|Name / Japanese||Maruzensky / マルゼンスキー|
|Dam (Sire)||Shill (Buckpasser)|
|Other site link||JBIS / netkeiba|
|Awards||Yushun Award for Best Two-Year-Old Colt (1976)|
|Honours / Honors||Japan Racing Association Hall of Fame (1990)|
His Owner, Zenkichi Hashimoto
- He was originally a middleman and producer of cattle.
- A Thoroughbred breeders’ association was planning to take a study tour to the U.S., but at the last minute, a vacancy arose and Mr. Hashimoto, who had a passport and could attend immediately, decided to join.
Hashimoto participated in Keeneland Sales in the schedule.
He had been working as a horse owner for Ban’ei Horse Racing (Wikipedia), and start working as a racehorse owner and producer as well.
- He is also famous as the father of Seiko Hashimoto, who participated in seven Olympic Games in the summer and winter.
- A broodmare named Shill, who was conceived by Nijinsky, was for sale at the Keeneland Sales.
Shill’s sire was the U.S. Hall of Fame horse Buckpasser, and Shill’s dam was the 1958 U.S. Best Two-Year-Old Filly Quill, so Shill was a horse with a very good pedigree.
- Hashimoto decided to bid on Shill because she was small but had a well-developed butt and produced good foals.
Zenya Yoshida, the general manager of the Shadai Group, also participated in the bidding for Sil, but he withdrew from the bidding when the price became too high.
In the end, Hashimoto won the bid for Shill at a price of $300,000 after bidding against a French trainer.
A local farmer’s magazine reported, “Mr. Hashimoto, a famous Japanese cattle dealer, has bought an incredibly expensive horse. Apparently, he has gone crazy.
- His pedigree was so good that it was strange to see him in Japanese horse racing at that time.
Birth of Maruzensky
- Shill was shipped to Japan, where she gave birth to a colt that was later named Maruzensky.
- Yoshiya Yoshida, accompanied by his son Katsumi, had come to Hashimoto’s farm to see Maruzensky on the pretext that he wanted to show Hashimoto’s garden.
- Maruzensky was born with a crooked leg, and it got worse as he grew older.
Many people thought he had great potential but could not train hard and would not be successful as a racehorse.
Brought in Horses (持ち込み馬)
- Thoroughbreds in Japan can be divided into three main categories.
- Domestic Born Horses (内国産馬)
They are the crops of Japanese stallions born in Japan.
It is the most common, of course.
- Foreign Born Horses (外国産馬)
They are horses brought to Japan that were born in a foreign country and have never raced in a foreign country.
There are also so many famous horses such as Hishi Amazon, Taiki Shuttle and El Condor Pasa.
A rare example is Kinshasa no Kiseki, a Fuji Kiseki crop born in Australia.
- Brought in Horses (持ち込み馬)
Brought in Horses is a term used to describe foals that are bred outside of Japan and born in Japan.
Biwa Hayahide, Sakura Laurel, Fusaichi Concorde, and King Kamehameha are some of the most famous.
- In Japan, there has always been major races called the “八大競争 (Eight Big Races)”.
The eight big races are spring and autumn Tenno Sho and Arima Kinen, and five classic races: Satsuki Sho, Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby), Kikuka Sho, Oka Sho, and Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks).
- As of now, there is almost no limit to the number of foreign born horses that can run in a classic race, up to 9 horses together with foreign trained horses.
Restrictions on foreign born horses running in Tenno Sho have been completely removed.
However, before 2000, foreign born horses were not allowed to run in Tenno Sho and classic races.
- Although there were some minor differences, brought in horses were basically treated the same as domestic born horses.
However, in order to protect domestic horse breeding following the liberalization of horse imports, brought in horses were treated the same as foreign born horses between 1971 and 1983.
In short, Maruzensky was not allowed to run in the classic races and the Tenno Sho in spring and autumn, and the only race among the eight big races he could run in was the Arima Kinen.
|Icho Tokubetsu (Allowance)||1||1(1.3)||1||9|
|Fuchu Sansai Stakes||3||1(1.4)||1||nose||▲ / G|
|Asahi Hai Sansai Stakes||6||1(1.7)||1||large
|▲ / G|
|Nihon Tampa Sho||2||1(1.2)||1||7||▲ / G|
|Tankyori Stakes||4||1(1.6)||1||10||▲ / G|
- He made his debut as a racehorse, although he was still unable to train hard due to leg concerns.
He won his debut race by a large margin.
(A large margin is a term used when the difference is more than 10 lengths.)
- In the next race, Icho Tokubetsu, he won by nine lengths.
Everyone thought that he was too different from the other horses.
- In the Fuchu Sansai Stakes, the other horses’ connections were afraid of him and the race was held with five horses.
He was in the lead until midway through the race.
His jockey was overconfident in his ability and thought that he should just spurt when the other horses were chasing.
However, he and his jockey were surprised when Hishi Speed came alongside, and although he spurred, he could not gain much speed.
In the end, it was a photo finish and he won by a nose.
- In the Asahi Hai Sansai Stakes, it was a race to determine the 2-year-old champion of Kanto region.
Reflecting on his failure in the previous race, his trainer gave him the first heavy training of his life and instructed his jockey, “I’ll take the blame if he breaks, so let him run hard.
This time he won by a whopping 13 lengths over Hishi Speed.
He broke the race record.
- He was to run his first race of his three-year-old season on January 22.
However, when other horses’ connections heard that he was going to run, they avoided the race, and it looked like the race would be cancelled due to lack of the required number of horses.
In the end, the race was approved by having two horses trained by Hattori in Kansai run.
Hattori asked Marzensky’s jockey not to make too much of a margin because he was afraid that his horse would go over time.
(In Japanese horse racing, there is a time over rule, where a horse that finishes a certain number of seconds after the winner is suspended from racing for a certain period of time for insufficient training.)
Maruzensky won the race by 2+1/2 lengths.
- He later broke his leg, but came back in the May 7 race and won by seven lengths.
- He had no right to run in the Derby.
His jockey, Seiichi Nakanowatari, said, “I want to run in the Derby. The starting gate can be the most outside gate. He would not interfere with the other horses. I don’t even need the prize money. I just want to see what this horse can do.
Maruzensky ended up not being able to run in the Derby.
When he was not allowed to run in the Derby, horse racing fans raised questions and complaints, and it became a major debate in the media and the race organizer, JRA.
- In the Nihon Tampa Sho, it was also known as the disappointment derby.
He ran alone at the front until the middle of the race.
He was lined up with the other horses, which drew surprised shouts from the crowd, but he accelerated from there again.
In the end he won by 7 lengths over the 2nd place finisher, Press Toko.
- In the Tankyori Stakes, he won by 10 lengths over the 2nd place finisher, Hishi Speed.
He broke the record time.
Although Tosho Boy was also registered to run in this race, Tosho Boy did not run.
- He was scheduled to run in the Arima Kinen after running the next two races, but bowed tendon forced him to go straight to the Arima Kinen.
The Arima Kinen would be his first major race, and it was also very much expected that he would face off against one year older Tosho Boy, Ten Point, and Green Grass.
However, in his last training session before the Arima Kinen, he developed a mild case of flexure and was forced to withdraw from the race.
He eventually retired, partly because the only major races he could run were Takarazuka Kinen and Arima Kinen.
Evaluation of him
- He is sometimes referred to as the strongest horse in the history of Japanese horse racing, even though his only major race was the Asahi Hai when he was two years old.
- He has won eight races and the total difference between him and the second place finisher is 61 lengths.
- The horses he beat, Hishi Speed, Press Toko and Yamabuki O, were also top-notch racehorses of their time.
In particular, Press Toko was a horse that would later win the Kikuka Sho.
- Above all, he could not train too hard, so his potential was forever in the dark.
- His nickname is “Supercar.
Because of his overwhelming speed and the fact that he was an expensive foreign product, he was probably called “supercar” as a value of the time.
As a sire
- With his good pedigree, which was strange in Japanese horse racing at that time, and the high potential he showed in races, he was very much expected to be a stallion.
- He passed on his speed and stamina to his foals and had good results as a sire.
- Out of his crop, Suzuka Koban, Sakura Chiyono O, and Leo Durban are the horses that have won a G1 race.
- He was inducted into the Japan Racing Association Hall of Fame for his stallion achievements.
(His stallion achievements are used in large part as a reason to honor him, who has never won a major race as a racehorse but has performed tremendously.)
- His owner, Hashimoto, believes that Maruzensky is a better stallion than Northern Taste and says, “If I had more money, I could have beaten Northern Taste.
(Northern Taste was a stallion of Shadai Group and was the leading sire 10 times.)
- However, there were quite a few foals with weak legs like him.
- As of 2021, a descendant of Suzuka Koban is registered as a sire, but his sire line is nearly dead.
As a broodmare sire
- As a broodmare sire, he has left behind some excellent racehorses, including Rice Shower, Winning Ticket, Mejiro Bright, and Special Week.
- His name will probably remain on the studbook through Special Week and its mare, Cesario, and Cesario’s crops.