Joe Fujii won the Grand Prix Stakes, Korea’s most prestigious race on Gamdonguibada at Seoul on December 9th, becoming the first foreign rider to do so. However, it had been a quiet start to 2013 for the Japanese jockey.
After the Grand Prix, he had to sit out the remainder of the season and the start of this after picking up an 8-meeting ban after his mount was slow into stride in a race at Busan (Fujii believed his horse to be injured).
Things changed this past Sunday though as Fujii landed a treble, guiding Raon Bally, Raon Boss and Myeongun Jewang to victory. Fujii’s compatriot Narazaki Kosuke was also among the winners, keeping him in 2nd place in the Busan Jockey Championship.
Fujii now has 34 wins from 236 rides at Busan while Kosuke has 62 from 462. A new foreign jockey arrives in Korea this week – a big name from Europe.
All three of Fujii’s winners were for Busan’s leading trainer Kim Young Kwan. Kim also trains Gamdonguibada and the champion filly is tentatively scheduled to make her 2013 debut at Busan next Sunday. Also coming up on Sunday, on Busan’s first really big race day of the year, is the Busan Ilbo Cup. While Dangdae Bulpae is set to be the overwhelming favourite, trainer Kim has two runners likely to start and Fujii could be in the frame to ride one of them.