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Gold Ship

Gold Ship: jockey Hiroyuki Uchida punches the air in delight

  PICTURE: Masakazu Takahashi  

Stunning Gold Ship lifts Grade 1 Arima Kinen

Report: Japan, Sunday

Nakayama: Arima Kinen (the Grand Prix) (Grade 1) 1m4½f, turf, 3yo+

JAPAN'S leading three-year-old colt Gold Ship (Naosuke Sugai/Hiroyuki Uchida) produced a stunning display to beat his elders to take the Arima Kinen, the nation's end-of-season grand prix at Nakayama on Sunday.

With three furlongs to run, the grey son of Stay Gold was absolutely last of 16 in a field featuring several fellow Grade 1 scorers - although these did not include Japan Cup one-two Gentildonna and Orfevre after connections opted to bypass the 385 million yen (£2.8m) event.

As they approached the final turn, Gold Ship had to circle the entire field, finally being produced at least eight horses wide down the straight, where he still appeared to have plenty to do.

The colt proceeded to mow down his rivals to record a brilliant victory going away as his jockey stood up in his irons to salute the crowd passing the post.

It was a performance a little reminiscent of Orfevre's in the Arc - if Orfevre hadn't decided to throw the race away by veering across to the rail.

Sent off a 17-10 chance, Gold Ship won by a length and a half over Ocean Blue, with Hong Kong winner Rulership third.

The Arima Kinen is reputed to produce the highest annual turnover of any single horserace in the world, reaching out to the general public like the Grand National in Britain and the Melbourne Cup in Australia.

Dual Classic winner Gold Ship missed the Japan Cup after landing the Kikuka Sho (St Leger) to add to his Satsuki Sho (2,000 Guineas) success. He was beaten into fifth in a muddling Tokyo Yushun (Derby).

Before Sunday's race, Gold Ship's best Racing Post Rating was 124, behind only Camelot (127) and his female compatriot Gentildonna (126). He will surely rise again as a result of this Arima Kinen success, perhaps putting Camelot's place on top of the world list in jeopardy.

Also in Japan

Nakayama (Saturday): Nakayama Daishogai (Grade 1-jumps) 2m4½f chase 3yo+

Second-season chaser Marvelous Kaiser (Masami Shibata/Shigefumi Kumazawa) produced a dominant performance to take this major domestic chase.

With exchange rates coming into play it is difficult to be dogmatic, but the Daishogai carries the same prize-money as the Nakayaka Grand Jump at the 135 million yen (£990,000). As such, they are joint-holders of the title of world's richest jump race, just ahead of the Grand National at £975,000 in 2012.

In a three-length victory, the four-year-old Marvelous Kaiser comfortably held off fancied rivals Basel Choice and heavy favourite Majesty Bio, last year's steeplechase champion and winner of this year's Nakayama Grand Jump.

Hanshin (Saturday): Radio Nikkei Hai Nisai Stakes (Grade 3) 1m2f, turf, 2yo

Hot favourite Epiphaneia (Katsuhiko Sumii/Yuichi Fukunaga), a son of Symboli Kris S, took his unbeaten record to three in this important pointer to next year's Classics.

 
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