Japanese jockey Yuga Kawada captured the final leg of the 2019 World All-Star Jockeys at Sapporo Racecourse Sunday afternoon, propelling him to his first championship title with 70 points. Also representing the Japanese team, Christophe Lemaire finished second with 58 points. Kawada, who was competing in the series for the fourth time this year, previously finished a career best seventh in 2011. At the conclusion of Day 1 (Aug. 24), he stood in fourth place with 30 points following a pair of thirds with Ofukuhime (Jpn) and Gold Flag (Jpn) in the first two legs of the series. Fifth with Vocazione (Jpn) in Sunday’s third leg, Kawada clinched the series with a score aboard Precious Blue (Jpn). Kawada also took the G3 Keeneland Cup with Danon Smash (Jpn) Sunday afternoon.
“I always feel relieved to have done my job when I win, but today, I’m delighted to receive this award,” he said. “It’s always a great opportunity for me to compete against top Japanese jockeys and great jockeys that gathered from around the world.”
Included among the riders from aboard, Mickaelle Michel, representing France, tied for third with Hong Kong raider Karis Teetan with 53 points. Julien Leparoux, waving the flag for the U.S., finished eighth with 24 points, while Irish jockey Colm O’Donoghue was 10th with 16 points.
Team JRA led the team competition with 246 points to claim its fifth consecutive title, while Team WAS (World All Star) collected 202 points.