Bally Brae beaten / Bop’s Punch wins / Chavez debuts
Punters kept faith with Bally Brae, but it was Vicar Love who got back to winning ways in the big race at a foggy Seoul Race Park this afternoon. Bally Brae may not have won since last March, but his second place in the Grand Prix indicated that the big gelding was ready to win again and he went off favourite ahead of Seoul Teukgeup who had the beating of him throughout last autumn.
As the field broke, Bally Brae took up his customary position just off the lead, but as they turned into the back straight, Cho Kyoung Ho gave up trying to restrain the fractious Pocketful of Money, and the mare shot away from the pack, stringing out the field behind her. Only Bally Brae, Seoul Teukgeup and Vicar Love remained in touch with the rest out of sight.
Turning for home, inevitably Pocketful of Money was spent and it was Vicar Love, with Oh Kyoung Hoan at the controls for the first time, who was first to pass and take up the lead a furlong out. Bally Brae bore down the centre of the track, while Seoul Teukgeup was finishing the fastest of all three. The line came soon enough, however, for Vicar Love to take the honours by a length and a half with just a Neck seperating Bally Brae and Seoul Teukgeup. Saerounbisul put in a fast final furlong to almost bridge the gap with the rest well beaten.
Despite the fog, it was a dry and mild day and earlier, promising US import Bop’s Punch [Bop – French Punch (Two Punch)] continued his progress in landing race 5 by an impressive five lengths. Kim Dong Min took the colt into the lead straight out of the gate and there they stayed for a comfortable wire to wire win. Also finally tasting victory was the Ft. Stockton colt Love For Ever, who justified his odds on status by taking race 6 by four lengths.
Moon Se Young took the jockey honours completing a treble by the end of race four. Moon later tarnished his day somewhat by picking up a 2 day ban for careless riding while guiding favourite Pop’s Slew to defeat in race 8. American jockey Santos Chavez debuted this afternoon finishing well out of the money on both his mounts. Chavez will have two more rides tomorrow, including one in the feature race.
Racing returns tomorrow with cards at Seoul (11:10), Busan (12:30) and Jeju (12:30).
Class 1 (Foreign Bred) – Seoul Race Park – 2000M – Feb 7, 2009
1. Vicar Love (USA) [Vicar – Canberra (Silver Hawk)] – Oh Kyoung Hoan – 5.1
2. Bally Brae (USA) [Yarrow Brae – Political Bluff (Unaccounted For)] – Moon Se Young – 1.7
3. Seoul Teukgeup (USA) [Safely’s Mark – Bemmalou (Waquoit)] – Moon Jung Kyun – 3.0
Distances – 1.5 lengths/Neck – 8 ran