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[ODDS and EVENS] Equinox Meets Expectations with a Masterful Performance in the Japan Cup

Teaming up with Christophe Lemaire for the 10th time in as many career races, Equinox thrills horse racing fans with his sixth consecutive victory.



Equinox, guided by Christophe Lemaire, pulls away for a four-length victory in the Japan Cup on November 26, 2023, at Tokyo Racecourse. (ⒸSANKEI)

Read the full story on SportsLook - [ODDS and EVENS] Equinox Meets Expectations with a Masterful Performance in the Japan Cup

The 43rd running of the Japan Cup delivered exactly what horse racing fans wanted and expected to see: absolute brilliance from Equinox and Christophe Lemaire.

It was a classic showcase for the supreme skills of two partners doing their jobs to the best of their ability ― combined perfection, actually ― on Sunday, November 26 at Tokyo Racecourse.

The world's No 1-ranked horse, piloted by his superstar jockey, ran a sensible, yet sensational race, covering the 2,400 meters on turf in 2 minutes, 21.8 seconds.

Furthermore, they thrilled the crowd with a calculated rush to the wire.

"He is literally a superhorse ― he gave me so much confidence as a jockey," Lemaire declared later before adding, "He is so easy to ride and calm; it's almost like a pony. Anyone can ride him."

Equinox wasted zero energy. And with everything on the line, he zoomed ahead with speed to burn over the final 400 meters, outclassing the field in a four-length victory.

As the race reached its exhilarating crescendo, more than 85,000 spectators reacted with excitement and respect.

Moreover, Equinox, a Kitasan Black-sired, 4-year-old brown colt, added another chapter to his long list of accomplishments, one that's anchored by this jaw-dropping feat: six consecutive Grade 1 victories, starting with the Tenno Sho (Autumn) on October 29, 2022.

For broader context, remember this: In 10 career races, Equinox recorded eight wins and two runner-up finishes, all of which happened with Lemaire aboard.

They are perfect teammates.

Credit must also go to trainer Tetsuya Kimura for his guidance and wisdom.

Japan Cup winner Equinox (ⒸSANKEI)

Equinox and Lemaire: A Racing Dream Team

Let's step back for a minute from the incredibly festive atmosphere at Tokyo Racecourse to remember what made the Japan Cup triumph even more meaningful: Equinox's greatness melds with Lemaire's elite talent to form what I believe is one of the world's top-10 horse-jockey tandems of the 21st century. 

During the Japan Cup, I watched Equinox in person at a race track for the first time. The location and the crowd didn't change what my eyes and brain were telling me: Simply put, Equinox is an amazing competitor.

The same is true of Lemaire, winner of 49 Japan Racing Association G1 races, including four Japan Cups.

That reality is also ratcheted up a notch by Lemaire's profound respect for his partner. Gentle taps on Equinox's mane after a race are a requisite occurrence during the Frenchman's workday before media obligations and other post-race duties.

Continue reading the full story on SportsLook.


Author: Ed Odeven

Find Ed on JAPAN Forward's dedicated website, SportsLook. Follow his [Japan Sports Notebook] on Sundays, [Odds and Evens] during the week, and X (formerly Twitter) @ed_odeven

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