RIYADH: Saudi Cup organizers have released a documentary titled ‘Japanese Domination’ featuring the four winning trainers and jockey — looking back on Japan’s astonishing four-timer at the world’s most valuable race meeting in 2022.
Winning jockey, Christophe Lemaire, recalls what he describes as a “dream” and something that he “couldn’t believe happened” on that night at King Abdulaziz Racecourse, while Japanese racing journalist Naohiro Goda speaks with winning trainers Yoshito Yahagi, Tetsuya Kimura, Toru Hayashi and Keisuke Miyata.
The short film also investigates the reasons behind Japan’s success overseas, as well as looking forward to their contenders at this year’s Saudi Cup meeting, which takes place on Feb. 24-25
Kimura, trainer of Authority, describes his emotions while watching his charge land the opening 1351 Turf Sprint: “I think I was cool during the race, watching Authority with philosophy. But at the conclusion of the race, I could not control my mind and my supressed feelings burst out.”
Journalist and broadcaster Goda also investigates the reasons behind Japan’s recent success on the international stage. Yahagi comments: “Prize money in Japan has been very good and owners are willing to make a big investment in horses. It enables breeders to improve the pedigree of mares and sires.”
The seven-minute feature closes by looking at Japan’s chances at this year’s Saudi Cup meeting. Kimura believes that “the Japanese entries for this year’s Saudi Cup night are stronger than last year,” while Yahagi jokes, “I want to win all four races.”