Day: December 23, 2007

Racing Review – Sunday December 23

Bumper crowd sees Bally Brae take Grand Prix
Racing returned to Seoul Racecourse Park this week after last weekend’s unplanned hiatus and a huge crowd turned out Sunday for the 12 race card, the highlight being the Group 1 Grand Prix Race. Run over 2300 metres it’s the season’s longest race and is worth 182 Million won to the winner. The five year old Bally Brae with ten wins from 17 previous starts went off the 1.5 favourite under 2007’s top jockey Moon, Se Young, in a race that also featured old-stager Flying Cat and prolific winners Myeongmun Gamun (Chun, Chang Ki) and 2005 Horse of the Year, Subsidy (Oh, Kyung Hoan). And it proved to be these three who disputed the placings. Subsidy came round the field on the back straight to open a 5 length lead, however, as they rounded the turn, Moon asked Bally Brae to quicken up, catching Subsidy on three furlongs and then opening out into the final straight winning by a comfortable 5 lengths. Subsidy battled on for second and Chun, Chang Ki brought Myeongmun Gamun home for third. Fly Queen, (Park Tae Jong) finished fourth. The start of the race had been delayed by almost 5 minutes due to Myeongmun Gamun’s refusal to go into the stalls. It was looking like the horse was going to have to be withdrawn until a last ditch attempt – or brute force of about 10 handlers – finally got the 6 year old in. The owners owe the handlers a drink as the horse went on to win 45 million won for finishing third.

So Moon, Se Young confirms his position as Korea’s top jockey with yet another big race win. Earlier in the day he’d been in the winner’s enclosure after steering Happy Hero to victory in race 5. It’s getting to the stage where Moon’s booking on a horse is enough to bring its price down a good 2 or 3 points. He’s also beginning to get his share of groupies in the paddock…

Overall a good return to racing at Seoul – big crowd, good weather, good afternoon’s sport. More next week.