic Grade 1 in 1997 and now at its present level in 2007.

Horses from the National Association of Racing (NAR) have been eligible to run in the race since 1995 and from 2007 for horses not trained in Japan.

This race and the Champions Cup in December are the only Grade 1 dirt race organized by the JRA (the other international Grade 1 dirt race (Tokyo Diashoten) and domestic Grade1 races are all organized by NAR).

It is considered as a progression for the dirt races conducted on Dubai World Cup night in March.

The February Stakes was worth JPY259,200,000 in 2024.

Tokyo racecourse is a left handed course with the mile start in the back straight.

The 2003 February Stakes was run at Nakayama over 1800m.

There are now two multiple winners of the race: Copano Rickey in (2014/2015) and Café Pharoah (2021/2022).

No one age group has dominated but the five year olds have won it most with 17.

The most successful jockey is Yutaka Take who has five wins.

Akira Murayama has won the February Stakes three times since 2012.

Mozu Ascot's win in 2020 meant he had won G1s on the dirt and the grass in Japan.

Notable winners of the February Stakes include Lemon Pop (2023), Café Pharoah (2021/2022), Mozu Ascot (2020), Gold Dream (2017), Copano Rickey (2014/2015), Transcend (2011), Espoir City (2010), Success Broken (2009), Vermillion (2008), Agnes Digital (2002).

The 2023 February Stakes was won by Lemon Pop from Red Le Zele and Meisho Hario.

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