Knocking on the door for a grade I victory since she was 2, Whale Capture broke through in her sixth attempt May 13, winning Japan's Victoria Mile by a half-length at Tokyo Racecourse.
Real Impact became the first 3-year-old to win the Yasuda Kinen (Jpn-I), the final leg of the Asian Mile Challenge, when he upset the brilliant filly Apapane in the $2.4 million race at Tokyo Racecourse June 5.
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Apapane spoiled Buena Vista's quest for a repeat success in the $2.2 million Victoria Mile (Jpn-I), taking the lead with 50 meters to run and holding off the the powerful charge of the favorite by a neck at Tokyo May 15.
British raider Snow Fairy, winner of the Investec Oaks (Eng-I) this summer, produced a decisive four-length win in Japan's $2.1 million Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup (Jpn-I) at Kyoto Racecourse Nov. 14.
The first-ever Japanese group I dead heat will forever join Apapane and Saint Emilion in racing history.
The first dead heat in a grade I race in Japanese history took place May 23 when favored Apapane and Saint Emilion battled to a draw in the $2.2 million Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) at a rainy and soggy Tokyo Racecourse.
Favored Apapane overtook pacesetter Oken Sakura in the final strides to claim the 70th running of the Oka Sho (Jpn-I), Japan's equivalent of the English One Thousand Guineas at Hanshin Racecourse April 11.
For the second year in a row, top race mare Vodka was voted Horse of the Year in Japan, becoming the first female to win the title twice.
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