Bally Brae Strikes At Seoul
Smart As Me got up for an unlikely victory in a thrilling end to the Busan Ilbo Cup this afternoon.
After Aju Joa had set the early pace in the seven furlong race, the stage seemed set for Useung Geotap, winner of five of her six previous races, to take the honours as she battled into the lead. But that was to reckon without some final furlong drama.
Outsider Neat Play, under Lee Sung Jae, darted to the rail as Hwang Jong Woo on Smart As Me began flying down the outside. In the middle Useung Geotap and Aju Joa seemed to go backwards. Five horses hit the line within half a length of each other but it was Smart As Me who was the clear winner by a nose.
Imported in 2007, Smart As Me was out for most of 2009. She returned last month with a victory and now, at age 5, is set to finally fulfil her potential. She has a record of five wins from twelve starts.
Busan Ilbo Cup – Busan Race Park – 1400M – March 21, 2010
1. Smart As Me (USA) [Take Me Out – Smart As Scot (Ascot Knight)] – Hwang Jong Woo – 12.3, 2.6
2. Neat Play (JPN) [Meishi Doto – Kobekko (Windstoss)] – Lee, Sung Jae – 33.0
3. Ilchul Gwangya (AUS) [Honours List – Zella (Zoffany)] – Lee Hee Cheon – 4.4
Also Ran: 4. Useung Geotap (USA); 5. Aju Joa (USA); 6. Daejaui Yeosin (USA); 7. Dalbit Miso (KOR); 8. Amateras (JPN); 9. Double The Gold (USA); 10. I First (USA); 11. Scit Scat Cat (USA); 12. Tropical Sky (USA); 13. Ecton Legacy (USA); 14. Bonghwasan Jeongi (JPN)
Up at Seoul, Bally Brae was expected record his second consecutive win in the feature race. With Oh Kyoung Hoan in the saddle for the first time, the popular eight-year old duly obliged leading from start to finish to win by a length from Free Hugs. In scoring his second victory of the year, Bally Brae notched his seventeenth career victory.
It was a blustery day at Seoul although the wind thankfully did not bring with it the dust-storm that wreaked havoc across the track yesterday. Nevertheless, it made the long home straight very hard work for some. One of those who completely faded was Juamdaegun.
The three-year old Australian import was strongly fancied to make it three wins in a row in the last. However, after leading from the gate he fell away badly in the final furlong.
Also of mention at Seoul was a maiden victory for Murim Choegang. The four-year old had recorded five second and two third place finishes in his nine starts to date. Today, he finally went one better, cruising to victory in race six.