Chrono Genesis justifies fans’ faith to complete Japan’s annus mirabilis in Arima Kinen

A memorable year for Japanese racing – despite the attentions of Covid-19 – reached its climax in appropriate fashion when Chrono Genesis, both race favourite and No.1 fans’ pick, won the Arima Kinen, the season-ending grand prix at Nakayama on Sunday.

Picture: Japan Bloodhorse Breeders' Association

The four-year-old daughter of Arc winner Bago kept up a brilliant run for fillies and mares in Japan's top races this term, where the likes of Almond Eye and Gran Alegria have also left their mark in no uncertain terms.

The Arima Kinen is one of two designated 'All-Star' races on the JRA calendar where the field is picked partly via a fans' ballot. The other one is the Takarazuka Kinen – also won by Chrono Genesis, who received a record 214,742 votes for the Arima Kinen from a staggering total of 2,633,902.

Worth ¥648 million (£4.7m), the Arima Kinen's purse matches that of the Japan Cup and puts it firmly in the world's top ten prize-money races. Indeed, in domestic terms, it is the more popular race, which accounts for its status as the world's biggest turnover betting race with a reported ¥46,425,894,400 (£335m) turnover for this 65th edition, which featured no fewer than eight G1 winners.

Sent off 6-4 favourite, Chrono Genesis got a brainy ride from jockey Yuichi Kitamura. After running towards the rear in the early stages as Babbitt was allowed to set a moderate clip, she was rushed up on the back stretch before throwing down a challenge in the straight to market rival Fierement, who also carries the famous Sunday Racing colours.

Chrono Genesis just got the better of that argument, only for 74-1 outsider Salacia to charge down the outer with the fastest finishing burst of all. The post came just in time and Chrono Genesis held on by a neck, with Fierement – forced to race three wide throughout from a wide draw – only another neck back in third. In fourth was the four-time G1 winner Lucky LIlac, who has been retired.

Winning trainer Takashi Saito admitted to concerns that Chrono Genesis's rider had made a premature move. "I was worried that Yuichi might have made too early a bid," he said. "But he was confident and rode her beautifully, holding off the others. This is a dream come true and I have a feeling there will be many more."

Kitamura added: "All I wanted was her to be relaxed and her break wasn't that bad and she was in hand and ran in the same rhythm as before.

"Yesterday and today, I was in 2,500m races here at Nakayama which enabled me to get warmed up with a good idea of how I wanted her to run. We haven't faced the two Triple Crown winners yet, but I hope she performs well and stays in the spotlight next season."

A Classic winner at three in the Shuka Sho (Japanese fillies' St Leger), Chrono Genesis was winning her third G1 altogether. Her dam is Chronologist, whose offspring have enjoyed quite a month as she is also the dam of recent Hong Kong Cup winner Normcore.

The Arima Kinen also franked the form of Japan Cup heroine Almond Eye, who retired as No.1 on the TRC global rankings. She had Fierement and Chrono Genesis into second and third place in the Autumn Tenno Sho at the beginning of November.


Horse Racing Planet



Nakayama

Sunday, 27th December 2020

11
15:25
(local)

ARIMA KINEN (THE GRAND PRIX) (G1)

Age: 3yo and up Type: OPEN
JPY ¥574,860,000
2500m TURF FIRM
11
15:25
(local)
JPY ¥574,860,000
2500m FIRM

ARIMA KINEN (THE GRAND PRIX) (G1)

Age: 3yo and up Type: OPEN
FP Silk Horse, Age & Sex
Sire & Dam
Jockey
Trainer
SP
WT
1st 9. CHRONO GENESIS (JPN) 4yo F
BAGO (FR) - CHRONOLOGIST (JPN)
YUICHI KITAMURA
TAKASHI SAITO
$2.50
55.0kg
Sunday Racing Co. Ltd.
2nd 14. SALACIA (JPN) 5yo M
DEEP IMPACT (JPN) - SALOMINA (GER)
KOHEI MATSUYAMA
Manabu Ikezoe
$74.90
55.0kg
Silk Racing Co. Ltd.
3rd 13. FIEREMENT (JPN) 5yo H
DEEP IMPACT (JPN) - LUNE D'OR (FR)
C P LEMAIRE
T TEZUKA
$3.50
57.0kg
Sunday Racing Co. Ltd.
4th 7. LUCKY LILAC (JPN) 5yo M
ORFEVRE (JPN) - LILACS AND LACE (USA)
Y FUKUNAGA
MIKIO MATSUNAGA
$8.10
55.0kg
5th 5. WORLD PREMIERE (JPN) 4yo H
DEEP IMPACT (JPN) - MANDELA (GER)
YUTAKA TAKE
Y TOMOMICHI
$13.50
57.0kg
6th 10. CURREN BOUQUETD'OR (JPN) 4yo F
DEEP IMPACT (JPN) - SOLARIA (CHI)
K IKEZOE
SAKAE KUNIEDA
$7.90
55.0kg
7th 8. PERSIAN KNIGHT (JPN) 6yo H
HARBINGER (GB) - ORIENT CHARM (JPN)
TAKUYA ONO
Y IKEE
$148.10
57.0kg
8th 3. CRESCENDO LOVE (JPN) 6yo H
STAY GOLD (JPN) - HIGHER LOVE (IRE)
RYUSEI SAKAI
TORU HAYASHI
$188.10
57.0kg
9th 15. OCEA GREAT (JPN) 4yo H
ORFEVRE (JPN) - BLUE DANUBE (IRE)
N YOKOYAMA
M KIKUKAWA
$183.40
57.0kg
10th 4. LOVES ONLY YOU (JPN) 4yo F
DEEP IMPACT (JPN) - LOVES ONLY ME (USA)
M DEMURO
Y YAHAGI
$15.50
55.0kg
11th 16. YOU CAN SMILE (JPN) 5yo H
KING KAMEHAMEHA (JPN) - MOOD INDIGO (JPN)
Y IWATA
Y TOMOMICHI
$157.00
57.0kg
12th 6. KISEKI (JPN) 6yo H
RULERSHIP (JPN) - BLITZ FINALE (JPN)
S HAMANAKA
KATSUHIKO SUMII
$24.90
57.0kg
13th 1. BABBITT (JPN) 3yo C
NAKAYAMA FESTA (JPN) - ART RYOKO (JPN)
H UCHIDA
TAMIO HAMADA
$36.20
55.0kg
14th 12. AUTHORITY (JPN) 3yo C
ORFEVRE (JPN) - ROSALIND (JPN)
Y KAWADA
TETSUYA KIMURA
$20.30
55.0kg
15th 11. MOZU BELLO (JPN) 4yo H
DEEP BRILLANTE (JPN) - HARLAN'S RUBY (USA)
HIRONOBU TANABE
NAOYUKI MORITA
$174.60
57.0kg
FF 2. BLAST ONEPIECE (JPN) 5yo H
HARBINGER (GB) - TSURUMARU ONEPIECE (JPN)
TAKESHI YOKOYAMA
MASAHIRO OTAKE
$33.10
57.0kg