Cesario a Champion On and Off the Track Dead at 19

Mark Smith - Monday March 1

A ground-breaking racehorse and one of the great broodmares of the modern era, Cesario died at Northern Farm on Saturday aged 19, the same week her former trainer Katsuhiko Sumii announced his retirement.

Beaten once in a 6-start career, Cesario won the Group III Flower Cup, before a head second in the Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas).

She was back on her pedestal in the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks), which encouraged connections to make the trip to America for the American Oaks at Hollywood Park.

In what proved to be her final racetrack appearance, Cesario became the first Japanese-trained horse to win a Grade 1 race in the United States by thumping her opponents by upwards of four lengths.

Whatever she achieved on the track, Cesario surpassed that as a broodmare. She is the dam of the Japan Cup winner Epiphaneia, the sire of the Japanese Fillies' Triple Crown heroine Daring Tact.

Now a leading sire in Japan, Epiphaneia (Symboli Kris S) was second leading first season sire in 2018-09 and the following year his Group 1 Hanshin Futurity winning half-brother Leontes (King Kamehameha), the Champion 2YO Colt in Japan in 2015, was fourth leading first crop sire.

Another son of Cesario that retired to stud this year was the Group 1 Hopeful Stakes and Group 1 Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) winner Saturnalia (Lord Kanaola) who was the Champion 3YO Colt in Japan in 2019.


Cesario has a three-year-old Maurice colt named Lupercalia, who finished fourth at his only start at before breaking his maiden at his 3yo at Chukyo in January.

Cesario’s final foal is a a yearling filly by Lord Kanaloa.

A daughter of the Sunday Silence stallion Special Week, Cesario is out of the Sadler’s Wells mare Kirov Premiere (GB) who lived out her life at Arrowfield Stud.

Cesario had three sisters at stud in Australia.

The unraced Kirovskaya (French Deputy) is the dam of dual Group III winner Irithea.

The winning Redoute’s Choice mare Savannah's Choice is the dam of Group III MRC Zeditave Stakes winner Overshare (I Am Invincible), a very popular young stallions at Spendthrift Farm.


Savannah's Choice was exported to Japan in 2020. Her final foal in Australia was a Hellbent filly purchased by Kennewell Racing Pty Ltd / Group1 Bloodstock (FBAA) / Merricks Station for $60,000 at the 2021 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale.

Kirov Premiere’s daughter Vishneva (Charge Forward) had a Not A Single Doubt colt sell for $750,000 at the 2019 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale. Named Mariinsky he was runner-up recently at Pakenham in a 1600m maiden.

Vishneva died in 2019. She has a 2yo Dundeel filly named Sigiriya and a yearling filly by Mikii Isle (JPN).  

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