Japanese jockey Kenichi Ikezoe will be riding at Ascot for the first time on Saturday in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup.
The 37-year-old has enjoyed many high-profile successes in his homeland, including six Group One victories aboard Orfevre, who went on to finish runner-up twice in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. He also partnered last year’s Japan Cup winner Shonan Pandora.
Ikezoe said: “This is my first time in the UK and I arrived on Tuesday.
“I have watched racing from Ascot many times on television. It is very popular back at home, especially Royal Ascot.
“I have spoken to Yutaka Take who gave me some good advice. He told me that the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup is a very lively event. He also gave me some advice about the course at Ascot. He told me it is quite a tough course to ride, with some undulations.
“There is nothing at all like Ascot in Japan, as they tracks tend to be very flat and the ground is nearly always very fast.
“I have ridden in the World Super Jockeys Series in Japan, which Hayley Turner also rode in last year. I have also ridden in a jockeys’ competition in Dubai. I think jockeys’ competitions are great fun to ride in and I think they are good for racing.
“Orfevre is the best horse I have ridden – he really was the horse of a lifetime.
“It was also great winning the Japan Cup on Shonan Pandora. It was my first win in the race and very special.
“I am really looking forward to riding at Ascot on Saturday, I can’t wait.”