Favourite Lands Oaks Trial / Miss Ecton wins at Busan
Love Cat held off a strong late challenge from outsider Victor Hunter to land Seoul’s main Korean Oaks trial this afternoon. Coming back off a nearly three month lay-off since finishing a disappointing eleventh in KRA Cup Mile at Busan, the first leg of the Triple Crown, Love Cat was sent off favourite of a ten strong field in the Sports Seoul Cup.
Good Leader, under Moon Jung Kyun, set the pace in the early stages of the eight and a half furlong trial, with Ganghan Speed also showing early. Choi Beom Hyun kept Love Cat in the middle of the pack and made his move as they entered the home straight. Love Cat hit the front with half a furlong to go and it was the fast finishing Victor Hunter, under Kim Ok Sung, who came closest to catching them. The line arrived in time though as Love Cat secured victory by a neck.
There were disappointing performances from highly rated Isanghwa and Tummim but for Love Cat is was a sixth win from ten outings. Given her bad run in Busan last time, it is far from certain whether she will travel south in August to face the now mighty Sangseung Ilro once more. Nevertheless, with victory today, Love Cat secured her position as Korea’s second best three year old filly.
For jockey Choi Beom Hyun it was another big race win, following his victory last week on Dongbanui Gangja in the Owners’ Trophy. Throughout the rest of the day, however, it was Park Tae Jong who once more dominated. Honoured in a ceremony after race 7 for his achievement in scoring 1500 career wins, Park went on to take four more this afternoon.
At Busan Race Park, South African jockey Martin Wepner continued to repay the faith shown in him by trainer Kim Young Kwan, guiding Kim’s Miss Ecton to victory in the feature race. The US bred Miss Ecton, whose sire, Ecton Park, was recently brought to Korea won the Busan Ilbo Cup last year but was then out of action for five months. Elevated to the highest class of Korean racing, she found the going tough but now has her second win against male horses at the top level.
Sports Seoul Cup – Seoul Race Park – 1700M – June 28, 2009
1. Love Cat (KOR) [Creek Cat – Love Cue (Curia Regis)] – Choi Beom Hyun – 2.1
2. Victor Hunter (KOR) [Social Charter – Angel’s Walk (Commemorate)] – Kim Ok Sung – 30.1
3. Ganghan Speed (KOR) [Lethal Instrument – Devil’s Mama (Devil’s Bag)] – Yoo Sang Wan – 6.7
Distances: Neck/1.75 lengths
Also ran: 4. Good Leader; 5. Abigail; 6. Isanghwa; 7. Rose cat; 8. Morning Rush; 9. Jeongsang Cheonji; 10. Tummim