Day: August 31, 2008

Triple Seven leaves rivals on the mat

Baekpa suffers shock defeat / Brilliant Knight wins again
Second favourite Triple Seven galloped to victory in the KRW 53Million Olympic Judo Race at Seoul Race Park this afternoon. Favourite Dangdanghan (2.7) bolted out of the gate under Lee Shin Young and set the pace through the back straight, leading the field as they rounded the final turn. However, Choi Beom Hyun brought Triple Seven through the field and edged in front inside the final furlong taking a length and a quarter win. Outsider Bareukaseu (34.0) recovered from a dreadful start to grab second in the final stride from Dangdanghan.

The race was run to welcome back Korea’s Judo team from the Beijing Olympics and gold medallist Choi Min Ho was on hand to present the prize. Beforehand, Choi himself was presented with KRW 250Million (about $250,000) for his exploits in Beiijing with silver-medallist Kim Jae Beom receiving KRW 100Million.

The other Choi, Choi Beom Hyun had to settle for slightly less prize-money, but nevertheless he had an exceptional day in the saddle, with Triple Seven’s win quickly followed by a battling win on Huimang Energy in the next race. The four year old gelding just held off Lucky Seven by a neck in an 1800 metre cat. 2 handicap. The 2.6 favourite has now won his last three and even though this was his first cat. 2 outing, looks likely to be facing cat. 1’s soon. The win brought jockey of the day Choi’s win tally to three having much earlier guided odds-on favourite Tiger Sox to victory in race 1.

In the feature handicap, the stage seemed set for Baekpa to continue her impressive recent form as she was sent off the 1.4 favourite. Things did not go to plan, however, as Park Tae Jong found himself slightly out of position as they turned for home in the 2000 metre race. At the same time, Ikuyasu Kurakane on Machine Gun found an explosive turn of foot to open up a six length lead. Park eventually found his run and Baekpa started to close it down but the line came too soon and the six year old gelding Machine Gun (26.2) recorded his first ever category 1 win in fifteen attempts by an impressive 5 lengths. Second favourite Natural Nine was third.

Last action of an eventful day saw exciting import Brilliant Knight extend his record to four wins from four races. The three year old gelding led from start to finish but had to work for it in the final furlong as outsider Rich Market finished strongly, Brilliant Knight [Lion Hearted – Deputy Lady (French Deputy)] eventually recording a half length win.

At Busan Race Park, the feature race was a cat 1 foreign bred handicap which saw a commanding seven length win by Dongbang Geona. The Japanese bred gelding hit the front early in the back straight and kicked on as they turned for home, the contest over well before the final furlong. It was the four year old’s eighth career win.

The feature domestic handicap was a chaotic affair. The 1800 metre cat. 2 race was delayed after hot favourite Daehan Dolpung fell inside the starting stalls bringing down Jeorin Jiyong in the next stall. Although both horses got up, both were withdrawn. When the race did get underway, new third favourite Katrina (4.1) was first over the line. However, the mare had spent most of the final furlong pushing second placed Seonggeong Gado (2.8 ) so far wide towards the stands, punters were scurrying for cover. Meanwhile, on the other side of the track, a blanket finish had the first six horses finishing within a length of each other. The inevitable Stewards’ Inquiry reversed the order of the first two home giving Seonggong Gado just his second win of a long career.