Ureshi Katsunori

Four-Timer For Form Man Fujii at Busan

Joe Fujii was on top form at Busan this afternoon, taking 4 winners on a day when the entire on-track foreign contingent scored victories.

Four-timer : Joe Fujii

Four-timer : Joe Fujii

Fujii’s winners came in race 4 on Sinheung Gangpung (Yankee Victor) followed by race 6 on First Touch (Volponi).

He completed his treble in race 7 on Miss Quick (Menifee) and wrapped things up with his fourth in race 9 on Yeonseung Gangho (Simon Pure).

It was the Japanese rider’s biggest one-day haul since arriving in Busan in May last year and takes him to 54 winners in all. 24 of these have come in 2013 and he now lies in 3rd in the Jockey Championship.

Fujii’s stint in Korea has been so far – controversial 9-day ban for a slow start aside – a great success including winning the nation’s most prestigious race, the Grand Prix Stakes at Seoul last December.

He studied Korean racing in detail before arriving on the peninsula and his committed approach continues to win admirers. Just the previous evening, Briton Darryll Holland, who began riding at Busan in March had been praising the 30 year-old Fujii through Twitter:

Holland himself was in the winner’s circle today although not necessarily in the manner he would have liked, dead-heating in the feature race on hot favourite Amell’s Atom (Menifee) with 2nd favourite Sand World (Star Dabbler). Amell’s Atom gave Peter Wolsley his 3rd success of the day, following up wins in race 1 with Strong Rain (Turbulent Storm) and race 8 with Heukdancer (Vicar).

To complete a good day for the foreigners on the south coast, Fujii’s countryman Ureshi Katsunori also grabbed a winner, taking race 3 on Plein Soleil (Exploit).

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Weekend Preview

Two Japanese jockeys will be making their debuts this weekend as Ureshi Katsunori has his first Korean ride at Busan on Friday while Ikuyasu Kurakane, one of the most successful foreign jockeys in Korea has returned to the peninsula after a 4 year absence and will ride at Seoul on Saturday.

It’s set to be quite a low-key weekend of racing sadnwiched as it is between last week’s KRA CUp Mile and next week’s Owners’ Cup but nevertheless, there should be plenty to keep punters interested. Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday April 12

Busan Race Park: 10 races from 12:00 to 18:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 13:30 to 17:30

Saturday April 13

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:00 to 17:40
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 12:30 to 17:20

Sunday April 14

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:00 to 18:00
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:50 to 17:00