Akira Kajiya produced one of the most amazing rides seen in some time on Saturday, guiding It’s Business Time to victory at Cowra despite losing both his stirrups.
Footage of Kajiya’s ride quickly spread all over social media on Saturday, with the sight of the jockey sitting upright and the horse flashing home on the outside an image that will long live with punters at the track.
With little control over the horse, jockey Kajiya was dislodged from the saddle shortly after passing the post but he was up and fist pumping once he realised he’d won.
Allan McRae, the trainer of Business Time, was stunned by Kajiya’s performance.
“He lost his left iron (stirrup) in the run and I saw him looking down soon after the jump but then he lost right one and was in all sorts of trouble,” McRae told Racing NSW.
“I thought this is just another way I’ve found to get beaten, how he still won it I’ll never know. The horse has done it all completely off his own bat.”
McRae also confirmed that Kajiya, who was stood down from the rest of his rides after coming off soon after the finish, luckily landed on the softest part if the track. The fall didn't stop him from dusting himself off for the photos though.
“When he was on the ground and told he was won the race he jumped straight back up to get on the horse to ride him in for the photo,” McRae said.
Kajiya, who is known as 'Arky', didn't ride for more than ten years before only returning this year. The 36-year-old is indentured to leading Canberra trainer Matthew Dale.
The opening event on Saturday, the Cowra Rotary Club CG&E Benchmark 50 Handicap (1100m), was supposed to be a relatively straightforward race for Kajiya.
It’s Business Time had been scratched from the TAB Highway Handicap at Rosehill and jumped as a $2.50 favourite at Cowra.
It wasn’t long before things went pear-shaped for Kajiya, who started bobbing up and down in the saddle, but he managed to stay upright and score an unforgettable victory from Kingston ($6.50) and Benno’s Boy ($5).
Kajiya posted on social media on Sunday morning, stating he had swelling on his left knee and some injuries to arm and leg but was otherwise alright.