Japanese Superstars To Settle Shergar Shootout

This Saturday Ascot Racecourse plays host to the most unique fixture in the racing calendar.

Being a professional jockey is in the main is a very individual profession. Riders usually ride for multiple trainers in the hope of gaining more winners while also fostering relationships with multiple owners to ensure continued success. However at one meeting each year the riders will be switching their regular approach to that of a wider team mentality.

This Saturday’s Shergar Cup will see four teams; Europe, Great Britain & Ireland, The Girls & Rest of the World team do battle for the coveted prize of top team.

Jockey’s come from far and wide to take part in this unique spectacle and this year is no different with representatives bearing the flags of 9 separate countries. Arguably the biggest spectacle however is the representation of Japan who have two shining lights set to grace the Berkshire venue this weekend.

Yuga Kawada has over 1,200 winners to his name and is one of only eight riders in Japanese Racing history to win all five Classic races in Japan. The renowned Japanese is making his Shergar Cup debut and will captain the Rest of the World team, a position previously held by fellow countryman Yutaka Take.

Kawada has previous experience of riding in the UK, having been based here for a brief spell last Summer; principally riding out for trainer Roger Varian. In that time he recorded 4 winners and will be hoping that Saturday can provide him with yet more British success.

In addition, Kawada is joined by fellow compatriot Nanako Fujita. The 21-year-old will form part of the Women’s team alongside last year’s champion Hayley Turner and Australian Jamie Kah.

To date, Fujita has ridden 92 career winners, including her two successes at Sweden’s Bro Park in June where she landed the Womens Jockeys’ World Cup.

With their mounts set to be randomly distributed throughout the day there is not telling how successful the Japanese Jockeys’ or their respective teams will perform on Saturday.

Whatever transpires it’s certainly exciting to have two quality representatives from Japanese racing showcasing their talents on British soil.


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