Namdo Jeap, Seokcheong win / Iku dominates Busan / Swanepoel debuts
Crafty Louis stepped back in distance and bounced straight back into form landing Busan Race Park’s feature event this afternoon. Dropping back to a mile for the first time in over two years, the six year old went off fourth in the betting as highly fancied Patches Of Gold made the early running.
Favourite Dongbang Geona was well placed throughout but as they came off the turn it was Crafty Louis who accelerated the quickest. Only Oneuri Bobae could go with him and these two opened up a substantial gap on the field, Jo Chang Wook bringing Crafty Louis home for a length and a half win with Storm Rider leading the field in a full eleven lengths back.
Jo was one of only two Korean jockeys to ride a winner at Busan this afternoon. Ikuyasu Kurakane really hit the jackpot in moving from Seoul to Busan and had wrapped up a treble by the race 4. Meanwhile South African Martin Wepner scored his second victory in Korea, guiding relatively unfancied Captain Kim to victory in race 3.
Another jockey getting his second victory on the peninsula was American Santos Chavez who landed race 3 at Seoul Race Park on Yaho Shani. Chavez is gradually picking up more rides and followed up his front-running win on Yaho Shani with a surprise second place on unfancied Baram Queen in Seoul’s feature race. Under Chavez, the filly finished less than a length adrift of favourite Cheonnyeonbulpae, the Cho Kyoung Ho ridden four year old taking his second consecutive win at class 2 level.
In what was an eventful day for overseas riders, another South African jockey, Stephanus Swanepoel made his Seoul debut. Swanepoel’s first mount came in race 4, a race which exemplified Korean racing at its worst. Horses ran wide on the turn and, in the stretch, eventual winner My Photo Map suddenly veered off towards the stands. That the gelding still managed to win spoke volumes about the quality of the field behind. Meanwhile Swanepoel’s mount returned home lame after finishing tailed off and has been stood down for at least a year. His second mount, Smart Angel, finished in the middle of a pack well beaten by Giant Rose in race 7, the filly giving Moon Se Young his third victory of the day.
In other races, there were two three year old performances of note. At Busan, Namdo Jeap [Ft. Stockton – Wandering Katie (Tejano)] predictably wired a field of eight fellow three year olds and was eased to a five length win on his season’s debut. Up at Seoul, Seokcheong [Fiercely – Miss Geology (Jade Hunter)] was always likely to put in a good performance, but the colt exceeded expectations by winning race 8, two lengths ahead of favourite Saerounjeonseol.
Class 1 (foreign bred) – Busan Race Park – 1600M – Mar 15, 2009
1. Crafty Louis (USA) [Louis Quatorze – Crafty Atlantic (Crafty Prospector)] – Jo Chang Wook – 7.0
2. Oneurui Bobae (USA) [Montbrook – Promise Me Magic (Pentelicus)] – Jo Chan Hoon – 12.1
3. Storm Rider (JPN) [Tabasco Cat – Goldrush Gal (Gulch)] – Han Sang Gyu – 18.0
Distances: 1.5 lengths/11 lengths – 12 ran