From the Paulick Report

Suguru Hamanaka.

Suguru Hamanaka.

Topping the standings after the first day, Suguru Hamanaka kept that lead through Sunday to win the World Super Jockeys Series at Tokyo Racecourse over fellow Japanese riders Yuichi Fukunaga, Hironobu Tanabe, and Keita Tosaki (Tanabe and Tosaki tied for third). It was the first win in the series for Hamanaka, who finished second in 2012.

“To have finished at the top of such a high-class line-up of international jockeys is just amazing, and I’m very happy,” said Hamanaka. “I really wanted to win the series and it feels great even though I wasn’t able to win any of the four races. Since we were representing our own countries, there was this pressure that you don’t feel in other races. I’m glad that the Japanese jockeys swept the top three places and I hope it will contribute to boost Japanese racing more.”

It was the first time in 26 years that Japanese riders filled the top three. They also claimed the next two slots, with Masayoshi Ebina fifth and Shuji Akaoka in sixth.

Canadian jockey Luis Contreras finished 13th, with his best ride, a fifth-place finish, coming in the third leg of the series.

Patrick Smullen was the best of the European contenders, finishing seventh. Following him were Germany’s Arnoldus de Vries (eighth), Richard Hughes (tied for ninth), Christophe Soumillon (12th), and Ryan Moore (14th). Soumillon won the day’s feature race, the Japan Cup, aboard Epiphaneia; Ryan Moore was fourth with Gentildonna.

Hong Kong’s Zac Purton finished in a tie for ninth, Australia’s James McDonald finished 11th, and Japanese jockeys Yasunari Iwata and Hiroshi Kitamura tied for 15th place.