Reigning Japanese Horse of the Year Orfevre made an impressive late charge to capture the Takarazuka Kinen for his fifth grade I victory June 24 at Hanshin Racecourse.
Last year's Japanese sprint champion Curren Chan returned to form March 25 when she captured the $2.47 million Takamatsunomiya Kinen (Jpn-I) at newly renovated Chukyo Racecourse by a neck over San Carlo.
Eishin Apollon, relishing a moist turf left by heavy rain the day before, registered his first grade I victory with an upset in the $2.5 million Mile Championship at Kyoto Racecourse in Japan Nov. 20.
Orfevre became the seventh Japanese Triple Crown winner Oct. 23 when he registered a 2 1/2-length victory as a strong favorite in the $2.7 million Kikuka Sho (Jpn-I), or Japanese St. Leger, at Kyoto Racecourse.
Sunday Racing Company's Orfevre became the first horse in five years to win the first two legs of the Japanese Triple Crown when he won the Japanese Derby (Jpn-I) before a crowd of 82,240 May 29 at Tokyo Racecourse.
The first classic race in Japan to be run since the devastating earthquake and tsunami took place at Tokyo Racecourse on April 24 when the Japanese Two Thousand Guineas (Jpn-I) was won by Orfevre.
Dream Journey gave Kenichi Ikezoe the ride of his life at Nakayama Racecourse Dec. 27 when he defeated favored Buena Vista to capture the season-ending grade I Arima Kinen (Grand Prix).
Sweep Tosho capped a remarkable year with a grade I victory on Sunday, catching Osumi Haruka at the wire to win the 30th Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup.
Favored Durandal made it back-to-back victories in the Japan Mile Championship (Jpn-I), defeating the filly Dance in the Mood by two lengths in the $1.77 million event at Kyoto Racecourse Sunday.
Japanese-bred Durandal used a powerful late burst to beat Fine Motion by three-quarters of a length, winning the Mile Championship (Jpn-I) on the turf at Kyoto Racecourse on Sunday.
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