Arima Kinen 2013
December 22, 2013 - 1m 4½f (2,500 meters), 3-years-old and up, Nakayama, Japan
Preview, December 19, 2013
The Arima Kinen in Nakayama is the last big flat race of the year and it will be the
world's biggest betting horse race. About 230.000.000 Euro were wagered only in Japan last year.
This year the clear favourite is Orfevre
and it will be the last race of his successful
racing career. The son of Stay Gold had won the Japanese Triple Crown and the Arima Kinen
in 2011 and became runner-up the last two times at the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
winner Gentildonna, the Arc-fourth Kizuna, Japanese St Leger gainer
Epiphaneia, Eishin Flash nor Tenno Sho (Autumn) winner Just A Way will take part,
the defending titleholder Gold Ship
seems the only serious rival of Orfevre.
The grey, also a son of Stay Gold,
won the Japanese 2000 Guineas, the Japanese St. Leger and the Arima Kinen last year.
In June he then won the Takarazuka Kinen ahead of Gentildonna, but totally disappointed
in his two races after a break, finished only 15th in the Japan Cup. He will be ridden
for the first time by Ryan Moore, who had just been successful with Gentildonna.
If both favourites would display signs of weakness, the veteran Tosen Jordan
might be on the spot. After several disappointing runs he surprised the experts when
just got third in the Japan Cup. Barely behind him finished Admire Rakti
, the stayer had
displayed great final speed several times before.
A horse of interest could be Win Variation
. The 5-year-old became second behind Orfevre
in the Japanese Derby 2011. During a break of almost one and a half years he added 30 kg but was not disgraced when
finished third ahead of To The Glory
on his comeback in the Kinko Sho at the end of November.
This Group 2 race was won by Curren Mirotic
, who had given his racing debut. Like
Admire Rakti also Curren Mirotic is a son of the former Arima Kinen winner Heart's Cry,
it cannot be ruled out that he will surprise in Nakayama.
The field of the Arima Kinen is largely selected by a vote from racing fans. The top eight elected horses are invited to
the race, the other half are determined by the amount of prize money they won.
The race is named after the former president of the Japan Racing Association (JRA) Yoriyasu Arima, who founded it
in 1956 as Nakayama Grand Prix. Meanwhile it is a major social event in Japan, comparable with
the Melbourne Cup or the Grand National.
The Arima Kinen is run in the inner circle of the Nakayama racecourse where the turns are pretty tight. The final
stretch of the racecourse is only 310 meters short, but rises the last 200 meters.