Northern summer sojourn for Asano

Kozzi Asano
Apprentice jockey Kozzi Asano. Photo: Trish Dunell

Leading apprentice jockey Kozzi Asano has decided to head north to Cambridge for the summer and if everything goes to plan it could be a permanent move.

Previously based in Christchurch with Riccarton trainer Andrew Carston, Asano has had a couple of previous stints in the north, including a few months in Matamata at Wexford Stables under the tutelage of trainer and former top jockey Lance O’Sullivan.

Asano enjoyed his experience in the north and has decided to test the waters over the summer where he will ride work for Cambridge trainer Tony Pike.

“When I came up here the first time I still had a lot to learn. It has been a good journey and I have taken it step-by-step,” he said.

Asano has been enjoying the experience and is looking to feature more prominently at northern meetings over the coming months.

“It’s been great,” he said. “Tony Pike has been looking after me, as well as a few other trainers in Cambridge.

“They have been really supportive and I have got a great manager, Dean Williams, who handles all of my rides. I have been pretty lucky.”

While a return to the South Island is an option, Asano is wanting to give his northern experiment a decent crack.

“I thought I would have a crack at it and Tony Pike was happy to help me out,” he said.

“I will see how I go but I think I will stay here.”

While things didn’t go to plan for Asano with the inclement weather at Matamata on Saturday, he still recorded four placings, including a third in the Group 3 Bonecrusher Stakes (1400m) aboard La Bella Beals.

“It didn’t go as planned,” Asano said. “I had a few rides on favourites on Saturday but some of the horses didn’t handle the track.”

He has turned the page on the weekend and is looking forward to a couple of rides at Hastings on Wednesday, including one aboard debutant Tramonto.

Asano has been riding the three-year-old filly in work for trainer Tony Pike and he is excited about her prospects ahead of the NZB Insurance Pearl Series Race (1200m).

“I have been riding her in track work and she has been working really well,” he said.

“I am not too worried about barrier 10, she has got good gate speed and she can be quiet in the race too, so that’s good.

“I think the horse to look out for his Tuahine, Jamie Richards’ horse.”

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments