Bally Brae second / Another big win for Choi Beom Hyun
At the end of eleven and a half furlongs, Dongbanui Gangja was the strongest in the sprint to win the 27th annual Grand Prix race on a bright winter’s afternoon at Seoul Race Park. The three year old colt overturned last year’s winner Bally Brae in the final furlong and run on to win by four lengths for jockey Choi Beom Hyun.
Punters couldn’t make up their minds and opted for experience as they sent off Bally Brae the slight favourite just ahead of Vicar Love, with Dongbanui Gangja third in the betting. However it was an outsider, Top Point who took the early lead. Drawn in stall 10, Shim Seung Tae brought the filly around the field and into the pace setting position as they passed the grandstand for the first time. Going with her was Secret Weapon with Bally Brae in third.
This was how it stayed until midway through the backstraight when Cho Kyoung Ho asked Myeongmun Gamun to quicken, the seven year old coming around the outside to take a position just behind the now flagging Top Point as they began the long turn for home. Meanwhile Dongbanui Gangja was sitting comfortably in fourth. Now the question was, which horses would stay the distance? Bally Brae was certain to and as Top Point fell away as they began the sprint, Moon Se Young looked likely to guide the six year old to his second consecutive Grand Prix. Down the outside though came Dongbanui Gangja, hitting the front with 150 metres to go. Bally Brae tried to fight back but there was to be no catching him.
Myeongmun Gamun ran on for third, repeating his 2007 performance by being the highest placed Korean bred horse. Fly Queen came home fourth, just edging out Baekpa. Rank outsider Seongpacheonha was sixth followed by Galsaem. Secret Weapon was a disappointing eighth and second favorite Vicar Love never got going, finishing in ninth. Predictably, early pace-setter Top Point was last to finish.
Grand Prix (G1) – Seoul Race Park – 2300M – Dec 21, 2008
1. Dongbanui Gangja (USA) [Broken Vow – Maremaid (Storm Bird)] – Choi Beom Hyun – 4.6
2. Bally Brae (USA) [Yarrow Brae – Political Bluff (Unaccounted For)] – Moon Se Young – 2.9
3. Myeongmun Gamun (KOR) [Future Quest – Guided Dancer (Incinderator)] – Cho Kyoung Ho – 11.8
Distances: 4 lengths/1.25 lengths – 10 ran