TOKYO (AFP) – Japanese horse racing fans celebrated and commentators cursed their luck after a filly named Sumomomomomomomomo claimed her maiden win.
The three-year-old made a dramatic late surge to claim victory at Tokyo’s Oi racecourse on Monday (Nov 1), winning in the 12th race of her career.
The horse’s unusual name has made her a social media phenomenon in Japan, with fans and TV personalities lining up to cheer her first victory.
“She finally won – the horse with the name that makes race commentators cry!” wrote one Twitter user.
“I’m finally able to say it properly,” wrote another.
Japanese television showed the commentator coping admirably with the eight “mo” in Sumomomomomomomomo’s name as she sped down the final straight.
The name is based on a Japanese tongue-twister that means “plums and peaches are both peaches”. Nikkan Sports daily reported that soft toys of the filly were on sale in the racecourse shop, noting that the horse’s popularity looked “set to take off”.
Jockey Naoki Machida said the fan support had helped secure the win.
“When you hear cheers like that, it feels great when you’re almost at the finish line,” Nikkan Sports quoted him as saying.
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