Lys Gracieux claims world’s largest betting race

Lys Gracieux bows out a winner in the G1 Arima KInen.

Top Japanese mare Lys Gracieux ended her career with a fantastic win in the world’s largest betting race, the ¥570,000,000 Group 1 Arima Kinen (2500m) at Nakayama Racecourse, Japan, on Sunday.

Under a gun ride from Australian jockey Damian Lane, Lys Gracieux travelled midfield on the fence off fast splits set by leader Aerolithe, who led the field by close to eight lengths midway.

Fan favourite and odds-on market elect Almond Eye endured a horrid trip and sat no better than three-wide without cover throughout. The daughter of Lord Kanaloa peaked on her run inside the final 300m and faded into ninth.

While many started to weaken, Lys Gracieux was just getting warm, finishing powerfully down the outside for a facile five-length victory in front of over 90,000 racegoers.

The Japan Racing Association tote handle on the race was a massive ¥46,889,714,600 (SGD$580.5mil), up from ¥43,664,039,500 (SGD$540.6mil) in 2018.

Still, the all-time record remains at ¥87,510,400,000 (SGD$1.08billion) set in 1996. 

For Damian Lane, a win in the Arima Kinen caps off a tremendous year which has seen him claim multiple big races.

They include: the Golden Slipper (Kiamchi), Caulfield Cup (Mer De Glace), Cox Plate, Arima Kinen and the Takarazuka Kinen (all on Lys Gracieux).