Gangho takes it easy / Aria wins again
Ugildongja made the most of Namchonuijijon’s recalcitrance to land the feature at Seoul Race Park this afternoon. Making his first appearance as a five year old, Namchonuijijon was backed into favourite but reared up in the stalls and then sat down. On being backed out of the gate, although there was no visible sign of injury, the vet ruled him out of the race as a precaution. With Namchonuijijon’s withdrawal, it was left to the horse who took turns with him playing second fiddle to J.S. Hold in 2007, Hwangnyongsaji, who took over as favourite.
When they finally got underway, Lucky Seven under Lee Sang Hyuk bolted into a five length lead and he would remain in front until deep into the home straight. Hwangnyongsaji had been well placed but failed to kick on when asked and it was Ugildongja under Ham Wan Sik who came down the rail to hit the front in the final furlong. He would hold on comfortably with Saebyeok Dongja and Natural Nine following in second and third. After three races out of the money, it’s a return to form for Ugildongja who takes his seventh career victory.
Earlier, Gangho made a walkover of race 5. The official margin of victory was eleven lengths but jockey Boo Min Ho never picked up his stick and began easing the colt around the furlong marker. Gangho [Peace Rules – Honor Delilah (Honor Grades)] goes two for two since his debut in January with a combined margin of twenty lengths. Although he has been in distinctly average company so far the American import looks to be a horse who could brighten up 2009.
Three year old filly Aria also took her second consecutive win but she had to battle to just edge out Guard Blue by a nose in race 7. Taking on and beating male horses, even at this stage of the season, has Aria as an Oaks possible come August. In other races, there was an rare dead heat as the judges failed to separate Haetbit Jangsa and Jebe at the end of race 8. Meanwhile, Baram Queen, fourth in last year’s Oaks landed race 9.
With Moon Se Young serving the first of a two day ban, Park Tae Jong revelled in champion’s absence, the veteran landing a treble. Cho Kyoung Ho also picked up two winners but Choi Beom Hyun only managed to take the last. Racing returns to Seoul tomorrow. There are also cards at both Busan and Jeju.
Class 1 (Korean Bred) – Seoul Race Park – 2000M – Feb 14, 2009
1. Ugildongja [Dixie Dot Com – May Roses (Incinderator)] – Ham Wan Sik – 9.5
2. Saebyeok Dongja [Fiercely – Cheongpa (The Rogers Four)] – Shin Hyoung Cheol – 7.0
3. Natural Nine [Revere – C. Bop (Alydar)] – Oh Kyoung Hoan – 2.8
Distances: 1 length/1.25 lengths – 11 ran