Stars beaten at Busan / Vicar Love stays on
In the end Gaeseon Janggun beat Areumdaun Jilju in what was billed as “Match Race” between the two best Korean horses at Busan. However, he beat him for second place as both suffered a stunning reverse at the hands of Yeongung Manse in the G3 Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup.
After early leader Conqueror decided he’d had enough as they entered the home straight, the stage was set for the four year old Gaeseon Janggun and Areumdaun Jilju, one year his senior, to finally hook up after avoiding one another for the past year. Hook up they did and the battle was every bit as intense as expected. What was not expected was that in between them was the four year old gelding Yeongung Manse.
As punters cursed themselves for overlooking th fact that over the nine furlong distance he had recorded the fastest previous time, Yeongung Manse and Jo Chang Wook held off Gaeseon Janggun by a neck to land his ninth and biggest win of his career. Areumdaun Jilju was a further length back in third.
While Conqueror stayed on to only be beaten into fourth by a length, the major disappointment of the race was Pangpang. The Oaks winner wasn’t expected to win but neither was she expected to be a tailed off 14 lengths last. With Yeonseung Daero and Namdo Jeap being put in their place last week, the three year olds have not had a good few days.
Up at Seoul Race Park the International Jockey Invitational was the highlight (see report) but once that was over, there were still two major races on the card. Those hoping to gain some clues as to who may be able to challenge Dongbanui Gangja in the season ending Grand Prix were watching race 10 with interest. Not only was it one of very few races to be held over the Grand Prix distance of eleven and a half furlongs, but also featured a former winner in the shape of 2006 Horse of the Year Bally Brae as well as a host of those beaten last year.
The sentimental money went on Bally Brae but although the seven year old set the early pace, jockey Park Tae Jong eased him in the home straight as three months off the track and carrying over 60 kilos caught up with the much-loved gelding. In his place, Vicar Love was the surprise winner, holding off the late running favourite Bulpae Gisang. Last year’s Owners’ Trophy winner Saerounbisul snatched third.
Vicar Love [Vicar – Canberra (Silver Hawk)] struggled with the trip in the Grand Prix and had been in indifferent form this year. The handicapper will no doubt punish him for this but the Grand Prix race in December isn’t a handicap. Dongbanui Gangja’s connections will perhaps not be losing too much sleep at this stage, however.
In the final race of the weekend, Taesanbukdu won a class 1 domestic race by three lengths from joint favourite Ugildongja.
Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup (G.III) – Busan Race Park – 1800M – Sep 13, 2009
1. Yeongung Manse (KOR) [Sharp Appeal – Saratogasplash (Wild Again)] – Jo Chang Wook – 8.3, 2.5
2. Gaeseon Janggun (KOR) [Duality – Diamond Star (Dixieland Band)] – Jo Sung Gon – 1.4
3. Areumdaun Jilju (KOR) [Didyme – Chills Of Nepal (Nepal)] – Lim Sung Sil – 1.1
Distances: Neck/1 length
Also Ran: 4. Conqueror, 5. Pangpang