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.
Former Japanese champions Zenno Rob Roy and Jungle Pocket have been denied access to New Zealand and instead will now stand the remainder of the embattled Southern Hemisphere season in Australia.
Japanese Horse of the Year Zenno Rob Roy will become the first group I winner by deceased Japanese stallion Sunday Silence to go to stud in New Zealand.
Though Japanese Triple Crown winner Deep Impact is sitting this one out, Sunday's 25th running of the Japan Cup (Jpn-I) boasts two Breeders' Cup winners, one winner of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe Lucien Barriere (Fr-I), a two-time Vodafone Coronation Cup (Eng-I) winner, and the two previous winners of the Japan Cup.
In a blanket finish that could have been won by any one of five horses in the final furlong, the Italian-trained Electrocutionist pulled off a thrilling victory in Tuesday's Juddmonte International Stakes (Eng-I) at York to secure a first prize of £266,800 ($482,043).
For once, hype can take a back seat at the three-day meeting at York, England which starts Tuesday. With the first four horses in the betting trained in Ireland, Italy, Japan, and England, the Juddmonte International (Eng-I) is a race that really does live up to its name.
Zenno Rob Roy, whose three group I wins included a score in the Japan Cup, was named Horse of the Year and champion older male by the Japan Racing Association.
Japanese-trained horses swept the top three positions in the Japan Racing Association's two major group I international races, when Zenno Rob Roy won the Japan Cup and Time Paradox took the Japan Cup Dirt, both run at Tokyo Racecourse on Nov. 28 under sunny skies.
The host country may have the upper hand in both of the Japan Racing Association's grade I international fixtures, the Japan Cup and Japan Cup Dirt, at Tokyo Racecourse on Sunday.
Favored Symboli Kris S bowed out in style, winning Sunday's Arima Kinen (Jpn-I) by nine lengths for his second straight victory in the Japanese Grand Prix.
Japan saw its first Triple Crown contestant in six years clinch the series' first two legs, as Neo Universe claimed his sixth victory in a row, the Nippon Derby by half a length June 1 at Tokyo Racecourse.
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