Japanese Rider Leads Jockeys' Competition

Series began at Tokyo Racecourse Nov. 24 and will conclude as part of Japan Cup card.

Japanese jockey Masayoshi Ebina took a six-point lead into the second day of Japan's 2012 World Super Jockeys Series. The series began at Tokyo Racecourse Nov. 24, the day before the 32nd Japan Cup (Jpn-I), and will conclude as part of the Japan Cup card Nov. 25.

Ebina did not win either of the two races that made up the first day of the series. Instead, he accrued his 28 points by finishing third in the Excellent Jockeys Trophy aboard Niji Bloom and by dead-heating for second in the Fantastic Jockeys Trophy aboard West End. Niji Bloom is a 4-year-old gelded son of Dance in the Dark--Tayasu Bloom, by Caerleon, and West End is a 4-year-old colt by Pivotal--Stage School, by Sunday Silence.

Hong Kong-based Zachary Purton won the Excellent Jockeys Trophy on 3-year-old Shonan Lambsey (Dance in the Dark--Focal Star, by White Muzzle) and is in second place in the series with 22 points. Ranking third with 21 points is Isao Yamaguchi, who won the Fantastic Jockeys Trophy on 4-year-old Bravosky (Stravinsky--Bravo Sunrise, by Sunday Silence).

The series pits seven local riders against eight jockeys from around the world. For 2012, the foreigners include Purton, John Murtagh of Ireland, William Buick and Ryan Moore of England, Andrasch Starke of Germany, Christophe Soumillon of France, Mirco Demuro of Italy, and Craig Williams of Australia. Joining Ebina and Yamaguchi on the Japanese team are Hiroyuki Uchida, Yoshitomi, Shibata, Yasunari Iwata, Suguru Hamanaka, and Kenichi Ikezoe.

Ikezoe is slated to pilot Orfevre in the Japan Cup. Drawn on the outside, Orfevre is the likely favorite, not only because he is a local horse, but because he narrowly lost the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) to France's Solemia. Olivier Peslier will ride Solemia in the Japan Cup from post 14. Another local favorite is the 3-year-old filly triple crown winner Gentildonna, who will be ridden by Iwata from post 15.

Many of the World Super Jockeys Series participants also have mounts in the Japan Cup: Ebina on Fenomeno of Japan, Buick on Jaguar Mail of Japan, Moore on Mount Athos of England, Uchida on Meisho Kampaku of Japan, Hamanaka on Oken Bruce Lee of Japan, Demuro on Dark Shadow of Japan, Williams on Rulership of Japan, and Soumillon on Tosen Jordan of Japan.