Seina Imamura’s timely rise shows no sign of stalling
Japan’s latest female sensation riding alongside Hollie Doyle could be a potent promotional tool for the JRA.
Seina Imamura is making waves in Japan. The JRA’s apprentice find of the season has ridden at least one winner on the JRA circuit for eight weekends straight and is closing in on a significant milestone: Nanako Fujita’s all-time Japanese record of 43 wins for a female jockey in a single season.
Imamura has 39 on the board after striking a double at Chukyo on Sunday with Two Tails and Hagino Maetel. Those victories have fed Japanese racing fans’ deep fascination in the rider who is not only building on the platform of Fujita’s achievements back in 2019 but is also taking it up a notch.
Like ‘Nanako’ before her, ‘Seina’ and her precocious abilities have given the JRA a powerful marketing weapon – subliminally, rather than via any official ‘Seina’ push – as it continues its Umajo campaign of attracting more women to the racecourse.
And that mix of official marketing and organic fandom could be about to gain a potent force with news late last week that classic-winning rider Hollie Doyle is on the list of foreign jockeys the JRA has offered a licence to for the upcoming autumn season.