Oisin Murphy to bid for Arc history on star Japanese mare Chrono Genesis
Champion jockey Oisin Murphy has described his call-up to ride top Japanese mare Chrono Genesis in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe as a “really huge opportunity” as he seeks his, and Japan’s, first win in Europe's greatest race.
Murphy, 25, was confirmed by her owners the Yoshida family of Sunday Racing Co Ltd to replace the injured Yuichi Kitamura on the five-year-old grey, who has claimed Grade 1s either side of her second to Mishriff in the Dubai Sheema Classic in March.
“She looks very straightforward and it’s a really huge opportunity,” Murphy said on Friday. “I've always wanted to ride a Japanese horse in this race and hopefully she stays healthy between now and October as it’s quite a long time, but this has been the plan for quite a while.
“She’s one of the best mile-and-a-half horses in Japan, if not the best. Her form from Dubai has worked out well with Loves Only You being a winner of a Group 1 in Hong Kong on her next start.”
He added: “It’s unfortunate that her usual jockey Yuichi Kitamura is out injured, but I’m hoping he’ll get well soon and I’ll see him in Japan in the near future.”
Murphy has enjoyed success in the past with Japanese horses, landing the Group 1 Nassau Stakes at Goodwood on Deirdre in 2019, while he spent two winters riding on the Japan Racing Association circuit with success in 2018-19 and 2019-20.
The Arc remains a highly coveted prize in Japan, with the appearance of runners from the country in the race most years, but no Japanese-trained horse has landed the contest.
El Condor Pasa (1999), Nakayama Festa (2010) and Orfevre (2012 and 2013) have all been second at Longchamp, while superstar Deep Impact was third in 2006 before being disqualified.
According to reports in Japan, Chrono Genesis is on a mid-season break at the Yoshidas' Northern Farm and will fly to France in mid-to-late September to run in the Arc without a prep race.
Chrono Genesis is a general 16-1 for the Arc with Snowfall favourite at 7-2.
Wonderful Tonight, who will be ridden for the first time by Murphy in Saturday's King George, is a top-priced 8-1 chance.
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