Japanese Derby draws 62,000 horse-racing fans in Tokyo

The Sports Hochi
Do Deuce, second from left, competes in the Japan Derby at the Tokyo Racecourse on Sunday.

More than 62,000 spectators hoofed it to Tokyo Racecourse in Fuchu, Tokyo, on Sunday, with many betting on the Japanese Derby for 3-year-old colts and fillies.

Third-favorite Do Deuce, ridden by 53-year old Yutaka Take, placed first. The win was greeted with delight by many, and Take was loudly cheered by supporters.

The racecourse counted a total of 62,364 fans on the day, its highest intake since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, reflecting a sharp uptick in attendance following the government’s easing of coronavirus-related restrictions.

In 2020, the event was held without an audience, and last year, only 5,000 people were allowed to attend the popular spring classic.

“I’ve really been wanting to ride in front of lots of spectators,” said Take, who notched up his sixth Japanese Derby win — the most ever. “It’s great to have the support of so many people.”