David Egan will make his debut in Japan this weekend as part of the World All-Star Jockeys series, with a view to returning on a more regular basis.
The 22-year-old, who partnered Mishriff to success in the world’s most valuable race, the Saudi Cup, in 2021, heads to Sapporo Racecourse in Hokkaido for the Japan Racing Association’s big team event, which is similar to Ascot’s Shergar Cup.
Egan will be part of the World All-Star team who will compete against Team JRA to attain the most points as a team.
“It is a very good opportunity,” Egan said. “I am very honoured to be asked to ride in it by the JRA.
“Obviously I will miss about five or six days of racing in Britain, but I thought the opportunity was too big to miss. Hopefully I can go over and it will be a successful trip.
“There are two days of racing – Saturday and Sunday – there are 12-race cards each day and there are two races each day put aside for the jockeys riding in the challenge.”
Egan is hoping that the event, which is being held for the first time in three years after being cancelled twice due to the Covid-19 pandemic, will be a springboard to further visits to the Far East, where the crowds border on fanatical.
“It will be incredible to see the support,” added Egan. “I have only seen it on social media, but the atmosphere seems electric and just to be asked to go over there is a real privilege.
“Obviously I really wanted to do it, and maybe sometime in the future I might want to go there on a winter stint, as jockeys here have done in the past.
“This trip to Japan is useful from a publicity and promotion perspective.
“I have four rides in the series and then I have an agent who will pick up a few outside rides – I have a couple already that I know of. It will be a great opportunity and I’m really looking forward to it.”