2018 Arima Kinen
December 23, 2018 - 1m 4½f (2,500 meters), Nakayama, Japan
Preview: December 21, 2018
New Japanese superstar Almond Eye will not take part in the 2018 Arima Kinen (7:25 CET),
still the horse race with the world's highest betting turnover will present
a strong field, as several of the best Japanese thoroughbreds
skipped the Japan Cup for the Arima Kinen.
Favourite is the recent Tenno Sho winner Rey De Oro
Japan Cup runner-up Kiseki
and Cheval Grand
turn out to be his most dangerous rivals.
Also steeplechase champion Oju Chosan
is set for the Arima Kinen.
Rey De Oro
won the Tenno Sho (Autumn) as 21:10 favourite on October 28,
but did not start in the Japan Cup afterwards, probably to avoid a
clash with Almond Eye. The 2017 Japanese Derby winner
will now be the horse to beat in the 2018 Arima Kinen.
He should have no problems with the tighter turns at Nakayama,
as he had won the Sankei Sho All Comers there in September.
Rey De Oro's trainer Kazuo Fujisawa could win the Arima Kinen three times already,
fresh Japan Cup winner Christophe Lemaire will be in the saddle.
gave a strong performance in the
2018 Japan Cup
recently. Leading the whole way, he was only beaten by Almond eye,
but crossed the line well ahead of the rest.
Last year's Japanese St Leger winner had already displayed rising form when
ended third in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) a length behind Rey De Oro.
beat Rey De Oro when won the
2017 Japan Cup
but finished only fourth in that race this year.
The son of Heart's Cry, third in the
2017 Arima Kinen
will be ridden by the Australian jockey Hugh Bowman in Nakayama again,
who had won the Japan Cup with him.
is one of only two three-year-olds in the field and
according to the
he is has at least outsider chances.
The son of Harbinger could win four of his six starts.
He had been second favourite in this year's Japanese Derby, where he finished fifth in May.
He then was even first favourite in the St Leger, but ended just fourth there in October.
Blast Onepiece is trained by Masahiro Otake on the Nakayama racecourse.
won only one of his 15 starts until
he triumphed in the Takarazuka Kinen in June,
where he beat multiple Group 1-winner Werther.
He finished fifth in the Tenno Sho (Autumn),
but came from a four month lay-off then.
Perform A Promise
, a six-year-old son of Stay Gold,
attracted attention by winning the Copa Republica Argentina (G2, 2,500 m)
on November 4. The horses he beat there were not the very strongest,
still several 'Republica' winners have been successful in the Arima Kinen subsequently.
, winner of the
2016 Arima Kinen
will also be involved at Nakayama.
He could win an important race with the
Kyoto Daishoten on October 8, but he never really reached his strong 2016 form again,
at least came sixth in the Japan Cup.
He will also be ridden by an Australian jockey, Brenton Avdulla.
The Arima Kinen will be the last run in Satono Diamond's career.
is one of the better known Japanese race horses abroad.
He won the 2016 Japanese Derby ahead of Satono Diamond and took
unsuccessfully part in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
The son of Deep Impact has not shown much the last two years,
finished seventh in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) most recently.
is a very special participant at the 2018 Arima Kinen.
The seven-year-old celebrated five Group One victories in
hurdle and steeplechase races, also won twice on the flat lately.
In the Arima Kinen vote open to racing fans Oju Chosan ended third with
100,382 votes, right behind Rey De Oro (110,293) and Almond Eye (105,561).
The Arima Kinen is the horse race with the world's highest betting turnover,
even far ahead of the Grand National.
Ten of the sixteen participating horses are selected by a public vote.
It is the most popular horse race in Japan. 165,000 spectators will arrive the
Nakayama racetrack also in 2018 again.
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.