On the greatest stage of all for the season finale, three-year-old GOLD SHIP put in a powerful performance in the home straight to lift the Arima Kinen for trainer Naosuke Sugai and rider Hiroyuki Uchida.
Settled in rear early, the grey son of Stay Gold made ground on the outside of the field into the second last turn before a strong sweeping move into the middle of the track rounding for home. Giving up lengths of ground to those on the inside, the Kikuka Sho and Satsuki Sho winner turned on the afterburners to drive himself into the lead inside the final furlong.
The Craig Williams ridden Rulership came wider still and ran as close to Gold Ship as he could but lacked the finishing gear of the winner, but it was quite a brilliant run in defeat after his well documented stalls problems resurfaced costing him four lengths at the start.
Rulership was narrowly claimed inside the last few yards by Ocean Blue and Christophe Lemaire who put in a strong late run more towards the inside of the track but was unable to reel in Gold Ship who’s jockey Uchida was already celebrating the victory as they crossed the line.
Gold Ship is the third three-year-old to win the Arima Kinen in a row after Japanese Triple Crown winner Orfevre was successful in 2011, and Victoire Pisa before him in 2010. Will Gold Ship now go for the Arc de Triomphe in 2013? Stay tuned.
Gold Ship was advised in our extensive big race preview on the blog here.