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Equinox retirement: The world’s top-rated racehorse with 6 consecutive GI race wins, doesn’t run in Arima Kinen in December 2023



Equinox retirement The world's top rated racehorse with 6 consecutive GI race wins, doesn't run in Arima Kinen in December 2023

Equinox is set to retire from active racing after winning six straight GI races—the longest winning streak for a Japanese racehorse since the grade system was implemented in 1984. With unexpected shock, the world-famous strongest horse in Japan announced his “retirement.” On November 26, Equinox, a 4-year-old male/Miho from Tetsuya Kimura stable, won the Japan Cup (G1, Tokyo, turf 2400m), marking his sixth consecutive G1 triumph. With 2,215,446,100 yen in total winnings, he became the all-time leader.

Equinox, the greatest racehorse in the world, has been retired to stud after playing catch with his rivals in the Japan Cup (2400m) in the ultimate swansong.

The four-year-old, who has won eight of his ten career starts, will stand at Shadai Stallion Station in Abira-cho, Hokkaido, according to an announcement made on the Silk Horse Club website on Thursday.

After six consecutive Group 1 wins, the son of Kitasan Black retires with the highest rating ever awarded to a horse in Japan by the JRA Handicapper (133).

The company that owns Equinox made this announcement on its website on the 30th of November.

Equinox has reportedly decided to leave active duty following their victory in the Japan Cup on November 26.

He decided not to run because he was still tired from the race and thought it would be hard to get him in peak condition for the Arima Kinen in December. He also revealed that he had received a formal offer to become a stallion.

Since making his racing debut at age 2, Equinox has placed second in the Satsuki Sho and the Japan Derby. He has also won significant prize races. At age 3, Equinox was not able to win the classic race.

He then won the Emperor’s Sho in the autumn of that year, which was also his first GI race. In December, he won the Arima Kinen and was selected as the Horse of the Year.

Kotoshi, four years old, displayed incredible strength by winning the GI race in Dubai in March. In his most recent competition, the Japan Cup, he achieved a six-race winning streak in the GI race.

Along with T.M. Opera O and Lord Kanaloa, this was the longest winning streak in Grade I races for Japanese racehorses since a grade system was instituted for highly prized races in 1984.

Equinox set a record with 8 wins in 10 races, 2nd place twice, and the highest prize money in racing history—more than 2.2 billion yen.

The strongest horse in name and fact attracted attention in the next race, but Silk Racing Co., Ltd., the horse’s owner, announced on November 30 that Representative Masashi Yonemoto would be retiring from competitive racing. At the end of the year, it was decided that the horse would become a stallion at Shadai Stallion Station in Hokkaido, passing on his great blood to future generations, rather than competing in the Arima Kinen (G1, Nakayama, turf 2500m).

Thus, his final competitive run came four days ago in the Japan Cup. With monster-class legs, he defeated Triple Crown filly Liberty Island by four lengths in the final straight. His total victory was more than sufficient to demonstrate that he was the best racer in the world, and the Tokyo Racecourse was ecstatic.

Fans of horse racing are shocked by the unexpected retirement news. In addition to condolences and praise for Equinox’s past accomplishments, social media users have expressed regret for his early retirement and posted pictures of him taking on the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (French G1, Longchamp, turf 2400m), the highest mountain in the world.

Some voices express their desire to do the same. “[Sad news] Equinox retires…!!!!!!” “Are you serious? You’re lying!?” “I wanted to see more races, but there are various circumstances surrounding racehorses.” “He was really strong! Thank you for your hard work!” “I understand the feelings of the camp. We can’t do anything like this.'” “If you think about how much his value as a stallion will increase even if he wins more, it’s a bigger risk.'” “He’s only 4 years old. Retiring!? It’s too early, isn’t it!” “I wanted to see him compete in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe…” 

Although it seems unfortunate that he must have retired at four, he frequently does so because he leaves behind excellent blood abroad. Taking into account his worth as a stallion, the camp made a sensible choice. Equinox has, it is true, radically altered the course of Japanese horse racing history. Next time, as a stallion, he will produce offspring that will surpass him.

As the top-ranked racehorse in the world, the four-year-old has won eight times in 10 career starts and amassed winnings of 2.2 billion yen ($15 million), a record for Japan.

In August 2021, he won his first start, and three months later, he won his first stakes race.

Following two second-place finishes in the Japan Triple Crown in 2022, Equinox went on to win six consecutive major races, including the 2,410-meter Dubai Sheema Classic in the United Arab Emirates this year.

The Tetsuya Kimura-trained Equinox dominated the 2,400-meter Japan Cup on Sunday, winning by four lengths over second-favorite Liberty Island with French jockey Christophe Lemaire aboard.

According to former champion jockey Shane Dye, Equinox’s last two Group 1 victories came by a combined margin of 6-½ lengths, placing him on par with the great Frankel.

“He’s a generational horse – they don’t come along often,” Dye stated.

“In my generation, you’ve naturally got Frankel, Flightline, and Equinox – they are the three that stand out for me.”

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