Equinox Bridges The Gap In Thrilling Tenno Sho

Equinox gets up late in the Tenno Sho | JRA photo


Panthalassa (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}), who bravely dead-heated for the victory with defending champion Lord North (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) in this year's G1 Dubai Turf after making all the running, put on an even bolder show in Sunday's G1 Tenno Sho (Autumn) at Tokyo Racecourse. But after turning into the long straight with a double-digit advantage, he could not quite stave off favoured Equinox (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}), who whistled home down the centre of the course to lead in the dying strides.

It was a third Tenno Sho in four years for the Silk Racing partnership, whose Horse of the Year Almond Eye (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}) won it in 2019 and 2020.

Off at a generous 21-1, Panthalassa bounced well from his low gate, but had some surprising early company in the form of North Bridge (Jpn) (Maurice {Jpn}), and that may have had a material impact on the race, as a keyed-up Panthalassa rumbled right along through early fractions of :23.5 and :46 for the opening 800 metres. Equinox, making his first start since just missing in the G1 Tokyo Yushun at this track in late May, settled kindly behind midfield and was content to allow the front-runner to do his thing, with no apparent panic from Christophe Lemaire.

Panthalassa led by the better part of 15 lengths as the Tenno Sho field hit the turn and carried that sort of advantage off the final corner, daring the market leaders to catch him if they could. Equinox was steered off the heels of Potager (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) at the 450m and began to progress, but still had around eight lengths to find entering the final furlong. Despite racing on his incorrect leg, Equinox gathered up Panthalassa late on, who gamely held for second ahead of Danon Beluga (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}). Equinox covered his final 600 metres in :32.7, a tenth of a second quicker than Danon Beluga. Jack d'Or (Jpn) (Maurice {Jpn}) was a further neck back in fourth, while 2021 Derby hero and this year's G1 Dubai Sheema Classic winner Shahryar (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) was fifth in a useful prep for the G1 Longines Japan Cup Nov. 27.

“I'm happy that we were able to catch Panthalassa,” said Lemaire, winning his third Tenno Sho in four years and his 42nd Group 1 on the JRA circuit. “I saw him way in front of us after turning into the straight, the huge gap did worry me a bit, but my colt gave his best and displayed an incredible turn of foot. If he comes out of this race safe and well, he has every chance to do well in the Japan Cup or the Arima Kinen. This was his first Group 1 win but definitely not his last.”

Pedigree Notes:

Equinox is one of 54 winners to date for his second-crop sire and is his first top-level scorer. Kitasan Black, now responsible for three group winners following the victory of Ravel (Jpn) in Saturday's G3 Artemis S., is a son of Deep Impact's full-brother Black Tide (Jpn) and put together one of the great careers in recent memory.

Third to the late Duramente (Jpn) (King Kamehameha {Jpn}) in the 2015 G1 Satsuki Sho, Kitasan Black won that year's G1 Kikuka Sho (3000m) before adding his first G1 Tenno Sho (Spring) over two miles the following May. Named Horse of the Year after closing his 4-year-old season with a score in the G1 Japan Cup (2400m), he added the G1 Osaka Hai (2000m), a successful defence of his title in the Tenno Sho (Spring) in his next appearance and this race nearly five years to the day of Equinox's win. Run in heavy ground in 2017, Kitasan Black clocked 2:08.3. He retired as a dual Horse of the Year following success in the G1 Arima Kinen with 12 wins–seven at Group 1 level–from 20 starts for earnings of $16.5 million.

Out of Silk Racing colourbearer Chateau Blanche, Equinox is a half-brother to the operation's Group 3 winner Weiss Meteor, a 2-year-old colt by Just a Way (Jpn) and a yearling filly by Kizuna (Jpn). She did not produce a foal in 2022. Equinox is the second Group 1 winner out of a daughter of Dancing Brave son King Halo (Jpn), joining Sprinters' S. hero Pixie Knight (Jpn) (Maurice {Jpn}).


WATCH: Equinox catches Panthalassa in the Tenno Sho


Sunday, Tokyo, Japan
TENNO SHO (AUTUMN)-G1, ¥384,500,000, Tokyo, 10-30, 3yo/up, 2000mT, 1:57.5, fm.
1–EQUINOX (JPN), 123, c, 3, by Kitasan Black (Jpn)
1st Dam: Chateau Blanche (Jpn) (GSW-Jpn, $1,096,970), by King Halo (Jpn)
2nd Dam: Blancherie (Jpn), by Tony Bin (Ire)
3rd Dam: Maison Blanche (Jpn), by Alleged
1ST GROUP 1 WIN. O-Silk Racing; B-Northern Farm; T-Tetsuya Kimura; J-Christophe Lemaire; ¥203,150,000. Lifetime Record: 5-3-2-0, ¥403,242,000. *1/2 to Weiss Meteor (Jpn) (King Kamehameha {Jpn}), GSW-Jpn, $820,531. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*.
2–Panthalassa (Jpn), 128, h, 5, Lord Kanaloa (Jpn)–Miss Pemberley (Ire), by Montjeu (Ire). O-Hiroo Race; B-Hidenori Kimura; ¥80,900,000.
3–Danon Beluga (Jpn), 123, c, 3, Heart's Cry (Jpn)–Coasted, by Tizway. (¥160,000,000 wnlg '19 JRHAJUL). O-Danox Inc; B-Northern Farm; ¥50,450,000.
Margins: 1, NK, HF. Odds: 1.60, 21.80, 6.30.
Also Ran: Jack d'Or (Jpn), Shahryar (Jpn), Karate (Jpn), Maria Elena (Jpn), Uberleben (Jpn), Geoglyph (Jpn), Ablaze (Jpn), North Bridge (Jpn), Cadenas (Jpn), Potager (Jpn), Red Galant (Jpn), Babbitt (Jpn). Click for the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. Click for the JRA chart.

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