Day: July 5, 2009

Gi Ra Seong Triumphs as Myeongmun Gamun Sinks

First time out of the money for 8YO
He’s won back to back President’s Cups and has been the first domestically bred horse home in the Grand Prix races of the past two years, but it’s looking increasingly likely that 2009 is not to be the year of Myeongmun Gamun. On his first outing since a disappointing run in the Ttukseom Cup in April, the 2008 Horse of The Year put in a lucklustre performance at Seoul Race Park this afternoon.

After putting up only a fraction of his usual resistance at the gate, the Myeongmun Gamun got away badly. Whereas in the Ttukseom Cup, the poor start had put paid to his chances very early on, today’s distance of 2000 metres meant that by the time the field exited the back straight, Oh Kyoung Hoan had managed to shake the eight year old around the outside and ono the shoulder of the leaders.

However, that was all the exertion Myeongmun Gamun could muster and as he sank back through the field, it was Gi Ra Seong who emerged to take an emphatic four length win. Leading the rest home was Wontagui Gisa, the longest shot on the board making for a 749.1 exacta. Ttukseom Cup winner Mighty Runner came late down the outside but could only manage third.

It was the first time in all of his thirty three runs that Myeongmun Gamun had finished out of the money. However, while today signified an unwelcome milestone in his career, for another horse there was an equally significant, but altogether more positive one.

Gi Ra Seong was last in the winner’s circle on Derby weekend in May last year. Coincidentally the race that he won was a race that Myeongmun Gamun refused to go into the gate for. Trailing behind that day was Baekpa. An injury picked up immediately after that win kept him off the track for the remainder of his four year old season. Coming back in April this year he placed fourth, and then managed a second in May. With victory today in a race in which most of Seoul’s top Korean bred horses were present, perhaps 2009 could be the year of Gi Ra Seong.

Class 1 (Korean bred) – Seoul Race Park – 2000M (Hdcp) – July 5, 2009

1. Gi Ra Seong [Precise End – Dauntless Cat (Mountain Cat)] – Oh Kyoung Hoan – 3.9, 1.4
2. Wontagui Gisa [Fiercely – Grove Lady (Varick)] – Lee Sang Hyuk – 25.1
3. Mighty Runner [Pacific Bounty – Roan All Over (Fight Over)] – Park Tae Jong – 1.2
Distances: 4 lengths/1 length – 14 ran