Feature Story



By Masakazu Takahashi

Tenno Sho Autumn winner Equinox made it a second Group One success with a dominant victory in the 2500m Arima Kinen at Nakayama on Christmas Day. A son of Kitasan Black out of the winning King Halo mare Chateau Blanche, the Tetsuya Kimura-trained 3yo colt was posting his fourth career success in pulling two and a half lengths clear of Boldog Hos, who finished fast but too late, in a field of 16.

The only mare in the field, Geraldina, was a further length and a half back in third. Equinox is owned by Silk Racing Co and earned connections ¥403,360,000 ($3 million) for winning the extended 1m4f contest for 3yos+, that is traditionally held as the year end big event. Winning rider Christophe Lemaire said: "Thank you, and merry Christmas everyone! It was also Christmas Day when I won on Heart's Cry in 2005, and again on Satono Diamond in 2016.

"I was off to a really good start this time, so we were pretty near to the front. We raced in midfield but after I angled him to the outside coming round the home bend he used his best stride, as the strongest horse in the race. "From the beginning, he showed good ability.

He is a son of Kitasan Black, so he wasn't fully mature during his Classic summer, but he has become very strong since the autumn. I'm really looking forward to next year. There were many fans today. I feel great. Thank you for supporting Equinox." Trainer Tetsuya Kimura added: "Before the race, he was as calm and energetic as he was at the Tenno Sho Autumn.

I watched it with confidence. I watched his powerful running and I was relieved when he finished first. The genius part of this horse is that he wins easily when it's not easy. "This is just my personal opinion, but I want to go to Saudi Arabia in February and make him a world standard horse and face the world. I think Equinox is a horse worth going overseas and showing to horsemen around the world."