where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2023-11-26 11:53:41  
Equinox Supreme and stamps Authority in Japan Cup win

Equinox showcased his superiority in this year's Japan Cup, triumphing over a formidable field that included eight G1 champions. The brown colt, billed in a showdown with Triple Tiara victor Liberty Island, extended his G1 winning streak to six, joining the ranks of JRA history-makers like T. M. Opera O and Lord Kanaola. Following in the footsteps of his sire Kitasan Black, Equinox not only secured victory in 2016 but also reached a historic milestone, becoming the first horse to surpass 2 billion yen in earnings (JPY 2,215,446,100). Trainer Tetsuya Kimura celebrated his seventh JRA-G1 title, while jockey Christophe Lemaire, with his 49th JRA-G1 win, now shares the record for four Japan Cup titles alongside Yutaka Take.

The race unfolded dramatically, with Panthalassa setting a rapid pace and Equinox making a breathtaking stretch drive to secure a four-length victory. Trainer Kimura praised Equinox's well-balanced attributes, emphasizing the horse's miraculous combination of hooves, bone structure, and muscle. Jockey Lemaire expressed happiness and relief, describing the race as something very special and highlighting Equinox's adaptability and ease of riding.

The duo's impressive performance left a lasting impression on horseracing enthusiasts, creating a memorable moment in the sport's history.

Trainer Tetsuya Kimura highlighted Equinox's optimal condition and aggressive yet relaxed demeanor during the Japan Cup. With the colt maintaining a G1 winning streak for over a year, the pressure was immense, and Kimura felt relieved at the triumphant outcome. Emphasizing Equinox's remarkable balance in hooves, bone structure, and muscle, Kimura expressed the goal of preserving this harmony in their training approach.

Jockey Christophe Lemaire shared his happiness and relief after the "unbelievable" race, noting its uniqueness for horseracing fans. Praise for Equinox as a top horse capable of adapting to any race or surface reflected the horse's versatility. Lemaire, with many years of professional experience, described the special significance of the day, expressing joy at riding such a well-prepared and energy-efficient horse. Riding Equinox was a pleasure, and Lemaire felt privileged to be in the saddle of this exceptional horse, leaving a lasting impression on the enthusiastic crowd.

Three-year-old Triple Crown filly Liberty Island tactically took a ground-saving position behind the eventual winner, securing a commendable fourth place. Despite being unable to match the winner's speed, Liberty Island showcased her impressive turn of foot, overtaking Titleholder 250 meters out and then surpassing Panthalassa in the final 150 meters to clinch second place.

Stars on Earth, the fifth choice and 2022 Best Three-Year-Old Filly, closely followed Equinox and Liberty Island throughout the race. While entering the stretch side by side, the two fillies rallied briefly, with Stars on Earth ultimately closing tenaciously for third and successfully holding off a late charge by Do Deuce.

French raider Iresine, the tenth pick, faced a delayed start, traveled mid-pack along the rails, and showed effort in the stretch. However, lacking the needed kick, Iresine finished in ninth place. Trainer Jean-Pierre Gauvin expressed satisfaction with Iresine's performance, acknowledging challenges with the different starting conditions and fast pace, but having no regrets about participating in the Japan Cup.

Jockey Marie Velon shared her happiness with Iresine's effort, noting that despite the race not developing in his favor, the horse tried hard to keep up with the fast pace and strived in the straight. Velon praised Tokyo Racecourse as a wonderful venue and described Equinox as nothing short of spectacular.


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