• Most notable mover on Thoroughbred Racing Commentary’s Global Rankings
+5 Yuichi Fukunaga
The relative scarcity of G1 events in Japan wedded to the ultra-competitive nature of the nation’s top-level racing can make it hard for individual trainers and jockeys to distance themselves from their colleagues in the world list.
As such, Yoshito Yahagi deserves credit for this week’s gain (+5pts, #23 from #30) via the impressive victory of potential superstar Contrail in the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2,000 Guineas) at Nakayama.
Yahagi, who won the Cox Plate last year with Japan’s Horse of the Year Lys Gracieux, was landing his second G1 of the season after Mozu Ascot in the February Stakes. He is currently second in the JRA rankings with 17 winners this term.
However, our choice as rankings star goes to Yuichi Fukunaga, who was seen to such brilliant effect on the unbeaten son of Deep Impact as he overcame a tricky draw on the inside of an 18-runner field. Fukunaga, 43, also makes a 5pt gain as he moves up to #74 (from #84) among jockeys.
Fukunaga became the 11th jockey to win all five Japanese Classics. He has won 26 JRA G1s altogether, plus a nice helping of international success via three G1s in Hong Kong on Eishin Preston, the Dubai Duty Free on Just A Way in 2014 and an American Oaks on Cesario (2005).
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