Teenage jockey Fujita earns first victory


Eighteen-year-old Nanako Fujita, the Japan Racing Association’s first female jockey in 16 years, claimed her first win on Thursday.

Fujita guided second choice 5-year-old gelding Ascii Code to a bright start in the third race at Urawa Racecourse and went onto win comfortably by two lengths in her 36th career race.

“I’m so happy. I’d like to thank the owner of the horse who let me ride, the trainer and everyone who cared for me along the way,” Fujita said. “My only expression to the horse is thank you.”

Fujita, the JRA’s seventh female jockey, made her debut in a regional race on March 3 at Kawasaki Racecourse before making her central race debut two days later at Nakayama Racecourse, when she finished second. She had another runner-up finish in a regional race before Thursday.

The regional race meets are regulated by local associations in conjunction with the JRA, while the central races are regulated by the JRA and the national government.