Japanese owner riding Melbourne Cup luck

Riichi Kondo

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Wealthy Japanese owner Riichi Kondo has instructed his entourage in Australia not to bet on his Melbourne Cup favourite Admire Rakti for fear of “using up too much luck”.

Kondo maintains that betting by his staff who are overseeing the horse would hurt the Caulfield Cup winner’s chances ahead of the A$6.2 million handicap.

Kondo also told Fairfax Media to tell the Australian public the horse was “fit and well” and ready to win.

*View and print Stuff’s Melbourne Cup form guide

“At home in Japan it is very important that when you have a favourite in a race, you must tell the punters that horse is fit and well and OK.

“We would never want punters to lose their money because we were not being honest.” 

Kondo is wearing his heart on his sleeve in his admiration for Australia.

“Since I’ve arrived in Australia, I have just loved the country and the people so much so that I have lost a little interest in Japanese racing back at home,” Kondo said through an interpreter.

 Admire Rakti maintained its position as favourite for the Cup after drawing perfectly in barrier eight, a gate according to Kondo that his “friends and family prayed for”.

It’s understood that those connected with his family and stable went to a Buddhist temple in Tokyo to pray to get barrier eight.

“We got barrier eight in the Caulfield Cup and we won and I think we can win the Melbourne Cup now we’ve drawn barrier eight,” he said.

Kondo indicated that in years to come he would look at investing in Australian yearlings and having them prepared locally, and he is also insistent that he wants to be part of the Melbourne and Caulfield Cups next year.

“I’ve got so caught up in the Melbourne Cup atmosphere that I didn’t take much notice that I’d won a race back in Japan on Saturday afternoon. That’s how engaged I am in this race,” he said.

Admire Rakti is poised to become the second Japanese stayer in a decade to win Australia’s most revered staying event.

“I’m really very keen to come back again. I’m so excited by the racing here and it’s so good to be a part of it.

“The Australian people have so much embraced and helped all those involved with Admire Rakti and that’s made things so much easier,” he said.

Kondo is one of the biggest owners in Japan and races about 100 horses. And he has been a successful businessman with a building and demolition company in Osaka that employs 3000 people.

Kondo was at the forefront of re-inventing Japanese racing in the early 1990s and now the country boasts one of the most revered collections of brood mares and breeding families in the world.

A number of high-class racing mares from Australia have made their way to Japan, including Crown Oaks-winning mare Mosheen and Caulfield Cup winner Southern Speed.  

MELBOURNE CUP FUN FACTS

– First run in 1861, the Melbourne Cup is Australia’s richest and most famous horserace, dubbed ”the race that stops a nation” because of its enormous popularity.

– Originally held over two miles, it was switched to 3200 metres in 1972 when Australia adopted the metric system.

– The race regularly attracts more than 100,000 people at the track while millions more watch on television. Around A$300 million (NZ$338m) is expected to be bet on the race.

– With total prizemoney of A$6.2m (NZ$7m), including A$3.6m (NZ$4.1m) for the winner, it is the second richest race in the world, behind the Dubai World Cup.

– Restricted to 24 runners, the race is open to horses aged three years and older and run under handicap conditions, where horses are allocated weight depending on their age, sex and previous performances.

– Makybe Diva is the only horse to have won the race three times – in 2003, 2004, 2005. Just four others have won the race twice: Archer (1861, 1862), Peter Pan (1932, 1934), Rain Lover (1968, 1969) and Think Big (1974, 1975).

– Bart Cummings is the most successful trainer, having prepared the winner a record 12 times, between 1965 and 2008. The most successful jockey are Bobby Lewis and Harry White, with four wins each.

– The shortest-priced winner of the race is Phar Lap, one of New Zealand’s legendary horses, who won the 1930 race at odds of 8-11. There have been three winners at 100-1, The Pearl (1871), Wotan (1936) and Old Rowley (1940).

– Trained in Ireland, Vintage Crop (1993) was the first horse outside of Australia or neighbouring New Zealand to win the race.

– Just four other horses from the northern hemisphere have won the race: Media Puzzle (Ireland, 2002), Delta Blues (Japan, 2006), Americain (France, 2010) and Dunaden (France, 2011).

– The Age



Source Article from http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/racing/10693599/Japanese-owner-riding-Melbourne-Cup-luck
Japanese owner riding Melbourne Cup luck
http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/racing/10693599/Japanese-owner-riding-Melbourne-Cup-luck
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