A chilly, cloudy day in Gwacheon for 12 races of varying quality. Feature race was the 90,000,000won Japan Racing Authority Trophy but the card was also notable for the first two races in the “International Jockey Challenge”.
Eight two year olds lined up for the JRA trophy at 16:20. The 1200 metre race was led from start to finish by favourite Clever Star (2.2) ridden by Moon Se Young for a five length victory from Seoul Taekgup (4.2) in second and Big Sox (6.3) in third. The result means Clever Star has now won 2 of his 3 starts.
International Jockey Challenge
A curious event which is now in its third year, the International Jockey Challenge consists of 4 races involving five Korean and five international jockeys. This year the international line-up consists of Gerrit Schlechter from South Africa – a man with a truly incredible head of hair, Kevin Radke of the USA, Lam Hoi of Macau, Kunihiko Watanabe of Japan – a man also well endowed in the hair department and Wayne Lordan, the promising young Irish jockey. For Korea, Park Tae Jong, Chun Chang Ki, Kim Hyo Seob, Cho Kyoung Ho and Park Soo Hong line up. Over the weekend there are four races and the jockey with the best record wins $20,000. After an awkward photocall at lunchtime, they got down to business in the 6th race of the day and Park Tae Jong did the business on Widaehan Khan with an exaggerated celebration as he crossed the line. Lam Hoi managed third place but the other internationals were well down, Lordan and Radke in particular not looking impressed with their mounts. The balance was redressed in race 9, however, in a race of much higher quality, Radke on Arrow Guard edged out Schlecter on Vere Strong in a cracking final furlong. The event will conclude with two more races tomorrow.
Saturday’s remaining big race saw Good Day comfortably add to his impressive record in a 1900 metre 66,000,000 won Handicap. The only three year old in the race he led for most of the way under Cho Kyoung Ho to rack up victory number 8 in 10 outings.