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.