Day: December 5, 2009

Se Young Back On The Prowl

The foxes have had their fun of late, but a lion was stalking them at Seoul Race Park this afternoon. And it didn’t take long for Moon Se Young to continue where he left off, alpha-maleing over the jockey colony at Seoul Race Park.

On his return from just over three months on the sidelines, the 2008 champion started slowly with a third place on Helmitonia in race 1, but was in the winner’s circle with Silver Way in race 4 and again with Samcheolli in race 9.

Although apprentice Kim Cheol Ho also managed a double (with both wins coming on mounts picked up from the injured Oh Kyoung Hoan), the big guns of Park Tae Jong, Choi Beom Hyun and Cho Kyoung Ho all managed just a solitary win. It’s too late for him to challenge to retain his title, but today Moon Se Young sent out a strong message that whoever takes the title, he remains the number one predator at the track.

Cho’s win was the most eye-catching, guiding highly rated US import Tough Win to his second victory in two starts. Once more, it was anything but a tough win. The two-year old was drawn in gate 14 in race 6 but was in front within 100 metres of the start and from there cruised round to score a 16 length win. His time was just three tenths of a second off the track record for 6 furlongs and Cho never had to move in the saddle.

Tough Win [Yonaguska – Maggie May’s Sword (Sword Dance)] is one to watch next year. Also in race 6, jockey Shim Seung Tae suffered a heavy fall. No word yet on his condition but it looked like a bad one.

The feature race was won by an outsider as New Rider gave Japanese jockey Yoshiyuki Aoki his biggest Korean win to date with a late run to defeat Taesanbukdu. In the same race, Symphony Sonata struggled to make the step-up to class 1 racing and old favourite Namchonuijijon continued his recent poor run of form.

It was a bitterly cold day at the capital track. Snow began falling shortly before the first race and continued until the fourth with a strong wind adding to the deeply unpleasant conditions for horses and riders. Race 3 had to be delayed due to jockey concerns about visibility. As soon as it stopped snowing, the visibility problems ceased but the biting wind meant for a challenging day.

It’s going to be even colder on Sunday although without the snow. Seonbongbulpae looks set to be favourite as he goes head-to-head with Northern Ace for the title of Champion Juvenile in the Herald Business. However, while it’s billed as a match race between the two, let’s not count out Moon Se Young on the filly Hushtilled. Meanwhile at Busan – where it is forecast to be a positively tropical seven degrees above zero, Yeonseung Daero and Areumdaun Jilju will go for the Owner’s Cup.