Grey runs well but beaten by Gi Ra Seong
Gi Ra Seong may have won, but most eyes were on Baekgwang in the feature race at Seoul this afternoon. The great grey was making his second start since his year on the sidelines while undergoing the stem cell treatment that has rescued his career.
While connections are still being cautious, today’s second place in a tough handicap was an improvement on his fourth in last month’s SBS Cup. By the time Park Tae Jong unleashed the now six year old’s familiar stretch run down the middle of the track, Gi Ra Seong was already out of sight. For a moment, however, there was a glimpse of the Baekgwang of three years ago as he ate into the lead and even found time to revert to his old habit of drifting toward the rail.
The distance on the line though, while only a length and a half, owed more to Gi Ra Seong easing in the final few strides. The five year old is now on three straight wins and has eleven from twenty in all.
For Baekgwang, if he has come through this race unscathed and if he continues to improve in training, a shot at the President’s Cup remains an option.
While Baekgwang’s comeback continued, there were others beginning theirs today. Another grey, New Heart, won her first and only race on her debut last November. Sustaining an injury shortly afetrwards that would keep her off the track for ten months, today she finally made her first appearance as a three year old. She duly showed punters what they’ve missed by claiming race 5 with a strong late run.
Also returning today after a lengthy spell out was jockey Lee Shin Young. Korea’s top female jock didn’t take long to make an impact, winning race 7 on Sinhwacheoreom. Tomorrow she will be re-united with former regular mount Kkumcheoreom as the pair go for the Dong-a Ilbo Cup.
Class 1 Handicap (Domestic) – Seoul Race Park – 2000M – Sep 19, 2009
1. Gi Ra Seong (KOR) [Precise End – Dauntless Cat (Mountain Cat)] – Choi Beom Hyun – 2.0, 1.1,
2. Baekgwang (KOR) [The Groom Is Red – Grey Crest (Gold Crest)] – Park Tae Jong – 1.2
3. Wontagui Gisa (KOR) [Fiercely – Grove Lady (Varick)] – Moon Jung Kyun 1.7
Distances: 1.5 lengths/3 lengths – 8 ran