Japanese star Orfevre bowed out of racing in fine style Dec. 22 when winning the Arima Kinen (Jpn-I) by a commanding eight lengths at Nakayama.
Looking to defend her title in the Japan Cup (Jpn-I) Nov. 24 at Tokyo Racecourse, the filly Gentildonna drew post 7 in a 17-horse field.
Dual Japanese classic winner Gold Ship earned a Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) berth when shaking off Gentildonna and charging past leader Danon Ballade for a clear win in the Takarazuka Kinen (Jpn-I) June 23 at Hanshin.
Orfevre, expected favorite in his title defense in the June 23 Takarazuka Kinen (Jpn-I), was withdrawn from the race after the 2011 Triple Crown champion bled following training June 13.
Favorite and dual classic winner Gold Ship scored a thrilling come-from-behind tour de force in the Arima Kinen (Jpn-I), Japan's season finale and all-star race Dec. 23 at Nakayama.
Hong Kong group I winner Rulership and dual Japanese classic winner Gold Ship look to be the early favorites for the Arima Kinen (Grand Prix) (Jpn-I), the Japan's biggest race and its season finale, on Dec. 22.
Gold Ship solidified his credentials as Japan's top 3-year-old on Oct. 21 at Kyoto when he completed a last-to-first rally in the Kikuka Sho (Jpn-I Japanese St. Leger), the final jewel in Japan's Triple Crown.
Deep Brillante, a son of 2005 Japanese Triple Crown winner Deep Impact, fended off the late charge of Fenomeno to win the $3.9 million Tokyo Yushun (Jpn-I), or Japanese Derby, by a nose May 27 at Tokyo Racecourse.
Gold Ship won the Satsuki Sho (Jpn-I), or Japanese Two Thousand Guineas April 15 at Nakayama Racecourse, a year after the Great East Japan Earthquake forced the race to be moved to Tokyo.
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