Arima Kinen 2017
December 24, 2017 - 1m 4½f (2,500 meters), Nakayama, Japan
Preview: December 19, 2017
The horse race with the world's highes betting turnover will take part on Christmas Eve this year.
And the 2017 Arima Kinen will be a very exciting affair, as there is not much between the top favourites.
It is the last race for six times Group 1 winner Kitasan Black
. He faces the current Japan Cup gainer
and last year's Hong Kong Vase winner Satono Crown
Also Derby runner-up Suave Richard
is not without a chance on the narrow racetrack in Nakayama.
The Arima Kinen is the most liked horse race in Japan, several starters are selected by a public election.
The racecourse in Nakayama will be sold out with 165,000 visitors.
2017 Japan Cup
quite surprisingly a month ago.
If the five-year-old son of Heart's Cry will also triumph in the Arima Kinen, he will be among the most popular Japanese race horses.
is already amongst these, he won six races on Group 1 level, including the
2016 Japan Cup
Last year he was only beaten by a neck in the 2016 Arima Kinen
by Satono Diamond. A success this time would be a perfect end of his career.
disappointed on the tenth place in the Japan Cup recently, one month before he had
given Kitasan Black a great fight to the line in the Tenno Sho (Autumn).
May be the narrow course in Nakayama will suit last year's Hong Kong Vase winner.
, another son of Heart's Cry, will enter the Arima Kinen well rested, as he did not start in the Japan Cup.
He was beaten by less than a length in the Japanese Derby by Rey De Oro (who then came runner-up in the Japan Cup) in May and
could defeat older opponents when won the Copa Republica Argentina in early November.
raised expectations when won the 2015 Japanese Oaks, but could never really satisfy them.
The daughter of Deep Impact was send over a mile several times, but came a close third in the Takarazuka Kinen
and Queen Elizabeth II Cup (both G1, 2,200 m) this year. She also did not start in the 2017 Japan Cup.
All other participants would surprise as 2017 Arima Kinen winner.
Then again the racetrack in Nakayama is very special and does not fit every horse.
It would not be the first time an outsider makes it under the Top 3.
To watch a replay
of the Arima Kinen, without knowing the result, enter
Horse Racing Japan
and click on the video button in the Arima Kinen row.