Korean team beat ROTW / Playing Politics strolls JRA Trophy
Park Tae Jong emerged victorious in the International Jockey Challenge Series at Seoul Race Park this afternoon. The forty two year old finished level on 41 points with fellow local rider Choi Beom Hyun at the end of the four-race series, with Park taking the $20,000 first prize by virtue of having landed more prize money during the event. Another Korean, Moon Se Young finished third with 34 points. Issei Murate was top International jockey with 31 points
Overnight leader Greg Cheyne had it all to do today as his mounts were all relatively unfancied but while Moon Se Young took today’s opener on Daleumi, Cheyne managed a final furlong effort to sneak into fifth place aboard 136.8 outsider Luxury and take five points to keep him in front overall. It wasn’t to be from then on, however, as Park Tae Jong, having finished third in the first, guided favourite Storm Finish to a comfortable two length win in the next to put himself in pole position going into the final race in which he had drawn the favourite, Baekdujeonseol.
The final race of the Challenge was a KRW 53Million Special Handicap and it was American Tony Black who stormed out of the gate and into an early lead on second favourite Jigusangwiryeok. As they turned for home, Black’s horse was still leading, but Park and Choi Beom Hyun on third favourite Bandoeui Byeol were closing fast. They came past in the final half furlong with Bandoeui Byeol taking the win by half a length with Jigusangwiryeok running on for third.
The other main event of the day was the JRA Trophy Race which saw Playing Politics going up against the unbeaten Brilliant Knight. However, it was Big Sox (22.0) under Kim Ok Sung, who got a jump on the field at the start. Choi Beom Hyun, on one of the best days of his career, was content to wait on Playing Politics as the four year old stalked Big Sox in the home straight. Finally as they passed the half furlong pole, Choi brought Playing Politics out to the right and they went past Big Sox in dismissive fashion for a win much easier than the final two length margin suggests. Brilliant Knight came in third a further four lengths back.
Park Soo Hong was Brilliant Knight’s jockey and he went on to take the day’s feature handicap on hot favourite Natural Nine, holding off a final furlong challenge from Best Condition. It was a day which had, much earlier, almost ended in disaster for the 33 year old as he fell heavily from two year old Cheonsangyeogeol in race 2.
While the focus was very much on Seoul, Busan also ran a six race card, the feature seeing a second consecutive win for Japanese bred Dongbang Geona in a KRW 40 Million Handicap.
JRA Trophy Race – Seoul Race Park – Oct 5, 2008 – 1200M
1. Playing Politics (USA) [Outflanker – Political Bluff (Unaccounted For)]-Choi Beom Hyun
2. Big Sox (USA) [Cimarron Secret-West Point Woman (Great Above)] – Kim Ok Sung
3. Brilliant Knight (USA) [Lion Hearted – Deputy Lady (French Deputy)] – Park Soo Hong
Distances: 2 lengths / 4 lengths
Fourth International Jockey Challenge Series
Korea 136 – 109 Rest Of The World
1. Park Tae Jong (KOR) 41
2. Choi Beom Hyun (KOR) 41
3. Moon Se Young (KOR) 34
4. Issei Murate (JPN) 31
5. Greg Cheyne (RSA) 29
6. Robert Thompson (AUS) 22
7. Anthony Black (USA) 18
8. Moon Jung Kyun (KOR) 12
9. Eddie Lai (HK) 9
10. Cho Kyoung Ho (KOR) 8