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Aust Jockey Williams Wins Japan Gr1 Tenno Sho
Visiting Australian jockey Craig Williams landed a major Japanese staying success yesterday (& may also have found his next Melbourne Cup mount) when he rode 6YO entire Jaguar Mail (Jungle Pocket-Haya Beni Komachi, by Sunday Silence) to a 0.75-length victory in the ¥278.92 million (A$3.178m) Gr1 Tenno Sho-Spring (3200m) at Kyoto. Former Hollylodge Thoroughbreds & NZ Rich Hill Stud shuttler & 2001 Japanese Horse-Of-The-Year Jungle Pocket (Tony Bin-Dance Charmer, by Nureyev) added a Gr1 triumph when Jaguar Mail (ridden by Williams for trainer Noriyuki Hori) defeated 7YO entire Meiner Kitz (Chief Bearhart-Takara Kanna, by Soccer Boy) who won this race last year & 4YO entire Meisho Dontaku (Manhattan Cafe-Mystic Light, by Machiavellian). Jaguar Mail took his record to 6 wins (plus placings in February's Gr2 Kyoto Kinen over 2200m, 2009's Gr2 Meguro Kinen over 2500m at Tokyo & both 2008's Hong Kong Gr1 International Vase over 2400m at Sha Tin & Japan's Listed Copa Republica Argentina over 2500m at Tokyo) from 17 starts for ¥336,553,200 (A$3.837m) earnings. Racing Victoria international scout Leigh Jordon & Victoria Racing Club chairman Rod Fitzroy were at Kyoto to watch Williams triumph & "reported real interest from Japanese owners & trainers about competing in the 150th Melbourne Cup" noted The Herald-Sun. Jaguar Mail is raced by Katsumi Yoshida (who owned 2006 Melbourne Cup quinella horses Delta Blues & Pop Rock) & Jordon said connections of Jaguar Mail & runner-up Meiner Kitz were "both keen to come for the Cup". Commenting on Jaguar Mail's potential Melbourne appearance, Jordon added: "I don't think you'd get Craig off it. He was very taken with the horse. It was a powerful win."