Japan Legend Takes Jockeys Championship

Hong Kong representative Vincent Ho was unable to notch a win on the second and final day of the World All-Star Jockeys series at Sapporo Racecourse in Japan today (Sunday, 28 August), but a creditable third in the third leg helped him finish joint seventh behind eventual winner Yutaka Take.


Ho scored nine points in Saturday’s (27 August) two heats to sit joint-ninth at the half-way point. In the third leg over 1700m on dirt today, Ho settled his mount Cosmo Seiryu in fifth position early on and raced three-wide. Ho made his move on the turn for home, charging to the lead at the top of the straight before race favourite Men At Work (Kohei Matsuyama) overhauled rivals for a comfortable win. Yugen (Yoshitomi Shibata) ran on well for second and Ho had to contend with third place.


That third put Ho in fifth place ahead of the final leg, a turf race over 1800m. However, Ho’s ride Libre Minoru could only manage 12th. In total, he amassed 25 points in the series to finish joint seventh along with Craig Williams and Yuichi Fukunaga. The victorious Take scored 71 points to take the overall title. Yuga Kawada was runner-up with 59 points and Kohei Matsuyama was third with 58 points.


In the team contest, Team JRA took the plaudits with an overall tally of 284 points to Team World All-Stars 174 points.


Ho also partnered Meiner Gerodi in the G3 Keeneland Cup (1200m, turf) today, but the Masato Nishizono-trained runner could only rally for ninth position.


Ho said: “I am already delighted to have the chance to be invited by the Japan Racing Association to participate in this event, either win or lose it’s not a big problem for me as like other jockey’s invitation races, rides are allocated through random draws.


“It is a good experience for me, in particular it is my first time riding at Sapporo Racecourse. Overall speaking, I am happy to ride in Japan.


“Thanks to trainer Takayuki Yasuda and big owner/breeder Northern Farm who made this trip possible for me. I would also like to express my gratitude to trainer Yoshito Yahagi who engaged me to ride Kafuji Octagon to win a Group 3 race. Also, thanks to my agent in Japan who all along was keen on finding opportunities for me, and indeed many trainers did support me with quality rides, which was pleasing.


“Also I had the chance to visit Northern Farm and was happy to have a reunion with Loves Only You. I also visited a number of stallions there which was another unforgettable memory for me,” Ho said.


Ho concludes his one month riding stint in Japan with five wins. He will now return to Hong Kong in preparation for the 2022/23 season, which kicks off on Sunday, 11 September at Sha Tin. 

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