Playing Politics, winner of five of his six career starts, may never race again. The four year old gelding went wire to wire over 2000 metres in his first race in class 1 company on February 21, comfortably defeating a field including multiple winners Subsidy and Baekjeonmupae.
However, the Gyongma Munhwa (Racing Journal) reports a later x-ray showed a small fracture to his knee. Trainer Hong Dae You reported Playing Politics to have been in good shape before the race and having won comfortably carrying a light weight, showed no obvious ill-effects after.
Playing Politics [Outflanker – Political Bluff (Unaccounted For)] is a half brother of 2006 Horse of the Year Bally Brae. Brought to Korea as a two year old, he made his debut in May last year and broke the track record for six and a half furlongs in his second outing. He suffered his only defeat with a lacklustre performance in the YTN Cup, coming in fourth behind Vicar Love but after two months off, was back on form landing the JRA Trophy.
One more win at class two followed in 2008 before last week’s impressive run marked him down as a likely Grand Prix contender this year. Distressed trainer Hong said further tests will determine the severity of the fracture and whether his racing career can be saved.