Meanwhile in … Kawasaki

Horse Racing Hiroshi Morishita jockey
Hiroshi Morishita: became oldest jockey to ride a winner in Japan – then retired two days later.
Photo: Masakazu Takahashi

64-year-old becomes oldest jockey to win in a race in Japan

By Masakazu Takahashi

Japan: A notable achievement at Kawasaki racecourse last week when Hiroshi Morishita became the oldest jockey ever to ride a winner in Japan.

Born on May 4, 1955, Morishita was precisely 64 years and ten months old when he partnered Meiner Mississippi to victory in the ninth race on the March 4 card at Kawasaki, a leading venue on the NAR (National Association of Racing) circuit.

It had been a long time between drinks for the veteran, for whom victory in the 1,500-metre dirt race was his first since January 2019. It was the 2,676th success of a career dating back to November 1973, when he had his first ride (and first win) on Queen Mitsuru, also at Kawasaki.

Two days after last week’s landmark triumph, Morishita announced his retirement following a fourth place (at Kawasaki, naturally); he had 22,994 rides altogether. “I’m not sad because my body has a lot of pain,” he said. 

“After a race, I’ve been getting a lot of pain so I’ve been thinking about stopping since last year but when I won the last race, I felt very good.”

• For more information about racing in Japan, visit the JRA website

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