Yeongung Manse upsets Classic winners at Busan / Secret Weapon edges out Galsaem at Seoul
Yeongung Manse (6.1) gatecrashed what was supposed to be the battle of the two Classic winners in the feature race at Busan Race Park this afternoon, overhauling Derby winner Ebony Storm (2.7) in a final furlong battle to take a half length victory over 1800 metres. Punters had forgiven KRA Cup Mile winner Rainmaker for his disappointing showing in the Derby and sent him off the marginal 2.6 favourite but, on a wet track, it was Janggun Sinhwa (16.7) under Jo Seung Gon who made the early running with Toshio Uchida on Ebony Storm on his shoulder while Rainmaker sat at the back. As they exited the final turn, those looking for a run from Rainmaker were to be disappointed as it was Yeongung Manse who emerged from the pack to take on the leaders. Ebony Storm drifted slightly across the track and Jo Chang Wook coaxed a blistering final furlong from Yeongung Manse to take the half length win with Janggun Sinhwa in third. There was then a ten length gap to Jageun Taeyang in fourth with Rainmaker never featuring in seventh.
Yeongung Manse went off third favourite and recorded his fifth win from eight starts. As a gelding, he wasn’t eligible for either the KRA Cup Mile or the Derby but showed his class today in beating the winners of both those races. Ebony Storm’s connections need not be too downhearted as it was a strong run and he might have won but for the drifting in the straight, proving the shock Derby win was not just down to the conditions. Two disappointing performances in a row from Rainmaker, however, are a greater concern.
At Seoul, only six horses contested the feature handicap and it went exactly to form as Secret Weapon (1.5) held off Galsaem (3.4) for the win. It wasn’t easy, however, as Galsaem showed more fight than she has recently pushing Secret Weapon all the way to the line of the 2000 metre handicap and was perhaps a touch unlucky to be half a length behind at the finish. Secret Weapon moves on to 13 wins from 26 starts while Galsaem remains stuck on 16 from 32, without a win from six outings in 2008.
Secret Weapon was ridden by Park Tae Jong and was Park’s third winner of the day following earlier victories on similarly fancied Seonggonchulbal (1.5) in race 5 and Beautiful Sky (7.0) in race 6. Kim Hyo Seob landed an early double with wins on Taesanbukdu (2.9) in race 1 and Black Bird (10.1) in race 3. Moon Se Young made a return to the saddle after 5 race days out and it took him only until race 2 to make his mark with victory on Yujoseon (1.7), however, it was to be his only win of the day and he faces being called before the stewards for possible inteference when guiding Sinheung Gangho to third place in the feature.
There was no racing at Jeju Race Park today because of fog limiting visibiliy to unsafe levels. Jeju is feeling the full force of this monsoon season with an abandonment last week, two races cancelled yesterday and now a complete cancellation today. So far, however, and despite forecasts, both Seoul and Busan have completely ecaped the monsoon. The feature race next weekend is at Seoul in the form of Sunday’s Sports Seoul Cup and hopefully we’ll see more of the same weather-wise.