Equinox in a Class of His Own in Japan Cup

Mark Smith - Sunday November 26

Equinox (JPN) showed why he is rated the world’s best racehorse with an unforgettable performance in the 43rd running of the A$11,000,000 Group 1 Longines Japan Cup (2400m) at Tokyo on Sunday.

Ridden by Christophe Lemaire for Tetsuya Kimura, Equinox (JPN) travelled in an unhurried third place as Panthalassa (JPN) led by up to 12-lengths in the middle stages. When Panthalassa was running on empty at the 200m, Equinox (JPN) swept to the lead and it was a matter of how far.

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Equinox (image SI)

Yuga Kawada on the 3-year-old Duramente x Yankee Rose filly Liberty Island (JPN) tracked the favourite the whole way but could make no impression over the final two furlongs to be beaten four lengths into second.

The ill-fated Duramente is also the sire of Willian Buick’s mount Stars On Earth, the 2022 Oaks heroine, who was a length astern of Liberty Island.

A sleek black 4-year-old son of the 2016 Japan Cup winner Kitasan Black, Equinox made it six consecutive Group 1’s, in a career of eight wins and two seconds in ten starts.

A son of Deep Impact’s brother Black Tide, Kitasan Black will be the highest-priced stallion on the Shadai Stallion Station roster in 2024 at ¥20 million (approximately $200,000).

He covered 242 mares in the spring, having served 178 in 2022.

A half-brother to the Group III winner Weiss Meteor (King Kamehameha), Equinox is the best of four winners from as many to race for the Group III winning King Halo mare Chateau Blanche, who has a 2yo Kizuna filly called Garza Blanca and a yearling sister to Equinox. 

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