Japan’s $22.5 billion passion for horse racing

(CNN)Horses, bikes, powerboats and motorbikes all have one thing in common in Japan — they’re part of a small selection of sports that members of the public are legally able to gamble on.

And in the case of horse racing, the Japanese people certainly make the most of it. In 2015, the total wagered throughout the country totaled at $22.5 billion.
    This year has been the first time the Japanese have been able to bet on foreign races, and they’ve certainly leaped at the opportunity.

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    “Prize money in this country is very, very good — I believe, the very best in the world,” Goda says. “So this is another reason why the racing in this country is so competitive now. The quality of Japanese racing and the quality of horses will only keep improving.”
    Last month’s Japan Cup was won by home favorite Kitasan Black, whose jockey Yutake Take rode to a clear victory for the $2.5 million first prize and his record fourth win in the event.
    Britain’s Ryan Moore, recently crowned the 2016 Longines World’s Best Jockey, was fifth on Real Steel as Japanese horses filled the first six placings in the 17-strong field.

    Source: http://edition.cnn.com/

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