Day: May 10, 2009

Angus Empire Rises Again

Baram Queen rules / Eiki nabs a double / Impeccable Derby-bound
Angus Empire, currently ranked fourth best horse at Seoul, produced a fast finish to land the feature race at Seoul Race Park this afternoon. Sent off third favourite behind Seoul Teukgeup and Brilliant Knight, Angus Empire was slow to begin as sprint specialist Gamadongja set the early pace under Nozomu Tomizawa.

As in his last outing, Gamadongja held the lead until the final furlong, but could only manage third as first Angus Empire and then Fly Queen came past with the line in sight. The win was five year old Angus Empire’s [Lion Cavern – Clever Dorothy (Clever Trick)] first of 2009 after three straight placings. Disappointments were Seoul Teukgeup and Pocketful of Money finishing seventh and tenth respectively.

On a day where weather forecasters once more got it gloriously wrong and Seoul basked in sunshine and temperatures in the high seventies, Baram Queen took advantage of the late scratching of likely favourite Siinui Norae to land the day’s second most valuable race. The four year old, who in fourth place was Seoul’s best finisher in the Korean Oaks last year, comfortably held off Saebyeol Achim for a two length win after early pace setter Esteban disappeared in the home straight. Siinui Norae meanwhile, will likely be sidelined for at least six months.

At Busan Race Park, Eiki Nishimura followed up his treble on Friday with a double. The Japanese jockey took race 4 on Champion Rush and race 5 on the improving Kiwi’s Playboy.

And so we are just a week away from the Derby and in Triple Crown news, it has been cofirmed that the filly Love Cat will not run in the big race next week. In her place will be Impeccable, the colt who went into the KRA Cup Mile four for four but finished unplaced. We’ll be starting our week of Derby build-up tomorrow as we gear up for the biggest weekend in Korean racing which will see not only the Derby but also the JRA Cup.