By Tony Megahey
The racing and equestrian passions have taken Japanese horseman Daiki Chujo world-wide, and the possibility of training just his third winner at Saturday’s Casino TAB meeting, triggers the same excitement as if he had something remotely like Winx or a Golden Slipper contender in his modest stable.
“I’ve built up to ten horses and ride my own work at Murwillumbah trying to make a career as a jockey or trainer.
"It has taken me all over Europe and the UK to learn but Australia is home now for my wife Yuko and my three little boys,” Daiki enthused, managing his latest enterprise, Japanoz Equine and Racing Stables at Bogangar in Tweed Heads.
Daiki left his home on the outskirts of Tokyo at a tender 16 years to join an Australian riding school. He then spent near a decade working and riding for overseas stables before marrying and returning to the north coast.
“We love it here, it’s taken a while to win a race, Saga Del Mar was just my second winner - she’s been with other trainers, really quirky and didn’t want to be a racehorse. So when she finally won at Lismore for us it was satisfying.
“It was only a maiden but she led and won by three lengths. It’s a harder race but hopefully we’ve worked her out and she might go on with it.
"I was just happy to get an opportunity from the owners when she left the other trainers and to win a race for them. She’s my only runner, but we’ve got a couple more triallers on the day showing some promise.”
Saga Del Mar takes the next step in a Coraki Rural-Hardware Class 2 (1200m) after winning unextended over 1100m at Lismore and the form opposing the Real Saga mare is certainly modest.
“She’s lightly raced for a five-year-old and she’d shown some promise early career and then had a long time off before we got her. She’s shown good speed, worked well since, so hopefully she can run as well as she did in winning the maiden.”
Saga Del Mar will be ridden by Daiki’s Japanese ally Noriyuki Masuda who rode her when she resumed in a Grafton open trial and ran an encouraging second.
Of course, Daiki will be among the masses of racing enthusiasts Australia-wide who will be transfixed to TV trackside at Casino when Winx resumes at Rosehill Gardens prior to the Golden Slipper.
“Yes, will be an amazing day; you always have a hope that sometime in a career you might race a horse in a day like that.”