Day: December 14, 2008

No Supernatural as Afternoon Dove Swoops

Saeroun Bulpae wins Min Ilbo Cup / Six in a row for Tu Won
Supernatural, set to be nailed on favourite, was a late scratching at Seoul Race Park this afternoon in a race which saw Shaving Points return to the track. It was outsider Afternoon Dove, however, who took advantage of the four year old’s absence to claim a three length win from Royal Missile and Hero’s Song. On his first outing since being pulled up in early September, Shaving Points showed little interest in racing although Ikuyasu Kurakane managed to battle his way into fifth place on the line.

One race later, Tu Won continued his remarkable run of recent form which has seen the gelding win six times from six starts since breaking his maiden in July. Today’s victory was was a stroll from gate to wire although he did his best to make things difficult for jockey Choi Beom Hyun, veering drastically towards the stands in the home straight. Fortunately there was plenty of daylight between him and Geumbit Gangja and Sinbi Wangja who were battling it out for second and all it meant was that what should have been a ten length win became a two length win.

Seoul’s most valuable race went to form as favourite Dashing Champ led old stager Flying Cat home by three lengths. Earlier in the day, Luxury Jewang took his second win in a row, Boo Min Ho bringing the gelding through from the very back of the field at just the right time to steal vicory in race 6. Meanwhile, jockey Yoo Mi Ra missed out on her very first victory as Natural Guy succumbed to Keuntaeyang in the final strides of race 4. Yoo remains the only member of this year’s intake of jockeys to be without a winner although injury has restricted her to just 22 rides.

At Busan Race Park, it was the GyeongnamDo Min Ilbo Cup, a race which gave overseas bred horses a rare opportunity to compete for a big prize over the short distance of 1400 metres. Japanese filly Jilju Hara made the early running but faded badly as they turned into the straight as Dongbang Geona took over. The gelding wouldn’t stay there for long though as at the furlong pole, 13.4 shot Saeroun Bulpae hit the front and stayed there for a length and a half win from second favourite King Kephalos who just edged out Shane Bob for third. Dongbang Geona held on for fourth but Jilju Hara eventually finished tailed off. Another disappointment was Florida Native, while Metropolitan winner Hard Ride managed fifth. The US bred Saeroun Bulpae moves on to five wins from fourteen starts with all but one of those wins coming at 1400 metres.

In other news from Busan, Japanese jockey Eiki Nishimura was relieved of his riding duties after failing a random alcohol test. Confessing to having had a heavy Saturday night, Nishimura has been suspended until December 28.

Gyeongnam-Do Min Ilbo Cup – Busan Race Park – 1400M – Dec 14, 2008

1. Saeroun Bulpae (USA) [Northern Afleet – Really Appealing (Valid Appeal)] – Chae Gyu Jun – 13.4
2. King Kephalos (JPN) [King Glorious – Western Edge (Woodman)] – Jo Sung Gon – 4.3
3. Shane Bob (USA) [Double Honor – Severeturbulence (Far Out East)] – Toshio Uchida – 16.5
Distances: 1.5 lengths/Neck – 13 ran