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The Takarazuka Kinen is a fan-voted all-star race named for the city of Takarazuka, where Hanshin racecourse is located. It was first run in 1960.
The Takarazuka Kinen in late June is the first of two fan-voted all-star races during the Japanese racing season, with the other being the Group One Arima Kinen in December. Regular fans vote to include the majority of the horses in the maximum 18-runner field, with the rest determined by the amount of prize money they have won. The race is named for the city of Takarazuka where Hanshin racecourse is located and it was first run in 1960.
The Takarazuka Kinen’s honour roll is illustrious and includes TM Opera O, Deep Impact and Orfevre. But only two horses have won the race more than once and both are grey in colour. The quirky stallion Gold Ship achieved his back-to-back wins in 2013 and 2014, while the tough mare Chrono Genesis was successful in 2020 and 2021 and between times nailed the 2020 Arima Kinen.
Many a madcap foible can be forgiven when a horse is as good as Gold Ship. The grey fan-favourite was known as much for his wayward unpredictability as for his brilliant ability in a career that yielded 13 wins from 28 races. As a three-year-old in 2012 he won the first and last legs of the Triple Crown but between times was a moderate fifth in the middle leg, the Group One Tokyo Yushun. He ended that year with a grand prix success in the mighty Arima Kinen.
His Takarazuka Kinen wins in 2013 and 2014 saw him make history as the first two-time winner of that all-star race; he also landed the Group Two Hanshin Daishoten three times and won the Group One Tenno Sho (Autumn) in 2015. But his moody no-shows included 15th in the 2013 Group One Japan Cup, 14th in the following year’s Group One Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and a disinterested 15th when attempting a third Takarazuka Kinen win.
|2021||Chrono Genesis||Christophe Lemaire||Takashi Saito||Sunday Racing||2:10.9|
|2020||Chrono Genesis||Yuichi Kitamura||Takashi Saito||Sunday Racing||2:13.5|
|2019||Lys Gracieux||Damian Lane||Toshito Yahagi||U Carrot Farm||2:10.8|
|2018||Mikki Rocket||Ryuji Wada||Hidetaka Otonashi||Mizuki Noda||2:11.6|
|2017||Satono Crown||Mirco Demuro||Noriyuki Hori||Hajime Satomi||2:11.4|
|2016||Marialite||Masayoshi Ebina||Takashi Kubota||U Carrot Farm||2:12.8|
|2015||Lovely Day||Yuga Kawada||Yasutoshi Ikee||Kaneko Makoto Holdings||2:14.4|
|2014||Gold Ship||Norihiro Yokoyama||Naosuke Sugai||Eiichi Kobayashi||2:13.9|
|2013||Gold Ship||Hiroyuki Uchida||Naosuke Sugai||Eiichi Kobayashi||2:13.2|
|2012||Orfevre||Kenichi Ikezoe||Yasutoshi Ikee||Sunday Racing||2:10.9|
|2011||Earnestly||Sato Tetsuzo||Sasaki Shozo||Koji Maeda||2:10.1|
|2010||Nakayama Festa||Yoshitomi Shibata||Yoshitaka Ninomiya||Shinichi Izumi||2:13.0|
|2009||Dream Journey||Kenichi Ikezoe||Yasutoshi Ikee||Sunday Racing||2:11.3|
|2008||Eishin Deputy||Hiroyuki Uchida||Akira Nomoto||Toyomitsu Hirai||2:15.3|
|2007||Admire Moon||Yasanuri Iwata||Hiroyoshi Matsuda||Riichi Kondo||2:12.4|
|2006||Deep Impact||Yutaka Take||Yasuo Ikee||Kaneko Makoto Holdings||2:13.0|
|2005||Sweep Tosho||Kenichi Ikezoe||Akio Tsurudome||Tosho Sangyo||2:11.5|
|2004||Tap Dance City||Tetsuzo Sato||Shozo Sasaki||Yushun Horse Club||2:11.1|
|2003||Hishi Miracle||Koichi Tsunoda||Masaru Sayama||Masaichiro Abe||2:12.0|
|2002||Dantsu Flame||Shinji Fujita||Kenji Yamauchi||Tetsuji Yamamoto||2:12.9|
|2001||Meisho Doto||Yasuhiko Yasuda||Isao Yasuda||Yoshio Matsumoto||2:11.7|
|2000||T M Opera O||Ryuji Wada||Ichizo Iwamoto||Masatsugu Takezono||2:13.8|