Retiring Kitasan Black, ridden by Yutaka Take, completed a Tenno-sho double Sunday as the top favorite came from behind to win the autumn race and pick up his sixth Grade One victory.
Kitasan Black, who defended the spring title in April, had a poor start and was running in the back of the middle pack before making a charge from around the third turn and finishing the 2,000-meter race in 2 minutes, 8.3 seconds amid steady rain at Tokyo Racecourse.
The 5-year-old held off Satono Crown by a neck, and 13th choice Rainbow Line came in third, two-and-a-half lengths further behind.
Kitasan Black, set to retire after the Arima Kinen in December, became the fifth horse to win both the spring and fall versions of the event in one year and only the second after Hall of Famer T M Opera O to triumph in a total of three Tenno-sho races.
“I’m glad I was able to deliver results, riding on such a great horse,” said Take, who won the autumn Tenno-sho for the sixth time in addition to his eight spring crowns.
“Our start turned out like that, but we weren’t necessarily thinking about leading from the beginning. I knew he will be able to handle the course,” he said of the muddy conditions on the racetrack.
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