Equinox Overpowers Rivals in Arima Kinen

Equinox | JRA photo


Five years after his sire clinched a second consecutive Horse of the Year title in Japan with a victory in the G1 Arima Kinen, Equinox (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}) stated his case for top year-end honours for 2022 with a dominating display in front of a pandemic-restricted, but boisterous crowd of roughly 47,000 fans Christmas Day at Nakayama Racecourse.

The firming 13-10 favourite in the fan-voted affair, Equinox left without incident from gate nine and landed in midfield on the back of defending champion and reigning Horse of the Year Efforia (Jpn) (Epiphaneia {Jpn}) as Titleholder (Jpn) (Duramente {Jpn})–returning off an 11th in the G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe–showed the way at an even tempo. Content with his position through the middle furlongs, Christophe Lemaire eased Equinox out for a four-wide sweep around the turn and it was all academic from there, as the flashy dark bay struck the front with a furlong and a half to travel and kicked on smartly. Boldog Hos (Jpn) (Screen Hero {Jpn}), this year's G1 Kikuka Sho (Japanese St Leger) runner-up, also made a bold move on the bend from far back and was a brave second ahead of G1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup heroine Geraldina (Jpn) (Maurice {Jpn}), who closed off well after missing the kick. Efforia was a meritorious fifth first off a six-month absence.

“What happens twice will happen thrice,” said the winning jockey who was recording a 43rd Group 1 on the JRA circuit. “I won the Arima Kinen with Heart's Cry and Satono Diamond both on Christmas Day, and I'm really happy to be able to win the race on Christmas Day again. We were able to make a good start and the horse was keen to go so I held him and responded strongly when I brought him to the outside. Though he was not mature yet during his spring campaign, he became really strong from this fall and I look forward to his performance next year.”

Winning trainer Tetsuya Kimura indicated that Equinox is likely to travel in early 2023, with the Saudi Cup program a potential starting point.

“But first I need to watch his condition after the race,” the conditioner said.

Pedigree Notes:

Kitasan Black, who was narrowly second to Satono Diamond in 2016 before closing his career in this race, is the sire of 64 winners from his first two crops to the races and is also responsible for group winners Gaia Force (Jpn) from his first crop as well as the 2-year-old filly Ravel (Jpn), who took out this year's G2 Artemis S. Equinox's year-older half-brother Weiss Meteor (Jpn) (King Kamehameha {Jpn}) also carried the Silk Racing colours to victory in last year's G3 Radio Nikkei Sho. Shadai Farm acquired Equinox's fourth dam Blanche Reine (Fr) (Nureyev) carrying Maison Blanche for $410,000 at the 1988 Keeneland November Sale. Chateau Blanche is the dam of a 2-year-old colt by Just a Way (Jpn) and a yearling filly by Kizuna (Jpn). She was blank for 2022 and is due for a full-sibling to Equinox in 2023.

Sunday, Nakayama, Japan
ARIMA KINEN-G1, ¥764,800,000, Nakayama, 12-26, 3yo/up, 2500mT, 2:32.40, fm.
1–EQUINOX (JPN), 121, 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
O-Silk Racing; B-Northern Farm; T-Tetsuya Kimura; J-Christophe Lemaire; ¥403,360,000. Lifetime: 6-4-2-0, ¥806,602,000. *1/2 to Weiss Meteor (Jpn) (King Kamehameha {Jpn}), GSW-Jpn, $820,531. Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Click for the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Boldog Hos (Jpn), 121, c, 3, Screen Hero (Jpn)–Boldogsag (Fr), by Layman (Fr). O-Shadai Race Horse; B-Shadai Farm; ¥160,960,000.
3–Geraldina (Jpn), 121, f, 4, Maurice (Jpn)–Gentildonna (Jpn), by Deep Impact (Jpn). O-Sunday Racing; B-Northern Farm; ¥100,480,000.
Margins: 2HF, 1HF, 3/4. Odds: 1.30, 13.10, 6.40.
Also Ran: Izu Jo no Kiseki (Jpn), Efforia (Jpn), Win Mighty (Jpn), Justin Palace (Jpn), Deep Bond (Jpn), Titleholder (Jpn), Vela Azul (Jpn), Boccherini (Jpn), Potager (Jpn), Last Draft (Jpn), Aristoteles (Jpn), Akai Ito (Jpn), Breakup (Jpn). Click for the JRA chart.


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