Day: October 11, 2008

Seoul Bids a Fond Farewell to J.S. Hold

Saturday Racing Review
Racegoers paid tribute to last year’s Triple Crown winner J.S. Hold in a ceremony at Seoul Race Park this afternoon following the news that the four year old will never be fit enough to return to the track. Following a presentation, jockey Moon Jung Kyun took J.S. Hold out onto the track and down to the two furlong pole before turning and galloping past the grandstands to the winning post to a rapturous ovation.

Another to receive an unusual reception – this time a raucous one – was Japanese jockey Toshio Uchida, in Seoul to ride Rainmaker in tomorrow’s Minister’s Cup. The Busan based rider with a winning ratio of nearly 30% has become a punter’s hero since arriving in Korea earlier this year and was applauded all round the paddock on his first visit to the capital. His one mount today came in race 9, where he partnered Energetic to third place, following a dreadful start behind the improving Exzacta Runner.

On what was a beautiful afternoon for racing, it was very much Moon Se Young’s day on the track as he picked up four wins including back to back victories on promising two year olds Geumgangcheon and Nice Choice. The former took race 5 by five lengths while the latter trotted up by eight lengths in race 6. In other races, Australian import Happy Gwacheon took his fifth win from twelve starts and looks like he will soon be contesting cat.1 events while in the day’s most valuable race, Taebaek Janngun scored a solid win over favourite New Rider over 1900 metres.

Overall, today was a day when punters honoured one of the equine athletes that make the sport so great. In Korean racing it is not something that happens often. It could just be that tomorrow they have another opportunity if the filly, Jeolho Chance, can upset the odds and beat the colts to win the Minister’s Cup. She will have it tough as Gaeseon Janggun, having beaten most of the field recently, is likely to be sent off heavy favourite and Ebony Storm and Rainmaker are both also Classic Winners. That it could happen, however, is why people go racing.

Race 1 at Seoul tomorrow is at 11:20 with the Minister’s Cup off at 17:00. Busan kicks-off its six race card at 12:40 with the Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup at 15:35.