By Brad Gray
At Rosehill Gardens
Only minutes after champion jockey Hugh Bowman had displayed why he is the best in the business in getting Jolly Honour home at Rosehill Gardens, he was upstaged by Japanese apprentice Akira Kajiya who did the seemingly impossible at Cowra.
The three-kilogram claimer lost both irons on It’s Business Time, who was scratched from Rosehill’s TAB Highway Handicap, and after attempting to ease the $2.50 favourite out of the race somehow, some way he managed to win it! Best let the vision do the talking…
How did it still win?!
Remarkable. It was an incredible display of balance, bravery and horsemanship. Yass-based trainer Allan McRae couldn’t believe what he had seen.
“He lost his left iron in the run and I saw him looking down soon after the jump but then he lost right one and was in all sorts of trouble,” said the winning trainer.
“I thought this is just another way I’ve found to get beaten, how he still won it I’ll never know. The horse has done it all completely off his own bat.
McRae also confirmed that Kajiya, who was stood down from the rest of his rides after coming off soon after the finish, luckily landed on the softest part if the track. The fall didn't stop him from dusting himself off for the photos though.
“When he was on the ground and told he was won the race he jumped straight back up to get on the horse to ride him in for the photo,” said McRae.
Kajiya, who is known as 'Arky' around the tracks, didn't ride for more than ten years before only returning this year. The 36-year-old is indentured to leading Canberra trainer Matthew Dale and will now no doubt have a cult following on the back of his unbelievable Cowra win.
Back to Jolly Honour, rival jockey Adam Hyeronimus, who rode Boomtown Rat, summed it up best walking back to the jockey's room.
“It was ridiculous how slow they went. The only one to show some guts was Bowman and he won the race,” he said.
Punters Intel reveals the first 600m was run in a leisurely 39.81s with Bowman further explaining, “They were going too slow for me. I didn’t want to put that much speed into the race but when I gave him a bit of room to increase the tempo, he really wanted to get on with it.”
“I just let him cruise around from the 600m. It was a very soft first half of the race so I thought he’s going to have to stop, they are not going to run over him, and they couldn’t.”
Chris Waller revealed that Jolly Honour is shortly heading to Hong Kong to continue racing while his stablemate Asterius bled from both nostrils and will incur a mandatory three month ban.
Read more about Akira Kajiya here.