Areumdaun Jilju scratched / Mighty Runner makes it five from five
Carrying a light weight and with his main rival and perhaps Busan’s best domestic bred horse, Areumdaun Jilju, a late scratching, the scene seemed to be set for Procyon to end his recent barren spell at Busan Race Park this afternoon. However, just like for Bally Brae at Seoul yesterday, it was not to be. Chae Gyu Jun took Procyon into the lead straight out of the gate and maintained pole position turning into the home straight, looking ready to kick on.
When asked for a final effort though, there was nothing left in the tank and it was Yeonhap Jakjeon who came through to take his first win at class 1 level ahead of Boryeong Bulbit. Procyon is now nine months and seven races without a win. Looking good for all but the final furlong, he may be taken down in distance next time, where the vast majority of his wins have come.
Areumdaun Jilju’s late withdrawal due to a slight ligament injury meant that Ikuyasu Kurakane was denied the opportunity to complete a treble having earlier won on Yeokjeonui Champ in race 3 and Haste in race 5. An Oaks possible, Haste [Snow Ridge – Fresh Strike (Smart Strike)] wrapped up her third victory in four outings hitting the front two furlongs out and holding on comfortably for a two length win.
At Seoul Race Park, Mighty Runner overhauled Hongji in the final furlong to land a class 1 race at the first attempt and in doing so, take his unbeaten streak to five. A late developer, Mighty Runner was sixth in the Derby in 2007 but was then out for almost a whole year through injury. On his return he showed an aptitude for the longer distances and began his winning streak last September. In much better company today, he was sent off fourth in the betting. Favourite Taebaek Janggun looked well placed heading into the straight but then commenced to give jockey Moon Se Young, stepping in for Choi Beom Hyun who was injured in an earlier fall, a torrrid time as he fell from first to last. Shin Hyoung Cheol on Mighty Runner took advantage and just got the better of Hongji and a fast finishing Bandoui Byeol on the line.
Moon Se Young and Cho Kyoung Ho both landed doubles and American Santos Chavez managed his first placing passing eight horses in the final furlong to take third favourite Skibbereen from last to third in race 11. It was Chavez’s best finish in four rides over the weekend but he has looked comfortable and his light riding weight may give him more opportunities than previous overseas jockeys have been given.