Symboli Kris S. Bows Out In Record Style

He was the horse the fans most wanted to see in the year's finale, Arima Memorial (Jpn-I). With three group Is and 5-2 odds, he was also the horse they most expected to win. True to form, Symboli Kris S. answered expectations on a chilly Dec. 29.

The sight of Symboli Kris S., under Olivier Peslier, sailing down the Nakayama stretch before more than 124,000 people bordered on the surreal. Extending his margin with every stride, the other 11 members of the Arima field seemed to have stopped moving. There was no competition whatsoever. Symboli Kris S. was running a one-horse race.

The son of Kris S., out of Tee Kay, by Gold Meridian, toppled the Arima's record for the winning margin, a record that had stood for 36 years, his nine-length win bettering it by three lengths. His time of 2:30.5 over the 2,500 meters of firm turf whittled a tenth of a second off the record set in 1991.

Runner-up in Japan's St. Leger (Jpn-I), fifth-choice Lincoln (Sunday Silence--Grace Admire, by Tony Bin), with Yutaka Take up, finished second, with second-pick Zenno Rob Roy (Sunday Silence--Roamin Rachel, by Mining) over the line in third.
Peslier said he felt the pressure to win in Symboli Kris S.' last race.

"I wanted so much for him to win and prove what a great horse he is. He was a different horse in the Japan Cup (Jpn-I) and hadn't looked well," Peslier said, adding with conviction, "I wanted him to prove he was he best because he is the best."

The American-bred Symboli Kris S. became only the fourth horse in the race's history to have won the race two years in a row. Two of the remaining three champions were also Symboli-owned, Speed Symboli and triple crown winner Symboli Rudolf.

Symboli Kris S. is owned by Takahiro Wada of Symboli Farm. The colt was trained by Japan's leading trainer, Kazuo Fujisawa, who also trained third-place finisher Zenno Rob Roy.

The win of the Arima was worth ¥180 million, which boosted Symboli Kris S.' earnings to just short of ¥985 million. His career total was eight wins, including four group Is, in 15 starts.

In a special retirement ceremony after nightfall, the handsome dark bay, bathed in spotlights, was paraded before the stands still crowded with well wishers. On hand was Teruya Yoshida of Shadai, where Symboli Kris S. is to stand at stud. The colt has been syndicated for ¥1.95 billion in 60 shares and is scheduled to leave for Hokkaido on Jan. 6.

Attendance at this year's Arima, held the latest in its history yet, was up more than 2%. Turnover as well, boosted by good weather and a strong field, including four group I winners, staved the steady decline seen since 1996 with a 1.5% increase over last year. Over ¥51.5 billion was bet on the Arima alone.