Gang Gwon takes chance / Strong Hug makes it four from four
Secret Weapon was sent off as long odds-on favourite but once more failed to deliver. Instead, it was Gang Gwon who came through to take the honours in the main event at Seoul Race Park this afternoon. Having failed to stay the trip in the Grand Prix race in December and running second to Top Point in a handicap last month, Secret Weapon was well placed throughout and hit the front under Park Tae Jong with a furlong to go.
The six year old had nothing in the tank, however, and Gang Gwon, Highteen and Lucky Mountain all passed him, Gang Gwon taking it on the line by a length and a half. Another six year old, it was Gang Gwon’s first win since December 2007.
Earlier, on a day when punters digested the news that Playing Politics, who so emphatically dominated his first attempt at class 1 last week, may never race again (of which more on Monday), US bred three year old Strong Hug [Strong Hope – Lady Dora (Lord At War)] put in a powerful performance to record his fourth straight win. With Moon Se Young on board, the colt always looked comfortable and outsprinted Tiffanyuikkum, another horse stepping up to class 2 for the first time, by two lengths.
In other races, there was a long overdue win for Taklamakan, the five year old scoring for the first time for over a year in the valuable race 10. While Moon Se Young managed two wins, Shin Hyoung Cheol was jockey of the day, landing an early treble with victories on Jisang Gangja in race 1, outsider Hwallyeok Plus in race 2 and the promising American import Red Trip in race 5. Red Trip [Trippi – Queen’s Ransom (Red Ransom)] had placed in three of his four previous outings.
It was a spring-like day at the track today and on what was the mildest day of the year so far, a large Saturday crowd made it to the races with the infield park attracting families for the first time this year. Tomorrow is expected to be slightly cooler but should still be dry and bright for the eleven race card which gets underway at 11:10. Busan has six races beginning at 12:30 while Jeju has ten with a 12:30 start.
Class 1 (Korean Bred) – Seoul Race Park – 1900M – Feb 28, 2009
1. Gang Gwon [Curia Regis – Bad Smart (Baederwood)] – Yoo Sang Wan – 15.2
2. Highteen [Mujaazif – Alittle Nostalgia (Nostalgia)] – Lee Gi Hwoi – 37.2
3. Lucky Mountain [Silent Warrior – Myeonggaheui (Revere)] – Choi, Beom Hyun – 10.4
Distances: 1.75 lengths/Head – 11 ran