Seoul Review – Three winners for Park TJ / Double Buckshot suffers first defeat
Korean Oaks winner and one of the stars of 2007, Baekpa made a stunning return to form in the feature race at Seoul Race Park this afternoon with a two length win over horse of 2008 so far, Namchonuijijon. The Ttukseom Cup winner started strong favourite at 1.6 and Shin Hyoung Cheol took Namchonuijijon to the front out of the gate in the 2000 metre category 1 handicap. He was still setting the pace alongside Lee Ae Li on Heukjo Bisang (30.5) as they entered the home straight, but as it looked like Namchonuijijon was going to accelerate away from the field, Baekpa (6.2), ridden by Park Tae Jong came round the outside. Park hit the front at the furlong pole and Namchonuijijon had nothing in reply. Heukjo Bisang held on for a battling third place just a neck behind. It’s a welcome return to form for Baekpa, who took seven races to break her maiden but then won six of her next eight in 2007, including the Oaks and Sports Seoul Cup before making an indifferent start to 2008. As for Namchonuijijon, after emerging from J.S. Hold’s shadow, it looked like 2008 was going to be his year. It may still be but the next meeting between these two will be eagerly awaited.
Double Buckshot (3.0), unbeaten in three outings suffered his first reverse in race 10, albeit narrowly, the New Zealand bred gelding just edged out in a tight finish with favourite Ganghan Gunju (2.4) ridden by Ikuyasu Kurakane. It was Ikuyasu’s second win of the day after victory on Fly Captain (7.9) in race 2. Park Tae Jong was jockey of the day, however, Baekpa’s win adding to success on Royal Missile (1.1) who cantered up in a mis-match in race 4 and also on Daehanbobae (2.1), the improving three year old scoring a narrow win over Bulkkot Juja (4.1). Park didn’t have a flawless day, however, suffering defeat on hot favourite Lucky Mountain (1.4) in race 7. Nozomu Tomizawa won the race on Cheonchun Bisang (22.1) but the race was marred by a nasty fall suffered coming out of the stalls by jockey Kim Dong Kyun from third favourite Gwacheonuibit.
A hot, sticky afternoon with a lower than average Saturday crowd but some good racing. Racing returns to Seoul tomorrow with the first race at 11:20. Feature race of the day is at Busan Race Park where the KNN Cup is off at 15:35.