Famous People in Japan

Minai Katsumi

Date of Birth 17 January 1953
Place of Birth Kyoto

Minai Katsumi was one of the most famous jockeys in Japan. He is now a horse trainer. He was called "Fighter Minai" because of his riding style and is loved by many horse racing fans.

He was born in January 17th, 1953 in Kyoto, and grew up in Aichi. When he was 18 years old in 1971, he became a jockey. He didn't need such a long time to win the first victory. It was only his second riding.

However, his jockey life was not easy. It was not until 34 years old that he won the Grade 1 race, in 1988. He won the Tenno Sho in spring, riding on Tamamo Cross. This horse and victory changed his jockey life. That year he won 110 times and became a top jockey both in name and reality. In addition, he could ride on Oguri Cap, which was one of the most popular horses, the next year. He won the Grade 1 race named Mile Championship. He wept in spite of his manhood at that time. It fascinated many horse racing fans.

He won many grade races after that. However, he couldn't still win the Nippon Derby, which is the best honor among horseman. Horse Trainer Okubo Masaaki, who knew that asked him to ride on Narita Brian, which was the strongest horse in Japan, in 1993. He won the Nippon Derby next year and became the 14th triple-crowned jockey in history.

The next year he should have gone to the victory road as a top with Narita Brian. However, Narita Brian had trouble in April and he fell off a horse in October. He couldn't win very much after that. His last victory of Grade 1 race was the Takarazuka Kinen, riding on Silence Suzuka in 1998.

In February 28th,1999, he retired as a jockey. He won his last race. From the next month he started his second horse racing life as a horse trainer.

References: Television, A horse racing book named Gallop

Reported by: Naoki Enomoto
Data verified by: Yusaku Nakano
Date of Report: November 1999
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