With 64 wins in the past year, Cho Kyoung Ho is currently the third most prolific jockey in Korea. Born in 1976 and making his debut in 2001 alongside the likes of Moon Se Young and Yoon Dae Keun, Cho has a career record of 1961 rides with 274 winners – a strike rate of 14%. His place rate is 27.7%. Before 2007, his best year was 2003 when he guided Tempest West to victory in both the JRA Trophy race and the Grand Prix Race. In 2007, he landed three big races, the SBS Cup on NeoCheon in July, The Ilgan Sports Cup on Ganghomyeongjang in September and finally the big one, winning the President’s Cup on Myungmun Gamun in November. It was Cho’s second President’s Cup having won a shock win on outsider French Dancer in 2005. Here is Myungmun Gamun’s (number 9) victory. The horse which leads most of the way before fading in the straight is NeoCheon.
The Chosun Ilbo today quoted a report from the “Center for Free Enterprise” recommending that a number of Korea’s public corporations, including the Korea Racing Authority, be privatized by the incoming Lee Myung Bak Presidency. The KRA currently operates under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The full article can be read here.
Haengun Daewang got the better of former horse of the year Subsidy in today’s feature race at Seoul Race Park. The 34Million Won 17:10 saw Yoo Sang Wan guide Haengun Daewang the 2.2 favourite home a length ahead of Subsidy who went off second favourite at 3.0. The day’s second most valuable race was the last won by Jingyok Napal (Oh Kyung Hoan) at 4.1. Racing was competitive throughout but withdrawals to the highly fancied Rebound in race 6 and Photo Map in race 8 skewed the odds slightly. Favourites for the most part won with the longest price winner being Dunamjae in race 2 at 5.0 giving Moon Jung Kyun his first winner of 2008.
There were six races at Busan this afternoon although persistant rain meant there was a lower than hoped for turn out. The feature race was the 16:10, an 1800 metre handicap which was won by the 4.4 second favourite Keep It Quick, ridden by Cho Seung Keun a head in front of Hidden Hero (Im, Sung Shil) at 5.0. Race 5 saw an impressive win by Vitesse (Choi See Dae) at 5.5, timing his run to perfection to overcome Jincheol Han and favourite Myunggyung Cheolli by half a length.
There were also nine races at Jeju. The feature race was won by outsider Myeonggajarang (Han Young Min) at 19.4. It was a day of outsiders at Jeju as some racegoers became very rich, principally after race 5 – the exacta paying 214.0 on first placed Jeonseolihim and second Sokbojeondal.
Jockey’s Championship 2008
Eleven different jockeys won races at Seoul today. Moon Se Young took the first to consolidate his lead at the top of the table. Park Tae Jong finished second three times today but couldn’t build on his double yesterday and remains on four.
1. Moon Se Young 9
2. Cho Kyoung Ho 7
3. Yoon Dae Keun 5
4. Park Tae Jong 4
5. Choi Beom Hyun, Ikuyasu Kurukane, Kim Dong Kyun; 3
Given her ride today , we might as well make Lee Shin Young the next in our series of jockey profiles. There are currently three female jockeys riding at Seoul. The best known outside racing circles is Lee Ae Li who received a lot of publicity when a movie about a female jockey was released a couple of years ago. Another is Lee Geum Ju, however, she has not ridden for quite some time. The most successful is Lee Shin Young. Debuting in 2001 (on the same day as Geum Ju, Ae Li debuted a year later) at the age of 21, Shin Young has a record of 72 wins from 674 rides, a strike rate of just over 10% with a place strike rate of 19%. Over the past year she’s maintained her win rate with 12 wins from 113 rides. No doubt a video of today’s race will appear online in due course, but until then, we’ll make do with this effort from 2006.
Danny Craven picks up fourth winner
Aussie jockey Danny Craven got his first winner of 2008 and his fourth in Korea in the last race of this afternoon’s meeting at Seoul Race Park. Craven had already had two unplaced rides before winning race 11 on the Australian bred Cash Parade which came home the 4.2 second favourite, two and a half lengths ahead of Yoo Sang Wan on Baekjonmupae in a race worth 22Million won to the winner.
Ride of the day came from Lee Shin Young, one of only two female jockeys at Seoul, who pulled off an outstanding victory in race 8 on outsider Nokhaji at 31.2. Lee took the horse from the back of the field to the front in the back straight to lead ny three lengths with three furlongs to go. Inevitably the field pulled her back, however, in the last furlong Lee asked the horse to go again and found the front right on the line a nose ahead of Jeon Deok young on Sollong Goes. A truly remarkable ride which was greeted with rare applause by racegoers – rare especially as clearly no-one had backed the horse.
Elsewhere there were two winners each for Moon Se Young and Park Tae Jong. Park’s second coming in race 6 which saw a blanket finish with the first four horses within a length of each other. Generally it was a day of outsiders with Magic Victor at 1.6 in race 4, the only successful odds-on shot all day. The feature race of the day saw victory for Flying Cat at 13.2 (Oh Kyoung Hoan) but only after favourite Secret Weapon (Park Tae Jong) had been disqualified.
Overall some exciting racing, especially races 6 and 8. Racing gets underway tomorrow at 11:00 at Seoul, 12:20 at Jeju and 13:00 at Busan.
There’s racing at all three tracks over the weekend. Busan started things off with nine races this afternoon and will run a further six on Sunday with the first off at 13:00. The feature race is the last at 16:10, an 1800 metre handicap worth 32Million won to the winner. Jeju has nine races on both Saturday and Sunday.
Seoul gets underway at 11:00 on Saturday and Sunday mornings. There are 11 races both days. Race 10 is the feature race each day off at 16:50 on Saturday and 17:10 on Sunday both with a 34Million won first place prize. After this week’s temperatures of -10, the weekend is expected to be warmer with temperatures perhaps even making it to the right side of freezing.
Gary Baker completed two years at Busan Race Park at the end of 2007 and has now returned to Australia to resume his career riding on the Gold Coast Baker spoke to the local press on his return about his time in Korea. Although Baker had a successful time in Busan, becoming one of the track’s top jockeys, especially in his first year, it seems he didn’t enjoy it as much as he hoped. His comments about the weather are to be expected but the one that should make the KRA take note is “But you did get the feeling they didn’t particularly want you there and I was happy to come home after two years.” The article from goldcoast.com.au can be read here. They lose marks for that overused headline.
Baker originally came with two other Australians, Mark Newnham and Nathan Day, both of whom only lasted a few weeks before deciding to end their contracts as the winter kicked in. The one remaining Australian jockey in Korea is Danny Craven at Seoul who has 3 winners, 1 second place and 3 thirds from 46 rides since his debut in November 2007.