Torpedo Mast wins / First victory for Abigail
Punters brought the sun-block out for the first time this year as Seoul basked in the sunshine for the first day of the Ttukseom Cup meeting. And with the cherry blossoms in bloom in the infield and a big Saturday crowd in attendance, it was five year old mare Wig who landed the day’s feature race.
Sent off second in the betting, Wig made a late run under Choi Beom Hyun to overhaul Esteban, who had led from the gate, in the final furlong. Favourite Baram Queen, one of Seoul’s top fillies last season, ran into second with the tiring Esteban hanging on for third. Wig ran in a slew of big races last year but went through her entire four year old season without a win. Today’s victory takes her on to five in her career.
In the top race for foreign bred horses, Torpedo Mast took the honours, outsprinting odds-on favourite Free Hugs to win by a Head on the line. Earlier, on what was a generally low-key card, Australian-bred My Photo Map took his second consecutive win, overcoming another odds favourit in Badauibyeol.
In other races, after three consecutive second place finishes, promising three year old filly Abigail broke her maiden, taking a very competitive race 5 with victory over debut making Australian two year old Sumba.
With champion jockey Moon Se Young away on honeymoon, the old guard took the opportunity to make up some ground in the jockey’s championship. Park Tae Jong landed a treble with wins on Smart Khan, Saebyeokgisang and Galmasan while fellow veteran Kim Hyo Seob managed a double. It was also a good day for Stephan Swanepoel. Still to record his first winner in Korea, the South African managed consecutive thirds in races 3 and 4.
Tommorrow sees the main event of the weekend with the 21st running of the Ttukseom Cup with Namchonuijijon and Myeongmun Gamun heading the field. The big race isn’t until 5pm but the first race goes to post at 11:20. Busan gets its card underway at 12:40 and the ponies will be running on Jeju Island from 12:10.