Full Step out of step / Foreign jocks clean up at Busan
Two year old prospect Full Step found things tough as he stepped up a level at Seoul Race Park this afternoon. The colt trailed in four lengths behind Black Man over seven furlongs. Sent off odds-on favourite, Full Step was on the pace for most of the race but couldn’t come close to matching the three-year old Black Man as he accelerated away in the final furlong.
The biggest race of the day was at Busan where in a tight three-way finish, favoruite Haengbok Dream just lost out to Namchee with Seonnyang Yongsa in third. Miss Ecton led the rest of the field home, five lengths back in fourth. For the Australian bred Namchee, it was a successful first crack at top-tier racing. The four-year old had only missed the money twice in fifteen starts prior to today although had only won three of those.
Namchee provided the second winner of the day for Eiki Nishimura. The Japanese rider had earlier taken race 2 on Angel Star and, with Hitomi Miyashita and Martin Wepner also being among the winners, it meant foreign riders accounted for four of the six races on the card. Choi Si Dae and Jo Sung Gon were the sole home riders to score.
Yesterday at Seoul on the first day of a low-key weekend of racing, Pocketful Of Money landed the feaure race, taking a half length win from Yodongseong with outsider Royal Missile a surprise third. Earlier in the day there had been another near-miss for Korearacing favourite Ungbiyeongung. The five-year old scored his sixth second place finish but remains winless in thirty-three starts.
After the sub-zero conditions of earlier in the week, temperatures were remarkably back up in the low-seventies despite overcast skies on Saturday. Those skies erupted in spectacular fashion overnight to saturate the track in time for Sunday’s races although the rain had by and large stopped in time for racing.
Next week, it’s down to the real business of the President’s Cup with Baekgwang up against a slew of the year’s top three-year olds for one of the season’s biggest prizes.