FUNABASHI, Chiba Pref. — No chills and thrills of heated battle accompanied the lead runner down the stretch at Nakayama on Sunday. Indeed, the space between the winner and the runnerup was so great the actual moment race favorite Symboli Kris S. crossed the line was anticlimatic. Even the stands, packed with some 124,000 fans, were surprisingly quiet. There was, simply put, no competition.
In record time and by a record 9 lengths, the 4-year-old son of Kris S. annihilated the field of the Arima Memorial to capture the Grade 1 year finale for the second year in a row.
Fifth-choice Lincoln finished a far second, with second-pick Zenno Rob Roy crossing the line in third place 3/4length later.
Symboli Kris S. broke from the far outside No. 12 post and held a steady fourth position a good 9 lengths off the front past the stands and through the backstretch. Rounding into the final bend and shadowing Yutaka Take aboard Lincoln on the outside, Olivier Peslier, moved to within striking distance of front-runners Tap Dance City and Active Bio.
Before the 200-meter-mark Symboli Kris S. stepped into the lead and switched into high gear, cruising down the straight as he widened his margin with every stride.
Peslier likened the victory to his record win of the fall Emperor’s Cup Nov. 23.
“He was traveling easily and he felt like he had in the Emperor’s Cup. When I asked him he just went.”
Symboli Kris S.’ winning time of 2 minutes, 30.5 seconds over 2,500 meters of turf shaved 0.1 seconds off the 1991 record. The colt’s 9-length margin was the widest of the Arima, topping the previous record set in 1967 by a full 3 lengths. The American-bred Symboli Kris S. became only the fourth horse in the race’s 48-year history to have won the race two years in a row.
Symboli Kris S., trained by Japan leading trainer Kazuo Fujisawa and owned and bred by Takahiro Wada, was retired in a ceremony at Nakayama Racecourse following the day’s racing. The 180 million yen winner’s share of the Arima boosted the colt’s earnings to just short of 985 million yen for eight wins, including four Grade 1s, in 15 starts.
Take breaks own mark
Jockey Yutaka Take claimed his 13th career title for most races won in a single season after rewriting his own record with his 204th win at the conclusion of the Japan Racing Association season Sunday.
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