• Kyodo

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Former thoroughbred trainer Kunihiko Take, the father of Japan’s most successful jockey, Yutaka Take, and a successful jockey in his own right, died Friday morning at the age of 77.

“As a horseman, as a father, he was an extremely well respected and a great man,” said Yutaka, who last year became the first jockey to win 300 graded races. “The man I am now is due to my father. I so much wished he could still be looking over me, so I this is so regrettable.

The elder Take, a popular rider who became the first Kansai-based jockey to win 1,000 races, debuted in 1957. In 1972, Take won the Japan Derby aboard Long Ace and two years later won both the Kikka-sho and Satsuki-sho aboard Kitanokachidoki. He retired in 1985 with 1,163 victories — including 80 in major races.

As a trainer, Take won three GI races.

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