Mighty Runner’s streak ends / Red Ball wires field
Last week it was Bally Brae, today it was Namchonuijijon returning to the Winner’s Circle with a long overdue triumph at Seoul Race Park. The five year old started second favourite to Mighty Runner, who was looking for a sixth straight win, and was slow away as Heukjo Bisang made the running in the early stages of the 2000 metre race.
Mighty Runner, under Shin Hyoung Cheol, looked menacing throughout but as they turned for home, Jung Ki Young made his move on Namchonuijijon. Heukjo Bisang fell away and Mighty Runner never seemed to get into his stride. Only Free Woody, who had been racing at the front throughout, offered resistance but he too was passed as Namchonuijijon went on to take the line with a length and a half in hand.
Very much in the shadow of J.S. Hold in his three year old season, Namchonuijijon was expected to shine in 2008 and victory over Baekgwang in the Ttukseom Cup in April seemed to indicate great things ahead. On his next outing, however, Baekgwang’s sister, Baekpa, would soundly defeat him and things got worse from there as he finished out of the money for the first time in his career in his next appearance. Finally in December, he managed a creditable second behind Taebaek Janggun and now, with his first outing of the year ending in success, maybe 2009 could be Namchonuijijon’s year.
In other races, three year old Red Ball [Lethal Instrument – Wildly Magic (Peterhof)] stepped up in class and never looked anything other than a winner as he led race 10 from start to finish. The colt goes on to four wins from seven starts. Another three year old in the winner’s circle was Modern Fighter [Even The Score – Jester Rehab (Dmitri)] who scored moved up to 1700 metres and scored his third success from six starts in race 9.
Tommorow sees eleven races at Seoul with the first off at 11:20. South African jockey Stephan Swanepoel will make his Korean debut in race 4 riding unfancied gelding Gangcheolbong. Swanepoel also has a mount in race 7. Busan hosts a six race card with the first off at 12:40 while Jeju gets its ten race program off at 12:10.
Class 1 – Seoul Race Park – 2000M – Mar 14, 2009
1. Namchonuijijon (KOR) [Concept Win – Intriga (Lord At Law) – Jung Ki Young – 4.3
2. Free Woody (KOR) [Social Charter – Choeseonbong (Imperial Price)] – Moon Jung Kyun – 7.6
3. Mighty Runner (KOR) [Pacificbounty – Roan All Over (Fight Over)] – Shin Hyoung Cheol – 2.1
Distances: 1.5 lengths/0.5 lengths – 12 ran