Trainer Alford Brown says visit of Japan-born jockey Daisuke Fukumoto augurs well for Ja's racing

By November 24, 2023
Japan-born jockey Daisuke Fukumoto (left) and trainer Alford Brown. Japan-born jockey Daisuke Fukumoto (left) and trainer Alford Brown.

Trainer Alford Brown believes the presence of Japanese-born jockey Daisuke Fukumoto in Jamaica for the Mouttet Mile could be a learning moment for young riders, in particular, provided they grasp the opportunity to engage the reinsman when he visits Caymanas Park.

Fukumoto, who migrated to Canada from Japan in 2015 and rides at the Woodbine racetrack in the North American country, is said to be a big fan of Jamaica’s racing, and by virtue of his close relationship with veteran Shane Ellis, decided to grace local horsemen with his presence at the lucrative Mouttet Mile Invitational scheduled for December 2.

For Brown, who has booked Fukumoto’s services for two rides on that day, the hope is that the jockey’s visit will go beyond entertainment purposes, given the experience and knowledge he could impart to local riders based on his journey so far.

 “He was always eager to come here. So, the opportunity arose, and he jumped on it, purchased his own plane ticket and the promoters got involved by ensuring that he will be comfortable when he gets here,” Brown shared.

“It’s a very good thing for the punter's sake, for racing itself and the entertainment that it provides. More importantly, with the international jockeys being here, they could also teach some of our local riders a thing or two because you know, you learn every day and it doesn’t matter how good you think you are, there is always room for improvements, so it is just a matter of whether or not they are willing to learn,” he told SportsMax.TV.

For two years, Fukumoto studied English throughout the week and spent weekends hanging around at the track trying to catch a break. That break eventually came when trainer Reade Baker gave him a job as a groom.

From there, Fukumoto debuted as an apprentice rider in 2017 and rode his first winner on October 13 that year, his 20th birthday.

Though still fairly young, his career profile on Equibase shows Fukumoto boast a wealth of experience in the saddle with 2,586 starts, including 273 wins, 267 seconds, and 290 third-place finishes. He has career earnings of $10,949,852.

Last year, Fukumoto tallied 55 wins, with his best year in the saddle being 2020 when he rode 69 winners. His tally so far this year stands at 21 winners.

Fukumoto’s visit falls in line with Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL) Executive Chairman Solomon Sharpe and team’s ambitions to expand Jamaica’s racing presence on the international market by having high profile overseas personalities grace the track.

Renowned Gulfstream Park race announcer Peter Aiello recently made an appearance on the Jamaica Cup race card.

Brown agreed that having international jockeys and commentators at the track serves as an endorsement of sorts and only augurs well for Jamaica’s racing product, especially with the Mouttet Mile set to be streamed live in the United States on Fox 5.

“I think with such a high calibre jockey coming down to ride on that day, and the fact that we are going to be televised internationally, is a good look for us and our racing. It will also draw the attention of other riders to maybe one day take up the offer to come to Jamaica and experience our racing, so it can only go forward from here,” Brown noted.

 

Sherdon Cowan

Sherdon Cowan is a five-time award-winning journalist with 10 years' experience covering sports.

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