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浜中俊騎手と岩田康誠騎手の対談を読んで

Yushun02フェブラリーSの前に書いていればと後悔しているが、2月号「優駿」に掲載されていた浜中俊騎手と岩田康誠騎手の対談は興味深かった。日本を代表する2人のトップジョッキーが、競馬についてざっくばらんに語り合った企画である。もちろん、言いたくても言えないことや、掲載したくても掲載できないことも多々あったはずだが(実はそういうことの方が面白い)、そんな中でもストライクゾーンギリギリのところに決まった、ジョッキーの生の言葉にはドキッとさせられる。

たとえば、昨年はG1レースを6つ勝った岩田康誠騎手が、リーディングを獲りながらも結局G1を勝てなかった浜中俊騎手に向けて発した言葉には、思わず膝を打った。

―G1レースに騎乗する際は、岩田騎手に助言は求めなかった?
浜中
「もちろん求めました。『馬の力を信じて乗れ』と言われたので、そう心掛けたつもりですが、僕自身の経験の浅さが出てしまったかもしれません」
岩田
「そうだね。阪神ジュベナイルFは完璧に乗っているんだけど、あれだと“普通に”完璧なんだよね。G1を勝とうと思ったら、完璧に乗るだけじゃなくて、完璧にエスコートしてあげないとダメ。残り600mから動いた分、末脚が鈍った。2歳牝馬に600mも脚を使わすのは難しいんだから、もう少し我慢させてから追い出すべきだったと思う」
―G1で1番人気を背負って、我慢させるのは勇気がいるのでは?
岩田
「もちろん勇気が必要ですよ。でも、逆にそういった勇気がないと勝てないのがG1なんだと思います」

私は観戦記において、浜中俊騎手の騎乗を“ソツのない”と表現した。もっと内にこだわって我慢をさせるか、それとも馬群の外に出して伸び伸びと走らせるか、どちらか極端なレース運びに賭けてみるべきだったが、浜中俊騎手はそうしなかった。どっちつかずの実に無難な選択をしたため、決して批難される乗り方ではなかったが、コレクターアイテムを完璧にエスコートしたとは言いがたい騎乗となってしまった。その物足りなさを、岩田康誠騎手は的確に指摘してみせたのである。G1レースを勝つには勇気が必要だと。

もうひとつ、浜中俊騎手が岩田康誠騎手から受けたアドバイスが生々しい。

浜中
「朝、遅れたらジュースやコーヒーを箱買いして差し入れるという罰則を決められました(笑)。毎朝、僕よりも岩田さんの方が早く厩舎に来ているから、絶対に遅刻できないと思うようになりました。あと、小倉競馬の際も現地に滞在するのではなく、栗東で調教をつけて週末の競馬だけ小倉に行くことにしました。これも、岩田さんの指導があったからです」
岩田
「若いから小倉に滞在していても遊ぶだけだと思いました。だから、栗東で馬に乗って、競馬だけ行った方が良いだろう、と。調教に乗ることができる頭数も増えることでしょうから」
浜中
「はい、そういった積み重ねで、昨年、JRAリーディングを獲らせてもらえたんだと思います」

彼らは決してエージェントの力関係だけで騎乗馬を得ているのではなく、仕事場に誰よりも早く赴き、自ら率先して調教に跨り、多くの人々とコミュニケーションを重ねた結果として得たチャンスを生かしたのである。職業人としては当たり前の行動に思えるが、おそらくそれが当たり前ではない世界だからこそ、こうしたアドバイスが成立するのだろう。地方競馬から這い上がってきたトップジョッキーが当たり前にできることを、中堅に甘んじている騎手やこれからの若手がなぜやらないのか(できないのか)。ゴルフやサッカーやゲームをやっている暇があれば、1頭でも多くの馬に跨るべきでは、と発破をかけているのである。

こうしたジョッキーたちの生の声を聞いたあとだけに、フェブラリーSにおける浜中俊騎手の勝利が、より一層、色彩を帯びて見える。グレープブランデーは確かに強かったが、浜中俊騎手がスタートからゴールまで完璧にエスコートしたからこその勝利でもあった。こうして切磋琢磨することで、たとえ海外から一流ジョッキーらが大挙押し寄せてきたとしても、彼らはトップに居座り続けるのだろう。そして、その先は、彼らが海外へと飛び出してゆくことで、日本における競馬が新たな局面を迎えることができるはず。どう考えても無理難題ではあるが、日本競馬の未来を救えるのは彼らしかいないと思う。

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Comments

コメント欄にて失礼します。

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Posted by: けいばぁ | February 24, 2013 at 05:10 PM

 「今年は1年間負けない」とロードカナロアの岩田騎手。「ドバイも行きたかった・・・」とチラリ。自信を持っての騎乗でした。
 2着にはロードカナロアの競馬を一番よく知っている福永騎手のマジンプロスパー。

 ここまでは予想できるのですが、3着が難しいです。オリービンでした・・・。

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