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Badel wins final leg of World All-Star Jockeys series, ranks fifth overall

August 28, 2023 at 4:10:50 AM

Hong Kong representative Alexis Badel rounded out his debut World All-Star Jockeys appearance on a high note as he opened his Japan account on the second and final day of the World All-Star Jockeys series at Sapporo Racecourse, Japan today (Sunday, 27 August), winning atop Festes Band in the fourth and the final leg of the competition in the 1800m turf event.

Hong Kong representative Alexis Badel rounded out his debut World All-Star Jockeys appearance on a high note as he opened his Japan account on the second and final day of the World All-Star Jockeys series at Sapporo Racecourse, Japan today (Sunday, 27 August), winning atop Festes Band in the fourth and the final leg of the competition in the 1800m turf event.

Jumping well from gate seven, Badel maintained Festes Band in a handy position throughout the race, following leader Win Shukran under Christophe Lemaire. Turning for the home straight, the Frenchman shifted his mount out and the horse responded well to Badel’s coaxing on reaching the final furlong. The final stages were a two-horse race between Festes Band and Win Shukran, but Badel’s mount showed better acceleration to win by a neck. The Mirai Iwata-ridden Win Ruaidh finished third.

Badel said after the win: “Going to the gate I felt Festes Band would be very competitive. She looked very comfortable with the ground and fresh. She did show a good gate speed and I decided to follow the leader, and she showed a good turn of foot at the end and won easily.”

Badel had banked 11 points in Saturday’s two heats to sit joint-tenth at the halfway mark. His other mount on Sunday, Beyond The Scene, finished last in the third leg, but Badel still made his mark with the remarkable win aboard Festes Band. The victory gave him 30 points to take his total score to 42 points, placing him behind just event winner Mirai Iwata (56 points), runner-up Rachel King (55 points), third-placed Yutake Take (54 points) and fourth-placed Marie Velon (44 points) to rank fifth overall.

Badel summed up his first race-riding experience in Japan as a good experience.

He said: “It’s a privilege for me to participate in this event. Thanks JRA (Japan Racing Association) and I am very happy to have a winner. It is a good experience and I am looking forward to coming back.”

Badel also believed the win will be a timely boost for him as he prepares for the new Hong Kong season.

“It’s a great challenge and you need a bit of luck in this kind of race. I am glad that I can win today and very proud to score for Hong Kong. I have learned something in these two days, which will do me good,” he said.

“I am looking forward to the new Hong Kong season. Hopefully I can further improve myself and ride more winners, and achieve my personal best,” Badel added.

In the team contest, Japan’s Team JRA took the plaudits with an overall tally of 235 points to Team World All-Star’s 213 points.

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