Unbeaten streak continues / Foreign jocks finally have their day
It wasn’t quite as easy as it could have been, but while Hanbatanguseum and Isfahan Teukgeup fought tooth and nail for second place, ahead of them Holy Dreamer took the line to make it five wins from five starts at Seoul Race Park this afternoon.
The three year old Holy Dreamer [Duality – Nice Weather (Future Storm)] debuted in March and today stepped up to category 3 level for the first time. Moon Se Young kept the gelding towards the front throughout most of the 1700 metre race before heading into the lead as they entered the home straight.
The small winning margin of a length and a half owed a lot to the battle behind them as the stewards took nearly ten minutes to decide that Hanbatanguseum had dipped his head at the right time to claim second. Holy Dreamer meanwhile will have tougher challenges to face in the future.
Earlier on a day of low-key racing, Japanese rider Toshiyuki Katoh scored his first victory in Korea with just his fourth ride. Katoh guided filly Dolpunguihaek to victory in race 1. It was a good day for the small Japanese contingent at Seoul with Nozomu Tomizawa also amongst the winners, landing race 5 on Melody Again.
Indeed it has been a good weekend all round so far for the international contingent in Korea. At Busan Race Park on Friday, Stephan Swanepoel claimed what was not only his first win since moving to the southern track, but his first win in fifty mounts since arriving in Korea. That he has only been offered fifty rides since March speaks volumes about why the South African asked to be transferred to Busan, which has a reputation of being slightly more foreigner friendly than Seoul – there’s no jockeys’ union for a start. Swanepoel was a four length winner on Powerful Spark in race 6.
Holy Dreamer isn’t alone in going five for five this weekend. With Eiki Nishimura and Martin Wepner also winning at Busan yesterday, all five overseas riders have been in the Winner’s Circle over the past two days – most likely the first time this has happened. Both Nishimura and Wepner will shortly be at the end of their contracts but hopefully for Katoh and Swanepoel, these first winners will be the first of many.
Back at Seoul today there were co-feature races, one for local bred horses and one for overseas. Torpedo Mast took the overseas event while Gayawangbi was successful in the local race.