31 December 1983, Japan Nara
Permanent Resident in Australia on 12 September, 2008
Fujii has a go-getting attitude and a fantastic work ethic that will certainly put him in good stead for more success to come his way.
２００１ First race ride on Shot Gun, Ballina
２００２ First winner on Bridle Star, Lismore
２００４ First Metropolitan winner on Star folly, Canterbury
２００５ 100th Winner on King Rex, Canterbury
2nd in NSW & 4th in Sydney apprentice premiership
First Cup winner on Winkurra, Orange
4winners at Royal Randwick
２００６ 2nd in Sydney & NSW Apprentice premiership
Goulburn Jockey&Apprentice of the year
２００７ First Group winner on Trigger Express, Chairman's Trophy, Singapore
２０１２ Starting the contract in South Korea
Korean Granprix(G1), Governors Cup(G3)
２０１３ Korean Derby(G1), Korean Oaks(G2), JRA Kokura Cup
2nd in Busan jockey of the year
KRA Fair Play jockey of the year
２０１４ Jeju Cup(G3), KNN Cup(Listed)
Overall winners 400+
Started riding school on 1995
Australian Racing Institute graduated on 2001
Malcorm Tweits(Singapore), Darren Graham(Murwillumbah), Gordon Yorke(Gosford), Noel Mayfield Simth(Hawkesbury)
Successfully ridden races in Australia (NSW&QLD),Singapore,Malaysia,South Korea(Seoul&Busan)
Kanichiro “Joe” Fujii was born in Nara, Japan on 31st of December 1983 from a family with no horseracing ties. It was while watching horse racing on TV that the young schoolboy decided he would become a jockey.
Fujii dropped out of junior high school at the age of 15 and despite not speaking a word of English, set off for Australia in 1999 to follow his dream at the now-defunct Australian Racing Institute in New South Wales. A quick learner, Fujii soon mastered the language and more importantly, didn’t take long to start riding winners on the track.
In 2001, Fujii rode as a "bushie" in and around northern New South Wales, before steadily working his way up from lowly Ballina and Lismore to the "Big Smoke" of Randwick and Rosehill. For three years, Fujii was indentured to Hawkesbury trainer Noel Mayfield-Smith, whom he called the biggest influence in his career.
Top trainers like Gai Waterhouse, John Hawkes, Guy Walter and David Payne also had a hand in Fujii's meteoric rise on top. The young Japanese rookie was soon mixing it with Sydney’s leading jockeys such as Darren Beadman and Glen Boss on a weekly basis.
Among his main highlights during his apprenticeship were riding four winners at Royal Randwick and coming close to winning the apprentice premiership in 2005/2006, finishing first runner-up to Tim Clark. Fujii had led for 11 months, before finally losing out by two wins.
After the Australian adventure came the “Singapore sling” in 2007. Fujii, who had previously ridden work briefly in the Republic island, enjoyed a successful stint there riding 12 winners in nine months, including his first Group winner Trigger Express in the Chairman’s Trophy for Australian trainer Steven Burridge.
Fujii also finished third in the Group 1 Emirates Singapore Derby on Jade for fellow Japanese trainer Hideyuki Takaoka, who two years later won the coveted 2000m race with top mare Jolie's Shinju. Fujii was also invited for a weekend in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to take part in a jockey’s challenge.
Taking time off in 2007, he gained some more overseas experience by riding work for legendary French trainer Christiane “Criquette” Head in Chantilly, France.
Fujii then decided it was time to re-establish himself in Australia in 2008. He picked up where he left off, rekindling old partnerships with the likes of Mayfield-Smith, Waterhouse and Peter Snowden, whom he rode for as an apprentice. In 2009, he took another working holiday, this time in Belmont Park, New York, riding work for trainer Dave Duggan.
Off the track, Fujii got married to Saori on November 22, 2009 and is also an Australian permanent resident now. Firmly committed to forging a long-lasting career in Australia, Fujii has a go-getting attitude and a fantastic work ethic that will certainly put him in good stead for more success to come his way.