Christophe Lemaire

Arrogate Colt Assurbanipal, Full To Cave Rock, Impresses at Tokyo

6th-Tokyo, ¥14,880,000 ($95,336), Allowance, 5-18, 3yo, 1600m, 1:36.2, ft. ASSURBANIPAL (c, 3, Arrogate--Georgie's Angel {GSW, $129,564}, by Bellamy Road), the year-younger full-brother to Cave Rock, MGISW, $748,000, opened his account impressively at first asking over this course and distance last November and was just beaten by Authentic (Into Mischief)'s brother Bushin when last seen under these conditions at this venue Apr. 20. Sent off as the $1.10 (1-10) mortal, the dark bay was away fairly, and found himself in a forward position for the run down the back straight. Racing...

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Cervinia Claims Second Jewel of Japanese Triple Tiara

In a gutsy bounce back to form after only managing 13th place in the G1 Oka Sho, Cervinia (Jpn) (Harbinger {GB}) found redemption in the G1 Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) on Sunday at Tokyo Racecourse when she ran down said Japanese 1,000 Guineas winner Stellenbosch (Jpn) (Epiphaneia {Jpn}). Having made her debut in June of her juvenile season, Cervinia graduated from the maiden condition at second-asking in August 2023 and claimed her first Group victory two months later in the G3 Artemis S. Slated for the year-end championship-making G1 Hanshin...

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Facteur Cheval Upends Dubai Turf, Lord North Off the Board

After knocking on the door so many times--finishing second or third in four Group 1 events in his four most recent starts--Team Valor and Gary Barber's Facteur Cheval (Ire) (Ribchester {Ire}--Jawlaat {Ire}, by Shamardal) got one of his own in an ultra-competitive renewal of the $5-million G1 Dubai Turf at Meydan Racecourse on Saturday. Lord North (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}), winner of the Dubai Turf the last three years and seeking an historic four-peat, broke a bit awkwardly, but despite recovering quickly, finished off the board. The U.S. hope Catnip (Kitten's...

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Japan's Big Guns Take To the Meydan Turf

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES -- In the form of Do Deuce (Jpn) (Heart's Cry {Jpn}) and Liberty Island (Jpn) (Duramente {Jpn}), Japan is liable to field the favourites for the distance turf races at Saturday's Dubai World Cup meeting and those two gallopers, as well as several of their compatriots, did fast work over the Meydan course Wednesday morning. Do Deuce would likely have been at the top of the markets for last year's G1 Dubai Turf, but was withdrawn in the days leading up to the race, helping pave...

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Equinox Crowned Longines World's Best Racehorse 

LONDON, UK -- Japan stole the show at the Longines World Racing Awards in London, with Silk Racing's Equinox (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}) named the Longines World's Best Racehorse for 2023 while the G1 Japan Cup claimed the title of Longines World's Best Horse Race. The top-rated three-year-old filly in the world was Japan's Triple Tiara winner Liberty Island (Jpn) (Duramente {Jpn}). Equinox's top rating of 135 - the highest ever awarded to a Japanese horse - was achieved in his four-length romp in the Japan Cup, his final appearance...

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Shin Emperor Has Much In His Favour In Hopeful

Perfect in two starts, including a victory over 2000 metres already at this early stage in his career, Susumu Fujita's Shin Emperor (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}) can well and truly stamp himself a leading contender for next year's Japanese Classics when he takes on a full field in Thursday's G1 Hopeful S. at Nakayama, the final top-level event on the JRA circuit for 2023. Bred by Ecurie des Monceaux, the chestnut is--as has been well documented--a full-brother to G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Sottsass (Fr) and was hammered down...

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Equinox, the Champion Who Turned Races into Processions

Crossing the line as Equinox sauntered home in the Japan Cup, Christophe Lemaire gave a little shake of his head and beamed as he tried unconvincingly to pat the horse's neck. Lemaire's disbelief was such that he went floppy with delight. Championship races are not meant to be processions. Even legendary horses aren't supposed to be so superior to their contemporaries. While others bobbed and heaved with effort, Equinox arrived at the front in his races on the bridle, with Lemaire perched as if for a portrait painter. Then he...

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'Something Very Special': Equinox Rolls In the Japan Cup

For the third time in the last six years, the colours of Silk Racing Co. Ltd. were carried to victory in the G1 Japan Cup, this time by the world's top-rated racehorse Equinox (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}) following the dual success of Almond Eye (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}) as a 3-year-old in 2018 and again two years later. It was a sixth Group 1 tally on the trot for the beautifully conformed son of the 2016 Japan Cup hero and Group 3 winner Chateau Blanche (Jpn) (King Halo {Jpn}), just...

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White Horse Amante Bianco Strikes First On Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby

Carrying the recognizable colors of Silk Racing and leading jockey Christophe Lemaire--the same pairing that will be represented by Equinox (Jpn) in Sunday's G1 Japan Cup--the white 2-year-old colt Amante Bianco (Jpn) (Henny Hughes) found clear sailing two furlongs from home and ran out a 3/4-length winner of Saturday's $206,819 Cattleya S. at Tokyo Racecourse. The 1600-meter allowance is the first leg on the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby, and the winner earned 10 points towards a start in the Run for the Roses. Amante Bianco, a debut winner...

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Lord Kanaloa's Brede Weg On Top In Queen Elizabeth Cup

It was a stakes double for Lord Kanaloa (Jpn) on Sunday, as Ho O Emmy's (Jpn) won the G3 Fukushima Kinen, and Brede Weg (Jpn) became his latest Group 1 winner with a victory in the Queen Elizabeth Cup in Kyoto. She is the first 3-year-old filly to win the race since Mozu Katchan (Jpn) (Harbingers {GB}) in 2017, and also became the QEC victress with the fewest starts with five. Despite the presence of last year's winner Geraldina (Jpn) (Maurice {Jpn}), the Sunday Racing 3-year-old garnered favouritism at 7-5...

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Equinox Obliterates Tokyo Course Record In Tenno Sho

There had been hints that reigning Japanese Horse of the Year Equinox (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}) was not your average champion, most especially with his geared-down tour-de-force in the desert in March, but the Silk Racing Company's colourbearer was in a zip code all his own with his course-record breaking performance in defence of his G1 Tenno Sho (Autumn) title at Tokyo on Sunday. He covered the 2000-metre trip over a firm Tokyo course in 1:55.20, 0.9 seconds faster than the previous record. Carrying a rating of 129 on the...

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Equinox Primed For Tenno Sho Autumn Defence

Perched atop the Longines World's Best Racehorse Rankings at 129 pounds for much of the year after his sensational 3 1/2-length victory in the G1 Dubai Sheema Classic in Dubai this March, the formidable Equinox (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}) will attempt to become only the third horse to claim the ¥421,420,000 G1 Tenno Sho (Autumn) in back-to-back years at Tokyo on Sunday. The reigning Japanese Horse of the Year has never finished worse than second in eight starts, and landed the G1 Takarazuka Kinen at Hanshin over 2200 metres--200 metres...

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