Day: January 9, 2010

Sunday Preview – Return Of The Ajummas

Two of Korean racing’s most distinguished females make long awaited returns to the track at Seoul Race Park on Sunday.

Now eight years old, Galsaem [Adjudicating – Golden Image (Dancer’s Image)] made her debut in 2005 and quickly became one of the most formidable fillies on the track. She won the NACF Chairman’s Race in 2006 and amassed seventeen wins from her thirty-six starts, missing out on the money on just three occasions.

Her last appearance was in the Grand Prix race at the end of the 2008 season in which she finished ninth and was found to be lame. After a long recovery period, she came through an official race trial in December with no problems and will line up for Sunday’s feature handicap.

She’ll have her work cut out with the likes of Secret Weapon, Balhae Janggun, Good Day, New Rider and Namchonuijijon all having claims in the 2000 metre race 10.

Also making a return is jockey Lee Geum Joo. Only the second woman to have been granted a license (jointly with Lee Shin Young) in Korea, Geum Joo debuted in 2001 and over the following years rode sixteen winners from just over six hundred rides.

Despite having not riddden competitively for over two years, Geum Joo retained her license and, having got married last year, returns to race riding at Seoul on Sunday afternoon. She has just the one mount on six-year old gelding Cheongun Baram, who is himself coming off a nine month lay-off in the competitive looking race 9.

In that race, Soseono is the best known of the thirteen declared, but she’ll face strong competition from Gangho Jewang and Yaho MK among others.

Sunday Racing:

Seoul: 11 races, first post 11:10, last 17:45
Busan: 6 races, first post 12:30, last 16:15

Happy New Year for Baengnyeonbong

Baengnyeonbong took victory in the opening Stakes action of the year as he came from behind to win the New Year’s Commemorative Race at a cold and snowy Seoul Race Park this afternoon.

With likely pre-race favourite Wangsan a late scratching, Winner Prince was sent off the even money favourite with Baengnyeonbong and Golden Rose the joint 6-1 seconds. Indeed, it was Golden Rose who provided the early pace leading them through the opening six furlongs.

Outsider Green Jewel came to take things up as they turned for home but quickly faded in the home straight as the closers came through. Baengnyeonbong was the fastest, leading Winner Prince over the line by two lengths with Fundahigh another fast finisher in third.

Highly thought of during the early part of his three-year old campaign, the highlight of which was third place in the Korean Derby, the win today should see Baengnyeonbong gaining access to class 1 races for the rest of this season. The victory was his sixth in fifteen starts, during which time he’s only been out of the money twice.

New Year Commemorative Stakes (Herald Business) – Seoul Race Park – 1800M – Jan 9, 2010

1. Baengnyeonbong (KOR) [Al Naba – Sansovino Art (Mister. C)] – Oh Kyoung Hoan – 7.7, 2.3
2. Winner Prince (KOR) [Fortitude – Happy Power (Priceless Prince)] – Park Tae Jong – 1.3
3. Fundahigh (KOR) [Warzone – Fundamental High (High Brite)] – Lee Gong Kug – 5.8
Distances: 2 lengths/0.75 lengths – 13 ran

There was a shock later on as Vicar Love, sent off odds-on in the feature handicap could only manage fourth place as Ecton Cat took victory over ten furlongs. Vicar Love looked well placed entering the home straight but Ecton Cat, who had led wire-to-wire, was in no mood to be caught, going on to win by three lengths from Wind King and Seoul Teukgeup.

Jockey of the day was Jung Ki Yong, landing a treble withing the first eight races. Cho Kyoung Ho managed two winners while Choi Beom Hyun got one. 2008 Champion Moon Se Young scored a blank while 2009 winner Park Tae Jong had to wait until the very last to guide hot property Grand Money to victory.