Day: April 26, 2008

Gayasanseong edges out Galsaem in final furlong battle

Gayasanseong got the better of favourite Galsaem in the final few strides of the KRW 42Million main event at Seoul Race Park this afternoon. Ridden by Moon Se Young, Galsaem (1.8 ) hit the first corner of the 2000 metre handicap first and set the pace throughout. Woo Chang Gu kept Gayasanseong (2.0) in third place until making his move as they entered the home straight. Galsaem opened up a three length lead by Gayasanseong kept the pressure on and hit the front within metres of the line. Galsaem despite once more starting favourite, has now gone four races without victory. Gayasanseong, meanwhile, has won three in a row and moves onto over KRW 1Billion in career prize money.

Outsider Tamna Bibari won the day’s second richest race giving Lee Ae Li her second win in as many weeks. The 30.9 shot sat just behind long time leader Arrow Choice before hitting the front with two furlongs to go and holding off the challenge of Cheon Byeong and Jujang Jeonha for a two length victory, Lee – back in form after a dismal year – punching the air as they crossed the line.

Highly rated Kkumcheoreom – aiming for three consecutive wins – just missed out in race 7 after starting the 2.8 favourite. Stepping up to 1400 metres for the first time, Kkumcheoreom made a poor start and by the time Lee Shin Young had found room in the straight it was too late to make up the lost ground, rank-outsider Jungmuncheonjae (139.5) pulling off a shock win for Hwang Soon Do. Kkumcheoreom finished a very close second, the fast finish suggesting that with a better start, 1400 metres will be no problem next time. Jockeys of the day were the Japanese duo of Ikuyasu Kurakane and Nozomu Tomizawa who both recorded doubles. Nozomu scoring with strong favourite Feel It Now (1.3) in race 5 and again with Cheonjidolpung (4.0) in a tight finish in race 8 with Magic Bouquet (14.8), ridden by Ikuyasu, whose own wins came in race 9 on Sesemanse (5.3) and race 12 on Viva Slew (23.6).

Despite thunder continuing to roll around nearby Gwanak Mountain and leaden skies, the racing escaped the predicted rain. Although during the early races there was plenty of standing water on the track from the overnight thunderstorms, the strong wind throughout the afternoon gradually dried things up. On what is turning out to be a very weird weather weekend in Seoul, the forecast is for tomorrow to be fine and dry. Racing gets underway at Seoul tomorrow at 11:20, at Jeju at 12:20 and at Busan at 12:40.