2019 World All-Star Jockeys - Jockey Profiles

This Year The World All-Star Jockeys event will be held on 24th & 25th of August 2019.

2018 World All-Star Jockeys.
2018 World All-Star Jockeys. Picture: Japan Racing Association

New Zealand

Lisa Allpress

Date of Birth :  May 20, 1975
'17/'18 Season Record :  367 mounts, 56 wins / NZ$ 1,148,029
'18/'19 Season Record :  815 mounts,133 wins / NZ$ 2,480,653
Recent Career Highlights :  '19 New Zealand Oaks (G1, Sentimental Miss)
 '16 Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes (G1, Luna Rossa)
Participation in the WASJ  :  1st

An established leading jockey in New Zealand, Lisa Allpress made a remarkable comeback after two slow seasons due to injuries and completed the 2018/19 season at the top of the jockey's premiership for the third time with 133 wins which included her sixth Group One title in the New Zealand Oaks with Sentimental Miss. A known figure in Japan from her past stints, she will make her first appearance in the coming World All-Star Jockeys this year.

Born in Stratford, New Zealand, Allpress worked as a vet nurse before signing an apprenticeship with trainer Kevin Gray at the age of 20. She marked her first win in 1996, already rode 84 winners in her sixth season and registered more than 100 annual wins for the first time in 2009/10. Married to trainer Karl Allpress and a mother of two, she captured her first Group One title in New Zealand in the 2010 Captain Cook Stakes with We can Say It Now and was runner-up in the jockey standings with 145 wins at the end of the 2010/11 season.

Following Lisa Cropp, she became the second female jockey to win the national jockey's premiership in 2011/12 with 159 wins, and the first female jockey to reach 1,000 career-wins the following season when she earned another G1 title in the Hawke's Bay Challenge Stakes with Ocean Park. She added a second premiership title in 2015/16 when she tallied a personal best of 171 annual wins while notching three G1 victories—the Levin Classic (Dukedom), the Herbie Dyke Stakes (Valley Girl) and the Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes (Luna Rossa).

Allpress has experience riding in Australia, Macau, Malaysia as well as in Singapore where she claimed the 2002 Lion City Cup aboard Classic Marco and was eighth there in the 2014 jockey standings with 40 wins. She also took part in the 2013 Shergar Cup in Great Britain. While yet to claim a feature race title in Japan, she has a record of 11 wins among 241 starts while riding under short-term licenses in 2002, 2015 and 2016. She is well known for her impressive runner-up effort in the G3 Niigata Daishoten with lightly favored Nakayama Knight in 2015.

United States

Julien Leparoux

Date of Birth :  July 15, 1983
'18 Season Record :  733 mounts, 99 wins / $ 8,171,803
'19 Season Record :  431 mounts, 61 wins / $ 4,517,486
Recent Career Highlights :  '19 Belmont Oaks Invitational (G1, Concrete Rose)
     '18 Sword Dancer Stakes (G1, Glorious Empire)
Participation in the WASJ  :  2nd

Two-time Eclipse Award winner Julien Leparoux registered his first G1 title of this year when guiding Concrete Rose to a 2-3/4-length victory in the Belmont Oaks Invitational Stakes on July 6. The French-born jockey with over 2,600 career victories attracted the attention of Japanese racing fans this year when he partnered with Japanese three-year-old colt Master Fencer in two of the Triple Crown races in the U.S., which resulted in a sixth in the Kentucky Derby and a fifth in the Belmont Stakes.

Born into a racing family in Senlis, France, Leparoux relocated to California, U.S. in 2003 to become an exercise rider for French trainer Patrick Biancone. Debuting in 2005, he immediately rose to prominence, becoming the national leading jockey with 403 wins the following year, which included his first G1 title in the Beverly D. Stakes with Gorella, and was named the Eclipse Award Outstanding Apprentice Jockey.

Continuing to accumulate wins in the following years, he was ranked among the top ten jockeys in earnings in 2006-2007, 2009-2012 and 2017. His career-high third in 2009 included nine G1 titles, which earned him his second Eclipse Award title. He was the fourth jockey to win the Eclipse Award both as an apprentice and a jockey, following three Hall of Fame jockeys, Steve Cauthen, Kent Desormeaux and Chris McCarron.

While without a Triple Crown title, he has scored seven Breeders' Cup victories—the Juvenile Turf (Nownownow) in 2007; the Filly and Mare Turf (Forever Together) in 2008; the Filly and Mare Sprint (Informed Decision), the Juvenile Fillies (She Be Wild) and the Dirt Mile (Furthest Land) in 2009; the Mile (Tepin) in 2015; and the Juvenile (Classic Empire) in 2016. His partnership with Tepin is especially noteworthy as the pair won the Queen Anne Stakes in Royal Ascot in 2016— Tepin become the first U.S.-trained horse to win the race—and went on to win the Woodbine Mile the same year. He claimed three G1 titles last year and added his name to the record books when he became only the seventh jockey to collect 900 wins at Churchill Downs this June.

His first visit to Japan was in 2007 when he was 14th overall. He also rode 12th pick Just as Well in the 2009 Japan Cup and finished seventh.


Mickaelle Michel

Date of Birth :  July 15, 1995
'18 Season Record :  804 mounts, 72 wins / € 1,413,020
'19 Season Record :  184 mounts, 13 wins / € 184,795
Participation in the WASJ  :  1st

The up-and-coming 24-year-old French jockey Mickaelle Michel claimed her 100th career win in May this year after enjoying her best season yet in 2018, during which she became the first woman to top the standings at the Cagnes-sur-Mer winter meeting and set a new record of annual wins by a female jockey. Though this will be her first appearance in Japan, she is sure to excite the Japanese racegoers in the coming World All-Star Jockeys.

Born in Hyeres in southeastern France and raised in a family with no horseracing background, Michel started riding horses from an early age and a week of trial at the apprentice school in Marseille confirmed her desire to become a jockey. Debuting in 2014, she broke her maiden in September at Vesoul Racecourse on board Santa Luna.

After three years of riding under Michel Planard and Bernard Goudot as an apprentice jockey, she relocated to Chantilly in 2017 where she started working for trainer David Smaga. Her encounter with jockey-turned-agent Fred Spanu turned out to be a big breakthrough in her racing career with increasing number of rides starting to come in. With the added advantage of the 2kg weight allowance given to female riders (excluding group and listed races) implemented in March the same year, she started to show great progress, accumulating 17 wins out of 203 starts and emerged to 78th in the jockey's rankings by the end of the season.

In 2018, Michel became the first female jockey to top the Cagnes-sur-Mer winter meeting, beating regular top French riders such as Maxime Guyon and Christophe Soumillon. She also became the first woman to top the French jockeys' table early in the season where she remained for almost three months. She renewed the record for annual wins by a female jockey, surpassing Delphine Santiago's record of 59 when reaching 60 wins in October, and concluded the season with 72 wins, which boosted her ranking to 12th on the national leaderboard. She took part in the International Jockey's Weekend along with fellow jockeys including Maxime Guyon held in Mauritius in December the same year.


Colm O'Donoghue

Date of Birth :  November 13, 1980
'18 Season Record :  315 mounts, 39 wins / € 1,307,256
'19 Season Record :  32 mounts, 2 wins / € 30,118
Recent Career Highlights :  '18 Prix Jacques le Marois (G1, Alpha Centauri)
     '18 Falmouth Stakes (G1, Alpha Centauri)
     '18 Coronation Stakes (G1, Alpha Centauri)
Participation in the WASJ  :  1st

Colm O'Donoghue, partnering with super filly Alpha Centauri, registered four consecutive G1 victories last season—the Irish 1,000 Guineas, the Coronation Stakes, the Falmouth Stakes and the Prix Jacques le Marois—which led the filly to be named the 2018 Champion Three-Year-Old Filly and rated the best three-year-old filly along with Almond Eye in the 2018 World's Best Racehorse Rankings. A familiar figure in Japan, having ridden under JRA's short-term licenses several times, he will be participating in the World All-Star Jockeys for the first time to compete against top jockeys from around the world.

Born in Buttevant in County Cork, southwestern Ireland, the birthplace of the first ever steeplechase race, O'Donoghue, though without any horseracing background in his family, began setting his sights on becoming a jockey while riding ponies and working at stables during the summer. He became an apprentice rider for Aidan O'Brien as soon as he finished his Junior Certificate. He broke his maiden in June 1997, rose to second place in the apprentice jockey rankings in 2001 and landed his first G1 title the following year in the Phoenix Stakes with Spartacus.

He scored numerous G1 titles with O'Brien-trained horses: the 2007 Poule d'Essai des Poulains (Astronomer Royal) and the 2009 Criterium International (Jan Vermeer) in France; the 2010 Canadian International (Joshua Tree) in Canada; the 2011 Irish Derby (Treasure Beach) and the 2014 Irish Oaks (Bracelet) in Ireland; the 2011 Secretariat Stakes (Treasure Beach) and the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes (Together) in the U.S.; and the 2015 Epsom Oaks (Qualify) and the 2016 Yorkshire Oaks (Seventh Heaven) in Great Britain.

O'Donoghue was first jockey for Jessica Harrington between 2016 and 2018, during which he rode many winners including Alpha Centauri. While globe-trotting around the world in the winter, he has claimed three G2 events—the 2012 UAE Derby, the 2017 Al Fahidi Fort and the 2017 Zabeel Mile—in Dubai and a number of major titles in India including the 2007 Indian Derby. After his first visit to Japan with Joshua Tree in the 2010 Japan Cup (10th), O'Donoghue has ridden under short-term licenses in 2011, 2012 and 2018 while marking 10 wins out of 92 starts including the 2018 Copa Republica Argentina (G2) with Perform a Promise.

Hong Kong

Karis Teetan

Date of Birth :  June 3, 1990
'17/'18 Season Record :  588 mounts, 52 wins / HK$ 70,099,585
'18/'19 Season Record :  693 mounts, 84 wins / HK$ 110,674,060
Recent Career Highlights :  '18 Hong Kong Sprint (G1, Mr Stunning)
     '18 National Day Cup (G3, Hot King Prawn)
     '18 Premier Cup (G3, California Whip)
Participation in the WASJ  :  1st

Hong Kong-based Karis Teetan concluded a prosperous 2018/19 season, finishing third on the premiership leaderboard with 84 wins which featured his first international G1 triumph in Hong Kong in the Hong Kong Sprint with Mr Stunning. He also marked two runner-up efforts in two G1 events, the Centenary Sprint Cup with Mr Stunning and the Champions Mile with Singapore Sling. The 29-year-old jockey hopes to become the fourth Hong Kong-based jockey following Douglas Whyte, Zachary Purton and Joao Moreira to claim the JRA's international jockeys championship title in his World All-Star Jockeys series' debut.

Born in Mauritius, Teetan began riding from a young age in his homeland and entered the South African Jockey Academy at the age of 14 where he thrived to show great potential from the beginning of his career, grabbing the South African champion apprentice title of the 2007/08 season. He continued to fare well, placing himself within the top 10 in the jockey rankings over three seasons from 2010/11 to 2012/13. In 2012, he captured three G1 titles in South Africa—the Paddock Stakes with Thunder Dance, the Cape Derby and the Daily News 2000 with Jackson—along with two more in Mauritius and Zimbabwe. Teetan also represented South Africa in the 2008 Macau Apprentice Jockeys Invitation Races and the 2012 International Jockeys' Invitational in Korea. With nearly 500 wins in his pocket, the Mauritian decided to follow the footsteps of fellow South African-based jockeys Douglas Whyte and Felix Coetzee and transferred to Hong Kong in 2013.

Teetan made a stunning debut in Hong Kong when he won his very first ride and eventually registered 50 wins that season, finishing fourth in the 2013/14 rankings. Apart from the 2014/15 season, he has never failed to make the top five and has accumulated major titles such as the 2014 Chairman's Trophy and the 2015 Premier Bowl with Able Friend, the 2015 Hong Kong Classic Cup with Thunder Fantasy, and the 2016 Sha Tin Trophy with Designs on Rome. He broadened his horizons in 2016 when he claimed the Korea Sprint with Super Jockey in South Korea and the EW Barker Trophy with Lim's Cruiser in Singapore.

The "Mauritian Magician" is not an unfamiliar face in Japan with a record of 7 wins out of 75 starts riding under short-term licenses in the summers of 2016 and 2017. He also steered Hong Kong raider Blizzard to fifth in the G1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen in March last year.

JAPAN (NAR Representative; Oi)

Fumio Matoba

Date of Birth :  September 7, 1956
'19 Season Record* :  392 mounts, 30 wins *NAR only
Career Record :  41,351 mounts, 7,229 wins *NAR only
Recent Career Highlights :  '18 Tokyo Kinen (Stern Glanz)
     '17 Tokyo Cinderella Mile (Nishino Rapid)
     '17 Sparking Summer Cup (Keiai Leone)
Participation in the WASJ  :  2nd

NAR jockey Fumio Matoba continues to fascinate racing fans with his distinctive riding style, accumulating more than 7,200 wins among 41,300 rides in his 47-year career. Currently standing at seventh on the Oi Racecourse jockey leaderboard, the 62-year-old legend will make his second JRA international jockeys' competition appearance in hopes of improving on his 2009 performance while renewing his own record as the oldest jockey to ride in a JRA race.

Under the influence of his older brother, a former jockey and trainer, Matoba kicked off his career at Oi Racecourse in 1973 at the age of 17. His annual wins exceeded 100 for the first time in 1983, earning him his first Oi Racecourse's leading jockey title with 129 wins. He retained the title for 20 consecutive seasons from 1985 to 2004, during which he registered his career-best of 363 seasonal victories in 2002 and captured back-to-back NAR's national champion jockey titles in 2002 and 2003.

The Fukuoka-born jockey steadily tallied wins, reaching milestones of 1,000 NAR wins in 1987, 3,000 in 1999, 5,000 in 2006, 6,000 in 2010, and finally broke the NAR record set by Takemi Sasaki when he registered his 7,152th win on August 12, 2018. Named the "Emperor of Oi" by his fans, Matoba has won four NAR Grand Prix titles—Special Award in 1999 and 2018, Best Jockey in 2003 and Grand Prize Jockey in 2017—and was awarded the Japan Professional Sports Award's Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999.

While exchange races between JRA and NAR gradually increased from 1995 and competition intensified as a result, Matoba nonetheless claimed NAR titles at the highest level such as in the 1997 Teio Sho with Concert Boy, and the 2007 Teio Sho and 2008 Kashiwa Kinen with Bonneville Record. He has won numerous local major races at Oi and at other NAR tracks, but is still out of reach of a much-desired title, the Oi's Tokyo Derby, despite ten previous runner-up efforts.

During his phenomenal career, he has been given opportunities to ride in JRA races since 1986 and has marked 4-8-5 out of 126 starts while notching three thirds in G3 events. He was an overall 15th in the 2009 World Super Jockeys Series.

JAPAN (NAR Representative; Hyogo)

Tomohiro Yoshimura

Date of Birth :  December 26, 1984
'19 Season Record* :  693 mounts, 184 wins *NAR only
Career Record :  14,140 mounts, 1,800 wins *NAR only
Recent Career Highlights :  '19 Hyogo Derby (Ban Rose Kings)
     '19 Hyogo Daishoten (A Shin Nispa)
     '19 Hagakure Daishoten (A Shin Nispa)
Participation in the WASJ  :  1st

2018 NAR national champion jockey Tomohiro Yoshimura who is currently at the top of the NAR rankings with 184 wins, celebrated his first Hyogo Derby victory with Ban Rose Kings earlier this year. He secured his ticket as the NAR representative in the coming World All-Star Jockeys by marking two wins, an eighth and a 13th and capturing the NAR Jockey's Championship title in the four-race series.

Born and raised in an environment alien to racing, the Osaka native studied at NAR's Racing Education Center and made his debut in April of 2002 as a registered jockey of the Hyogo Prefectural Racing Association. Steadily accumulating wins, he claimed his first major title in the Tokai Queen Cup with Hatsune Dogo in 2005. In the Hyogo area rankings, Yoshimura made the top ten in 2006 and has never finished out of the top five since 2012. He claimed 100 annual wins for the first time in 2013 and reached a milestone of 1,000 career wins in 2016.

In 2017, Yoshimura's annual wins exceeded 200, contributing to a career-high in rankings where he finished the season in third. His dramatic progress in performance continued the following year when he captured the Nojigiku Sho (Tulipa), the Sonoda Princess Cup (Lirico) and the Hyogo Queen Cup (Nanayon Harbor) and renewed the record of most annual wins in the Hyogo area with 289 wins. He capped off the 2018 season as NAR's leading jockey and was awarded the NAR Grand Prix Best Jockey (Races Won) title.

In his 17-year career, Yoshimura has notched numerous major titles in Hyogo such as the Shinshun Sho (Key Pocket) and the Kounotori Sho (Cosmo Hallelujah) in 2010, the Sonoda Challenge Cup (Cosmo Pixie) in 2011 as well as the Shinshun Sho (A Shin Nispa), the Sonoda Princess Cup (Sara Hime) and the Hyogo Wakakoma Sho (Tulipa) in 2017. He has also claimed graded victories at other NAR tracks—the 2010 Fukuyama Himba Tokubetsu (Key Pocket), the 2010 Kenrokuen Junior Cup (Elway Oja), the 2016 Gifu Kin Sho (A Shin Nispa) and the 2018 Lotus Crown Sho (Super Jet).

Yoshimura's first outing in JRA racing was in 2005 where he holds a record of 0-1-1 out of 14 rides which include three G2 events—the 2005 Rose Stakes (Hatsune Dogo; 15th), the 2010 Daily Hai Nisai Stakes (Elway Oja; 10th) and the 2011 Swan Stakes (Cosmo Pixie; 18th).

JAPAN (JRA, Ritto Training Center)

Suguru Hamanaka

Date of Birth :  December 9, 1976
'19 Season Record :  326 mounts, 36 wins / ¥ 979,963,000
Career Record :  9,041 mounts, 995 wins
Recent Career Highlights :  '19 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby, G1, Roger Barows)
     '19 Arlington Cup (G3, Iberis)
Participation in the WASJ  :  4th

Suguru Hamanaka earned his ticket to the World All-Star Jockeys by winning the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) this year. He claimed his first graded win in more than a year and a half in this year's Arlington Cup (G3) with Iberis in April and went on to capture his first Derby title in his sixth challenge by guiding 12th-pick Roger Barows to a neck victory in record time. He rode Master Fencer in the Belmont Derby Invitational (13th) in July. He is just five wins short of 1,000 career wins (JRA only) as of July 21.

Learning to ride horses in his hometown Kokura, Fukuoka Prefecture, Hamanaka entered the JRA Horse Racing School in 2004 and made his debut in March 2007 at Chukyo Racecourse as a stable jockey for trainer Masahiro Sakaguchi. He landed his first win a month later in April and concluded his debut season with 20 wins. He quickly emerged as a potential star jockey, scoring 73 wins the following year, which included his first grade-race victory in the Kokura Nisai Stakes (G3), and finished his apprenticeship by claiming his 101st career win in the spring of 2009. He scored his first G1 and classic title that year in the Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) with eighth-pick Three Rolls.

Rapidly climbing the jockey rankings, Hamanaka notched 69 wins in 2010, 86 wins in 2011 and exceeded the 100 mark for the first time in 2012, concluding the season with 131 wins to become JRA's leading jockey at the age of 24—the third youngest following Yutaka Take (at age 20 in 1989) and Yoichi Fukunaga (at age 22 in 1970). He continued to turn in consistent results in the following two seasons, exceeding 100 wins and ranked third in both. Though his performances have been unsatisfactory since, dropping to 17th in the jockey rankings with 66 wins in 2018, he has succeeded in demonstrating his riding skills with his upset victory in the Derby this year. His JRA-G1 titles so far include the 2013 February Stakes with Grape Brandy, the 2014 NHK Mile Cup and the 2016 Mile Championship with Mikki Isle, the 2014 Shuka Sho with Shonan Pandora, the 2015 Yushun Himba and Shuka Sho with Mikki Queenand the 2015 Tenno Sho (Autumn) with Lovely Day.

The coming World All-Star Jockeys will be his fourth participation, his first since 2014 when he was the overall champion.

JAPAN (JRA, Ritto Training Center)

Christophe Lemaire

Date of Birth :  May 20, 1979
'19 Season Record :  323 mounts, 72 wins / ¥ 2,220,413,500
Career Record :  5,222 mounts, 1,026 wins
Recent Career Highlights :  '19 Tenno Sho (Spring) (G1, Fierement)
     '19 Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas, G1, Saturnalia)
Participation in the WASJ  :  6th

Christophe Lemaire represents JRA as the Most Valuable Jockey of the 2018 season when he also won the JRA Grand Prize, given to those that have dominated all three flat jockey titles and only won by two others, Yukio Okabe and Yutaka Take, before him. The 2018 World All-Star Jockeys champion reached his 1,000th JRA win on April 29 in his 5,122nd career starts, the fastest in JRA history, and has racked up four G1 titles within and outside Japan; the Dubai Turf with 2018 Horse of the Year Almond Eye, the Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) with Gran Alegria, the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) with Saturnalia and the Tenno Sho (Spring) with Fierement, in the first half of the 2019 season.

Born in Chantilly as the son of Patrice Lemaire, a leading jump jockey in the '80s, Lemaire began as an amateur rider in 1996 at the age of 16 and started riding professionally after acquiring his license in 1999. He landed his first G1 title in France in the 2003 Prix Jean Prat and was soon among the top jockeys at home and a rising star internationally with G1 titles in France, England, the UAE, Australia, Hong Kong and the United States. Lemaire began racing in Japan from 2002 under short-term licenses, during which he scored five G1 victories in the Arima Kinen (2005 Heart's Cry), the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup (2008 Little Amapola), the Japan Cup Dirt (2008 Kane Hekili, 2013 Belshazzar) and the Japan Cup (2009 Vodka).

The French native, since debuting as a regular JRA jockey in 2015, has already become the national leader twice and collected 62 grade-race titles, 20 of which are at the highest level, and has partnered with multiple-G1 winners such as Major Emblem, Satono Diamond, Soul Stirring, Rey de Oro and Almond Eye. He renewed a number of JRA records in 2018 during which he exceeded long reigning Yutaka Take in annual wins (215 wins), annual G1 titles (eight) and annual earnings (4,660,235,000 yen). His JRA Award Best Jockey titles so far include two for Races Won (2017-18), three each for Money Earned (2016-18) and Winning Average (2015, 16, 18), and one for Grand Prize (2018) as well as two for Most Valuable Jockey (2017-18).

JAPAN (JRA, Miho Training Center)

Keita Tosaki

Date of Birth :  July 8, 1980
'19 Season Record :  524 mounts, 75 wins / ¥ 1,608,435,000
Career Record :  7,039 mounts, 1,013 wins
Recent Career Highlights :  '19 Flora Stakes (G2, Victoria)
     '19 Hanshin Daishoten (G2, Sciacchetra)
     '19 Kyodo News Hai (G3, Danon Kingly)
Participation in the WASJ  :  7th

Keita Tosaki, a three-time champion jockey since switching to JRA from NAR six years ago, reached a milestone of 1,000 career wins (JRA races only) on June 29. He has yet to claim a G1 title this year while just missing by a neck margin in the Tenno Sho (Spring), the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) and again in the Yasuda Kinen—he finished third in the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) and the Victoria Mile. However, with three grade-race titles among 72 wins in JRA, he leads all jockeys in the eastern area and is ranked second on the national leaderboard. His best score among six WASJ challenges was an overall second in 2017 but he will be aiming for an even better position as WASJ champion this year.

Tosaki's career began in 1998 at Oi Racecourse as a stable jockey for trainer Kazutaka Katori. He rode his first winner in April that year, scored his 100th win in 2002 and landed his first major title in the Twinkle Lady Sho in 2005. In the following year, he nearly doubled his wins to 123, then rose to third in NAR's national jockey rankings with 212 wins in 2007, the year when he scored his first JRA win at Hanshin Racecourse. This began a remarkable string of success for the four-time NAR leader of 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012 who was given more opportunities on JRA mounts. He scored his first JRA grade-race win in 2010 in the Musashino Stakes with Glorious Noah followed by his first JRA-G1 victory in the 2011 Yasuda Kinen with Real Impact.

Transferred to JRA racing in 2013, Tosaki quickly placed himself among the top five jockeys nationally with 113 wins in 2013 including a G1 title with Red Reveur in the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies. He was leading jockey by a comfortable 10-win margin in 2014 with 146 wins and led by nine again to defend his title with 130 wins in 2015. He reached a personal best of 187 wins for his third champion title in the following year but was second to Christophe Lemaire with 171 wins in 2017. His major career titles include the 2014 Arima Kinen with Gentildonna, the 2015 and 2016 Victoria Mile and the 2015 Sprinters Stakes with Straight Girl as well as the 2018 Satsuki Sho with Epoca d'Oro. Besides being JRA's Best Jockey (Races Won) between 2014 and 2016, he was also named the Most Valuable Jockey based on his wins, winning average, earnings and mounts in designated NAR and overseas races in all three seasons.

JAPAN (JRA, Ritto Training Center)

Yuga Kawada

Date of Birth :  October 15, 1985
'19 Season Record :  354 mounts, 91 wins / ¥ 1,988,378,000
Career Record :  9,755 mounts, 1,316 wins
Recent Career Highlights :  '19 Milers Cup (G2, Danon Premium)
     '19 Hanshin Himba Stakes (G2, Mikki Charm)
     '19 Japan Dirt Derby (Chrysoberyl)
Participation in the WASJ  :  4th

Yuga Kawada is currently on top of the national rankings in wins, earnings and striking rate with 88 wins (JRA races only). While claiming NAR's Japan Dirt Derby and eight graded JRA races, he has yet to win a JRA-G1 title this year, although he has marked runner-up efforts in both the Osaka Hai and the Takarazuka Kinen with Kiseki as well as a second and a third in the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) and the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby), respectively, with Velox. He registered his 1,300th JRA win in June and is accumulating wins at a pace that exceeds his personal best of 135 wins in 2016. The 33-year-old Kawada, who is aiming to capture his first leading title, will also aim for his first champion title in the coming World All-Star Jockeys as well as his first challenge in the Shergar Cup held two weeks prior to the WASJ. 

Born into a racing family—his father and uncle are jockey-turned-trainers, his grandfather was a trainer at Saga Racecourse (NAR)—Yuga started learning to ride at an early age and made his debut in March 2004. He registered his first win two weeks later at Hanshin Racecourse and concluded his debut year with 16 wins then gradually accumulated more wins in the following years while landing his first graded title in the Kokura Daishoten (G3) in 2006.

His big break came in 2008 when he won his first G1 and classic title with Captain Thule in the Satsuki Sho and marked 73 wins that included six grade-race victories. His ranking boosted to ninth in 2010 with 83 wins and his annual wins reached the three-digit figure for the first time the following year, which placed him third on the leaderboard with 109 wins. He has been consistently ranked within the top seven since then, his highest ranking being a second in 2013, and received the JRA Award for Best Jockey (Winning Average) in 2013 and 2014.

His G1 wins so far include the Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) with Big Week in 2010; the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) with Gentildonna in 2012; the Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) with Harp Star and the Queen Elizabeth II Cup with Lachesis in 2014; the Yasuda Kinen with Maurice and the Takarazuka Kinen with Lovely Day in 2015; the Tokyo Yushun with Makahiki in 2016 when he became the eighth jockey in history to claim all five classic races for three-year-old colts and fillies; the Yasuda Kinen with Satono Aladdin and the Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes with Danon Premium in 2017; and the Takamatsunomiya Kinen and the Sprinters Stakes with Fine Needle in 2018.

His past performances in JRA's international jockeys' competitions are seventh in 2011, 15th in 2013 and 10th in 2016.

JAPAN (JRA, Miho Training Center)

Nanako Fujita

Date of Birth :  August 9, 1997
'19 Season Record :  403 mounts, 22 wins / ¥ 321,580,000
Career Record :  1,673 mounts, 67 wins
Participation in the WASJ  :  1st

Nanako Fujita added another accomplishment to history book when she became the first Japanese female jockey to ride a G1 event in the February Stakes with Copano Kicking and finished fifth. She also demonstrated her skills overseas when she won the champion title in the Women Jockeys' World Cup in Sweden on June 30 where she scored 2 wins, a second, a fifth and a sixth. She will also becomethe first female Japanese representative to take part in the prestigious Shergar Cup on August 10. The only active female JRA jockey has earned her way to becoming the first JRA member to take part in the World All-Star Jockeys.

Born into a non-racing family in Ibaraki Prefecture, Fujita had nothing to do with horses or horse riding as a child, practicing kendo (Japanese martial arts, swordmanship) and karate up to her junior high-school years. She first became attracted to horse racing through watching the sport on television, attended and graduated the JRA Horseracing School and became apprentice to Yasuhiro Nemoto stable, making her racing debut in March of 2016 as the seventh female JRA jockey and the first in 16 years. She registered her first career victory at NAR's Urawa Racecourse on March 24 and scored her first JRA victory at Fukushima Racecourse on April 10 that year.

Her debut season concluded with six wins out of 294 rides among which she had the chance to ride in two graded events. She more than doubled her score to 14 wins out 382 mounts in her sophomore year, renewing the record of annual wins by a female jockey, then reached a new career record by a female jockey when claiming her 35th career win on August 25 last year. Her 27 wins from 605 rides that year ranked her at 18th in eastern Japan and 42nd on the national leaderboard. She has ridden in 15 graded stakes—a fourth in the Tanabata Sho (G3) in July this year being her best score—and also turned in a runner-up effort in NAR's major event, the Tokyo Sprint in April.

Fujita was invited to ride abroad prior to her visits this year to Sweden and the United Kingdom, taking part in the 2016 Ladies World Championship in United Arab Emirates and the 2017 International Mixed Doubles Jockeys Challenge in Macau.

JAPAN (JRA, Ritto Training Center)

Yutaka Take

Date of Birth :  March 15, 1969
'19 Season Record :  362 mounts, 65 wins / ¥ 1,301,396,500
Career Record :  21,752 mounts, 4,081 wins
Recent Career Highlights :  '19 February Stakes (G1, Inti)
     '19 Nikkei Sho (G2, Meisho Tekkon)
     '19 Tokai Stakes (G2, Inti)
Participation in the WASJ  :  25th

Yutaka Take continues to produce impressive results as Japan's longstanding top jockey. The legendary jockey reached a milestone of 4,000 career wins in JRA alone in September last year and has not missed a year without a grade-race victory in 33 years since his debut. He is currently ranked fifth in JRA's national standings with 63 wins as of July 21 which includes three graded wins such as the G1 February Stakes with Inti. The former World Super Jockeys Series champion of 1992 who finished second last year—he has been runner-up in the event seven times before that—hopes to claim his second title this year.

The third son of late trainer Kunihiko Take, Yutaka started riding at 10 and has continued to renew practically every record available. He debuted in 1987 and immediately stood out with 69 wins. An 18-time champion jockey in 1989, 1990, 1992-2000 and 2002-2008, he exceeded 200 wins for three consecutive years starting in 2003, culminating with a record 212 wins in 2005. By 2007, he had become the youngest to reach a number of milestones including an unprecedented 3,000th win.

His first G1 and classics win was with Super Creek in the 1988 Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) and his first Derby title came with Special Week 10 years later. Take became the first JRA jockey to ride a G1 winner overseas when he claimed the 1994 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp with Andre Fabre-trained Ski Paradise. He also rode the first Japanese-trained G1 winner abroad when guiding Seeking the Pearl to victory in the 1998 Prix Maurice de Gheest. He has 24 wins overseas at group-race level including seven G1 events in the United Kingdom, France, Hong Kong and Dubai combined.

Take celebrated his 100th G1 (NAR and overseas included) victory when claiming the Mile Championship with Tosen Ra in 2013. He has a record of 334 grade-race wins in JRA alone, among which 76 are at G1 level. Horses he guided to victories and subsequently won them Horse of the Year titles include Inari One, Oguri Cap, Air Groove, Deep Impact, Vodka and Kitasan Black. Since his first JRA Award title as a newcomer in 1987, he has won 18 jockey titles for Races Won, 16 for Money Earned, 11 for Winning Average, nine Grand Prizes given to those that have dominated all three jockey categories in the same season and three Special Awards.

JAPAN (JRA, Miho Training Center)

Kosei Miura

Date of Birth :  December 19, 1989
'19 Season Record :  497 mounts, 61 wins / ¥ 926,244,000
Career Record :  8,498 mounts, 744 wins
Recent Career Highlights :  '19 Nakayama Himba Stakes (G3, Frontier Queen)
     '18 Niigata Daishoten (G3, Suzuka Devious)
     '17 Musashino Stakes (G3, Incantation)
Participation in the WASJ  :  1st

Currently second in the eastern-Japan rankings, 29-year-old Kosei Miura is heaping up wins at a pace that resembles his sensational debut season and is making his first bid in JRA's international jockeys' competition this year. He has claimed 61 wins so far this season, which is highlighted by his Nakayama Himba Stakes (G3) victory with Frontier Queen. He also finished sixth in the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby, G1) with Courageux Guerrier.

Born in Tokyo, Miura fell in love with the sport when taken for a pony ride at a local track as a five-year-old and was involved in a number of sports as well as horse riding from age 11. Already showing talent as a good horse rider and a finalist in the national equestrian junior dressage event in 2003, he was accepted into the JRA Horseracing School and began his training in April 2005. Debuting on March 1, 2008, Miura landed his first career victory in his third start of the day and landed his first grade-race victory with Fifth Petal in the Hakodate Nisai Stakes (G3) in less than five months since his debut. He overhauled the longstanding record of annual wins by a newcomer set by Yutaka Take in 1987 and concluded his debut season with 91 wins—22 wins more than the previous record—to earn a well-deserved JRA Award Best Jockey (Newcomer) title of 2008. He also finished ninth in the national rankings that year.

Miura went on to become the fastest jockey to register 100 career wins in JRA history in February the following year. He also claimed his first overseas victory in England that autumn and was ranked 12th at the end of his sophomore season. While he experienced a downturn in his career when falling to 29th in 2010, his performances were consistent until a life-threatening injury in the summer of 2016. He bounced back remarkably to 16th, landing 68 annual wins last year.

With the exception of 2012, Miura has captured JRA graded titles every year which accumulated to 13 so far. 2011 was his most rewarding season in which he captured multiple graded titles—the G2 Stayers Stakes, the G2 Flora Stakes and the G3 Tokyo Shimbun Hai. Although winless in G1 events, he has two seconds—the Yasuda Kinen with Grand Prix Boss and the NHK Mile Cup with Tagano Burg in 2014—and seven third-place finishes at the highest level. In NAR racing, he claimed the Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun with Dear Domus in 2014.

Japan Racing Association