Germany's Scardino captures apprentice event in France;
Mizuguchi finishes sixth
Yuya Mizuguchi got a taste of the international stage on Sunday, June 14, when he took part in the fourth edition of the Prix Longines Future Racing Stars, an apprentice jockey held at France's historic Chantilly Racecourse on a G1 day. Unfortunately, Mizuguchi, was only able to manage a sixth-place finish among a field of seven. Germany’s representative Tommaso Scardino was the winning jockey.
The Future Racing Stars is open by invitation to young jockeys under 25 years of age who have won three or more races but not more than 35 races. It gives the young hopefuls an opportunity to savor the excitement of the big time, demonstrate their talent on an international stage and gain valuable experience. The event carries a total purse of 20,000 Euros (about 2.8 million yen), 10,000 Euros of which go to the winner.
The Hippodrome de Chantilly, which is situated about 40 km north of Paris on the grounds of the Chateau de Chantilly, is the oldest racecourse in France and has drawn fans from around the world from the early 19th century. Its marquee race of the year is the Grandes Ecuries, a race named after the venue's French neo-classic spectacular “Grand Stables.”
The race for the apprentice jockeys is the second race on a card of nine. It is an 1,800-meter turf claiming stakes race on one of the most prestigious days in French racing. Also held on the day were the 167th running of the French Oaks, the G1 Prix de Diane, the G3 Prix du Lys, and the G3 Prix Bertrand du Breuil.
German apprentice Tommaso Scardino captured the Prix Longines Future Racing Stars by a winning margin of a length and a half aboard the Mario Hofer-trained 7-year-old gelding Theo Danon.
In the final strides, Theo Danon swooped past Bilge Kagan, who had led for most of the race, for a thrilling finish.
The Irish-bred Bilge Kagan was partnered with Frenchman Pierre Bazire, who had his hands full holding the keen 5-year-old back in the race early stages. Finishing in third place 3 1/2 lengths behind the runnerup, was the 5-year-old gelding Contesurmoi, partnered with Donagh O’Connor of Ireland.
The German-bred Theo Danon, by Lord of England out of the Hernando mare Ticinella, clocked 1 minute 52.94 seconds over the 1,800 meters of turf rated good. The winner raced under 59.5 kg, 2 kg more than the weight carried by Mizuguchi’s mount.
Mizuguchi, who rode the 5-year-old gelding Thats Notall Folks, finished far off the front and 3/4 length ahead of the last-place runner in the small field of seven.
The Japanese rider took the defeat well. Thats Notall Folks raced at the rear of the field the entire race on Sunday and was never a factor. “I wasn’t able to get good results, but the race went as I thought it would, said Mizuguchi. “And, I think I was able to gain some good experience.” Mizuguchi only last month left his former contract stable of Mamoru Ishibashi to ride as a freelance rider. “I plan to ride in Hokkaido this summer and I will do my best there to make use of the things I learned in France,” the young native of Ibaraki Prefecture said.
He added, “I would like to express my appreciation to the sponsors of this event, France Galop and Longines, who invited me to and to all those who supported me in this opportunity to ride.”
Mizuguchi received his JRA license in March of 2010 and rode his first winner some three months later. Riding solely on the flat, he has since ridden 26 more winners from a total of 1,112 rides. So far this year, he has ridden in 95 races and brought three horse to the winner’s circle and placed seven others.
Other participants in the apprentice event at Chantilly were Beau Mertens from Australia, South Africa’s Mathew Thackeray and Burak Averbak of Turkey.
Official Result (please select Date, Racecourse and Race Number)
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Prix de Diane Longines