Japan Cup

Japan Rules as the JRA Turns 70

The Longines World Racing Awards were held in London last week, but it could just as easily have been in Tokyo, such was the level of support from visitors from Japan. It is easy to understand why. For as well as this event being in part a coronation for Equinox (Jpn), the best horse in the world in 2023, it was also the first time in the 43-year history of the G1 Japan Cup that it was awarded the accolade of the Longines World's Best Horse Race. The line-up for...

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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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Equinox Retires to Shadai Stallion Station

The world's top-rated racehorse Equinox (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}) has been retired to Shadai Stallion Station in Hokkaido after winning last weekend's Japan Cup in spectacular fashion. Last Sunday's Group 1 success was the Japanese superstar's sixth consecutive victory at the highest level. In 10 lifetime starts he was beaten twice when second to Geoglyph (Jpn) in the GI Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2,000 Guineas) and also second in the G1 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) to Do Deuce (Jpn). Bred by Katsumi Yoshida's Northern Farm from the Group 3-winning King Halo...

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Timeform Awards Equinox New High of 136

The long-awaited appearance of Equinox (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}) in Sunday's G1 Japan Cup did not disappoint and his four-length victory over the fillies' Triple Crown winner Liberty Island (Jpn) (Duramente {Jpn}) was deemed to be a career-best performance by the assessors at Timeform. Already rated the best horse in the world, his previous mark of 135 has been raised to 136, which rates him 3lb ahead of G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Ace Impact (Ire) (Cracksman {GB}), who has recently been retired to Haras de Beaumont. "Equinox...

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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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All Eyes On Equinox In the Japan Cup

Having given the race a pass in 2022 after taking a thrilling renewal of the G1 Tenno Sho (Autumn), Silk Racing Co. Ltd.'s world's top-rated racehorse Equinox (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}) looks to complete that particular double--most recently accomplished by the syndicate's two-time Horse of the Year Almond Eye (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}) in 2020--as the warm favourite in Sunday's G1 Japan Cup at Tokyo Racecourse. It has been a meticulously managed preparation for the 4-year-old colt with the broad blaze, as his abilities were on display for all to...

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Stiffness Rules St Leger Winner Continuous Out Of Japan Cup

Aidan O'Brien's St Leger winner Continuous (Jpn) (Heart's Cry {Jpn}) will miss the Japan Cup next weekend due to stiffness. His scheduled run at Tokyo racecourse on November 26 had garnered plenty of interest amongst the locals. Not only was he due to take on the brilliant Equinox, currently rated as the best horse in the world, but Continuous is a son of the popular Japanese stallion Heart's Cry. Heart's Cry was a quality performer in Japan and beat Deep Impact, the sire of O'Brien's dual Derby winner Auguste Rodin,...

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Continuous to Return 'Home' for Japan Cup

The St Leger winner Continuous (Jpn), a son of the late Shadai stallion Heart's Cry (Jpn), is set to return to the land of his birth to take on Equinox (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}) in the Japan Cup on November 26. Fifth in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe after his Classic success, the colt missed Saturday's Champion S. with a raised temperature. "But he's back fine, he's back cantering again, so the plan with him is to go to the Japan Cup," said trainer Aidan O'Brien on Racing TV. ...

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'It's a Love Story': America and Japan Beckon for Fantastic Moon

Despite having run out the convincing winner of the G2 Prix Niel, one of Sunday's key Arc trials at Longchamp, the Deutsches Derby winner Fantastic Moon (Ger) (Sea The Moon {Ger}) will not run in this year's G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. Instead he has potential trips to America and Japan on his agenda, according to Lars-Wilhelm Baumgarten, who manages the colt's ownership syndicate Liberty Racing.  "We have decided not to sell him. We've had big offers from all over the world but we have decided to run him....

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Equinox Bridges The Gap In Thrilling Tenno Sho

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...

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Onesto Aiming For Japan Cup

'TDN Rising Star' Onesto (Ire) (Frankel {GB}), winner earlier this year of the G1 Grand Prix de Paris and narrowly runner-up to Luxembourg (Ire) (Camelot {GB}) in the G1 Irish Champion S.,  is set to make his final appearance of the season in the G1 Japan Cup at Toyko Racecourse. Onesto was last seen finishing ninth behind Alpinista (GB) (Frankel {GB}) in a heavy-turf renewal of the G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe Oct. 2. The 3-year-old will be part of a three-pronged challenge from France to also include Simca...

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Grand Glory Returning to Arqana's Vente d'Elevage

Grand Glory (GB) (Olympic Glory {Ire}), who sold for €2.5 million to rank as the second-dearest offering at last year's Arqana Vente d'Elevage, is headed back through the Deauville sales pavilion in early December. The daughter of Madonna Lily (Ire) (Daylami {Ire}) belied odds of 23-1 to post a maiden Group 1 victory in last year's Darley Prix Jean Romanet and proved that effort was no fluke when just pipped by eventual €3-million December sales-topper Rougir (Fr) (Territories {Ire}) in the G1 Prix de l'Opera ahead of a bold fifth-place...

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