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「大穴の騎手心理」

Ooana

この本に登場するのは、大穴ジョッキーと呼ばれる騎手たちばかり。人気馬を実力どおりに勝たせるのではなく、全く人気のない馬たちを馬券圏内に持ってくることで大穴を演出する。勝ち切るまでは難しくとも、2着、3着を拾うことで、競馬ファンをあっと言わせるジョッキーたちである。3連単が馬券の主流となっている昨今、注目しないわけにはいかないだろう。とはいえ、単勝派の私にはあまり縁がないかもしれないと考えながら一読したが、そうではなかった。大穴ジョッキーたちの試行錯誤の中に、騎手としての本質があったのだ。走る馬を頼まれることも騎手にとっては重要な要素であるが、それ以上に、普通に回ってきたら勝てない馬をいかにして少しでも前の着順に持ってくるかを考えることや、それを実現させるための技術を磨くことが、騎手に問われている最も本質の部分であろう。

大穴ジョッキーたちにも、それぞれに得意パターンやこだわりがあって面白い。大野拓弥騎手や大庭和弥騎手はとにかく内ラチ沿いにピッタリと回って、距離ロスを避けることを身上とし、武士沢友治騎手は人気のある差し馬についていくハメ方をし、田辺裕信騎手は道中ではひたすら消耗を抑えるエコな走りを心掛ける。松岡正海騎手は最後の直線でひたすら内を突く(松岡騎手の「挑戦者は最短距離を走る」という言葉が私は好きだ)。北村宏司騎手は肉体的にタフなのでダート戦や新潟の1000m戦を得意とする。

ところで、この本の中では直接触れられていないが、ハンデ戦における大穴ジョッキーたちのデータを見て、気づいたことがあるので記しておきたい。四位洋文騎手がハンデ戦における大穴ジョッキーとしてランクインしている。彼の騎乗スタイルと斤量と瞬発力の関係を考えてみると、その理由がはっきりと分かったのである。

四位洋文騎手は、馬のリズムに合わせて乗り、鞍上に人なしを貫く騎手のひとりである。無理をして馬を出していったり、馬群の狭いところに馬を突っこませたりしない。だからこそ、ポジションを下げてしまったり、外を回されたりしがちなのだが、馬の瞬発力を引き出すことにかけては非常に長けている。その四位洋文騎手が、軽ハンデの牝馬に跨ったときには要注意である。なぜなら、牝馬の瞬発力は馬体重が軽いからこそ生まれてくるものであり、なおかつ斤量が軽いとなれば、なおさら瞬発力が生きる。瞬発力を生かす四位洋文騎手、牝馬、軽ハンデの3つがセットになったら、大穴にならないわけがないということだ。

最後の特別インタビューでは、著者である谷中公一氏が蛯名正義騎手の話を見事に引き出している。たくさんの良い馬を頼まれるリーディング上位の騎手ならではの悩みやヨーロッパやアメリカと日本の競馬の違いなど、高みに登ったベテラン騎手ならではの話が満載である。海外からやってくるジョッキーたちと中央競馬の騎手たちの大きな違いとして、毎日競馬に乗っているか週末だけかという量の差を語っているが、まさにその通りだと思う。それはシステムの違いということでもあり、この先、日本(の中央競馬)から世界レベルの騎手を誕生させるとすれば、中央と地方の競馬における騎手の垣根をほぼ完全に取り除く必要が出てくる。もし今のまま何も変わらないとすれば、騎手の卵たちは最終的にはシステムという壁にぶつかり、壊れてしまうのではないだろうか。

現在のランキング順位はこちら

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Comments

 こんばんは 明日はプロキオンステークス(G3)です。7歳馬ファリダッドが初重賞を取れるかどうか・・・それが楽しみです。良血馬ですから、勝っても負けてもミスキャスト同様にオーナーのプライベート種牡馬になるかもしれません。
 芝でも好成績を残しながら、なかなか思い通りにレースを使えなかった馬・・・気がついたら7歳です。でもオーナーの深い愛情の下、こうして重賞に再び挑戦するチャンスを得ました。今度はファリダッド自身が自分でチャンスをものにする番です。
 皮肉なことにオーナーは、愛馬エスポワールシチーにとっては天敵のトランセンドを所有しています。しかもファリダッドにはエスポワールシチーの主戦である佐藤哲三騎手が乗ります。
 ここ勝って南部杯に出てこられたら・・・うん?佐藤騎手はどっちに乗るんだろう?佐藤騎手がもしファリダッドを選んだら、エスポワールシチーには先行得意の戸崎啓太騎手がいいかな(笑)。
 こんなことを考えているだけでも競馬は楽しいものです。

Posted by: 玉ちゃん | July 07, 2012 at 11:35 PM

玉ちゃん

戸崎圭太騎手いいですねえ。

ファリダットは残念でしたが、あの展開では仕方ありません。

もう少し脚質に幅が出てくれば、さらに上を目指せると思うのですが。

前田オーナーも玉ちゃんも競馬を楽しんでいますよね(羨ましいかぎりです)。

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