Japanese Horse of the Year Equinox Gallops For Sheema Classic

Japanese Horse of the Year Equinox (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}) galloped over the Meydan dirt track on Tuesday in advance of a start in the 2400-metre $6-million G1 Longines Dubai Sheema Classic on Saturday.

“This is his first overseas trip and he’s still getting used to his new surroundings, although I think he’s getting better day by day and I am happy with how he moved this morning,” said trainer Tetsuya Kimura. “I know that this horse has plenty of talent and I hope that he can live up to the expectations of Japanese race fans by winning the Dubai Sheema Classic.”

The Silk Racing colourbearer will have Christophe Lemaire in the irons. Now a 4-year-old, Equinox raced to G1 Tenno Sho (Autumn) and G1 Arima Kinen glory in October and December, respectively, with Lemaire aboard.

“This is a tough race but Christophe knows Meydan and knows this horse so I am not concerned,” Kimura said. “There have been some very good winners of the Dubai Sheema Classic and so I respect how difficult it will be. It is an honour to be here with a horse like Equinox.”

Silk Racing’s Masashi Yonemoto said of the colt’s future targets, “There are quite attractive races at home, such as the Tenno Sho (Autumn) and the [G1] Japan Cup,” he told local media. “However, I think the [GI] Breeders’ Cup Turf is an attractive option. It is important for him to do well here if we are to travel again but I think the Breeders’ Cup would be better than the [G1 Prix de l’]Arc [de Triomphe], especially with the ground.

“I think this season is when we will see the best of him and I think this race is a good challenge for him. Hopefully, he can prove he is a great horse.”

Geoglyph (Jpn) (Drefong), who defeated Equinox in the G1 Japanese 2000 Guineas earlier last year, ran fourth in the $20-million G1 Saudi Cup. He is aiming to improve in the $12-million Dubai World Cup, Saturday’s showpiece.

“I have been very happy with him since he arrived here,” Kimura said of the grandson of Gio Ponti. “He was fourth by a close margin and it was his first dirt race so I was satisfied with that performance. I think his experience in Saudi Arabia will help him here.

“He worked well this morning along with Equinox. I think this is a more suitable race, stepping up to 2000 metres, and I hope that he can run another good race on Saturday.”

The post Japanese Horse of the Year Equinox Gallops For Sheema Classic appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.