Fujita rides Nature Point to runner-up finish at Nakayama Racecourse


Eighteen-year-old Nanako Fujita, the first rookie female jockey from the Japan Racing Association in 16 years, placed second at Nakayama Racecourse in Chiba Prefecture on Saturday.

Fujita, who became the seventh female jockey in the JRA’s history last month, steered third choice 3-year-old colt Nature Point off to a good start in a field of 16 and came down on first choice Penny Wedding, but lost out by three-quarters of a length.

“The mare hung in there,” Fujita said. “I wished we could have given chase when the winning horse raced ahead, but he still used his good legs and had the extra momentum once there was no pack of horses in front.

“I’m looking forward to the next one.”

Fujita, who took part in six regional races on Thursday, will be looking to become the first female jockey to win a title since Yukiko Makihara won in June 2004. There has been no female jockey at the JRA since her retirement in 2013.