Day: January 17, 2010

No Luxury for Seonbongbulpae

Hushtilled also goes down / Wepner takes big prizes at Busan

Yesterday it was Nuriyeongung, today it was the turn of Seonbongbulpae to lose his unbeaten record in the last furlong at Seoul Race Park. Winner of the Herald Business and Champion two-year old of 2009, Seonbongbulpae went down to a faster finishing Luxury Jewang in the class 3 race 7.

Luxury Jewang and Boo Min Ho parade before handing Seonbongbulpae his first ever defeat

Despite being sent off odds-on favourite, it was always going to be a tough ask for Seonbongbulpae. Stepping up not only in quality, but also in distance – to eight and a half furlongs, the three-year old was facing older horses on their terms, including not only Luxury Jewang but also the fast improving Blooming.

Seonbongbulpae, under Cho Kyoung Ho led early but in the back stretch, Boo Min Ho brought Luxury Jewang around the outside of the field to join him. As they turned for home, it was clear it was a two horse race and Boo, going down the outside found just that little bit more than Cho could from Seonbongbulpae to claim a two and a half length win.

So Luxury Jewang, a five-year old gelding, calims his biggest ever win. Fans of Seonbongbulpae [Newsprint – Jeseok (Lost Mountain)] need not be too downhearted. He stayed the distance well, which was a serious doubt, and he will be back to fight another day.

Also having a bad day was the horse who finished second to Seonbongbulpae in that Herald Business Cup back in December. Filly Hushtilled was strongly fancied to pick off a less than impressive looking field of class 4 fillies and mares over seven furlongs in race 10. It was not to be, however, as despite being well placed as the field turned for home, Hustilled was able to offer no sprint whatsoever, finishing in fourth, three lengths short of winner Ruby.

One horse who did live up to expectations was Jumong. The American import landed his third successive win. The half-brother to Subsidy and Soseono didn’t need to break into a sweat as he cantered to victory in race 6. Three-year old Jumong [Johar – Foreign Aid (Danzig)] will be one to keep an eye on as the season progresses.

Moon Se Young looks around but there's no danger for Jumong

While it was a pleasant day at Seoul with temperatures hovering around freezing but not going too far below, down at Busan they were luxuriating in spring-like conditions. And it was a very good day for Martin Wepner as the South African jockey took victory in both of the track’s co-feature races.

First up was the race for overseas bred horses and it was Wepner who guided Max Is Cruisin to his second win in his last three starts. Next was the domestic race and again it was Wepner who took the four-year old Muhan Daeseung to victory over 2000 metres.

Back at Seoul and on the theme of overseas jockeys, Toshiyuki Katoh has had few opportunities since arriving in the capital in the middle of last year.

Toshiyuki Katoh

Today he made the most of an unlikely one in the shape of 80/1 outsider Bicheongeom who he took to victory in the opener. It was Katoh’s fourth victory in Korea.