In Kozzi we trust

The revelation that is Canterbury apprentice Kozzi Asano continued his winning roll at Riverton on Wednesday, riding five winners on the eight-race card.

The Japanese 24-year-old has rocketed to the top of the New Zealand Jockeys’ Premiership after his haul of five, with four of those wins for the father-daughter training partnership of Kelvin and Aimee Tyler.

“Kelvin and Aimee Tyler are good trainers and I knew my horses had a good chance, but I didn’t expect to be riding five winners,” Asano said.

“As I rode each winner, I felt more and more confident. By the last race, I was pretty sure I could win.”

Asano is indentured to Riccarton trainer Andrew Carston, following stints with Gary Vile and Kevin Myers in the central districts.

“I didn’t get many rides last season, but a lot of good trainers started putting me on after April.

“With more rides have come more winners and I really appreciate the support I am getting.”

The two kilo-claiming apprentice rode his first stakes winner last weekend when guiding Sentimental Miss to victory in the Listed Wanganui Cup (2040m) for trainer Lisa Latta.

With no equine background, Asano has come a long way in a short space of time. He departed Japan for Australia six years ago with the goal of improving his English.

Remarkably, it wasn’t until a stint strawberry picking on a farm in Queensland until his first introduction to horses that set him on a career path to become a jockey. – NZ Racing Desk

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