Equinox showcased intimidating speed in dominating the 15-horse field of graded winners in this year’s Tenno Sho (Autumn). Following last year’s victor Efforia to capture the title as a three-year-old, the brown colt marked his first win in his first attempt against older foes and in claiming a G1 race open to four-year-old and up in his fifth-career start, makes him the fastest to do so in JRA history. The son of Kitasan Black registered two wins out of as many starts in his two-year-old season which included the Tokyo Sports Hai Nisai Stakes (G2, 1,800m), and was runner-up in both legs of this year’s Triple Crown, the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas, G1, 2,000m) in April and the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby, G1, 2,400m) in May, by a length and a neck, respectively. He has given his sire Kitasan Black—seven-time JRA-G1 winner including the 2017 Tenno Sho (Autumn)—his first G1 title. This is the third JRA-G1 victory for trainer Tetsuya Kimura who landed this year’s Satsuki Sho with Geoglyph,  while jockey Christophe Lemaire pocketed his 42nd JRA-G1 win—his latest was the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) with Stars on Earth—while adding another Tenno Sho (Autumn) title following wins with Rey de Oro (2018) and Almond Eye (2019,20).

Sent off race favorite, Equinox was reserved 10th from the front while Panthalassa, under jockey Yutaka Yoshida, took the early lead as expected and set a rapid pace running 1,000 meters in 57.4 seconds. Following Panthalassa, who expanded his huge lead to 15 lengths by the third corner, the three-year-old colt was seen still near the rear of the field coming out of the last turn. It was from there that the colt unleashed a spectacular and fastest drive down the straight picking off his rivals one by one
and after pulling away from a stubborn Jack d’Or 100 meters out, finally swooped past the tiring pacesetter in the final strides to notch a length victory.

“I’m happy that we were able to catch Panthalassa. When I saw him way in front of us after turning into the straight, the huge gap did worry me a bit, but my colt gave his best and displayed an incredible turn of foot. If he comes out of this race safe and well, he has every chance to do well in the Japan Cup or the Arima Kinen. This was his first G1 win but definitely not his last,” commented Christophe Lemaire after the race.

Fourth pick Danon Beluga settled behind the race favorite in 11th, ran strongly with the second fastest last three-furlong drive to threaten on an inner route and while failing to keep up with the winner’s speed and catching the runner-up, was able to secure third place in overtaking Jack d’Or right before the wire.

Equinox is the first race favorite to win a G1 flat race since Efforia’s victory in the Arima Kinen last year.

Other Horses:
4th: (9) Jack d’Or—raced towards front in 4th, advanced to 2nd 300m out, ran gamely, weakened in last
5th: (8) Shahryar—traveled 3-wide around 5th, accelerated but no match for top finishers
6th: (2) Karate—sat around 8th in front of winner, showed belated charge along rails
7th: (1) Maria Elena—positioned around 5th on rails, showed effort but needed more
8th: (14) Uberleben—unhurried in 14th, angled out, passed tiring rivals
9th: (6) Geoglyph—ran around 8th, even paced at stretch
10th: (13) Ablaze—sat 3-wide around 8th, gradually made headway, lacked needed kick
11th: (10) North Bridge—rallied for lead in first 400m, raced in third, fell back after 300m out
12th: (15) Cadenas—was off slow, trailed in rear, never threatened
13th: (4) Potager—saved ground around 11th, unable to reach contention
14th: (11) Red Galant—traveled on rails in 13th, no factor
15th: (12) Babbitt—advanced to chase leader in second, faded after 300m out

Japan Racing 

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