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The Autumn Tenno Sho is now Japan's top 10-furlong contest and the first of its three late-season majors, preceding the Japan Cup and the Arima Kinen.
The autumn incarnation of the Tenno Sho was a long-distance race when it was inaugurated in 1937. But whereas its spring counterpart remains Japan’s premier staying event, the Autumn Tenno Sho is now the country’s top 10-furlong contest and the first of its three late-season majors, preceding the Japan Cup and the Arima Kinen.
Its distance was reduced to give a shorter option to three-year-olds unsuited to the 3000 metres of the final classic, the Kikuka Sho. Symboli Kris S and Almond Eye are the only horses to have won the Autumn Tenno Sho on two occasions, while six horses have won both the Spring Tenno Sho and the Autumn Tenno Sho, the most recent being Kitasan Black who won the Spring Tenno Sho in 2016 and 2017 and the Autumn Tenno Sho in 2017.
There may have been horses with more ability than Just A Way racing at points around the globe during 2014 but whether that was the case or not, it was he that was ranked the world’s best that year according to the IFHA’s often questionable list.
He reached that pinnacle with a spectacular run of form that began with a shock win in the 2013 Tenno Sho (Autumn). The Naosuke Sugai-trained galloper went into that assignment as a four-year-old with just two career wins from 15 starts but succeeded in defeating the exceptional mare Gentildonna.
The following spring, Just A Way won the Grade 2 Nakayama Kinen and showed it was no fluke when he spreadeagled the Group 1 Dubai Duty Free at Meydan in March 2014 to earn his high rating; for good measure, he followed up with a Grade 1 Yasuda Kinen victory back at home. That was the end of his sensational streak but it was a whirlwind while it lasted.
|2021||Efforia||Takeshi Yokoyama||Yuichi Shikato||Carrot Farm||1:57.9|
|2020||Almond Eye||Christophe Lemaire||Sakae Kunieda||Silk Racing||1:57.8|
|2019||Almond Eye||Christophe Lemaire||Sakae Kunieda||Silk Racing||1:56.2|
|2018||Rey De Oro||Christophe Lemaire||Kazuo Fujisawa||U Carrot Farm||1:56.8|
|2017||Kitasan Black||Yutaka Take||Hisashi Shimizu||Ono Shoji||2:08.3|
|2016||Maurice||Ryan Moore||Noriyuki Hori||Kazumi Yoshida||1:59.3|
|2015||Lovely Day||Suguru Hamanaka||Yasutoshi Ikee||Kaneko Makoto Holdings||1:58.4|
|2014||Spielberg||Hiroshi Kitamura||Kazuo Fujisawa||Hidetoshi Yamamoto||1:59.7|
|2013||Just A Way||Yuichi Fukunaga||Naosuke Sugai||Akatsuki Yamatoya||1:57.5|
|2012||Eishin Flash||Mirco Demuro||Hideaki Fujiwara||Toyomitsu Hirai||1:57.3|
|2011||Tosen Jordan||Nicola Pinna||Yasutoshi Ikee||Takya Shimakawa||1:56.1|
|2010||Buena Vista||Christophe Soumillon||Hiroshi Matsuda||Sunday Racing Co Ltd||1:58.2|
|2009||Company||Norihiro Yokoyama||Hidetaka Otonashi||Eiko Kondou||1:57.2|
|2008||Vodka||Yutaka Take||Katsuhiko Sumii||Yuzo Tanimizu||1:57.2|
|2007||Meisho Samson||Yutaka Take||Shigetada Takahashi||Yoshio Matsumoto||1:58.4|
|2006||Daiwa Major||Katsumi Ando||Hiroyuki Uehara||Keizou Ooshiro||1:58.8|
|2005||Heavenly Romance||Mikio Matsunaga||Masashi Yamamoto||Nosohiruzu Management||2:00.1|
|2004||Zenno Rob Roy||Olivier Peslier||Kazuo Fujisawa||Shinobu Oohasa||1:58.9|
|2003||Symboli Kris S||Olivier Peslier||Kazuo Fujisawa||Symboli Stud||1:58.0|
|2002||Symboli Kris S||Yukio Okabe||Kazuo Fujisawa||Symboli Stud||1:58.5|
|2001||Agnes Digital||Hirofumi Shii||Toshiaki Shirai||Takao Watanabe||2:02.0|
|2000||T M Opera O||Ryuji Wada||Ichizo Iwamoto||Masatsugu Takezono||1:59.9|