Namdo Jeap did it last week and today at Busan Race Park it was the turn of Gaeseon Janggun to take on and beat the track’s imported horses.
Second in the first two legs of last year’s Triple Crown and winner of the final one, Gaeson Janggun has now won all four of his starts as a four year old and until Sangseung Ilro takes on older horses, still has claims to be recognised as the top Korean bred horse currently in training.
Today’s win was typical as he came late and wide to defeat a field of twelve rivals by three lengths. Korean bred horses rarely take on imported horses and although this field contained no real stars – indeed Gaeseon Janggun was sent off as odds-on favourite, it is encouraging to see some of the top horses entered in open races.
There is little incentive for owners to do so, however. Prize money is generally higher in domestic races and the competition is less fierce. While the standard of imported horses in Korea is not especially high – there is, after all, a limit ($20,000 for colts $40,000 for fillies) on how much can be spent on them, their early training and conditioning tends to have been better than that which locally bred horses receive. While the KRA spends a lot of money sending horses overseas to “test” the level of Korean racing, one might think it would be a start to get them to run against the imports here in Korea a little more often.
Up at a wet Seoul Race Park, Bulpae Gisang, last year’s top imported two year old, stepped up to category 1 racing for the first time. It was winning start as the colt overhauled long time leader Gamadongja in the final firlong of the 2000 metre race to claim his sixth win from nine career starts.
Class 1 (foreign bred) – Busan Race Park – 2000M (Hdcp) – July 12, 2009
1. Gaeseon Janggun (KOR) [Duality – Diamond Star (Dixieland Band)] – Jo Sung Gon – 1.5, 1.3
2. Bugyeong Choegang (AUS) [Flying Spur – Time For Bed (Night Shift)] – Yang Young Nam – 1.6
3. Bugyeong Maru (AUS) – [Favorite Trick – Narrate (Danzero)] – Martin Wepner – 15.7
Distances: 3 lengths/Neck – 13 ran