where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2023-06-26 14:07:36  
Equinox confirms best horse status

Overwhelming favorite Equinox who acquired the most votes from the fans won this year’s Takrazuka Kinen to extend his G1 winning streak to four, which includes the Tenno Sho (Autumn) (2,000m) and the Arima Kinen (2,500m) last year and the Dubai Sheema Classic (2,410m) in March this year. The 2022 Horse of the Year also became the 16th horse to win both “Grand Prix” races, the Arima Kinen and this race. This is the fifth JRA-G1 win for trainer Tetsuya Kimura following last year’s Arima Kinen with this colt. For jockey Christophe Lemaire, this is the 45th JRA-G1 victory following his win in this year’s Tenno Sho (Spring) with Justin Palace and his second Takarazuka Kinen title since 2021 with Chrono Genesis.

Equinox, breaking smoothly from stall five, eased back to second from last and continued to travel near the rear in the backstretch, saving his strength for the right time. The Kitasan Black colt gradually advanced forward turning the last two corners the widest, displayed a powerful turn of foot in the lane, passing his rivals one by one, and sustained his speed after taking the lead passing the 200-meter pole to hold off the strong challenge by Through Seven Seas by a neck.

“Though we were unable get a good position toward the front due to the fast pace at the beginning, the horse was relaxed in the rear and I wasn’t worried at all. As the inner track condition was not so good, we made bid from the outside early and turned wide to the straight where he stretched really well. Hanshin’s inner course is tricky and Takarazuka Kinen is a difficult race to win even for champion horses, so I’m very happy that I was able to win the race with the No. 1 horse in the World’s Best Racehorse Rankings. I realized again how strong he is. I hope to win more big races with him in Autumn,” commented Christophe Lemaire.

Tenth pick Through Seven Seas settled in the very rear and steadily advanced position behind the race favorite rounding the last corners. Though meeting traffic entering the lane, the five-year-old mare by Dream Journey weaved her way through the horses and closed in on Equinox with the fastest closing speed but was a neck short at the wire in second.

Second choice Justin Palace, unhurried around 12th and traveling in front of the winner, closed in on the frontrunners from the outer route after the third corner, dueled with Equinox at the top of the stretch and, although failing to keep up with the winner, sustained his late charge to secure third place just before the wire by a head.
Other Horses:
4th: (11) Geraldina—positioned around 14th early, made headway in backstretch, entered lane in 4th, rallied for lead, unable to find another gear in last 100m
5th: (10) Deep Bond—sat 3-wide around 7th, passed rivals one by one, needed more
6th: (7) Pradaria—traveled around 11th, showed effort between horses until 100m out
7th: (4) Boccherini—saved ground around 12th, quickened on inner stretch, weakened in last 100m
8th: (8) Vela Azul—settled around 14th near winner, entered stretch in last, passed tiring rivals
9th: (13) Geoglyph—ran 3-wide around 7th, lacked needed kick
10th: (17) Dura Erede—stalked leader, took brief lead just before 200m pole, failed to sustain bid
11th: (12) Ask Victor More—sat around 4th, rallied for lead up to 200m pole
12th: (14) Breakup—chased leaders around 3rd, remained in contention until 150m out
13th: (3) Danon the Kid—raced in 4-5th, gradually fell behind
14th: (16) Mozu Bello—traveled 3-wide around 10th, outrun after 1,000m to go
15th: (15) Unicorn Lion—set pace, maintained lead up to 200m pole, used up
16th: (2) Karate—traced leaders around 3rd on rails, dropped back in last 250m
17th: (1) Lilac—hugged rails around 7th, faded after 3rd corner

Japan Racing 

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