Day: September 27, 2008

Machine Gun Fires Again

Supernatural streak ends / Coleraine impresses
On a beautiful Autumn day at Seoul Race Park, Machine Gun followed up his defeat of Baekpa with victory in today’s feature by the narrowest of margins. In a frenetic race, Hwanggeum Mulgyeol (27.1) made the early pace, but it was Flying Cat (15.6) under Choi Beom Hyun who took over with two furlongs to go. It looked as though the eight year old had stolen a march on the favourites and would hold on for an unlikely win, however, the line wouldn’t come soon enough. Favourite Machine Gun (2.3) and Dashing Champ (6.9) had sat in the middle of the field throughout and Moon Se Young and Shim Seung Tae finally got going as they entered the final furlong. They caught Flying Cat with just a few metres left and crossed the line together. At first sight, it looked like Dashing Champ had it, but the photograph showed Machine Gun had taken the KRW 42Million prize on the nod.

After the unbeaten streaks of Shaving Points and Playing Politics were both ended at three, it was New Zealand import Supernatural’s turn to try and extend his to four in race 11. It wasn’t to be. The four year old gelding was sent off the slight favourite at 3.1 but was kept at the back of the field throughout. Jockey Park Soo Hong left himself a lot of work to do in the home straight and although Supernatural passed five horses in the final furlong he was never in the battle for the win. That battle was won by in style by second favourite Bold Magic (3.2) who streaked away from the field in the last furlong for a ninth length win from Last Dance Buddy (3.7).

Earlier, another New Zealand import, Coleraine had made it two from two with a comfortable wire to wire victory in race 4. The three year old looks ready for better company next time out. Race 2 was for unraced two year olds and Red Ball (2.8 ) justified his favourite status by romping to an eleven length win. Cruising away from the rest of the field with two furlongs remaining and eased by Yang Hee Jin long before the line, the colt will be one to watch in the domestic ranks over the next few months.

Ecton Cat (1.7) and Dangdanghan 2.2 secured their expected victories although both had to grind out one length wins in races 8 and 9 respectively, likewise Wangsan (1.4) in race 6 who had to work even harder, eventually holding on by a neck. There was, however, a remarkable result paying a 1861.9 exacta in race 6 as unfancied Kkum Ha Na (39.7) edged out extremely unfancied Fly Captain (110.0) in a blanket finish. With the third horse home, Useungcup, also untouched in the market at 60.1, more than one formguide found itself surplus to requirements as far as punters were concerned.

With temperatures hovering around the 20 degree mark, sunshine and a light breeze, conditions were as perfect as they get at Seoul. Similar is hoped for tomorrow with one of the biggest days on the calendar. Busan’s Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup Card gets underway at 12:40 at the southern track while in Seoul it’s KRA Cup Classic day with the first race at 11:20. Busan’s big race is off at 15:40 and Seoul’s at 17:05. Both tracks will be showing both races (see below for full previews).

FULL RESULTS FROM SEOUL